Arthritis is one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders in the world. In the U.S., close to 1 in 4 adults have been diagnosed with some type of arthritis. It tends to affect females more than males; however, lifestyle factors play a significant role in its prevalence. If you are in good health and exercise regularly, the chances of you developing arthritis can be much lower, especially for developing it earlier in life. Age also plays a role; the older you get, the more likely you will develop arthritis or that the arthritis you do have will progressively worsen.
Your weight also has a significant say in whether you develop arthritis, with it being much more likely to occur if you are overweight or obese. This is due to the increased weight-bearing load on the joints over time, which causes the joints to wear down at a quicker rate. For example, for every pound overweight that you are, it adds four pounds of stress to your knee joints. It is no wonder why knee replacement surgery is one of the most common procedures performed in the U.S year after year.
So, what exactly is arthritis? In simple terms, arthritis means inflammation of a joint. This can cause swelling, redness, pain, and reduced range of motion in this joint. Arthritis falls into two main categories: degenerative arthritis and inflammatory arthritis. Arthritis can affect any joint in the body – where two bones come together. Typically, there are certain joints more commonly affected by arthritis. Hips, knees, shoulders, and spinal joints tend to become arthritic because they are joints that involve a lot of weight-bearing movement and force.
The medical model treats arthritis in several different ways. From more conservative measures such as anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy to more invasive measures like injections or surgery. This journey is typically what arthritis patients will find themselves on as they navigate their diagnosis. There are, however, other more natural, conservative measures available to help maximize function and improve quality of life. At Venturis Clinic, Dr. Alvin Philipose has a range of services to help decrease pain, improve mobility, and get you back to living the life that you want to live. By addressing the root cause and not just masking symptoms, our patients are able to get the most out of their care and live with more independence.