Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Note: Chronic inflammatory arthritis is disabled or is not supported by your browser. For this reason, some items on this page will be unavailable.
54 million people, have arthritis. It is a leading cause of work-related disability. The annual direct medical costs are at least 81 billion. The term arthritis refers to more than 100 diseases and conditions affecting the joints. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. Other forms of arthritis are gout, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. Symptoms of arthritis are pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling in or around the joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, can affect multiple organs and cause widespread symptoms. Arthritis commonly occurs with other chronic diseases. About half of US adults with heart disease or diabetes and one-third of people who are obese also have arthritis. Having arthritis and other chronic conditions can reduce quality of life and make disease management harder. Arthritis can limit the type of work these men and women are able to do or keep them from working at all. In fact, 8 million working-age adults report that their ability to work is limited because of their arthritis.
The most common limitations that adults with arthritis report are difficulty climbing a flight of stairs or walking the equivalent of three city blocks. This means that adults with arthritis could have trouble walking from a parking deck or subway stop to their worksite. The impact of arthritis on the productivity of US businesses will continue to grow as the percentage of people with this condition increases in the coming decades. People with arthritis can reduce their symptoms in several ways, but many don’t know how. Physical activity—such as walking, bicycling, and swimming—decreases pain and improves function, mood, and quality of life. People with arthritis should try to get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week.
This activity can be done for 30 minutes, 5 days a week, or for as little as 10 minutes at a time. Maintain a healthy weight and protect their joints. People can reduce their risk of knee osteoarthritis by controlling their weight and avoiding types of activities that are more likely to cause joint injuries. Recommendations from health care providers can motivate people to be physically active and join a self-management education program. People with inflammatory arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis, have a better quality of life if they are diagnosed early, receive treatment, and learn how to manage their condition.