47 million Americans have some form of arthritis; for 27 million of those, it is severe enough to seek medical treatment. By 2030, almost 67 million people will suffer from joint pain.
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Arthritis, in its countless forms, is the leading cause of disability in the United States, affecting over 47 million Americans, of which 27 million Americans have osteoarthritis, a form of arthritis where there is an excess amount of wear and tear to the cartilage that lines our joints. Many arthritis sufferers are under medical care, the balance have mild symptoms today that may progress over time to more debilitating forms according to the CDC. Worldwide it is estimated that 350 million people have arthritis, thus you are not alone.
There is no ‘typical’ arthritis sufferer, more than half of those with arthritis are under 65 years of age. Nearly 60% of Americans with arthritis are women and 294,000 U.S. children under age 18 (1 in 250) have been diagnosed with arthritis or another rheumatologic condition according to the CDC.
It’s been estimated that the total cost of the arthritis in the United States, is over $50 billion dollars annually. This dollar amount while substantial only covers the cost related to hospitalizations, doctor visits, medications, physical therapy, nursing-home care, and lost wages.
An additional $2+ billion is spent annually in the United States on unproven remedies (products that ‘cleanse the body of toxins to allow the natural curative power to heal’, herbal supplements, vitamins, and other “natural” supplements for example) by patients who attempt to manage their symptoms on their own.
There is no cure for arthritis presently; companies that represent that they have found a “cure” should be avoided. In addition, no one other than you and your medical care team should recommend potential surgeries or drugs. In addition we strongly suggest that any medications you take should have passed the scrutiny of the FDA.
The Arthritis Foundation cites that there are more than 100 different types of arthritis. Some are related to wear and tear of cartilage (osteoarthritis); all are associated with inflammation, several are the result of an overactive immune system such as Rheumatoid Arthritis or Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) for example.
Therefore it is no surprise that arthritis pain management is the primary concern of arthritis sufferers, employers and health care providers. Presently there is no cure for arthritis, there are things you can do to assist in relieving symptoms and that will vastly improve quality of life.