October 12th was World Arthritis Day. World Arthritis Day “aims to help raise awareness of the existence and impact of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases, often referred to as RMDs.” Though there are more than 200 types of RMDs and more than 100 types of arthritis, some of the most common ones include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and gout. According to the CDC, “Arthritis means inflammation or swelling of one or more joints. It describes more than 100 conditions that affect the joints, tissues around the joint, and other connective tissues. Specific symptoms vary depending on the type of arthritis, but usually include joint pain and stiffness.”
Arthritis Statistics in the United States
According to data collected from the CDC between the years 2013-2015, an estimated 54.4 million adults had been diagnosed with arthritis. Additional statistics note that women were more affected than men and that the prevalence of arthritis increased with age. Moreover, based on current trends, the CDC predicts that by the year 2040, an estimated 78.4 million adults will have doctor diagnosed arthritis.
Diagnosing and Treating Arthritis
You may wonder if you have arthritis if you are experiencing pain, stiffness, or swelling in or around one or more joints. The best place to start is with your doctor. Doctors usually diagnose arthritis using the patient’s medical history, physical examination, X-rays, and blood tests. Because there are many forms of arthritis, it is important to get a specific diagnosis so that your treatment can be tailored to you. Also note that it is possible to have more than one type of arthritis at the same time.
While treatments for arthritis vary depending on the type of arthritis being treated, they all have the same primary goals to control pain, minimize joint damage, and improve or maintain physical function and quality of life. According to the American College of Rheumatology, arthritis treatment can include medications, nondrug therapies such as physical therapy or patient education, and sometimes surgery.
Though there is currently no cure for arthritis, doctors and scientists continue to research new potential treatment options. One of our goals here at Personalized Stem Cells is to conduct FDA approved clinical trials and obtain enough positive data to eventually make adipose derived stem cell therapy a readily available treatment option for people suffering with arthritis. It is a long and slow process, but we promise to continue to fight the good fight for the millions of people suffering from arthritis.