May is for Arthritis and Older Americans

Over 54 million Americans are affected by arthritis. Each May, we recognize the toll It takes on the health and lives of those affected during Arthritis Awareness Month. Though it can develop at any age, older individuals are most affected. May is also Older American Month that honors the strength and resilience of older individuals and spreads awareness on ways to nurture ourselves. Perhaps by joining efforts, May can be a month of improving older American’s lives through helping them to live better with the most common form of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis of the Knee

There are more than 100 different kinds of arthritis and related diseases. Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common. OA occurs when the natural cushioning between joints (cartilage) wears away. Without the cushion, the bones of the joints are closer together when moving. The knee is one of the joints frequently affected by OA. Symptoms of
OA of the knee include:

  • Increasing pain when you are active but eases with rest
  • Swelling
  • The joint may feel warm
  • Stiffness of the knee that is worse in the morning or periods of non-movement
  • Difficulty getting in and out of chairs or cars, using the stairs, or walking due to decreased mobility

Occasionally, bone spurs will form due to joint damage. OA is degenerative if not treated and can cause permanent joint damage. Your risks for developing it increase more after 45, and with other factors such as being overweight, previous injury, and heredity. Losing weight and regular exercise can help reduce inflammation and keep the full range of the joint. These lifestyle changes are often done in conjunction with medications, joint therapies, lubrication injections, and other procedures.

Connect, Learn, Advance.

Take time this May to learn about the latest in arthritis prevention, daily management, and self-care techniques through one of the many events going on this month. Connect with other local older Americans online or in your community in a safely planned group activity.

Finally, participating in clinical research is another way you can get involved by helping to advance options for arthritis and ultimately improve the lives of those affected. If you have osteoarthritis of the knee, enrolling research studies at North Georgia Clinical Research may be an option. Learn more today by calling (678) 494-5735 or visit our website.