May Is Arthritis Awareness Month

Arthritis is a disease that effects the musculoskeletal system, primarily the joints. One in every  arthritisfive Americans have some form of the disease characterized by pain, swelling, and stiffness. Causes of Arthritis vary and include prolonged stress to joints from repetitive motion, previous injury, infection, or an autoimmune disease.
While the occurrence of arthritis increases with age, young people can also get the disease.  Joint pain can be caused by several factors. Cartilage surrounding the bone may be wearing away, joint fluid called synovial fluid may be lacking, or the body attacks itself as in an autoimmune disease. Common forms of arthritis are  osteoarthritis in which the cartilage loses its elasticity, and rheumatoid arthritis in which the synovial membrane is attacked causing inflammation and pain. Infectious arthritis, caused by bacteria or a virus, affects the synovial fluid and is prone to people who are already suffering from some form of the disease.
Over-the-counter pain medications are the most commonly prescribed drugs for arthritis. Yoga and Physical and Occupational therapy can help maintain movement and mobility while inactivity can lead to further deterioration. For more information on arthritis, its symptoms and treatment go to arthritis.org.