What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is inflammation of one of more of your joints on your body.

Why is Arthritis a health concern in Australia?

Arthritis is a health concern in Australia because it makes peoples lives a living hell. It makes it harder to move around therefore if it hurts to move around then people will stop moving around and their fitness levels were decrease rapidly. It is such a problem because from the 2007 statistics 1 in 5 people get arthritis.

Who does arthritis effect?

Non-modifiable risk factors are those that cannot be prevented or changed. They are:

  • Men and women 45 years of age and older
  • Females 15 years of age and older
  • Someone with a family history of arthritis
  • Being African-American

Modifiable risk factors are those that can be prevented or changed by an individual. These include:

  • Obesity
  • Past injuries to joints
  • Infections, such as Lyme disease
  • Certain occupations that require frequent repetitive joint activities, for example, kneeling or stooping

What are the risk factors for developing arthritis?

  • Family history. Some types of arthritis run in families, so you may be more likely to develop arthritis if your parents or siblings have the disorder. Your genes can make you more susceptible to environmental factors that may trigger arthritis.
  • Age. The risk of many types of arthritis increases with age.
  • Your gender. Women are more likely than are men to develop rheumatoid arthritis, while most of the people who have gout, another type of arthritis, are men.
  • Previous joint injury. People who have injured a joint, perhaps while playing a sport, are more likely to eventually develop arthritis in that joint.
  • Obesity. Carrying excess kilos puts stress on joints, particularly your knees, hips and spine. Obese people have a higher risk of developing arthritis.

Arthritis effects

Arthritis effects you hips, hands, feet, spine and knees

What is a strategy to help avoid Arthritis happening?

  1. Learn Arthritis Management Strategies
    • Arthritis management strategies provide those with arthritis with the skills and confidence to effectively manage their condition. These techniques have proven to be valuable for helping people change their behavior and better manage their arthritis symptoms.
    • Interactive workshops such as the Arthritis Self-Management Program and the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program are low-cost (about $25 - $35) and available in communities across the country. Attending one of these programs can help a person learn ways to manage pain, exercise safely, and gain control of arthritis.
  2. Be Active
    • Research shows physical activity decreases pain, improves function and delays disability. It is recommended that people with arthritis undertake 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least 5 times a week, or a total of 150 minutes per week. The 30 minutes can be broken down into three ten minute sessions throughout the day. There are exercise programs, such as EnhanceFitness and Walk with Ease, that can help people with arthritis increase their physical activity safely and comfortably.
  3. Watch Your Weight
    • Research confirms that maintaining a healthy weight can limit disease progression and activity limitation. For every pound lost, there is a 4 pound reduction in the load exerted on the knee. A modest weight loss (5% or 12 pounds for a 250 pound person) can help reduce pain and disability.
  4. See Your Doctor
    • Early diagnosis and professionally guided management is critical to maintaining a good quality of life, particularly for people with inflammatory arthritis. Essential disease modifying drugs are beneficial in rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory arthritis conditions and are available only by prescription.
  5. Protect Your Joints
    • Sports or occupational based injuries to joints can increase the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis. Jobs that have repetitive motions, for example repeated knee bending, place individuals at higher risk. Avoiding injuries to joints can reduce the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis.