Faces of Arthritis in May

Arthritis Awareness Month brings attention to subtypes of condition and patients

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) There's osteoarthritis. And rheumatoid arthritis. And infectious arthritis, childhood arthritis, Still's disease, lupus, Sjogren's disease and many more. In total, there are more than 100 kinds of arthritis.

While certain subtypes occur more often than others, in total, arthritis affects millions of Americans.

To bring attention to the condition, May has been designated Arthritis Awareness Month. This year's theme is "Faces of Arthritis."

"Join a walk for arthritis."

Arthritis is the number one cause of disability in the US, above even cancer, heart disease and diabetes. The condition destroys bones, joints and other connective tissues, and costs patients $128 billion in medical care each year.

While one in five American adults has been diagnosed with arthritis, about 300,000 kids have been diagnosed as well.

The condition comes in more than 100 forms, the most common being osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile arthritis.

Several arthritis walks are going on this month around the country, with about 200 total throughout the year to raise money and promote arthritis awareness.

The Jingle Bell Run/Walk promotes awareness with 130 events, and collectively, the events have raised about $16 million. 

Warning signs of arthritis include pain, stiffness, occasional swelling or tenderness, redness around a joint and difficulty moving a joint.

Treatments for the condition include pain-relieving medications, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil and Motrin IB and corticosteroids.

Other medications used to treat arthritis include disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), which slow or stop the immune system from attacking the joints, and biologics that target protein molecules involved in the immune's response. Therapy and surgery are other options.

Over the last six decades, the Arthritis Foundation has funded research, promoted health policy and partnered with families to provide empowering programs and information to restore patients' mobility.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
May 9, 2013
Last Updated:
September 20, 2013