May Is Arthritis Awareness Month

Arthritis Awareness Month is spearheaded by the Arthritis Foundation, and supported by Summit Orthopedics and medical practices across the country, to promote education about arthritis and to raise funds for arthritis research, support, and advocacy.

Arthritis is the number one cause of disability in our country. More than 50 million Americans are affected by this disease; this number represents one out of every five adults and approximately 300,000 children. People of all ages and races are vulnerable to arthritis. It is most common among women, and the chances of developing arthritis increase as we get older.

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, but the most common is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of our bones wears away due to stress caused by excess weight, traumatic injury, a family history of arthritis susceptibility, or joint wear and tear over time. As cartilage deteriorates, bone rubs against bone, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness.

During Arthritis Awareness Month, and every month, all of us at Summit Orthopedics want you to have the information you need to keep your joints healthy and strong. Not all arthritis can be prevented, but there are things you can do to protect yourself from osteoarthritis. Your chances of developing osteoarthritis will be lower if you:

  • Stay active
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid joint injury
  • Guard against the repetitive movements that break down cartilage over time

Presently, there is no cure for arthritis, though at Summit, our teams of physicians and physical therapists can manage symptoms through a variety of conservative treatments designed to restore mobility, reduce pain, and protect the lifestyle you love. When joint symptoms are severe and cannot be adequately managed by conservative therapies, we can talk with you about joint replacement surgery.

This month, the Arthritis Foundation is organizing fund-raising events to support research focused on restoring mobility, lobbying efforts to support health care policies that improve the lives of people living with arthritis; and education to empower families touched by this crippling disease.

As part of the Foundation’s awareness activities this month, Walks to Cure Arthritis are being organized nationwide. Every step counts to reduce the impact of this painful, damaging disease. The Minnesota Walk will take place on Saturday, May 16, and has already raised more than $30,000 to help arthritis patients get access to medications and to fund research. If you would like to support our state’s Walk to Cure Arthritis, you’ll find information about the walk, donations, and registration here.

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