Introduction & Overview
Arthritis is a group of more than 100 chronic degenerative rheumatic diseases and other conditions that cause pain, stiffness and swelling of joints due to inflammation of joints, the tissues that surround the joints and other connective tissues. Any part of the body can be inflamed and have a debilitating affect with life threatening complications (1) & (2). A brief introduction of joints would simplify our understanding of arthritis.
A typical joint (for example the leg joint) comprises of:
According to a National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) of 2003-2005, an estimated 46 million (22%) adults have self-reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis and 19 million (9% of all adults) are reported to be suffering from arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation. Based on NHIS data of 2003, an estimated 67 million (25%) adults aged 18 years and above will have doctor-diagnosed arthritis by the year 2030 and an estimated 25 million adults (37%) with arthritis will report arthritis-attributable activity limitations (4).
Article by Kona Vishnu, MS
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