Throughout the world millions of people are affected by arthritis, their lives being changed by the sometimes constant pain of inflamed joints.  World Arthritis Day is a day to remember and raise awareness of this condition, and how it affects the lives of those that suffer with it.  World Arthritis day was brought about by the Arthritis Foundation to do just that, and to encourage policymakers to help lower the burden of those suffering from Arthritis all over the world.

Arthritis is cleanly summed up in it’s name, being derived from the greek words arthro, meaning joint, and itis, meaning inflammation.  As the name implies it is a condition involving inflammation of the joints, but unlike the common conception that it is a disease all it’s own, it is always a symptom of another affliction.  Gout, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, and Lupus are just some of the more common causes of this painful and often crippling condition.

Arthritis has been shown to have been with us as long as creatures have had bones, there’s even evidence that ankle arthritis was present in dinosaurs by the study of fossils.  Research has shown that it has been present in humans at least as far back as 4500 BC,  and has been shown to be one of the most common afflictions of the prehistoric peoples.  It was first closely examined and classified in William Musgraves work, De Arthritide symptomatica, written in 1715.

For conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, there is no cure, though there are often treatments that can be done.  Largely these are basic health controls, including increasing exercise and working to reduce your weight.  Other than that the usual treatments are pharmaceutical in nature and focus on reducing the pain of the condition rather than seeking to remove it.

Physical therapy has often been seen to be effective in helping, but the nature of the condition often impedes the implementation of such therapy.  Motion hurts, but motion is shown to be among the best treatments.  By keeping the joint mobile it helps to reduce the constant inflammation and has shown marked improvements in the long-term relief of the pain associated with it.

Many people associate this condition with the elderly and the health concerns that affect them, and statistical evidence supports that those over 65 are in fact the primary sufferers.  But there is an often forgotten section of people who are under that age, almost 30% of all sufferers are under the age of 65, with some of them being no older than their teen years, and some rare cases existing even in the very young.

Take the time to educate yourself on this condition, and find the ways you can help prevent or hold-off this condition in your own life.  By taking steps to improve your health today, you can help prevent this being something that limits your life.  You can also pop on over to the Arthritis Foundations webpage and take their test to find out if you’re at risk for Osteoarthritis.

World Arthritis Day is a great time to get out and lend a helping hand to those suffering from this condition.  If you have relatives who suffer from it, take a day to go over and help them out with the things that are made difficult for them because of their condition.  Take some time to do some research and get a clear understanding of how people have their lives affected by it.