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What is Arthritis?

  • Arthritis is a broad term for any of over 100 rheumatic diseases. Rheumatic diseases are any condition which is marked by inflammation and/or pain in the joints, muscles, or fibrous tissue. The most common forms are osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and gout.

Why Should You Care?

  • 1/5 of US adults have some form of arthritis
  • 1/2 of all adults 65 and older are diagnosed with arthritis
  • Arthritis costs the U.S. $128 billion annually
    • $80.8 billion in direct costs
    • $47 billion in indirect costs (missed work, etc)

Causes / Risk Factors

  • Age
  • Gender    
  • Genetic
  • Weight
  • Joint injuries    
  • Infection
  • Occupation                                                                                                                         


  • Arthritis is typically marked by intermittent pain or stiffness around one or more joints. Diagnosis of specific types of arthritis may require symptoms which have lasted for a period of several months. 


  • Medication    
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy              
  • Splints or joint-assistive aids
  • Education    
  • Support groups
  • In extreme cases, surgery may be required    
  • High caffeine intake can cause problems with RA treatment    


  • While there are few physical support groups, the Arthritis Foundation, with chapters in Wisconsin and Illinois, has activities periodically, and is a phenomenal resource for those who want to get more information on managing their disease and for directed support.

* CIS does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The content is for informational purposes only.

Source: Center for Disease Control

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