May Is Arthritis Awareness Month
Today, one in five Americans suffers from the pain of arthritis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) projects that by the year 2030, 67 million people in the U.S. will live with arthritis, up from current estimates of 46 million. Arthritis can be a painful, life-impacting condition, but its effects ma be lessened through physical activity.
Physical activity, such as walking, is crucial in preventing and managing the nation's most common cause of disability. In fact, the Arthritis Foundation says Americans cannot afford to be inactive. This simple, inexpensive activity can help achieve and maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of arthritis.
"Physical activity is a natural pain reliever for most people suffering from arthritis," said Patience White, M.D., chief public health officer, Arthritis Foundation. "Walking just 10 minutes, three times a day can ease joint pain, improve mobility and reduce fatigue often associated with arthritis."
As the organization celebrates its 60th anniversary, the Arthritis Foundation is working to inform the public of the benefits of walking to ease the pain of arthritis or prevent some forms from developing. In addition to causing pain, disability and loss of independence, arthritis exacts a hefty financial toll on the U.S. economy, costing the nation $128 annually.
"The prevalence of obesity continues to rise even though it can often be prevented by staying active through simple activities such as walking," said White. "A weight loss of 15 pounds can decrease the pain due to osteoarthritis by 50 percent."