Did you know that arthritis is the #1 cause of disability in the U.S.? If you didn’t, you’re certainly not alone. Many people underestimate the prevalence and severity of arthritis if it’s not something they regularly encounter. To help promote some awareness of this cause, we wanted to share some facts for May, which has been designated as Arthritis Awareness Month.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is something of a catch-all term used to label over 100 types of conditions that revolve around joint pain. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis involves the deterioration of cartilage over time which allows bones to rub together, leading to pain and swelling. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disorder that involves the immune system mistakenly attacking the lining of the joint capsule. Two other common forms of arthritis are gout and fibromyalgia. Gout results from the buildup of uric acid that causes inflammation and joint pain, most commonly in the big toe. Fibromyalgia is more far-reaching and can arise for several reasons, but it results in pain throughout the body, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.
Arthritis Risk Factors
Arthritis is complicated, and can often arise from a multitude of factors. However, there are some factors that medical professionals know to increase one’s risk of developing arthritis. Some of these risks include obesity, repetitive movements, prior injuries, inactivity, smoking, and old age. Females have a higher risk of developing most types of arthritis.
More than 50 million adults in the U.S. have arthritis, but this problem tends to get less recognition than many other ailments. However, arthritis is not limited to adults. Some 300,000 babies, kids, and teens also have arthritis. Besides the pain and discomfort arthritis causes, it’s also costly in other ways. In many cases, arthritis limits or otherwise impacts individuals’ ability to work. When accounting for lost wages and medical expenses, the annual cost of arthritis and similar disorders totals over $156 billion.
Tips to Manage Symptoms
Since there is no cure for arthritis, those who are dealing with it have to avail themselves of other ways of managing their symptoms. Aerobic exercise, even just taking a walk, is recommended to help reduce the pain of arthritis. This is doubly good because maintaining a healthy weight is important for preventing arthritis and for lessening its severity in those who have it. In fact, more than a third of people who are obese have arthritis. Just be sure that the exercise you’re doing isn’t strenuous to the point where it’s putting more strain on your joints.
If you’d like to show support to all of those who are battling arthritis every day, we have some arthritis awareness gear you can wear to support them. This gear is perfect attire for an Arthritis walk if you can find one in your area to participate in this Arthritis Awareness Month!
As autism diagnoses have been on the rise for many years, many more people are now aware of autism than in the past. However, along with this increased awareness, lots of people also have mistaken beliefs about autism. This Autism Awareness Month, we wanted to briefly explore some of these autism myths so that readers will have a better understanding of a disorder that is now diagnosed in 1 in 59 American children. Keep reading to learn about four common autism myths and explanations of why they’re not supported by the evidence. Be sure to share your new knowledge with anyone you know who might have some mistaken beliefs regarding autism!
Autism is caused by vaccines
This myth stems from the 1998 publication of a paper in a medical journal that claimed there could be a link between the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. After lots of publicity, details emerged regarding financial conflicts of interest, scientific ethics violations, and cherrypicking data. In the years since this paper was published, the head author has had his medical license revoked. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention elaborates about this myth, numerous studies since have concluded that there is no link between vaccines and ASD.
Poor parenting leads to autism
For a period in the middle of the 20th century, there was a harmful theory of “refrigerator mothers” whose lack of affection led to autism in their children. Some experts believed that mothers who didn’t outwardly express love could trigger autism in their children. This has been disproven, but some people still believe that autism results from the way parents behave toward their children. This stereotype can make an autism diagnosis even more difficult for parents.
All people with autism are the same
There’s a phrase that’s often said regarding autism: If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism. This bears repeating because people will sometimes lump people with autism together as if they’re one group with little variation. In reality, autism is known as a spectrum disorder because its impact can vary widely between different individuals. The best way to understand someone with ASD is to get to know them, rather than accepting certain stereotypes that are often wrong.
People with autism don’t have feelings
Autism can make it difficult to respond emotionally in various situations, but just like everyone else, people with autism experience joy, sadness, frustration, and all kinds of other emotions. Treating people with autism as outsiders who are different from others only alienates them, when instead we should be doing our best to include them and treat them kindly.
We hope that delving into these common autism myths helped to clarify some questions you may have had. To continue spreading awareness about autism this April (and throughout the rest of the year as well), sport some autism awareness gear!
April 2nd of this year marked the 12th Annual Autism Awareness Day. In honor of the occasion, we wanted to present some autism facts and give thanks to those who are dedicating their lives to helping individuals with autism. What is Autism? Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a neural development disorder. It is often characterized by […]
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