How Common is Arthritis? When Should I See a Doctor for Joint Pain?

Arthritis is an incredibly prevalent and serious ailment that is currently impacting 1 out of every 4 Americans above the age of ​30 (about 54 million adults or 16% of the population). What’s even scarier, is that it’s getting worse. By the year 2040, the prevalence of arthritis is anticipated to reach approximately 78 Million adults.

Part of this will be attributed, of course, to the fact that the United States population will be larger than it is now in 18 years. Since we’ll see an increase in population, we’ll therefore see an increase in the volume arthritis cases. However, 78 million out relative to the projected population of 380.2 million is a prevalence of at least 20% (not all 380.2 million will be adults above 30).

This is serious.

What can be done? What are the types of arthritis? Which is the most prevalent type of arthritis? What can I do if I’m already experiencing symptoms?

Modern Concepts is here to help!

1. What Can Be Done to Address the Prevalence of Arthritis?

The simple answer to this question, is prevention. However, that is a bit of a “cop out” answer so we’re going to dive a little deeper. Arthritis is not just a disease for “old people” or those who don’t take care of themselves. Often times we associate arthritis with an old person using a cane, or a sports injury. This is not the case!

While osteoarthritis (arthritis caused by the gradual wearing down of bone endings that form joints) is the most common cause of arthritis, there are actually a lot of causes of arthritis that are NOT caused by wear and tear. For example, certain autoimmune disorders (Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus) can cause arthritis in your joints when your immune system doesn’t recognize your own bone endings and elicits an immune response.

There are many medical professionals that consider arthritis to be a byproduct/symptom of obesity. Not only because the added weight puts more pressure on the body and joints causing osteoarthritis. But because also because the collection of adipose tissue (expanded fat cells) plays an important role in the expression and severity of autoimmune disorders like RA.

Simply put, we’re willing to be that the average American is not aware that Arthritis is not only caused by sports injuries and old age. The answer to the question “what can be done to address the prevalence of arthritis?” is simply:

We must first educate the general public about why arthritis occurs and how to prevent it.

2. What are the types of arthritis?

There are over 100 causes/types of arthritis. We could list all of them and everyone would learn a lot! But for the sake of efficiency, here are the top 5 types of arthritis in 2022.

  • Osteoarthritis**
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Lupus

**OA is the most common/prevalent type of arthritis.

3. What Can I Do If I’m Experiencing Arthritis Symptoms?

The most important steps to take if you are experiencing symptoms are:

1) Consider your family and personal history. Does anyone in your family have an autoimmune disorder? How long have the symptoms been occurring? Are the symptoms always present or are their certain foods, situations, environments, and activities that make it worse? Does anything make it better (i.e stretching, medications, body positions)? Do you have any injuries related to the area experiencing pain?

2) Once you have considered all these factors, take them to a licensed medical professional and they will be able to assess the actual cause.

We hope you find this information useful, be sure to check out our other blog posts on specific joints for more information on how to treat your pain below!