A large number of Americans are suffering from arthritis with the result that many are unable to conduct even daily routines such as lifting a bag of groceries or holding a cup of coffee.
According to a federal agency's report, the suffering from arthritis is accentuated by the lack of physical activities and exercise that should alleviate pain and improve mobility.
Leading Cause Of Disability
In the United States among 54 million adults, one in four has arthritis causing pain stiffness and swollen joints, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That makes arthritis a leading cause of disability in the country.
"Arthritis symptoms keep millions of Americans from going about their daily routines," CDC acting director Dr. Anne Schuchat said.
In terms of percentage of adults whose daily activities are limited by arthritis pain zoomed from 35.9 percent in 2002 to 42.8 percent in 2014, the CDC study found.
Going beyond the generic cause of aging population arthritis is looking prominent even among working population who are in the working age of 18 to 64 years, the CDC said.
The CDC study was prepared on the basis of data from the National Health Interview Survey.
Different Types Of Arthritis
There are many types of arthritis, Osteoarthritis caused by aging-related wear and tear, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and fibromyalgia.
The annual direct medical costs of arthritis have come to $81 billion, the agency said. The CDC study said despite the use of narcotic painkillers in curing arthritis, many safer options are also available.
The report also urged doctors and family members of patients to persuade people to shun opioids and encourage exercising and start watching their weight.
"Physical activity is a proven strategy to ease pain and reduce symptoms among people with arthritis," Schuchat said.
According to CDC report, by 2040, the number of arthritis patients in the U.S will touch 78 million as a proportion of the rise in population and aged citizens.
However, the worrisome factor is the lower participation of people in management programs aimed at reducing the suffering.
It has been noticed that just one in 10 arthritis patients are attending such programs. Compounding the problem is heart disease or diabetes among half of the adults with one a third being obese, the CDC found. Arthritis makes conditions hard to manage, the agency said.
One reason for arthritis patients avoiding exercise is the pain they are already in. Physical activity is a must to relieve pain that includes walking, swimming, and biking, Schuchat added.
New Treatment For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Meanwhile, Rheumatoid arthritis is getting a new treatment and the results are quite encouraging. It is the most dangerous inflammatory rheumatic disease with 30 percent patients getting some control of the symptoms, after a few years of treatment.
According to an international study led by rheumatologist Daniel Aletaha of MedUni in Vienna, a new drug called sirukumab has offered relief for "refractory" patients.
The study has been published in The Lancet.
Rheumatic patients who do not show any significant improvement even with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors treatment have responded positively to the difficult-to-treat rheumatoid arthritis.
"Treatment options had been practically exhausted for many of these patients. However, even in this group of patients, treatment with sirukumab brought about a significant reduction in the inflammatory action of the disease," said Aletaha.
The research focused on interleukin-6 cytokine blockade with sirukumab inhibiting IL-6, which is a messenger substance responsible for inflammation in the joints.