What Is Arthritis and How Does It Affect Your Health?

Arthritis is a leading cause of disabilities. Here are some tips to combat joint pain and stiffness.

Did you know that 1 in every 4 adults has arthritis? This adds up to 54 million adults in the U.S. Despite what people may think, arthritis aches and pains are not a normal part of aging. This condition is specific to inflammation and pain in the joints, as well as the tissues surrounding these joints.

Arthritis can affect your health in many different ways. It makes it harder to manage heart disease, diabetes or obesity, and about half of adults with arthritis also have one or more of these health issues.

Because arthritis limits normal activities, such as walking to a car, lifting groceries or holding a cup, many people are anxious about being physically active.

But there is no need to be nervous—exercise is actually one of the most effective ways to manage arthritis. Even small amounts of exercise, such as a daily walk, can make a difference and be a step in the right direction. Studies have shown that physical activity can decrease pain and improve function by about 40%.

Participating in educational programs, such as those provided by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, can also connect you with resources to help you understand more about your health.

It’s easy to make a plan for a healthier you—start by taking your Blue Health Assessment today. You'll get access to other programs that are tailored to your personal health goals and may be eligible to earn rewards.

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