Arthritis impacts about 350 million people around the world, and 40 million people in the United States. People of all ages, genders, and backgrounds can get arthritis, and as of right now there is no cure. While researchers are getting closer every day to finding more effective treatment options, we have a lot to learn from ourselves, too. Here are ten things we learned from our CreakyJoints community on World Arthritis Day:
- Arthritis isn’t curable, it’s only manageable. Although we may try to live a normal life, there are days when canceling events is necessary because we’ve reached our limit.
- Arthritis doesn’t just mean painful fingers. It means pain all over, fatigue, dry eyes, medications, guilt, missing out on things, and a feeling of uselessness.
- Juvenile arthritis is real, prevalent, and there aren’t many pediatric rheumatologists for the nearly 300,000 children it impacts.
- While days might start our good, it’s possible that the bottom can fall out at any time. Arthritis dictates day to day what is possible.
- There are many types of arthritis, and no two people experience the same thing.
- We might look strong on the outside, but internally can be struggling mentally and physically.
- When people reach out to help in little ways it is appreciated, even if we wish we didn’t need help.
- There are plenty of treatment options from physical therapy, to supplements, to medications. Work with your healthcare professional to find the treatment that gives you benefit.
- Offering unsolicited medical advice isn’t appropriate, but asking why arthritis makes us so sick is welcome. We’re happy to educate and explain our personal experience.
And last but not least 10:
We are strong. We might look “normal,” but battling pain, feeling like we have the flu, and other symptoms makes us far stronger than “normal.”