Spotlight on Arthritis: Understanding, Preventing, and Navigating this Common Condition during Arthritis Awareness Month

May is Arthritis Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to highlight the condition that affects millions worldwide.

Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more joints and is one of the most common health conditions in the United States, affecting approximately 59 million adults. In fact, 26 million adults are unable to do everyday activities – such as doing household chores, walking, and engaging in work – due to arthritis.

In honor of this observance, let’s explore the causes, symptoms, risk factors, and prevention methods for arthritis.


There are more than 100 different types of arthritis. See below for two of the most common kinds and their associated causes.

  • Osteoarthritis – This is the most common kind of arthritis and involves wear-and-tear damage to the joint’s cartilage. It also causes changes in the bone and deterioration of the connective tissue that attach muscle to bone and hold the joint together. The joint lining may become inflamed and swollen if the cartilage is severely damaged.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – In this kind of arthritis, the body’s immune system attacks the joint capsule’s lining, causing it to become inflamed and swollen. This can eventually destroy cartilage and been within the joint.


  • Joint pain and/or stiffness
  • Swelling/inflammation
  • Tenderness or sensitivity to touch around a joint
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Redness

Risk Factors

  • Family history – Your risk of developing arthritis increases if you have family members with it.
  • Age – The risk of some kinds of arthritis such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis increase with age.
  • Activity level – Regular physical activity may decrease your risk of developing arthritis.
  • Injury history – Those who have injured a joint previously are more likely to develop arthritis in that joint.
  • Other health conditions – If you have a condition that affects your joints, such as obesity or an autoimmune disease, your risk of developing arthritis increases.


While there are some kinds of arthritis that you cannot prevent, there are ways to lower your risk.

  • Avoid tobacco products
  • Follow a low-impact exercise plan that’s right for you
  • Eat a well-balanced diet to manage a healthy weight
  • Wear protective equipment for any activity that could damage your joints

If you suspect you are suffering from arthritis, talk to a healthcare professional. They can help determine a diagnosis and help you manage your symptoms to live a happier, healthier life.



Arthritis Awareness Month. (2021, October 12).

Arthritis Awareness Month | Arthritis Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved May 9, 2024, from

Branch, N. S. C. and O. (2022, May 23). Annual Health Observances. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

‌Cleveland Clinic. (2016). Arthritis | Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland Clinic.

‌Mayo Clinic . (2021). Arthritis – Symptoms and causes. Mayo Clinic; Mayo Clinic.


We want you to be well and to live your best life. The content in this blog is provided for the purposes to educate and entertain you: our very important reader. It is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for medical advice from a trained healthcare professional.

If you have a medical condition or are under the care of a medical provider, please always seek the advice of a qualified medical professional before undertaking a new health care regimen. To that point, never disregard medical advice or delay treatment for a medical condition because of something you read on this site.

Listen to your care providers as they know you and your condition best. Thank you for reading!

The Team at BSDI

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