Fast Facts About Arthritis

Arthritis is a general term for conditions that affect the joints, tissues around the joint, and other connective tissues. Here are more fast facts about arthritis:

General Arthritis Facts

  • There are more than 100 types of arthritis.
  • Specific symptoms vary depending on the type of arthritis, but usually include joint pain and stiffness.
  • Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It occurs most frequently in the hands, hips, and knees.
  • Experts don’t know the causes of many forms of arthritis.
  • Certain risk factors make it more likely that you will develop arthritis.

Arthritis Statistics

  • An estimated 58.5 million US adults have arthritis. Experts believe that number will grow as our nation’s population gets older.
  • Arthritis is a leading cause of work disability among US adults.
  • As of 2015, an estimated 23.7 million adults are limited in their usual activities because of arthritis. That number is expected to grow to 34 million by 2040.
  • Arthritis is common among people with other chronic conditions including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Treating and Managing Arthritis

  • There is no cure for arthritis, but it can be treated and managed.
  • Treatments include medication, non-drug therapies such as physical therapy or patient education, and sometimes surgery.
  • Managing arthritis symptoms is important to reduce pain, prevent or delay disability, and improve overall quality of life.
  • CDC’s Arthritis Program recognizes 5 ways to manage arthritis and its symptoms: learn new self-management skills, be active, talk to your doctor, manage your weight, and protect your joints.
  • Physical activity programs and self-management education programs teach adults with arthritis how to manage their arthritis symptoms and other related challenges.

Girl holding her leg because of a knee pain

How Important is Physical Activity?
  • Participating in joint-friendly physical activity can improve your arthritis pain, function, mood, and quality of life.
  • Joint-friendly physical activities are low-impact, which means they put less stress on the body, reducing the risk of injury. Examples of joint-friendly activities include walking, biking, dancing, and swimming.