Arthritis Is on the Rise: Take Action!

Arthritis is on the rise in the United States.  Learn 5 things you can do to manage pain and stay active.

A group of four people briskly walking with hand weights

Joint injury can cause or worsen arthritis. Choose activities that protect the joints, to decrease the chances of developing arthritis.

An estimated 59 million people in the United States have arthritis, a rise of more than 4 million since 2013–2015. Arthritis is a leading cause of disability in the United States, and the number of adults with activity limitations because of arthritis is projected to increase 46% by 2040 (from 23.7 million during 2013–2015, to 34.6 million).

With arthritis on the rise, more people than ever can benefit from CDC’s 5 steps to take action and manage their symptoms:  

  • Talk to your doctor
  • Learn arthritis management strategies
  • Be physically active
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Protect your joints.
  1. Talk to Your Doctor

Talk to your doctor if you have joint pain and other arthritis symptoms. It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible so you can start treatment. Early and effective treatment can minimize symptoms and prevent the disease from getting worse, especially for certain forms of arthritis, like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.

  1. Learn Arthritis Management Strategies

Self-management education programs help people with arthritis learn the strategies and gain the confidence to manage their condition and improve pain control and function. The Arthritis Program at CDC recognizes self-management education programs that help people with arthritis overcome barriers to managing the disease.

  1. Be Physically Active

Physical activity is a way to manage and reduce arthritis pain and decrease activity limitations.  Remaining physically active is a critical component of arthritis management. The Arthritis Program at CDC recognizes physical activity programs that help people with arthritis take action to manage the disease.

  1. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Nearly 23% of US adults are overweight, and 31% of adults with obesity report doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent osteoarthritis (the most common arthritis type) and limit its progression. Losing weight can reduce stress on joints. In fact, losing as little as 10 to 12 pounds can reduce joint pain and improve physical function for people with arthritis. CDC provides resources for weight loss for adults with arthritis.

  1. Protect Your Joints

Joint injuries can cause or worsen arthritis.  Avoiding joint injuries can reduce your chance of developing osteoarthritis or making it worse.  Choose activities that are easy on the joints like walking, bicycling, and swimming and take protective actions like wearing protective equipment, seatbelts, and avoiding repetitive motions.