Nearly 40 million people in the United States alone are affected by arthritis and back pain, and what surprises so many is that more than half of those with arthritis are under 65 years of age. Nearly 60% of Americans with arthritis are women, and over a quarter of a million victims are children. The most common type of this disease is osteoarthritis and the second most common type is rheumatoid arthritis.
As we do each week, we’ll help you understand what arthritis is, who is at risk and what the dangers of having it are. We’ll also discuss the symptoms and how to diagnose the disease, as well as the treatments and therapies available. Finally, we’ll talk about how insurance providers address the costs.
For osteoarthritis, the over-the-counter food supplements glucosamine and chondroitin have been helpful for some, though their benefits are still controversial according to national research studies. These supplements are available in pharmacies and health-food stores without a prescription.
Another type of dietary supplementation are fish oils which have been shown to have some anti-inflammation properties. Moreover, increasing the dietary fish intake and/or fish oil capsules (omega-3 capsules) can sometimes reduce the inflammation of arthritis. Weight reduction is recommended for patients who are overweight and have early signs of osteoarthritis of the hands, because they are at a risk for also developing osteoarthritis of their knees. Of note, even modest weight reduction can be helpful. Obesity has long been known to be a risk factor for osteoarthritis of the knee.
*****This video contains healthcare information only, not medical advice.*****
Dr. Robert Watkins, MD is a board certified orthopedic spine surgeon and co-director of the Marina Spine Center. His areas of specialty include minimally invasive spine surgery, computer guided spine surgery, artificial disc replacement, and spinal deformity.
Host, Dr. John Kennedy, MD, FACC is the Director of Preventive Cardiology and Wellness, Marina Del Rey Hospital, Marina Del Rey, California. He is on the Board of Directors for the American Heart Association and is the Co-Author of The 15 Minute Heart Cure: The Natural Way to Release Stress and Heal Your Heart in Just Minutes a Day.