May is Arthritis Awareness Month, an observance intended to focus on the large and growing problem of arthritis in the United States. Arthritis affects 50 million (one in five) U.S. adults, including 1.3 million Missourians, and is projected to affect 67 million U.S. adults and 1.72 million Missourians by 2030. Arthritis remains the most common cause of disability in the United States.
Missouri’s emphasis for 2011 is the benefits of physical activity for persons with arthritis. For adults with arthritis, physical activity can reduce pain, improve function, reduce the risk for disability, and lower the risk for heart disease or type 2 diabetes. Any physical activity is better than none, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans suggest that low impact, moderate-intensity aerobic activity totaling 150 minutes a week and muscle strengthening exercise at least 2 days a week generally are safe, beneficial, and achievable for persons with chronic conditions such as arthritis.
The Regional Arthritis Centers are here to help you learn how to manage arthritis so it doesn't manage you.