According to the National Institute on Aging arthritis is a common and usually chronic disease. Generally speaking there are many different forms of arthritis with Osteoarthritis (OA) being the most common type. OA starts when cartridge begins to wear away. Cartlidge is the padding between the joints. Once this degeneration of the cartilage begins the symptoms may feel like stiffness to mild pain. Typically, this pain improves with movement. Growing older is the greatest risk factor or Osteoarthritis. This is true because as humans age the cartilage around joints becomes less able to recover from stress and damage. Previous injuries, being overweight and genetics are all linked to probable causes for this disease. This form of arthritis is typically what most of us suffer from at some point in our long lives.
However, there is an even more debilitating and unfair form of arthritis. This is commonly known as Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA). According to Web MD , JRA is a type of arthritis that causes joint inflammation and stiffness for more than six weeks in a child aged 16 or younger. It affects approximately 50,000 children in the United States. Inflammation causes redness, swelling, warmth, and soreness in the joints, although many children with JRA do not complain of joint pain. Any joint can be affected, and inflammation may limit the mobility of affected joints.
JRA is an autoimmune disorder, which means that the body mistakenly identifies some of its own cells and tissues as foreign. The immune system, which normally helps to fight off harmful, foreign substances such as bacteria or viruses, begins to attack healthy cells and tissues. The result is inflammation — marked by redness, heat, pain, and swelling.
Thankfully we have organizations like the Arthritis Foundation that is leading the fight for the arthritis community. They help to conquer every day battles through fund raising, and dispersing life changing information to families and individuals living with this disease. Their goal is to “chart a winning course, guiding families in developing personalized plans for living a full life – and making each day another stride towards a cure.”
We can all become a part of this fight by joining in the Jingle Bell 5K Run/Walk. On Saturday, December 12 2015 at 8 am. The race/walk begins at Stephens College at the Silverthorne Arena in Columbia MO. You can sign up on line at JBR.ORG/Columbia and receive a long sleeved cotton shirt with your registration fee. You can join in the holiday spirit by wearing you favorite holiday themed costume too.
Many of us know all too well the pain and suffering of stiff arthritic knees or hands, as over 50 million Americans suffer with this disease. Let’s work together as a team and battle this chronic ailment, especially for those children that suffer. Grab your walking shoes, a friend and sign up today.
Photo Courtesy of WebMD.com