Health



Arthritis is a rather common disease that affects people of all ages, not even children escape it. Researchers have identified many factors that may lead to an early onset of the disease. While age, gender, and weight can be linked to arthritis, so can a set of environmental factors.

 

It should not be surprising then that certain professions are more affected than others. Arthritis is particularly prevalent among US veterans, 35% have been diagnosed with it. A pretty high rate compared to the 23.7% diagnosys rate of the general population.

 

The main reason behind vets' high numbers is the nature of their work. Injury from the line of duty, or the excessive use and pressure put on their joints over a long period make them more likely to develop arthritis.


What is Arthritis

The term embraces over 100 conditions that target the joints. Generally speaking, arthritis refers to the swelling or inflammation of the joints. One of the most affected areas is the knee. The main symptoms include stiffness and pain.

 

Like any other chronic disease, arthritis limits the victim from actively participating in many activities. Some people with a more advanced form find it hard or impossible to work. Arthritis can lead to physical disability.

 

To read more about different types and their specific clinical profile, visit this page.


Risk Factors

Arthritis is a complicated disease whose leading causes are difficult to establish. However, some factors increase a person's chances of having the disease. The main risk factors include:

 

  • Age - Even though arthritis affects all age groups to a certain degree, the elderly present the most cases. The risk of developing it increases with age.

  • Gender - Each gender is more prone to develop specific types of arthritis. Men are more at risk for gout, while women are more likely to have rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Weight - excess weight strains the joints. The most at-risk areas are hips, knees, and spine.

  • Work - trauma, and overuse during time in service are among the main reasons behind the high numbers of vets with arthritis.

  • Family medical history - there are types of arthritis that have a genetic component to them. You are more likely to develop it if someone in your family had it.

 

Vets' line of work implies a series of risk factors, like an injury that might occur during their service or over solicitation of the joints over a long period. It has been proven that an injured joint is more likely to be afflicted by arthritis. Adult males with weight problems are in the higher risk category.


How to Live with Arthritis

Some types of arthritis may qualify you for VA benefits. For example, rheumatoid arthritis can get a full VA disability rating if it leaves you completely incapacitated. Therefore if you suffer from joint problems disability consider filing for VA benefits.

 

There are ways to ease symptoms beyond medication. One of the biggest steps you can take is to change your lifestyle. Focus on eating healthy and do some regular exercise.

 

Classes specialized in physical activity for arthritis teach participants what kind of movements are best suited for their condition. Regular exercise can increase your mobility and reduce pain.

Also, you can take part in some lifestyle seminars, where you learn to manage the symptoms better. These classes are usually held by people who have the disease themselves, as they can add valuable personal experience next to scientific studies.

 

As a veteran, you may qualify to pay a lower rate for such classes, or even participate for free. Do not hesitate to look into the available programs in your area.

Stay Active

An arthritis diagnosis does not necessarily condemn you to be a passive observer in life. There are treatments available that can ease the symptoms. You can further manage the condition by leading a more healthy lifestyle and engaging in regular exercise.

 

Being in the military service represents a risk factor for developing arthritis, but there are VA benefits that you may qualify for. Plus, there are educational and exercise programs that you might attend at a lower rate. All of these options will make it easier to live with the condition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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