This winter help take a stand against arthritis by running a 5K. Or walking if running isn’t quite your speed. The Jingle Bell Run is hosted every year by the Arthritis Foundation to help raise funds for arthritis research. Last year they raised over $4 million from runners that fund-raised and were sponsored. Where ever you are there is an event near you that you can be active in with there being over 100 sponsored events in the upcoming weeks. The run in Fargo is scheduled to happen tomorrow, December 3rd. Wear jingle bells or holiday themed outfits to add to the fun!
Arthritis is the number one cause of disability in the country with it affecting over 50 million Americans, roughly 1 in 5 adults. Arthritis is a blanket term that refers to over 100 different joint pains or diseases. Some common symptoms that are shared between them are swelling, pain, stiffness and a decrease in the range of movement. Some common visible symptoms are knobby finger joints, but other damage can only be seen on an X-ray. Arthritis can affect different parts of the body besides your joints; the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin are all at risk.
Most people don’t think they have arthritis, they believe it is a later life disease so they deny the symptoms they are displaying. It is true that more than half of the people over the age of 65 have some form of arthritis, but what they don’t know is that 2/3 of all people diagnosed with arthritis are under 65. Over 300,000 kids under 18 have some form of arthritis, which further shows that it can afflict anyone at any time. While arthritis can be tricky to diagnose, if you are experiencing joint pain and even have the suspicion that you might be afflicted, contact your doctor.
There are several things that you can do to reduce your risk of developing a form of arthritis. Maintaining a healthy weight decreases you chance of developing Osteoarthritis. Eating a healthy diet that’s low in sugar and alcohol significantly decreases the chance of gout, a dietary form of arthritis. Not smoking helps reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. While there is no cure for arthritis, there is a chance that the money that is donated at one of these runs could be what is needed for a breakthrough.