There are over 100 different kinds of arthritis that affect people all across the world. While each kind of arthritis is different, one thing they all have in common is that they cause pain, and can make life very difficult. Based on data collected by the National Health Interview Survey, it is projected that over 78 million Americans will be diagnosed with some form of arthritis by the year 2040.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers arthritis to be one of the leading causes of work disability among adults, many people still have questions about whether arthritis is considered an official disability. That’s why we’ve asked experts in the field of physical therapy what the facts are about arthritis and disability.
What kinds of arthritis are considered a disability?
There are many kinds of arthritis, though the two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The main difference between the two is that osteoarthritis is caused by age, while rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory immune system disorder. Here are the three reasons why the Social Security Administration considers some forms of arthritis to be a disability:
1.Inflammatory — Only inflammatory varieties of arthritis are considered to be a disability. Because osteoarthritis is caused by age, not by the immune system, it is not considered a disability. Kinds of arthritis that are considered inflammatory include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Psoriatic arthritis.
2. Impairs your ability to work — People suffering from arthritis experience pain, swelling and joint stiffness that makes it difficult to perform certain tasks. However, the condition is only considered a disability if the symptoms make it too painful or too dangerous for a patient to continue working.
3. Includes other symptoms — Aside from pain, arthritis can cause other symptoms that impair a patient’s ability to function at work or at home. Severe weight loss, fatigue, fever and neurological disorders can all occur as a result of arthritis.
What can I do if arthritis is preventing me from living my life?
If the pain and other symptoms of arthritis are making it difficult to function at work, at school or at home, don’t suffer in silence. Let the experts at Continuum Wellness help. We have years of experience in helping patients just like you manage the symptoms of arthritis. Our compassionate and experienced team can help you regain your strength, improve your posture and joint condition, as well as assist you with walking aids if needed.
A free screening at one of our convenient clinics is the first step toward getting help. Come in today and see how much of a difference physical therapy can make.
Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.