Arthritis in America

Everyone knows someone with arthritis. It is a leading cause of disability, and causes pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling of the joints, but is not a normal part of aging. The most common types are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, and fibromyalgia. Arthritis costs at least $81 billion in direct medical costs annually. Many adults with arthritis are prescribed opioid medicines, yet other options for pain are safer. Physical activity can decrease pain and improve physical function by about 40% and may reduce healthcare costs. Still, 1 in 3 adults with arthritis are inactive. Adults with arthritis also can reduce their symptoms by participating in disease management education programs.

For additional information about arthritis management, visit the CDC’s publication Vital Signs.