Slepian Smith, PLLC

How arthritis can affect the lives of sufferers

Did you know that there are more than 60 types of arthritis and diseases related to arthritis? This is according to the Arthritis Foundation. The various types of arthritis range from common and mild to rare and severe.

No matter what type of arthritis a person may have, it can affect his or her life in various ways.

Lifestyle changes

Arthritis can affect a person’s lifestyle significantly, especially when symptoms flare up or are chronic. As noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a person may not be able to:

  • Lift a child or any object weighing more than 10 pounds
  • Walk up or down stairs
  • Stand for extended periods
  • Grasp objects or use his or her hands

These symptoms can make it difficult or impossible for someone to work or take care of a family. A person may also have to dramatically change eating, exercise or other personal habits as a result of arthritis.

Medical changes

People with arthritis often require regular medical visits, which can involve physical therapy, X-rays and other tests. Sometimes, people undergo surgery for arthritis or a related condition.

The pain caused by these conditions can be severe and/or chronic, which can necessitate the use of powerful pain medications with serious side effects. Not all medications are effective, so there is often a period of trial and error to find treatment that works.

Emotional changes

Between the lifestyle changes and the medical demands of treating arthritis, people can experience dramatic shifts in their emotional well-being. Decreased mobility and chronic pain can make a person feel isolated and depressed; soaring medical bills and side effects from treatment can trigger severe anxiety.

Of course, every person’s case and experience with arthritis is different, especially considering how many different types of arthritis there are. But no matter the type, arthritis can take a toll on nearly every aspect of a person’s life.

Should arthritis or a related illness be disabling, sufferers who cannot work as a result of their medical condition can discuss with an attorney their options for pursuing financial support through Social Security benefits.

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