Action shot of a strength exercise group at the YMCA

Arthritis is a complex condition with over 100 different variations, each affecting various parts of the body. Those who experience this chronic pain often describe it as either an intermittent achy pain that flares up during cold weather or manual labor, or a persistent achy pain that can be felt throughout the day.    

As research on this condition continues to be developed, here are five key facts to know about arthritis. 


Anyone can have Arthritis

Group exercise participant selects dumbbells for a workout at the YMCA

Contrary to common belief, arthritis is not limited to the 65-and-older demographic. It can affect anyone, from infants to older adults, highlighting the inclusive nature of this condition.   

According to John Hopkins Medicine, women are more likely to deal with this chronic condition compared to men.  


There is Currently no Cure for Arthritis

Vinyasa yoga group in the middle of a pose at the YMCA

Unfortunately, there currently is no cure for this chronic condition. Once the damage has been done to the joints and cartilage and inflammation sets in, it's quite unlikely that the tissue can be repaired.  


Arthritis is the Leading Cause of Work Disability Among U.S. Adults

Group exercise instructor leads class at the YMCA

Over 54 million U.S. adults have arthritis of some form, which has a major impact on overall quality of life and mobility. According to the National Arthritis Action Plan, “these medical and social costs total almost $65 billion — a figure equivalent to a moderate national recession.”  

Whether it's waking up in the morning to stiff, achy joints or doing mundane chores around the house, people who have arthritis can have difficulty managing the day-to-day upkeep of life, which often impacts their ability to work. 


Arthritis Pain can be Managed

Action shot of an aqua aerobics class at the YMCA

Having a strategic treatment plan with your doctor can take you a long way when managing your symptoms of chronic arthritis.  

Scientific studies have shown that hydrotherapy can improve strength and general fitness in people with various types of arthritis. 

In general, hydrotherapy is one of the safest treatments for arthritis and back pain. 

Some changes that past participants have noticed include: 

  • More energy 
  • Better balance 
  • Increases in upper and lower body strength 
  • More flexibility and range of motion 
  • Better sleep 
  • More feelings of happiness 
  • Sense of independence 


A regimented diet that cuts all the triggering flare-up foods and beverages can also help manage arthritis.


The Time for Action is Now

It can be easy to feel helpless with the limitations and pain of arthritis. At the Y, we’re committed to helping you ease the burden of arthritis. Visit our Enhance®Fitness page and sign up for a class that can alleviate the symptoms of arthritis. Through a thoughtful strategy revolving nutrition, mobility and low impact exercises, you won't be alone in your efforts to manage your arthritis pain.