Arthritis Awareness: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

May is Arthritis Awareness Month, dedicated to raising awareness about the leading cause of disability in the United States. Arthritis affects more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children, but despite its prevalence, there still are many common misconceptions associated with arthritis.

For example, many people think arthritis is one condition, when in reality it is a group of musculoskeletal disorders involving joint inflammation. In fact, there are more than 100 types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. These conditions can lead to other issues, such as tendonitis, bursitis (including in the hip, elbow and shoulder) and runner’s knee — conditions that affect many areas of the body.

To help you better understand your risk, we compiled a list of the most common causes and symptoms of arthritis, as well as possible treatment options.

Causes of Arthritis

Factors that can increase your risk for arthritis include:

  • Gender — Arthritis is more common in women, although men are also at risk.
  • Family history — Arthritis is most common in individuals with a family history of the disease.
  • Age — Arthritis occurs most frequently in older patients.
  • Weight — Individuals who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop arthritis.
  • Chronic wear and tear on joint cartilage — Arthritis occurs most frequently in those who have been exposed to a previous joint injury, such as a sports-related injury.

Arthritis Symptoms

Common symptoms of arthritis include:

  • Pain
  • Inflammation, redness or stiffness around the joint
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Fever
  • Fatigue

Prevention and Treatment

In some cases, arthritis can be prevented by simply staying active, maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding injury. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, treatment may include:

If you experience any of the above symptoms, it is important to seek medical treatment early to avoid permanent joint damage. Physicians at Dickson-Diveley Orthopaedics who specialize in treating arthritis include:

To request an appointment with one of our physicians, please call 913-319-7600. For more information about thumb arthritis and ankle arthritis, watch the videos below:


The medical information contained in the Dickson-Diveley Orthopaedics website is provided to increase your knowledge and understanding of orthopedic conditions. This information should not be interpreted as a recommendation for a specific medical or surgical treatment plan. As each patient may have specific symptoms or associated problems, the treatment regimen for a specific patient may not be the proper treatment for another.

Gaining knowledge and understanding of a particular problem or condition is the first step in any medical treatment plan. We believe the information presented on our website will be helpful for those individuals experiencing orthopedic injuries or other musculoskeletal problems. However, this information is not intended to replace the advice of your family physician. You are encouraged to consult with your physician to discuss any course of treatment presented or suggested.