exploding incidence of knee pain / knee arthritis in the united states

THE GROWING PROBLEM OF KNEE PAIN

knee arthritis

“Recent Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data suggest substantial rates of pain from the various causes……   For U.S. adults reporting pain, causes include knee pain (19.5%)”  From the American Academy of Pain Management’s Facts and Figures on Pain.

A new study (Annual Incidence of Knee Symptoms and Four Knee Osteoarthritis Outcomes in the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project) from the official journal of the American College of Rheumatology (Arthritis Care and Research) sheds some light on the explosive manner in which KNEE PAIN and arthritis are increasing in America. 

Johnston County, North Carolina, with a population of around 175,000 is not too far from the Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill metro area, and has been home to an ongoing study on Osteoarthritis (OA), otherwise known as DEGENERATIVE ARTHRITIS or DJD since 1991.  After specifically looking at arthritis of the knee, the authors concluded that, “The annual onset of knee symptoms and four OA outcomes in Johnston County was high, and may preview the future of knee OA in the US.”   This itself begs the question of how many people are being diagnosed with new cases of knee pain / knee arthritis each year in Johnston County?  Try 5.6% of the population on for size (the CDC’s website says it is 3.5%).

Of course the authors said that this, “underscores the urgency of clinical and public health collaborations that reduce risk factors for, and manage the impact of, these outcomes.”  Other than being older (over 75) one of the top risk factors for knee pain was, as you might guess, OBESITY / OVERWEIGHT.  Is this a problem in North Carolina?  Here is what a collaboration between the government and private sector (Eat Smart, Move More NC) says.   “In North Carolina, two-thirds of all adults (65.7%) are overweight or obese, and North Carolina ranks 5th worst in the US for childhood obesity.”  It’s almost guaranteed that these figures are too low, as a brand new study (Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in the United States, 2007-2012) published one week ago today in JAMA Internal Medicine, revealed how severely we have been underestimating / under-calculating America’s weight problems.

It’s interesting, but even though every article or study I see talks about the nature of our national poor health issues as related to our burgeoning waistlines — calling for more money to be spent on education, physical activity, better diet, etc (see the first red sentence in the previous paragraph) —- the problem continues to grow, with every study being worse than the study that came out before it.   Unfortunately, many doctors are taking advantage of this — and not only with unnecessary surgeries (HERE or HERE).

Doctors of all kinds are advertising solutions for Chronic Knee Pain and Obesity, not to mention DEPRESSION, INFERTILITY, TYPE II DIABETES, NEUROPATHY, FIBROMYALGIA, and a myriad of others (just look at the ads in the newspapers of any large city).   Because most health problems and pain syndromes are based on INFLAMMATION, these health problems are not only related to each other, but have common origins.  HERE are some examples of solutions that you can have free of charge.   Although there are some knee-specific exercises and protocols you may need to do in order to solve your specific knee problem, following this program (with your doctor’s permission) will help you with any number of health problems and pain syndromes you may be dealing with, and help get you off the DANGEROUS DRUGS you are continually advised to take.

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