Experts offer hope to the nearly 50 million Americans suffering from arthritis

More than 50 million Americans suffer from arthritis and the problem is growing.

"By 2040 they think that one out of every four Americans will have some type of arthritis," said physical therapist Dr. Karen Joubert.

"There's about 99 different types of arthritis-related conditions. Osteoarthritis, the wear-and-tear arthritis, is what's most common," said Dr. Jason Theodosakis, author of "The Arthritis Cure."

Osteoarthritis is the type of arthritis we typically get with age. It's due to wear and tear that occurs on joints over time or over use. Rheumatoid arthritis causes joint inflammation, but is an auto-immune disease .

"That means your tissue is eating away at itself. The joints you'll find all throughout the body, they're going to be red they'll become inflamed. They're going to be very very tender," said Joubert.

Theodosakis says arthritis is not "one-size-fits-all'"disease. A proper diagnosis is crucial.
"Some of the treatments overlap and it's very common for people with rheumatoid to also have osteoarthritis," Theodosakis said.

For RA, he recommends eating a Mediterranean diet. Studies indicate anti-inflammatory foods can help calm a reactive immune system.

As for exercise, "It's about energy conservation and joint preservation. Walking five minutes every hour, little things like that will make the world of difference," said Joubert.

Weight loss will help both types of arthritis, taking pressure off joints, but movement for OA is quite different.

"Proper biomechanics and exercise. How we lift, carry, move, our daily activities as well as strengthening stretching and performing our activities in the most efficient way possible," said Theodosakis.

Joubert loves the Alter G treadmill. "It was originally created for the astronauts to get them used to walking in space. Then someone said, .this would be great in rehab," said Joubert

In addition to movement, Theodosakis, who recommends and sells certain supplements, believes they may help. He researched natural eggshell membrane which shows promise in reducing cartilage loss.

In his study, 60 menopausal women took a 500 milligram dose of NEM for two weeks. "The people taking the NEM supplement were able to reduce the cartilage breakdown and that's the first time we've shown that in a healthy population," said Theodosakis.
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