AUSTIN (KXAN) — They call it the silent suffering. Arthritis may be thought of as an old person’s affliction but that’s wrong. It can afflict men, women and children of all ages. A painful inflammation of the joints, with 100 varieties, there is no cure. 340,000 Central Texans suffer from arthritis, and 2,300 of them are children. It is the most disabling disease in America. Thousands on Saturday joined in the Walk to Cure Arthritis sponsored by the Seton Healthcare Family.
Ashton and Jennifer Cumberbatch, both pastors in Austin, suffer different forms of arthritis. Ashton watched his grandmother, mom and uncles suffer, his own Osteoarthritis came on fifteen years ago. he recalls, “I was around it quite a bit so I empathized, then one night in the middle of the night I woke up in such pain, it was bone on bone in both knees. That’s when I really understood much better what my grandmother, mother and granduncle went through.” Executive director of the Seton Foundation, Cumberbatch says, “A third of the people who suffer arthritis cannot button their shirt or tie their shoes. They can’t pick up their children.”
Arthritis can be brought on by strains, injuries, disease, infections or wear and tear. Nearly half the people with hypertension or diabetes are arthritic. Ashton can no longer run, even walking is a chore. He will need both knees replaced. His wife Jennifer suffers Rheumatoid arthritis. She believes her faith and natural dietary changes have helped but she remembers when it first came on, “I was in so much pain, I mean it literally exacerbated at night and I could barely stand for the covers to touch me. And I see children experiencing that level of pain and that’s just disheartening.”
20-million Americans suffer some form of arthritis, one million are hospitalized with it every year. It’s cost to our society is $100-billion, half of that in lost wages. Various tests can spot it in it’s various forms. Then medications, diet and resistance exercises like swimming, weights and elastic bands, can improve your condition and ease the pain.
The Cumberbatches and others with the Seton Healthcare Family are devoted to finding better treatment, and someday they hope, a cure.