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What is Arthritis?

According for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), arthritis includes more than 100 different rheumatic diseases and conditions, the most common of which is osteoarthritis. Other forms of arthritis that occur often are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, and gout. Symptoms include pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling in or around the joints. Some forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, can affect multiple organs and cause widespread symptoms.  

Arthritis is more common among adults aged 65 years or older, but people of all ages (including children) can be affected. Nearly two-thirds of people with arthritis are younger than 65. Arthritis is more common among women (26%) than men (19%) in every age group, and it affects members of all racial and ethnic groups. Arthritis is also more common among adults who are obese than among those who are normal weight or underweight.¹  

 

Prevention and Control of Arthritis:

 

Learn ways to manage arthritis. Self-management education interventions, such as the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) or the online Better Choices, Better Health for Arthritis program, can teach people with arthritis how to manage their condition, lessen its effects, and improve their quality of life.  

Be physically active. For people with arthritis, physical activities such as walking, bicycling, and swimming can have many benefits. These benefits include less pain and better physical function, mental health, and quality of life. The Walk with Ease Program and the EnhanceFitness program are examples of community exercise interventions that have been shown to improve health among participants with arthritis.  

Maintain a healthy weight and protect their joints. People can reduce their risk of developing osteoarthritis by controlling their weight and avoiding injuries. Weight loss also can reduce symptoms for people with knee osteoarthritis who are overweight or obese.  

Talk with a doctor. Recommendations from health care providers are among the most influential factors in convincing people to be physically active and join a self-management program. People with inflammatory arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis, will have a better quality of life if they are diagnosed early and learn how to manage this condition.¹  

 

The focus of treatment for arthritis is to help control pain, minimize joint damage, and improve or maintain function and quality of life. Treatment of arthritis may involve the following:²  

Medications. Consult with your doctor about your arthritis-related chronic pain for medication. For temporary relief, there are over the counter arthritis pain relief medications such as Sunmark™ Arthritis Pain Relief Tablets, which temporarily relieves minor aches and pains due to arthritis. Glucosamine is another over the counter supplement that can help with you joints by rebuilding cartilage and lubricating joints.  

Physical or occupational therapy. This can consist of exercise equipment such as resistance bands for arms and legs, palm cones and cushions, or exercise balls and therapy putty. Resistance bands such as Theraband® can help relieve joint pain and build muscle strength. Palm cones , cushions, exercise balls and therapy putty help exercise hand muscles to help relieve joint pain. Hot and Cold Therapy can also help relieve joint pain by reducing swelling.  

Splints or joint assistive aids. To help relieve joint pain due from arthritis, a brace or support can be of use. There are several different types of Braces including ankle braces, knee braces, elbow supports, torso braces and wrist braces. There are also hand supports designed specifically for arthritis relief such as IMAK® Arthritis Gloves. These gloves are a comfortable, non-invasive arthritis relief method that lasts all day and have mild compression that provides warmth and relieves joint swelling.

 

¹ Source: Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/arthritis.htm

²Source: Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/management.htm

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