Healthy Tip of The Week (HTW)- April 16 - April 22

GHHEditor April 17th

Did you know that one in five adults in the United States is affected by arthritis? That's over 50 million men and women. That many people could fill Yankee Stadium 1,000 times! Arthritis is a leading cause of disability in the U.S. It affects working-age adults, seniors, and even children.

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is very common, but not well understood. Arthritis is not a single disease, but a way of explaining joint pain or diseases that affect your joints. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis. It is more common among women and happens more often as people get older.

Common arthritis joint symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased range of motion

Symptoms may come and go. They can be mild, moderate, or severe. They may stay about the same for several years, but may get worse over time. Severe arthritis can cause chronic pain, not being able to do daily activities, and lead to difficulty in walking or climbing stairs. It can cause permanent joint changes as well. You may be able to see these changes in your body, such as knobby finger joints, but often the damage can only be seen on an x-ray

In diagnosing  arthritis, your doctor will often do a physical exam and may do blood tests and imaging scans to learn the type of arthritis you have. An arthritis specialist, or rheumatologist, should be involved if the arthritis is severe or if the doctor wants to do more tests.

What can I do about my arthritis?

One of the best ways to improve arthritis pain is to walk. The summer is a great time to begin walking or to get back into a walking routine. Physical activity has been shown to help decrease arthritis pain, fatigue , and help people be able to do more things and have a better quality of life. Walking is a great way for people with arthritis to be physically active. Ask others to join you for a walk.

All adults, including adults with arthritis should get two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, for more information on physical activities CLICK HERE. Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week. Aim for taking brisk walks for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week!

Don’t' think you can walk for 30 minutes at one time? You can break it up into 10 minute sessions and spread it out during the day walk the dog for 10 minutes in the morning, take a 10 minute walk to discuss a project with a co-worker, and walk 10 minutes around a sports facility or the block while waiting to pick up your kids from after school activities."

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