CDC Urges Seniors, Others with Arthritis to Take Action
in May to Relieve
Month sees 50 million in U.S. living with the pain; walking offers
relief; ten ways to get started
15, 2013 About 12.4 million senior citizens - 33.6 percent of those
age 65 and older - in the U.S. suffer with osteoarthritis, the most
common form of arthritis among older people. And, 50 million Americans
live with some form of arthritis. In recognition of Arthritis Awareness
Month (May) the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are urging
patients to take actions to reduce the symptoms and live well.
(Read about osteoarthritis and
rheumatoid arthritis below story)
Early diagnosis and proper management of arthritis
can help people with arthritis decrease pain, improve function, decrease
and delay disability and stay productive and active.
Whether or not you have arthritis, you should
strive for five. Strive to incorporate five arthritis solutions into
1) learn self-management strategies,
2) be active,
watch your weight,
4) protect your joints, and
5) see your doctor.
May is Arthritis Awareness Month and is the perfect
time to pump up your physical activity.
Walking is the best medicine.
Despite the known benefits of physical activity to
help manage arthritis, adults with arthritis are less active than adults
Walking has been shown to improve arthritis pain,
fatigue, function, and quality of life.2
Walking is low impact on your
joints, can be done almost anywhere and doesn't require special
equipment or a gym membership. Celebrate Arthritis Awareness Month by
starting a walking program today.
Federal guidelines recommend all adults, including
adults with arthritis, get at least 150 minutes per week of at least
moderate intensity aerobic activity and that they do muscle
strengthening exercises at least 2 days per week.3 Walking is a moderate
intensity activity that people with arthritis can do to meet physical
activity recommendations. If you walk for 30 minutes a day on 5 days a
week you will meet these recommendations.
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 daywalk the dog 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 parking lot while waiting to pick up your kids from
after school activities.
Fun ways you can fit walking into your life
Enroll in the Walk With Ease program. This program has been
shown to improve arthritis pain, fatigue, function and
quality-of-life. It can be done in a group setting or by
yourself at your own pace.
Disease Control and Prevention. State-specific prevalence of no
leisure-time physical activity among adults with and without
doctor-diagnosed arthritis United States 2009. MMWR.
Shreffler JH, Altpeter M, Schoster B, Hootman J, Houenou LO, Martin
KR, Schwartz TA. Evaluation of group and self-directed formats of
the Arthritis Foundation's Walk With Ease Program. Arthritis Care Res
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis among older people.
disease affects both men and women. Before age 45, osteoarthritis is
more common in men than in women. After age 45, osteoarthritis is more
common in women. It is estimated that 33.6% (12.4 million) of
individuals age 65 and older are affected by the disease.
Osteoarthritis is one of the most frequent causes of physical disability
among older adults.
Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage, the tissue that cushions the ends
of the bones within the joints, breaks down and wears away. In some
cases, all of the cartilage may wear away, leaving bones that rub up
against each other.
Stiffness and Pain
Symptoms range from stiffness and mild pain that comes and goes to
severe joint pain. Osteoarthritis affects hands, low back, neck, and
weight-bearing joints such as knees, hips, and feet. osteoarthritis
affects just joints, not internal organs.
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Inflammatory, Autoimmune Disease
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that causes pain,
swelling, stiffness, and loss of function in the joints. It can cause
mild to severe symptoms. Rheumatoid arthritis not only affects the
joints, but may also attack tissue in the skin, lungs, eyes, and blood
vessels. People with rheumatoid arthritis may feel sick, tired, and
Rheumatoid arthritis is classified as an autoimmune disease. An
autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system turns against parts of
the body it is designed to protect.
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