Living With Arthritis
Arthritis is a condition characterized by painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints. More than 50 million adults have one of the 100 different types of arthritis. Although we think of arthritis as a disease associated with aging; it affects people of all ages, sexes and races. It can be life changing and debilitating. In the United States it is the leading cause of disability.
Common Arthritis Joint Symptoms:
- Decreased range of motion
*Symptoms may come and go and they may even change in their severity. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs.
Walking is a great form of physical activity to help manage chronic diseases like Arthritis. In fact, walking has been shown to improve arthritis pain, fatigue, function, and quality of life. Adults with arthritis are encouraged to get 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (brisk walking) per week and do muscle-strengthening activities at least 2 days a week.
Therapy Can Help Manage Arthritis Symptoms
A physical or occupational therapist can help you manage the symptoms of arthritis. Physical therapists evaluate your needs and teach you how to exercise appropriately for joint mobility, muscle strength and fitness. Physical therapists can also recommend exercises for you to do on your own. These exercises might include; range-of-motion exercises, aerobic exercise and strength training. Exercise is extremely important in managing arthritis symptoms. It can help strengthen the muscles around your joints, help you maintain bone strength, give you more energy to get through the day, help you control your weight, improve your balance and help you enhance your quality of life. Occupational therapists can also help by teaching you how to protect and reduce stress on your joints while exercising and performing daily tasks. Talk to your doctor today about the benefits of both physical and occupational therapy for your arthritis needs.
Sources: Arthritis Foundation, CDC.gov