Last Friday, May 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). The report contained two articles of note for the arthritis community. First, a report on walking among adults with arthritis was released. The report, State-Specific Prevalence of Walking Among Adults With Arthritis - United States, 2011, looks at national data from the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Second, an announcement was made in the May 3 MMWR that May 2013 is Arthritis Awareness Month. To learn more about Arthritis Awareness Month, also known as Arthritis Action Month, please visit the Faces of Arthritis webpage.
Today, April 3, is National Walking Day 2013. This day, established by the American Heart Association, kicks off a "season" of outdoor activity, especially walking. As the weather has gotten nicer throughout much of Missouri, the snow seems to be gone until later this year and temperatures are on the rise. This provides for optimal conditions to move outdoors. The challenge posed by the American Heart Association through National Walking Day, is for individuals to lace up their sneakers and get outside today to walk for at least 30 minutes.
The American Heart Association is encouraging us all to get up and move on April 3, 2013. National Walking Day helps raise awareness of the need for physical activity, as well as to lead healthier lifestyles. The main goal of this day is for us all to walk for at least thirty minutes. If you aren't sure how you will fit thirty minutes of walking in, consider walking ten minutes, three times that day. If you are unable to walk, strive to get thirty minutes of other physical activity and/or to encourage friends and family members to get out and move!
Many people are affected by one or more chronic health condition, such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. There are also many family members who act as a caregiver for individuals affected by a chronic disease. Actively engaging in one’s health, through self-management techniques and physical activities, can help to improve quality of life.
If you are an individual who is affected by one of the more than 100 types of arthritis, has chronic pain, contends with one or more chronic health condition (not limited to arthritis, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease), or are a caregiver for an individual with any of the above listed conditions, you may be looking for a way to relieve pain. One way you can relieve your pain is through physical activity. This may seem counter-intuitive; why fight pain with more pain? Physical activity should not equal pain. There are many resources you can ask for help in developing a personalized plan to increase physical activity.
As 2012 comes to an end and we look for 2013 to begin, there is again a lot of talk about making a resolution for the new year. If you are a person who makes New Year's resolutions, or if you think you'd like to try, have you considered taking steps to have more positive health in the new year? Many well-known organizations and individuals are touting the positive impacts that physical activity can have on your health.
Osteoarthritis is diagnosed when cartilage at the ends of bones has become worn down by wear and tear and/or the aging process. Healthy cartilage acts as a shock absorber for joints, as bones move against one another or are affected by daily activities. Knees and hips are especially vulnerable to osteoarthritis. Once diagnosed, patients should make extra accommodations to prevent further knee or hip injury from occurring.
Missouri Arthritis and Osteoporosis Program Awarded Funding for Chronic Disease and Arthritis Specific Self-Management and Physical Activity Community Programs
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) (http://health.mo.gov) recently applied for, and was awarded, grant funding from three national organizations. Funding will assist the DHSS, through the Missouri Arthritis and Osteoporosis Program (MAOP) (www.moarthritis.org), the seven Regional Arthritis Centers (RACs) and partners, to deliver self-management and physical activity programs and to provide various educational resources. Programs and resources provided are especially beneficial to Missourians with chronic health conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, as well as to health professionals and caregivers for people with chronic health conditions.
Self-Management and Physical Activity Courses Help Missourians with Chronic Health Conditions, including Arthritis, Take Control and Improve Health
Having knowledge of one or more chronic health conditions and their personal effects can help one take control of their health. Additionally, being actively engaged in one or more forms of physical activity can improve an individual’s overall well-being. Through its seven Regional Arthritis Centers (RACs), the Missouri Arthritis and Osteoporosis Program (MAOP) offers three self-management (SM) and two physical activity (PA) programs locally around the state.
Many of us have either spent time hospitalized or have spent time with a loved one who has been hospitalized. For those of us who have been in either position, the last place we want to be after being discharged from the hospital is right back in it. However, sometimes our health necessitates a return visit. Hospitals provide great service and care to their patients, but they also recognize the value of individuals not quickly returning for the same issue.
According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, approximately 1 in 5 Medicare beneficiaries reported being readmitted to a hospital within 30 days of discharge between 2003-2004. While hospitals have long worked on their own to minimize readmission rates, they are receiving some external incentives to reduce these rates.