According to the AARP Public Policy Institute, the sixth most prevalent chronic condition in the United States 50+ population is arthritis. 17.4% of adults over age 50 have either rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, meaning the prevalence could be even higher when taking into account the over 100 other types of arthritis.
The month of May is celebrated as Arthritis Action Month nationally. This month-long observance is an opportunity to take action to change the course of arthritis, whether it directly or indirectly impacts you and those you love. There are many ways that you can take action, including:
One of the most effective ways to manage a chronic health condition like arthritis, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure, is to become an effective self-manager. The folks at Arthritis Today magazine have put together a listing from A-Z of 26 things you can do to get started on self-managing your arthritis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Arthritis Foundation asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to assist in identifying "ways to reduce disability and improve the function and quality of life for people living with chronic illness". In a report released at the end of January 2012, the IOM did just that. Several recommendations include:
Health professionals generally agree that patients with arthritis tend to feel more aches and pains during winter, or colder seasons. However, there is little or no scientific proof that colder weather itself is what impacts our joints. Many believe it is instead the reaction of our bodies to the colder weather and what we do or do not do which has the greater impact on our joints. In the article "Dealing with arthritis in cold weather", the Vice President of Mission Delivery for the New Jersey Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, Peggy Lotkowictz, identifies shivering, tightening up of muscles, and reduction of physical activity as three reasons why people's joints stiffen up in winter times.
Health based researchers are constantly looking for the next big thing; the "wonder drug" that will help relieve pain and improve your health. Well, it looks like many researchers have hit on the same concept, which may turn out to be the biggest "wonder drug" for individuals with chronic conditions. Exercise. Good, old-fashioned movement may be the "drug" needed to jump start pain relief and improvement of health. Even better, "taking" exercise before chronic conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, anxiety, heart disease, and depression, appear can help reduce your health risk. For arthritis specifically, physical activity can help relieve pain in stiff joints.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a new video describing a proven way of relieving arthritis pain - physical activity. It is recommended that adults should get moderate physical activity 5 days a week for 30 minutes each day. You can even exercise in increments as few as 10 minutes at a time. Physical Activity can help you take control of your arthritis and improve your health! Watch the video below, or at http://cdc.gov/CDCTV/ArthritisPain/
Do you or does someone you know have one of the more than 100 forms of arthritis? Consider self-enrollment into the Arthritis Internet Registry (AIR), a tool developed by the Arthritis Foundation in partnership with the National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases and Quest Diagnostics. This databank can assist researchers with understanding arthritic conditions as well as to develop potential treatments for arthritic conditions. It also is hoped to eventually be used as a community development tool to connect individuals who have various forms of arthritis on a personal level.
Here in the United States, rivalries are all around us. From brand rivalries (Coke vs Pepsi) to political rivalries (Democratic vs Republican) to advertised rivalries (Mac vs PC) to college and professional sports rivalries (Cardinals vs Cubs), even to some time ago when your high school student body would rally together to excel in all competitions against an opposing high school, it is fairly easy to think of ways we strive to prove that one entity is better than the other. For as competitive and rivalry driven as we are, it seems we could make nearly anything a friendly competition. Here's an opportunity for us here in Missouri to improve our rankings, all while making our lives healthier in the process!