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May 12, 2016 bchc-news

Maintaining an Active Lifestyle with Arthritis

Arthritis is a medical condition far too many of us experience on a daily basis. It not only impacts our physical wellbeing but also our emotional and social wellbeing. The Center for Disease Control estimates 24% of Iowa’s population has been diagnosed with arthritis; while 51% of those 65 years and older are living with this condition1. Arthritis is a “catch all” name for more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions; with the most common types being osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.

Managing arthritis and ones quality of life can be done in many different manners. Understanding your specific type of arthritis and ways to manage pain are key; choosing medicinal or non-medicinal methods of pain management will assist with lowering fatigue and stress while improving activity level. While those living with arthritis may believe upholding an active lifestyle is contradictory to pain management, staying active with the right activities such as light resistance training or water aerobics will assist in joint stability, strengthening of muscles, preserving and increasing joint range of motion while boosting your mood and sense of well-being. Balancing activity and rest with a healthy diet, specifically foods with anti-inflammatory properties, will help control inflammation within joints.

Another method to maintaining and managing arthritis is activity modification and adaptation. The day-to-day activities which we complete can be performed countless ways with various tools and techniques to aide joint pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion. Working with a trained therapist on your specific needs will assist you in creating individualized solutions to uphold greater independence in day-to-day tasks and improve your safety and ability to remain at home. For additional information on techniques to aide arthritis contact Sara, Occupational Therapist at the Buchanan County Health Center.

Join us for SilverSneakers or Water Aerobics to begin your active lifestyle today! Find out more by calling our Wellness Center at 319-332-0850, or stop in to see us soon!

1.Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015, May 6). State Data Tables. Retrieved February 10, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics/state-data-list-current.htm#Iowa

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