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What is arthritis?
- Arthritis is a disease that causes pain and stiffness in your body.
- There are many kinds of arthritis that affect your body in different ways.
- Arthritis is a chronic disease, which means it can affect your body for a long time.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis.
- Osteoarthritis causes pain and stiffness in your joints.
- Joints are places where your bones meet and your body bends, such as:
- Spine, neck, and lower back
Let’s talk about osteoarthritis.
- In this presentation, we will focus on dealing with osteoarthritis – the most common type of arthritis.
Arthritis can make you feel uncomfortable and even hurt.
- Arthritis pain can feel like:
- A dull ache or
- A sharp, shooting pain
- Arthritis can make it hard for you to move or bend your joints by causing:
- Swelling in your joints (and bony “knobs” on your fingers)
Arthritis can make it hard to do everyday activities, such as:
- Lifting things
- Getting dressed
- Standing up
You are more likely to get arthritis if:
- You are older than 45
- You are a woman
- You are overweight or obese
- A member of your family has arthritis
You may also get arthritis if:
- You injured a joint or broke a bone in the past
- You had a job that required repetitive movement, like
- Heavy lifting,
- Typing, or
- Operating a machine
If you think you have arthritis, see a doctor.
- The doctor will examine your joints.
- The doctor may take tests like:
Tell your doctor about what you are feeling in your body (your symptoms).
- Is the pain you feel…
- Do you notice the pain…
- After an activity? After resting?
- Does your pain…
- Come and go? Stay all the time?
Your doctor may prescribe medication or equipment to control pain.
- Some medications can lessen pain and swelling caused by arthritis.
- You can protect your joints and make it easier to move with:
- Grab bars
- Special shoes
- Toilet seat support
The doctor may recommend:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Pain management counseling
- Surgery, such as replacing a joint like a hip or knee
There are things you can do to feel better.
You can take steps to control arthritis pain:
- Take breaks from stressful activities that cause pain in your joints
- Use good posture -- stand up and sit up straight
- Maintain a healthy weight
More ways to control arthritis pain...
- When lifting or carrying things, use your bigger and stronger joints and muscles – like your knees and your legs
- You can ask your doctor or support staff for more tips
- Keep moving – don’t sit or stand in one position too long
Learn more about arthritis and how to live with it.
- National Institute on Aging – Arthritis Advice
- Arthritis Foundation – Ways to Protect Your Joints
- American College of Rheumatology