Arthritis is a general term for conditions that affects the joints, tissues around the joint, and other connective tissues. It affects nearly 59 million Americans and is a leading cause of disability in the United States. There are many kinds of arthritis, each with different symptoms usually including tenderness, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain. There is no cure for arthritis, however, it can be treated and managed to help lead an active, healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips that can improve arthritis pain, prevent or delay disability, and improve overall quality of life.
- Learn Self-Management Techniques. Incorporating strategies to reduce pain and limitations can help develop skills and confidence in managing arthritis. Practice self-care and do things to help reduce stress and improve mood.
- Be Active. Regular physical activity can help reduce arthritis pain and other symptoms, and can maintain or improve physical function, sleep, and brain health. The Physical Activity Guidelines recommends adults do moderate intensity activity for 150 minutes per week.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight. Being overweight can result in extra pressure on joints. Engaging in low-impact, arthritis-friendly physical activity and making healthy nutrition choices are important to losing and maintaining proper weight.
- Protect Your Joints from Injury. Choose low-impact activities that are easy on the joints such as swimming or walking. Injuring a joint can increase your risk of developing one kind of arthritis, so be sure you take steps to prevent or minimize injuries. Find safe places and ways to be physically active and always wear protective equipment including seatbelts, and avoid repetitive motions.
- Talk to Your Doctor. Pain and arthritis do not have to be part of growing older. Work with your health care provider and follow an effective treatment plan to safely minimize joint damage, lessen the pain and stiffness to your joints, and improve and maintain functional fitness.
Make sure to consult with your physician before starting or making changes to your exercise or diet plan, especially if you have any health conditions or concerns. For additional information or resources, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s page on Arthritis. For more information on employee resources, please send an email to email@example.com.