April News: Smart Moves for Arthritis

Smart Moves

Arthritis pain is treated with medicines but there are non-medicine therapies that help too!

Arthritis pain is treated with medicines but there are non-medicine therapies that help too!

There are many things you can do to help alleviate the pain of arthritis. Some exercise and certain medicines can help depending on what kind of arthritis you have!

Osteoarthritis (OA) develops when the cartilage that pads the joints begins to wear away. Bones rub against each other causing pain and stiffness. OA most often occurs in the hands, neck, lower back, or the large weight-bearing joints of your body, such as knees and hips.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes the body attack itself. RA causes pain, swelling and stiffness in one or many joints. Pain can last for hours and may be accompanied by fatigue and fever.

Gout is caused by too much uric acid in the blood and is very painful. It most often happens in the big toe, but other joints can also be affected. Swelling may cause the skin to pull tightly around the joint and make the area red or purple and very tender.


Daily Exercise Is Important

Range-of-motion exercise, like dancing, relieves stiffness, improves flexibility, and keeps joints moving.

Strengthening exercises, like weight training, strengthens muscles that support and protect joints.

Aerobic or endurance exercise, like bicycle riding, improves heart and artery function, prevents weight gain and lessens swelling.

Senior Woman comparing medicine label instructions.

Check expiration dates of your medicines and do not take any that are expired.

It’s not easy to start an exercise program with stiff, achy joints. Medicines can help. Acetaminophen might ease OA pain. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), like ibuprofen, naproxen and ketoprofen are also helpful. Gout is treated with NSAIDS or corticosteroids. Many new, effective drugs are on the market to treat RA. Ask your doctor which is best for you.


Start slow with low-impact exercise like Tai Chi, yoga or swimming. Ask AW Health Care about exercise and therapy in your apartment. We can help! In Missouri, call (314) 726-5600. In Illinois, call (618) 344-8800.


Ease Arthritis Pain

Get enough rest. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Learn the right way to use and protect your joints. Proper shoes and a cane can help. Have the cane fitted by a professional. Don’t borrow one from a friend or neighbor. Try gadgets to help open jars and bottles or turn doorknobs. Try a heating pad, cold pack or soaking in a warm bath.

Elderly Women in a Tai Chi class

Tai Chi is a great way to exercise mind and body.


What is Occupational Therapist?

 April is Occupational Therapy Month. Occupational therapists (OT) provide rehabilitative services to individuals with mental, physical or developmental impairments. People often have trouble with day-to-day activities due to an illness, injury or disability. Occupational therapy teaches people how to work within their limitations so they can live as independently as possible.


April 22 is Earth Day!

Remember to do your part. A good, clean planet is hard to find!

Smiling stylized blue and green earth globe.

Enjoy the day. Get outside. Get walking!

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