Setting the arthritis record straight Iqaluit NU
Cambridge Bay, NU
Setting the arthritis record straight
Photo courtesy of metrocreativegraphics.com
Jane Cottrell, RN
(NC)-There are many myths and misconceptions about arthritis - that it's an older person's disease, that it's just a sign of getting older and even that it can be cured. However, my experience as a nurse in a rheumatologist's office has taught me just the opposite and I'm here to set the record straight.
There are hundreds of types of arthritis ranging from mild to chronic, and the most common denominator for all is joint and musculoskeletal pain. Arthritis can affect people at any age, however, the most prevalent form of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA) - known as the "wear and tear" arthritis. Regardless of severity, each arthritis condition comes with its own set of hurdles and for those who suffer from the condition, it is never as simple as a few aches and pains. If you think you might have arthritis, talk to your physician for diagnosis and treatment options.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis; however, there are ways to manage the condition, to slow its progression and improve overall quality of life. I encourage you to talk to your physician about a personalized arthritis management strategy. For many of those who suffer from arthritis, the best approach includes a combination of physical activity, diet, and medication. Here's why a comprehensive plan works best:
• Physical activity: Although it seems counter-intuitive to exercise when you have pain, the muscles you build will help support your joints and the exercise will keep joints active.
• Diet: Eat well with Canada's Food Guide and commit to making healthy food choices each day. Losing 10 pounds can make a difference to your overall health and impact on your joints.
• Medications: Medication helps to ease pain, allowing you to be more active. There are several medication options for people with arthritis, including both over-the-counter and prescription NSAIDs. Talk to your physician about how to proactively manage your pain.
As you're adopting these healthy habits set achievable goals to keep motivated - think about short-term success for long-term gain. This will set you on the right path to achieve your arthritis pain management.