When I was a youngling, I remember my elderly grandmother always rubbing her hands. My granny was constantly cooking or crocheting.
She made dining room runners for just about every family member. But my memory recalls her tiny hands always being red or swollen.
According to Dr. Steven B. Abramson, director of the Division of Rheumatology and vice dean for Education, Faculty and Academic Affairs at NYU Langone Medical Center, “We anticipate that by the year 2030 roughly one out of four U.S. adults will be affected by arthritis.”
Other medical experts believe that by the age of 70 almost everyone will have some type of arthritis, ranging from mild to severe.
It seems that as we age and take care of those around us, we will need to become aware of how to manage arthritis.
The NYU Langone Medical Center recommends these tips for managing arthritis:
• Be your doctor’s partner. Though there is currently no cure for most types of arthritis, early diagnosis and appropriate long-term management of the condition is critical to minimizing pain and staying mobile.
• Stay informed. People diagnosed with arthritis should understand and put into place arthritis management strategies that will help them take control of their condition, reduce pain and limit the frustration and worry about their overall health.
• Realize that weight does matter. Studies link an increased prevalence of arthritis with increased weight. Losing even a modest amount of weight (10 pounds) reduces the risk of getting arthritis and improves existing joint pain. Furthermore, weight loss can increase the quality of life for those already diagnosed.
• Protect your joints. Research links joint injuries with the eventual development of osteoarthritis. Science is still investigating this link, but strengthening the supporting muscles and tendons by staying active and exercising correctly will decrease the potential for injuries.
• Be active. Research shows that physical activity decreases pain, improves function and delays disability. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, five days a week. This can be done in simple, ten-minute intervals.