WWLindaArthritis

All Flared Up! A Blog About Arthritis

 

Arthritis is a general term for joint inflammation and is a prevalent issue to my patients. As an Occupational Therapist who specializes in hands, I have many tools to help people learn how to manage their arthritis.

53 million people in the U.S. have arthritis (Arthritis Foundation)
27 million people in the U.S. have Osteoarthritis or OA (CDC)

There are more than 100 types of arthritis!

OA, which is one of the most common forms of arthritis, is known as a degenerative joint disease and refers to the “wear and tear” of the joint, specifically the cartilage.  Cartilage is the cushion and shock absorber between the joints.  OA is different from many types of arthritis such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and Psoriatic Arthritis, since they affect body systems not just joints.  Either single joints or multiple joints are what are affected by OA.  Often the wrists, hands and/or fingers are what are most impacted.  Symptoms of OA include:
pain during or after movement
tenderness when pressing on the joint
stiffness
swelling
joint instability
joint deformity
poor dexterity
weakness
These symptoms can cause even the simplest daily task to be difficult and painful, resulting in further injury to the joint.  The key is to manage and minimize, or slow down the effects of OA and arthritis in general.

Much of the impact of arthritis has to do with what other health problems are present.  Sylvia Fuller, PhD and researcher at University of Illinois Chicago, researches individuals with arthritis regarding quality of life. She and her team have found that people with arthritis who were physically active were 50% less likely to report their health as fair or poor compared to those that didn’t do exercise.  This is one big indication that addressing a risk factor like being overweight or inactive could dramatically change the impact of arthritis on your life. There are so many more ways to help manage and minimize the effects of arthritis, and I will show you. Visit my Wellness Workshop:

Come join me at Agape Therapy, 211 W. 6th St., Cedar Falls on April 18th at 6pm to learn more about arthritis of the hands and how you can start managing your symptoms.   

Call 277.3166 to reserve a seat because space is limited. There is no cost, I just want to share information to help you feel better.

                                                                                                                                                    -Linda Hicks, OTR/L, specializing in Hand Therapy

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