Arthritis is the most common reason for disability in this country. Staying physically active is key to helping people with arthritis reduce painful symptoms, but unfortunately, not enough people are aware of the benefits, says the Arthritis Foundation.
A report released by the Arthritis Foundation on May 16 advises physicians and other health professionals to ask arthritis patients about their level of physical activity at every visit.
“This is not part of the regular dialogue that occurs between a physician and their patient,” said Arthritis Foundation President and CEO John Klippel, MD. “It’s important that health professionals embrace this report and, hopefully, become part of a movement that we hope to start in this country to help reduce the burden of arthritis.”
Beyond health professionals, the report discusses how parks and recreation agencies, business and industry, public health, transportation and mass media can help make it more convenient and accessible for patients to be physically active.
“Fifteen to 20 years ago, it was actually believed that physical activity was bad for arthritis patients,” Klippel said. “There has been a real paradigm shift in the approach to physical exercise and activity.”
It’s obvious that if you have arthritis, movement can be painful, and starting physical activity can be difficult. The Arthritis Foundation recommends adults start with simply – with walking. And take your dog with you – after all, physical activity is more fun when it’s shared!
Talk with your physician about your pain and any fears you might have of worsening symptoms and other physical problems if you started a physical activity program. Your doctor can also help you find fitness classes and other community resources to get you on the physical activity track.
In addition to reducing pain, physical activity can help slow the progression of your arthritis and delay the onset of disability.
Besides physical activity, another intervention that the Arthirits Foundation’s report emphasized was self-management. This would include creative ways of performing activities of daily living, such as writing. The use of a true ergonomic pen can help lessen the stress and strain on arthritic fingers and hands. The UGLee Pen is the best pen – it has been scientifically designed to add comfort to any handwriting endeavor.
To learn more about incorporating physical activity into your arthritis management program, read: