Arthritis includes 100 different diseases or conditions that can cause pain and disability. Currently, almost 300,000 New Hampshire residents have some type of arthritis. The CDC estimates that this number will continue to grow. It is important to know what you can do to limit the risk or progression of arthritis. Because arthritis includes such a wide variety of conditions, there is no one size fits all approach; however, there are important common features to all of the different forms of arthritis.
1: Talk with your doctor
Getting an accurate diagnosis early may help prevent excessive joint damage. Some forms of arthritis are easier to diagnose than others so if you have persistent pain, redness, swelling or stiffness of the joints, you should bring it up. Delaying diagnosis and treatment can cause the condition to get worse.
Once you and your providers create a treatment plan, it is important to follow through. This can include making and keeping regular appointments, following medication recommendations and using non-medication strategies. It is especially important if you have other chronic diseases like heart disease or diabetes.
2: Stay active
Being physically active can help control pain, improve mobility, mood, and quality of life for people with arthritis. Regular physical activity can also reduce your risk of developing other chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. It can help you manage these conditions if you already have them.
Stay as active as your health allows, and change your activity level depending on your arthritis symptoms. Some physical activity is better than none. The CDC recommends 30 minutes of moderate activity 3 days a week. If you aren’t sure how to adapt an activity to be arthritis friendly, the CDC has created some helpful tips that you can see here.
3: Learn self-management skills
While it is important to work with your providers, there are things that you can learn to do yourself. The CDC has identified some education programs that can help you learn to manage your stress levels, feel more in control of your health and go about your day with more confidence. You can read more about them here.
NH Healthy Lives is now offering the FREE nationally-recognized Walk With Ease walking program that is designed for both people with
arthritis and for people who just want to get out and walk more often.
Walk With Ease can be done as an individual (self-directed) or as part of a group with a trained group leader.
The self-directed program is six weeks long and encourages participants to use the Walk With Ease guidebook on their own and walk at least three times per week. Participants will be provided with a Walk With Ease guidebook free of charge and will be asked to report their minutes of walking per week through a Survey Monkey web link.
The group-led program requires participants to meet with their group three class times a week for a total of six weeks. Guidebooks are provided free of charge, and each class consists of some classroom time followed by guided stretching and walking at each individual’s pace.
• Motivate yourself to get in great shape
• Walk safely and comfortably
• Improve flexibility, strength, & stamina
• Reduce pain and feel great
How to Participate
There are two ways to experience the program starting on April 15, 2019:
Group-Led Walking: 3x/week, with in-person stretching session guidance
Self-Directed Walking: On your own 3x/week, using a guide book for stretching.
Partner Articles & Events
Arthritis is very common but is not well understood. Actually, “arthritis” is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, sexes and races can and do have arthritis, and it…
Did you know that May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month? It is recommended that adults get 30 minutes of physical activity each day and children get 60 minutes each day.
The challenge is to exercise for 20 minutes or more every day in the months of June, July, and August. You can walk, run, bike, hike, paddle, swim or even fly a kite – anything that gets your body moving.