Myth or Fact: Not Much Can be Done to Treat and Manage Arthritis

PUNTA GORDA, FL (June 26, 2012) - This is a myth. Some improvement in pain management and loss of function is possible in almost everyone with arthritis. Source: Arthritis Foundation

How do you tell the difference between common aches and pains and arthritis? It’s not always easy. Joint pain, progressive stiffness, swelling, joint damage - these are just a few of the symptoms of arthritis.   

Today, an estimated 50 million adults with arthritis must cope with such symptoms. Since many forms of arthritis can cause irreversible joint damage - often within the first two years of the disease - it is vitally important to recognize the signs and symptoms. Arthritis can be extremely difficult to “self-diagnose,” so Charlotte Regional Medical Center’s Senior Extra program recommends visiting your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms outlined by the Arthritis Foundation: 

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Occasional swelling and/or tenderness
  • Difficulty moving a joint
  • Redness around a joint  

Many people don’t realize that arthritis is a treatable disease. Thanks to recent treatment developments - including medications, exercise programs, surgeries, and self-management techniques - many people even with serious types of arthritis lead full lives. 

According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are three important things you can do to prevent and manage arthritis pain: 

  • Engage in physical activity – Moving is the best medicine. Physical activity maintains and improves muscle flexibility and strength. Strong, flexible muscles help support and stabilize joints, as well as relieve and prevent pain.
  • Protect your joints – Protecting your joints can prevent harmful stress on painful joints. In order to prevent injury, it’s important to keep the muscles around joints strong.
  • Control your weight – Losing even a little weight can ease joint pain. For every one pound of weight loss, there is a four-pound reduction in the load exerted by each knee.  

With the right treatment and care, you can “take action to change the course of arthritis.” Talk with your doctor to learn how you can prevent and manage arthritis pain. For more information, visit www.arthritis.org.    

About Charlotte Regional Medical Center 
Located in Punta Gorda, Charlotte Regional Medical Center is a 208-bed, full-service hospital dedicated to abiding by the mission of: Caring professionals dedicated to serving our community. Founded in 1947, Charlotte Regional is Joint Commission Accredited and an award-winning hospital, with its stroke services, orthopedics, and respiratory programs earning national distinction.   

About Senior Extra 
Ever-changing advancements in health care allow us to live longer and improve our overall health. Providing the latest information about health advancements through monthly seminars and events is just one facet of Senior Extra. To sign up for a free membership, visit www.SeniorExtra.com.

Remember that this information is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor, but rather to increase awareness and help equip patients with information and facilitate conversations with your physician that will benefit your health.