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Treating and Preventing Arthritis

Written by: Sameen Junejo

Although there is currently no cure for arthritis, there are some steps you can take to help prevent the disease.

Limiting stress on your joints by keeping your weight under control is a good starting point. Recent studies have shown that a weight gain of only 10 to 20 extra pounds in early adulthood increases wear and tear on the shock-absorbing cartilage in joints and can lead to serious joint damage in the long run.

Avoiding repetitive movements over long periods of time can also help. If an elderly loved one experiences a traumatic injury to a joint, he or she will need medical care and rehabilitation to avoid further damage. Talk to a doctor about the proper use of ice, rest, heating pads, hot water bottles and hot baths for treating any injury.

Coping with arthritis is not an easy task, but there are a few tips to follow to help treat the pain.
A regular exercise program to maintain muscle tone is useful for managing arthritis. This may include special exercises prescribed by your doctor or physiotherapies to strengthen muscles and improve your range of motion.

Specially tailored medications, including a wide range of pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications, can help relieve the pain of osteoarthritis. For severe cases, surgery such as knee or hip replacement may be needed.

Another group of medications called biologics can also help improve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and slow down joint degeneration. Some drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis are also used to treat Crohn’s disease, as they are both autoimmune diseases.

You should seek a doctor’s advice when inquiring about arthritis medication and treatment plans. If you want to read more about Arthritis and its symptoms click here.

Here are some important numbers to know about arthritis:
• Over 4.6 million Canadian adults (one in six Canadians aged 15 years and older) report having arthritis. By 2036, this number is expected to grow to an estimated 7.5 million Canadian adults (one in five).
• The impact of arthritis on the Canadian economy in health-care costs and lost productivity is estimated to be $33 billion each year. By 2031, this number is expected to more than double to over $67 billion.
• Among all causes of disability in Canada, arthritis ranks first among women and third among men.
• Two out of three Canadians affected by arthritis are women.
• Nearly three out of every five people with arthritis are of working age.

Resources & Helplines

There are various resources to help you and your elderly loved one manage arthritis. Below are a few nation-wide helplines to assist you with your needs:

The Arthritis Society’s Open Forum Community
www.arthritis.ca

Arthritis Help Line
1-800-321-1433

Health and Seniors’ Information Line
1-800-465-4911

Bayshore is pleased to provide information that educates you as you strive to care for your loved ones. This newsletter contains information about arthritis. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. For more information on arthritis, please consult your doctor.

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