May is recognized as Arthritis Awareness Month, an opportunity to raise awareness about this prevalent condition affecting Dow Rummel residents. Arthritis encompasses a range of conditions characterized by joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation, impacting individuals of all ages and backgrounds. In this article, we’ll delve into the significance of Arthritis Awareness Month and provide valuable tips for managing joint health. 

Arthritis refers to inflammation of the joints and encompasses over 100 different types, with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis being the most common forms. Osteoarthritis occurs due to joint wear and tear over time, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack the joints. Other types include gout, lupus, and juvenile arthritis. 

Tips for Managing Arthritis: 

  1. Stay Active: Classes at DRV can help improve joint flexibility, strengthen muscles, and reduce pain. Self-directed activities such as swimming and walking are gentle on the joints while providing numerous health benefits. 
  1. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess weight strains the joints, especially in weight-bearing areas like the knees and hips. By maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise, individuals can alleviate pressure on their joints and reduce arthritis symptoms. 
  1. Practice Joint Protection Techniques: Avoid repetitive motions that may exacerbate joint pain. Use assistive devices such as braces or splints to support weak or unstable joints and modify activities to reduce strain. 
  1. Follow a Nutrient-Rich Diet: Certain foods can help reduce inflammation and support joint health. Incorporate foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and flaxseeds, and antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. 
  1. Seek Medical Treatment: Consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. Treatment options may include medications or nutritional supplements to alleviate pain and inflammation, physical therapy, or, in severe cases, surgery. 

Arthritis Awareness Month reminds us to prioritize joint health and raise awareness about arthritis’s impact on Dow Rummel Village residents (and employees). By understanding the signs and symptoms of arthritis and implementing proactive measures to manage the condition, individuals can improve their quality of life and maintain optimal mobility for years. 

Stay Strong,   

Jona Leo 

Director of Wellness 

Arthritis Awareness Month vector illustration with blue ribbon

References: 

  1. Arthritis Foundation. (n.d.). About Arthritis. Retrieved from https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis 
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Arthritis: Common Questions. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/common-questions.htm 
  1. Mayo Clinic. (2022). Arthritis. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350772