Page 28 - Senior Scene April 2018
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Senior Scene® | April Issue
VNA ANSWER NURSE Arthritis and You
Q. What causes arthritis?
stant. Osteoarthritis is commonly known as a joint disease and is the most com- mon form of arthritis. It is de ned by the symptoms of pain, swelling, and stiffness, and 12.4 million adults ages 25 and older, and is estimated to affect 26.9 million adults ages 65 and older.
medications may include biologics, to improve quality of life, or corticoste- roids, to help reduce in ammation. In some cases, surgery to rebuild or re- place a joint may be recommended. It is important to talk with your physician before undergoing any treatment op- tions.
A. Arthritis is a swelling in the joints that causes pain and discomfort. It occurs when there is in ammation in one or more joints and can involve breakdown in cartilage. Cartilage protects the joints, so when there is limited cartilage, joints can become sore and in amed causing swelling and pain.
Q. Is arthritis just normal pain that comes with getting older?
A. It is a common misconception that arthritis is strictly a disease of old age. Arthritis affects people of many ages, even infants and children. Arthritis is not necessarily normal aging pain; it can indicate a larger, more severe problem in the joints. In some cases, arthritis can cause debilitating pain and discomfort.
Q. How can arthritis affect my daily living?
Q. What are the different forms of arthritis?
A. Lifestyle modi cations are often the  rst treatment for arthritis, especially when treating osteoarthritis, and may include:
• Implementing an exercise program such as low-impact aerobic activity • Getting plenty of sleep which may
help prevent arthritis  are ups
• Avoiding movements that put extra
stress on the joints
• Avoiding staying in one position for
too long
• Including more fruits and vegeta-
bles in your diet
• Losing weight (if you are over-
weight) to relieve added stress to the joints
For more information about arthri- tis including the various forms, treat- ments, and lifestyle modi cations for living with arthritis, please visit www. cdc.gov, ww.ncbi.nlm.gov, or www.ar- thritis.org. SS
A. The term “arthritis” is used gener- ally to describe more than 100 types of rheumatic diseases and conditions affecting the joints. Rheumatic condi- tions are generally described pain and stiffness in the joints and can evolve gradually over time. Common types of arthritis include Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis.
RA is an autoimmune condition that occurs when arthritis affects  ve
or more joints. RA can take several dif- ferent courses: the condition can end within two to  ve years of initial diag- nosis with only one episode occurring; RA activity levels can  uctuate over the course of the condition; or the condi- tion can increase in pain and be con-
Q. How is arthritis treated?
A. There are varying treatment options available for those suffering from arthri- tis. It is important to understand that a few arthritis-related conditions can be cured, but most forms of arthritis are
a chronic condition and can last long- term. Therefore, much of the treatment for arthritis is centered on pain manage- ment.
Usually, an over-the-counter med- ication such as aspirin or ibuprofen
is recommended to treat the in am- mation and pain. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medication to help manage symptoms. Prescription
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