Monday, April 10, 2017

On Arthritis

At To Your Health on April 6, Christopher P. FitzMorris, D.O., M.P.A. introduced the causes and symptoms of arthritis to an interested group. There are several types of arthritis, but Dr. FitzMorris concentrated on osteo and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is by far the most common type, resulting mostly from wear and tear or injury. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, and swelling of joints, which may be worse first thing in the morning or after sitting for awhile. Anti-inflammatories can help, but for severe arthritic pain, you should see your physician. Injections and drugs can relieve the symptoms.

More debilitating is rheumatoid arthritis, which usually presents between the ages of 30 and 50. Diagnosis and treatment by a physician are required.  While the causes of rheumatoid arthritis are still under investigation, there are drugs which can alter the disease, not just treat the symptoms.

Whatever kind of arthritis you may have, take control of the situation! Discuss self-management strategies with your primary care provider. Research credible sites, such as the Arthritis Foundation (  Manage your weight. Eat a healthy diet. Remain active as much as possible. If you are not active, begin a gentle exercise program, remembering that small increments provide the most benefit.  Use assistive devices (cane or walker) when necessary.  And perhaps most important, form a support team of your medical professional, your friends, and family.  But remember, you are the captain!

To Your Health team members shown with speaker:  Linda McDonough, Judy Whitman, Jan Stowell, Dr. Christopher FitzMorris, Donna Coe and Rosabelle Tifft.

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