Arthritis is in the family of musculo-skeletal disorders that consists of more than 100 different diseases, or conditions, that impacts people of all ages.
The three most common forms of arthritis include osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and juvenile arthritis (JRA).
Why is this of interest to you? Chances are you have a family member or friend that has some type of arthritis. In the United States alone, more than 50 million people suffer from and live with arthritis. Two-thirds of them are under 65-years-old. More than 300,000 are children.
Why is it important to know more about arthritis? Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States and a more frequent cause of limited activity than heart disease, cancer, or diabetes, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
How can you influence the course of arthritis for yourself or a loved one? In addition to following medical recommendations regarding drugs and nutrition, exercise has an important role to play in the fight against arthritis. Medical evidence suggests that endurance and resistance exercise provides specific benefits for people with OA and rheumatic conditions. Research also shows that exercise is an important component in helping to prevent OA.
What now? Tidewater Physical Therapy clinics across Southeast and Central Virginia feature physical and occupational therapists who are experts in formulating exercise programs for strength, flexibility, and endurance.
Physical therapists educate patients on how to protect joints – a crucial part of learning to live and manage the disease. Did you know that losing one pound of weight reduces stress on knee joints by four pounds in each knee? They can also provide advice in how to transition safely to exercise programs, as featured in local gyms or the Tidewater Performance Centers in Newport News, Suffolk and Gloucester, or specific activities that are appropriate, such as walking, yoga or Tai Chi.
For more information about arthritis, contact a physical therapist in a clinic near you.
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