Living a Better, Fuller Life with Arthritis

World Arthritis Day 2010 is today, so here are some arthritis health tips.

Today is World Arthritis Day 2010. Some of you may be wearing blue as part of the Arthritis Foundation’s campaign, taking part in a race or a walk, or another activity that supports awareness for the condition that effects millions of Americans across the country.

Below are a few highlights of recent items on managing arthritis and improving overall health:

Managing Arthritis

To recognize World Arthritis Day and draw attention to the condition, the Florida Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (FSIPP) has released some tips for those suffering from arthritis, which is the most common cause of disability in the United States, according to the CDC.

The FSIPP is a not-for-profit organization whose members promote the development and practice of safe, high quality, cost-effective interventional pain management techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of pain and related disorders.

A press release from the FSIPP indicates its support for the following tips:

Learn Arthritis Management Strategies -- Learning techniques to reduce pain and limitations can be beneficial to people with arthritis. Self-management education can help you develop the skills and confidence to manage your arthritis on a day-to-day basis.

Be Active -- Research has shown that physical activity decreases pain, improves function, and delays disability. Make sure you get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least 5 days a week. You can get activity in 10-minute intervals. Read about the physical activity programs (such as Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program and Enhance Fitness) the CDC recommends for people with arthritis.

Watch Your Weight -- The prevalence of arthritis increases with increasing weight. Research suggests that maintaining a healthy weight reduces the risk of developing arthritis and may decrease disease progression. A loss of just 11 pounds can decrease the occurrence (incidence) of new knee osteoarthritis.

See Your Doctor -- Although there is no cure for most types of arthritis, early diagnosis and appropriate management is important, especially for inflammatory types of arthritis. For example, early use of disease-modifying drugs can affect the course of rheumatoid arthritis. If you have symptoms of arthritis, see your doctor and begin appropriate management of your condition.

Protect Your Joints -- Joint injury can lead to osteoarthritis. People who experience sports or occupational injuries or have jobs with repetitive motions like repeated knee bending have more osteoarthritis. Avoid joint injury to reduce your risk of developing osteoarthritis.

“When pain is ignored for a long period of time it makes it more difficult to treat," said Deborah Tracy, MD, president of FSIPP, in a press release. “Patients with higher success rates typically seek treatment at the on-set of pain.”

Healthy Diet

Additionally, eating a healthy diet including certain foods high in omega 3 oils and antioxidants have positive benefits in preventing and managing arthritis. This video featured on a local FOX affiliate station discusses this in further detail: