There are over 100 types of arthritis. You can have one or several types at the same time. For example, you may have osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. No matter what type of arthritis you have, you have a choice to be an advocate for yourself and take charge of your health.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are some of my recommendations:
Taking Charge of Your Health- Including Arthritis!
- Have an active and ongoing relationship with your doctor. Your doctor will offer different options to help control and maintain the arthritis.
- Medication is used to manage and slow down the progression of some types of arthritis. If your doctor recommends medication, realize that it may take trying several different medications before finding the one that will work for you. This takes patience- lots of patience, but stick it out.
- Your doctor can refer you to a Physical Therapist. They will listen to your needs and address them accordingly. From exercises to using a tens unit, moist heat, and even pool physical therapy. You can choose where to have physical therapy. If you have a preference, let your doctor know.
- There may be the option of surgery to repair and restore the use of joints with arthritis. Joint replacement surgery is very common
- Plan-yes, plan your day. You plan your hair appointments, nail appointments, etc., so plan on a balance of exercise and rest throughout each day. If you are having a flare, of course you will plan on additional rest, but you still need some form of exercise or movement daily.
Taking Charge of your Health- Let us help!
Here at the Cantrell Center for Physical Therapy and Wellness we offer the Arthritis Foundation AEA Aquatic Program. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10:05AM and 11:10AM. Each class is 45 minutes long.
While many people claim,”Well, I just have arthritis, I can’t do anything about it— this is not supported by the evidence-based programs originally started by the Arthritis Foundation and the Whittier YMCA. These organizations have collected years of data that have proven results.
Our Arthritis class participants will not only maintain their current ROM (range of motion), but may improve it. Working with and against the resistance of the water helps strengthen muscles and bones. This allows for reduced pain and stiffness, improved balance and coordination, decreased fatigue, and increased endurance.
The Arthritis Foundation has focused the exercises used to help participants maintain or improve performance of daily activities. Like dressing yourself, taking a shower, cooking, doing chores, driving (we have to do those head turns!) Then, there are bonuses like meeting new people and making new friends. This helps decrease depression and increase feelings of well-being.
So who still wants to sit on the couch or in the recliner and do nothing? There is NO way that you will improve your health by doing that and you know it. Take a chance on yourself. You may lose some things in the process– like fatigue, depression, loneliness, low self-esteem and poor health. You’re worth it!!
See YOU at the pool!
For more information about the programs and services we offer, please visit: http://www.cantrellcenter.com/
About the Author
Donna Amos has been with the Cantrell Center since January of 2005 and has a strong following of dedicated wellness members. She spends her free time with family which consists of husband, Bill, a son, Chad, and daughter-in-law, Mandii. The newest addition to the family is a “real cutie pie”, her granddaughter, Aubree. Donna is an active member of Second Baptist Church where she’s made great friends who gather weekly to play board games. When asked what she loves most about her job, Donna responded, “The members here are a community, a family– and I love being part of that. We encourage one another physically to come to class and also in life events. As someone who has arthritis, it makes a huge difference in knowing that if I have a flare up, the members understand and vice versa. Members let me know if something is flared or painful and I direct them with safe alternative during that time.”