Lake Norman Regional Medical Center Presents Arthritis Awareness

June 27, 2012 by Kendra Walker

How do you tell the difference between common aches and pains and arthritis? It’s not always easy. Joint pain, progressive stiffness, swelling, joint damage - these are just a few of the symptoms of arthritis. Today, an estimated 50 million adults with arthritis must cope with such symptoms.

Since many forms of arthritis can cause irreversible joint damage - often within the first two years of the disease - it is vitally important to recognize the signs and symptoms. Arthritis can be extremely difficult to “self-diagnose,” so Lake Norman Regional Medical Center’s Senior Extra program recommends visiting your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms outlined by the Arthritis Foundation:

  • Pain.
  • Stiffness.
  • Occasional swelling and/or tenderness.
  • Difficulty moving a joint.
  • Redness around a joint.

Many people don’t realize that arthritis is a treatable disease. Thanks to recent treatment developments - including medications, exercise programs, surgeries and self-management techniques - many people even with serious types of arthritis lead full lives. According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are also three important things you can do to prevent and manage arthritis pain:

  • Engage in physical activity – Moving is the best medicine. Physical activity maintains and improves muscle flexibility and strength. Strong, flexible muscles help support and stabilize joints, as well as relieve and prevent pain.
  • Protect your joints – Protecting your joints can prevent harmful stress on painful joints. In order to prevent injury, it’s important to keep the muscles around joints strong.
  • Control your weight – Losing even a little weight can ease joint pain. For every one pound of weight loss, there is a four-pound reduction in the load exerted by each knee.

With the right treatment and care, you can take action to change the course of arthritis. Talk with your doctor to learn how you can prevent and manage arthritis pain. For more information, visit www.arthritis.org or attend our Senior Extra program on Arthritis with Daniel Kirby, MD, Rheumatologist, with Lake Norman Arthritis Specialists, PA.  The program is August 1st from 3:00 pm to 4:30pm at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center.