May is National Arthritis Month!

af_logoMay is National Arthritis Month!

Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States.

Let’s Move Together is a nationwide movement led by the Arthritis Foundation that encourages people to move every day to prevent or treat arthritis. Arthritis touches all of our lives, so we believe in delivering the message of good health and movement to everyone –  not just to those with arthritis. Chances are you are connected in some way to someone with arthritis. We aim to activate anyone and everyone who can benefit from exercise, especially those who can influence and inspire those with arthritis. People can join the movement by committing to participate in their local Arthritis Walk and to move daily for better health.

10 Ways You Can Protect Your Joints

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis, with nearly 27 million Americans living with it today. No longer considered just a consequence of aging, researchers now have several candidates when looking for a cause: musculoskeletal defects, genetic defects, obesity, or injury and overuse. Find more resources for managing OA at the end of this article.

While you may not be able to control a genetic trait or knock knees, there are some definite actions you can take to protect your joints and help prevent OA.

  1. Maintain your ideal body weight. The more you weigh, the more stress you are putting on your joints, especially your hips, knees, back and feet.
  2. Move your body. Exercise protects joints by strengthening the muscles around them. Strong muscles keep your joints from rubbing against one another, wearing down cartilage. We can help you get started on an exercise program that works for you.
  3. Stand up straight. Good posture protects the joints in your neck, back, hips and knees.
  4. Use the big joints. When lifting or carrying, use largest and strongest joints and muscles. This will help you avoid injury and strain on your smaller joints.
  5. Pace yourself. Alternate periods of heavy activity with periods of rest. Repetitive stress on joints for long periods of time can accelerate the wear and tear that causes OA.
  6. Listen to your body. If you are in pain, don’t ignore it. Pain after activity or exercise can be an indication that you have overstressed your joints.
  7. Don’t be static. Changing positions regularly will decrease the stiffness in your muscles and joints.
  8. Forget the weekend warrior. Don’t engage in activities your body for which your body isn’t prepared. Start new activities slowly and safely until you know how your body will react to them. This will reduce the chance of injury.
  9. Wear proper safety equipment. Don’t leave helmets and wrist pads at home. Make sure you get safety gear that is comfortable and fits appropriately.
  10. Ask for help. Don’t try to do a job that is too big for you to handle. Get another pair of hands to help out.

For more info, Visit: http://www.arthritis.org/

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