As many as 50 million adults and 300,000 children suffer from some form of arthritis, the nation’s most common cause of disability. In this podcast, Dr. Jennifer Hootman discusses ways to control pain associated with arthritis. Created: 10/11/2012 by MMWR.
Date Released: 10/11/2012. Series Name: A Cup of Health with CDC.
A CUP OF HEALTH WITH CDC
Move to Improve
World Arthritis Day, 2012
Recorded: October 9, 2012; posted: October 11, 2012
[Announcer] This program is presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
[Dr. Gaynes] Welcome to A Cup of Health with CDC, a weekly feature of the MMWR, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. I’m your host, Dr. Robert Gaynes.
As many as 50 million adults and 300,000 children suffer from some form of arthritis, the nation’s most common cause of disability.
Dr. Jennifer Hootman is a researcher with CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. She’s joining us today to discuss ways to control pain associated with arthritis. Welcome to the show, Jennifer.
[Dr. Hootman] Thank you.
[Dr. Gaynes] Jennifer, what are the various forms of arthritis and their symptoms?
[Dr. Hootman] There are over 120 different types of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, but rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, fibromyalgia, and gout are also relatively common. The main symptoms that are across all types of arthritis include pain, aching, and stiffness around the joints. Some types of inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, also affect other organs, such as the heart and the kidneys.
[Dr. Gaynes] Is there any way to prevent the onset of arthritis?
[Dr. Hootman] For osteoarthritis, the most common type, keeping a healthy weight your entire life, and avoiding injuries to the joints, such as occupation- or sport and recreation-related injuries, can help lower your risk of getting osteoarthritis.
[Dr. Gaynes] Is there a cure for arthritis?
[Dr. Hootman] Right now, we don’t have a cure for arthritis, but there are things you can do to help manage your disease. For people with rheumatoid arthritis and other types of inflammatory types of arthritis, you should see your health care provider periodically and be on the appropriate medications. For osteoarthritis, you can take a class that helps you learn skills on how to manage your symptoms and you should also be physically active which will help decrease your pain.
[Dr. Gaynes] Well, what kinds of physical activity are effective in decreasing the pain?
[Dr. Hootman] We recommend four types of activity. The first one is aerobic activity – things to get your heart rate up, such as walking, cycling, or swimming. The second is strengthening exercises to strengthen the muscles around the joints. The third is flexibility, or range of motion, exercises. And the fourth is balance exercises which will help decrease your risk of falling.
[Dr. Gaynes] Should a person with arthritis talk to their health care provider before beginning an exercise regimen?
[Dr. Hootman] Most people can begin a moderate intensity physical activity regimen without seeing their health care provider. However, if you have different types of other chronic conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, your health care provider can provide you with information on how to safely start an exercise program.
[Dr. Gaynes] Jennifer, where can listeners get more information about arthritis?
[Dr. Gaynes] Thanks, Jennifer. I’ve been talking today with CDC’s Dr. Jennifer Hootman about controlling the pain associated with arthritis.
Remember, engaging in just 30 minutes of exercise five days a week can prevent the debilitating symptoms of arthritis. If you suffer from this condition, your health care provider can help you develop an exercise regimen.
Until next time, be well. This is Dr. Robert Gaynes for A Cup of Health with CDC.
[Announcer] For the most accurate health information, visit www.cdc.gov or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.