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Parish Nurse News

   Many people suffer from arthritis. The most common type is osteoarthritis. It is a degenerative disease that affect the joints. Although there is no cure there are many things that can be done to decrease the pain and stiffness.


Risk factors

-being over weight

-history of injury or surgery to a joint

-over use from repetitive movements

-congenital joint problems -family history


Symptoms may involve






Diagnosis a visit to your primary care provider—he/she will ask

-symptoms and medical history

-do physical exam

-x-ray and other imaging tests

-other lab test to rule

out other causes for your symptoms


Treatment and pain management

-exercise can reduce joint pain and increase flexibility, strength, and endurance. Walking is a good exercise.

Always check with your physician about specifications of exercise program

-weight control losing a few pounds can decrease stress on joints -medication—some over the counter and prescription medication available as well as joint injections and creams

-surgery—if other treatments fail, sometimes an osteotomy or joint replacement can help

-complementary therapy—such as massage can relieve pain but check with your physician if this would be helpful steps to manage pain

Apply heat or icepack for comfort

-use cane or walker—use other devices to relieve pain and promote function as jar opener, reacher, etc

-practice good posture

-make several trips to keep load small in taking groceries to house, etc

-avoid repetitive activities the aggravate pain such as bending from the waist

-join a support group if available.


Information taken from and summarized – National Institution, Aging on Osteoarthritis

Dear Lord, thank you for caregivers. Give each strength and understanding caring for all of us. Amen


Rachel Boyum

United Lutheran Parish Nurse

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