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Arthritis and Indiana:
Our State's Burden
Doctors and researchers now know the importance of self-management in enabling people with arthritis to live successfully with their disease. Studies have shown that people with arthritis can maintain or improve joint function and reduce pain by:
For any motion, engage the strongest, largest muscles and joints possible. For example, lift a sack of groceries from the bottom with both hands and hold it close to the body instead of gripping the handle with one hand. Squat down to pick something off the floor instead of bending over from the waist. Change positions often to keep joints from getting stiff.
Too often people’s reaction to aching or stiffness in their joints is to use them less. However, appropriate movement can help. Slow, gentle range-of-motion exercises lubricate joints and reduce stiffness. Strengthening exercises stabilize and protect joints by strengthening the muscles that surround them. Low-impact aerobic activities, like swimming, walking, and bicycling, increase circulation to the joints and promote general health. Individuals should consult with a health care provider for advice appropriate to their medical needs.