Arthritis in rural communities

Arthritis effects 54 million adults throughout rural America.

The number of adults who live in rural or urban areas and are affected by arthritis was the topic of a recently published CDC analysis. “Researchers found that more adults in rural areas are affected by arthritis with nearly 1 in 3 affected, than in urban areas.” One of the challenges in rural areas is transportation, as often many roads and paths are unsafe to walk on. Winter in Michigan can last quite a bit longer than many other states and if you live in a rural area of Michigan it is more difficult to be on the go.

Those that suffer from chronic diseases such as arthritis, must keep moving. If a person with arthritis does not have an exercise routine, they will encounter limitations when performing daily tasks along with work and social limitations.

Water exercise is one of the best exercises for arthritis due to less irritation on the joints. Many times balance is affected due to arthritis in the legs or back. Participate in a balance class such as tai chi or yoga, or a chair exercise class such as A Matter of Balance. 

Also, diet plays a key role in managing arthritis. Limiting sodium and alcohol helps keep down the inflammation of arthritis. It is a good idea to communicate with your health provider about foods that may trigger inflammation. You can also go to the Arthritis Foundation for ideas on living a healthy lifestyle with arthritis

Michigan State University Extension offers Chronic Pain PATH. The program is designed for those who are living with a chronic condition such as arthritis. Participants learn important skills such as goal-setting, dealing with pain and fatigue, communicating with health care professionals and managing medications. Topics discussed during this educational series better equip individuals to face daily challenges of living with chronic conditions.

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