World Arthritis Day

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Arthritis is defined as inflammation of one or more joints, causing pain and stiffness that can worsen with age.

World arthritis day is observed every year on 12th October to create awareness of its seriousness.

This year’s theme is ‘It’s in your hand, take action.’ the theme aims at encouraging people with arthritis, their families, caregivers, and everyone else to take necessary actions that can improve arthritis patients’ life.

World arthritis day was established by Arthritis and Rheumatism International with the first event organized on 12 October 1996.

This opened doors for various local, and global communities to come together and raise awareness about arthritis.

To mark this special day, let’s learn more about arthritis, its symptoms, and how to take care of such patients.

The disease is not communicable and persons of any age can get it.

Symptoms include pain, swelling, reduced range of motion, and stiffness in the joints, ankle, back, fingers, hands, muscles, neck, or wrist.

Pain can be intermittent or sharp and can occur mostly while sitting in one position for a while.

Patients can also get some other conditions in rare cases according to the intensity of the disease, these include deformity, flare, skin redness, or stiff neck.

The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, childhood arthritis, and lupus.

There are ways that you can help in taking care of patients suffering from arthritis.

  1. Understand their condition. 

Having a clear understanding of your loved one’s arthritis condition can help you determine where he or she may need assistance. For example, if your loved one has rheumatoid arthritis that affects their hand and upper extremity movement, he or she may need assistance with opening bottles and jars or managing fine motor tasks like handling medication.

A person with knee osteoarthritis may have difficulty walking and navigating stairs.

2. Keep open lines of communication. 

Talking with your loved one or friend about their condition is a great way to understand how it affects them. And don’t be shy about sharing your feelings about caring for someone; providing care and helping someone consistently may take an emotional toll on you.

3. Help manage medication.

Sometimes managing arthritis means managing various medicines. If your loved one has difficulty keeping drugs and dosages straight, or if they physically have difficulty handling medicine, be available to help.

4. Encourage and help with exercise. 

Exercise has been proven to be beneficial for many people with arthritis. The movement helps keep joints lubricated and muscles strong. Plus, exercise can help maintain or improve functional mobility.

But exercising can seem like a painful or daunting task for someone with arthritis.

Encouraging exercise and helping your loved one perform their exercises properly is a great way to provide care for someone with arthritis. Plus, if your loved one requires joint surgery, you may be able to help with the post-operative exercises.

By : Catherine Njenga

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