Take Control of Your Arthritis Pain

Evan Gold April 1, 2012 0
Take Control of Your Arthritis Pain

Learn How Self-Management Workshops Can Help

Arthritis affects the lives of nearly one in five American adults and limits the lives of countless citizens each year. In fact, arthritis is the most com- mon cause of disability in the United States, and yet only 11 percent of those with arthritis participate in widely available, low-cost self-management workshops that help people manage symptoms, increase activity and maintain independence.

People no longer have to tolerate the symptoms of arthritis; they now have the power to manage it themselves.

Few people know that a low-cost, six-week self-management education workshop, supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can help lessen the problems associated with arthritis. Weekly, interactive sessions provide people with arthritis and other chronic diseases, natural techniques and strategies to manage their disease, empowering participants to reclaim their lives. Participants will learn ways to minimize pain, physical limitations and stress, while improving their mobil- ity, confidence and independence. These workshops meet weekly for six weeks, are low-cost and available in most com- munities.

What can these self-management workshops do for you?

The self-management workshops help participants manage their arthritis. Participants learn:

  • Techniques to reduce pain, limitations and stress
  • Strategies to exercise safely
  • How to feel more comfortable talking to their doctor
  • Lessons from other arthritis patients; skills that helped them not only to manage, but gain a sense of control over their disease

“These workshops help people with arthritis learn natural treatments to manage their arthritis pain. Many people do not know about these workshops, but people with arthritis who have at- tended these interactive workshops learn self-management techniques that help reduce the pain and limitations of arthritis,” says Teresa J. Brady, from the CDC arthritis program.

Workshops can help reduce the physical symptoms of arthritis, as well as the emotional toll of this chronic disease. Self-management workshops also help people with other on-going health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or lung disease. According to CDC research, self-management workshop participants report remarkable improvements in their symptoms and their ability to control their disease. Research shows that participants benefit from decreased pain, fatigue, anxiety and depression. Research also indicates that workshop attendance can result in increased aerobic exercise, increased confidence and improved ability to participate in social activities. What does the research say about self-management workshops?

CDC research found that arthritis self- management workshop participants report:

  • Decreased joint pain and fatigue
  • Decreased anxiety and depression
  • Less worry about their health
  • Increased aerobic exercise
  • Better communication with their doctor
  • Increased confidence in ability to manage their condition
  • Increased ability to do household and social activities

“We need to educate arthritis patients about the benefits of self-management workshops,” says Brady. “They can be the key to restoring mobility and independence, which in turn can improve quality of life for millions of Americans.” Taking charge of arthritis can be a challenging task; self-management workshops can help.

To find out more about self-management workshops: Visit www.cdc.gov/arthritis/interventions/self_manage.htm. Workshops are available in communities across the country, find out about workshops in your area.

Also monitor local publications for announcement of arthritis self-management education workshops in your area.

Speak to your doctor about arthritis self-management education workshops.

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