5 Tips for Living with Arthritis, from The CareGiver Partnership

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May is Arthritis Month as recognized by the Arthritis Foundation. Dianna Malkowski of The CareGiver Partnership offers five tips for living more comfortably with arthritis.

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Joint pain, stiffness or inflammation may be arthritis.

Because some types of arthritis may damage the joints, it’s important to see a doctor for a diagnosis.

Arthritis, a complex family of musculoskeletal disorders, affects approximately 50 million Americans, according to the Arthritis Foundation, which has recently announced a new multiyear awareness campaign in conjunction with Arthritis Month. In recognition of Arthritis Month, The CareGiver Partnership reminds those living with arthritis that it’s possible to comfortably manage this disease.

“If you or someone you care for is starting to feel pain, stiffness and inflammation of the body joints, it may be arthritis. Because some types of arthritis may damage the joints, it’s important to see a doctor for a diagnosis. Your doctor will discuss treatment options, which may include prescription medication,” says Dianna Malkowski, physician assistant, nutritionist and professional adviser for The CareGiver Partnership, a national retailer of incontinence products and other home health care supplies and educational resource for caregivers and seniors.

In addition to a proper diagnosis, treatment plan and medication, Malkowski says there are ways to comfortably manage this debilitating disease:

1. Moist heat can help alleviate pain. By increasing circulation, moist heat brings new healing blood cells to tissues and temporarily relieves pain. Options to try include warm showers in the morning and moist heat packs on affected areas.

2. Keeping active prevents and relieves stiffness. Exercise to keep joints in motion might include a daily walk and gentle stretching. Exercise will also help keep weight down, helping knees and hips. It’s important to consult with a doctor before beginning an exercise program.

3. Therapy braces can help heal while offering support. Braces offer hot or cold therapy to ankles, elbows, knees, wrists and back. Designed to reduce swelling, relieve pain and increase mobility, braces also provide support to heal and prevent injuries.

4. New products help people manage arthritis at home. Innovations that make everyday tasks more comfortable for those with stiff joints include mobility handles, grab bars and raised toilet seats for bathrooms, and easy-to-use containers and openers.

5. Medications can be highly effective when taken as directed. If an individual has taken medication when and how she was instructed to and she is still in pain, a doctor can advise on other medications or the possibility of joint replacement.

The CareGiver Partnership offers a line of Arthritis Relief products, including therapy braces, arthritis pads and moist heat packs, as well as mobility tools for safety and comfort in every room of a home. For further reading, visit The CareGiver Partnership blog.

Dianna Malkowski is a Board Certified Physician Assistant and Mayo Clinic trained nutritionist specializing in diabetes, cancer, wound healing, therapeutic diets and nutrition support. She serves on the board of professional advisors for The CareGiver Partnership and enjoys working with patients and caregivers alike. Ask Dianna a question, or call 1-800-985-1353 for Personalized Attention(SM) from a product specialist.

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Tom Wilson
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