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DPHHS advises ways to manage arthritis

May is National Arthritis Awareness Month

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News from DPHHS

MONTANA — Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) officials are raising awareness about protective actions Montanans can take to help manage arthritis symptoms.

“While there is no sure way to prevent arthritis, there are lifestyle modifications that are proven effective to help reduce getting certain types of arthritis, or lessen the severity of symptoms,” said DPHHS Arthritis and Falls Prevention Program Manager Melissa Dale.

Approximately 28% of Montana adults have been diagnosed with this chronic disease.

DPHHS is working to improve the quality of life for Montanans affected by arthritis and other rheumatic conditions by increasing awareness about appropriate arthritis exercise and self-management activities.

DPHHS advises the following:

 Participate in low-impact physical activities. Low-impact physical activity is a simple and effective way to reduce arthritis pain and improve physical function.

See a health care provider. Early diagnosis and treatment can improve disease outcomes.

Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight increases stress on joints and is associated with worsening arthritis symptoms and disease progression.

Relieve joint stress. Remaining in the same position throughout the day adds strain to the joints and can lead to stiffness. Relieve joint stress by alternating between sitting and standing and doing simple stretches throughout the day.

DPHHS works with over 50 local organizations in 43 counties throughout Montana to implement arthritis approved evidence-based classes, which include Stay Active & Independent for Life (SAIL) and Walk with Ease.

Health officials say arthritis is the leading cause of pain and disability among chronic health conditions and has a profound effect on people’s daily lives.

Pain and limited joint function from arthritis can impact a person’s ability to perform daily tasks. In Montana, two out of five adults with arthritis report their arthritis affects their productivity at work, with some being unable to work due to pain and joint symptoms.

Local organizations, including health departments, hospitals, senior centers, parks and recreation departments, and YMCAs, offer SAIL and/or Walk with Ease to over 1,400 Montanans annually to improve their health.

To locate SAIL and Walk with Ease classes, visit the Montana Arthritis Program website at: or call 1-844-684-5848.



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