Arthritis - PDF

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					Participants Guide

Description of Content: This is a course offered for lay individuals on the topic of arthritis.
The content is focused on the definition of arthritis, identification of common signs of
arthritis, risk factors for arthritis, management of arthritis, and community resources.

Objectives: At the end of this presentation, you will be able to:
   1. Define arthritis.
   2. Identify the common signs of arthritis.
   3. Describe modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors for arthritis.
   4. Identify pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of arthritis.
   5. Locate community resources for arthritis.


   1. What is arthritis?
      Handout 1: What is Arthritis?
   2. Modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors: Handout 2: Risk Factors for Arthritis
   3. Statistics
   4. Two common types of arthritis
               Osteoarthritis (OA)
               Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
   5. Handout 3: Common medications used in the management of arthritis
               Consult with your doctor before taking any medications.
   6. Coping with arthritis. Handout 4: Tips for Coping with Arthritis
   7. Living with arthritis
   8. Community resources
          Arthritis Foundation, Nebraska Chapter (402) 330-6130 (within Omaha) and 800-
              (outside Omaha) FAX: (402) 330-6167
          Arthritis Foundation Iowa Chapter, Des Moines, meets monthly, (515) 278-0636;
          FAX: (515)
          Care Giver Support Group 3610 Dodge Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (402) 502-

       Center for Healthy Aging Ministries, Programs & Services
             Handout 1: What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a broad term for over 100 different conditions that
affect the muscles, skeleton, and joints.

Signs of Arthritis

Top four signs of arthritis are:

     •   Joint pain
     •   Joint swelling
     •   Redness around your joints
     •   Limitation of joint motion

The four signs may be present all at once or separately.

Other possible warning signs of arthritis are:

     •   Early morning stiffness
     •   Warmth in a joint
     •   Weakness combined with joint pain
     •   Increased pain when the weather changes
     •   Unexplained fever
     •   “Cracking” sounds when moving joints


     Center for Healthy Aging Ministries, Programs & Services
         Handout 2: Risk Factors for Arthritis

Modifiable Risk Factors

    • Overweight & Obese: Extra weight puts stress on the joint.

    • Joint Injuries: Damage to a joint can increase risk of
      developing arthritis.

    • Infection: Microbial agents can infect joints and potentially
      cause the development of different forms of arthritis.

    • Occupation: Repetitive joint motions involved with certain
      occupations are associated with development of certain
      forms of arthritis.

Non-modifiable Risk Factors

    • Age: Increased age increases the risk of developing arthritis.

    • Gender: Most types of arthritis are common in women.

    • Genetics: Specific genes are associated with a higher risk of
      developing certain types of arthritis.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2006). Arthritis: risk factors. Retrieved on February 23, 2007


       Center for Healthy Aging Ministries, Programs & Services
           Handout 3: Medication Management of

The following medications may be prescribed by a doctor to
treat arthritis.
Do not take any medications without first consulting your
       • Acetaminophen – joint pain relief
       • Ibuprofen – reduces inflammation and pain
       • Capsaicin Cream – joint pain relief
       • Steroids – reduce inflammation of the joints
       • Opiod analgesic (oxycodone, codeine, propoxyphene) –
         moderate to severe joint pain relief; requires a prescription
       • Oral glucosamine and chondroitin supplements –
         reduces joint inflammation and pain

Before leaving an appointment with a health care provider, be
informed about:
       • Why the medication is being taken
       • How to take the medication and when improvement of
         symptoms can be expected
       • What benefits and possible side effects or risks of the
         medication can be expected
       • If there are any blood draws required during its use
       • When to call the doctor


       Center for Healthy Aging Ministries, Programs & Services
Handout 4: Tips for Coping with Arthritis
Keep moving. Immobility worsens pain.

Exercise and stretch your muscles regularly. Strong muscles
support joints.

Get enough rest. Pain is tiring. Sit or lie down for 20 minutes
when you feel tired.

Relax. Consciously let go of the tension that builds up in your

Watch your weight. Check with your physician to find out what
weight is right for your height and body type. Extra weight puts a
strain on joints.

Don’t slouch. Good posture maintains healthy joints.

Protect finger joints by using your hands correctly. Lift
objects using an open palm, instead of clenching it with your

Wear braces if necessary. Wear wrist or knee braces to support
sore joints.

Be sensible. Ask for help when you need it.

Rooney, J. (2004). Oh, those aching joints: What you need to know about arthritis. Nursing, 34(11), 58 –

       Center for Healthy Aging Ministries, Programs & Services