Quad Cities, IL/IA

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Heartland Health Care Center Celebrates Arthritis Month


Submitted by Heartland Health Care Center — Moline

May is National Arthritis Month. According to the Arthritis Foundation, more than forty-three million Americans, or one in six people, have some kind of arthritis. Arthritis is a general term used to describe more than 100 chronic diseases of the joints, bones, and muscles such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, and even osteoporosis. There is no cure for most types of arthritis; however, awareness and education are keys to continuing the fight.

“Our staff hopes to utilize the month of May to further educate the community about the risk factors, symptoms, and treatments for various types of arthritis,” Jodi Mines, Admissions Director said. “Many forms of arthritis can be successfully managed through medication, exercise, and changes in mental outlook.”

Because the term “arthritis” encompasses many chronic diseases, the associated risk factors and symptoms vary greatly. Below are some common forms and related conditions:

  • Osteoarthritis results when the cushioning cartilage in the joints breaks down, causing pain and stiffness. It is the most common form of arthritis, and generally begins after age 40. General joint deterioration is part of the normal aging process; however, factors such as being overweight or repeated sport injuries cause additional stress on your joints and increase your risk for osteoarthritis.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that inflames the lining of the joints and is one of the most serious and disabling types of arthritis. RA typically affects joints of the hands and feet, but can also involve the hips, knees, elbows, and other joints. Research had identified that gender (women are three times more likely to suffer from RA), heredity, and long-term smoking all increase the chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Fibromyalgia affects 2.7 million people in this country and is classified as a syndrome because it’s a collection of symptoms that includes pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and depression. The pain is concentrated in the muscles and tendons of the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips. The syndrome is often triggered by severe physical or emotional trauma and it usually affects women between the ages of 20 and 60.

According to Sunita Nair, a physical therapist and the Director of Rehabilitation at Heartland Health Care Center, exercise is crucial to easing the pain associated with the various forms of arthritis. Daily exercise can reduce joint pain and stiffness while increasing flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance. Just as moderate exercise is important to arthritis sufferers, so is avoiding overexertion. Allowing the body to rest between workouts is critical to restoring and repairing joints while reducing inflammation. The following exercises are recommended:

  • Range of motion exercises
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Endurance exercises
  • Swimming/water aerobics
  • Walking/biking

As always, you should consult your healthcare professional prior to establishing any exercise routine or change in diet.

Heartland Health Care Center, located at 833 16th Ave., Moline is part of the HCR ManorCare family. The HCR ManorCare health care family comprises centers that are leading providers of short-term post-acute services and long-term care. With 60,000 caregivers nationwide, the HCR ManorCare centers are preeminent care providers in their communities. Quality care for patients and residents is provided through a network of more than 500 skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, assisted living facilities, outpatient rehabilitation clinics, and hospice and home health care agencies. These locations operate primarily under the respected Heartland, ManorCare Health Services and Arden Courts names.