NODA Area Agency on Aging
Judy Rupp,, CIRS-A Caregiver Coordinator
580-237-2236 or 800-749-1149
Caregiver Assistance News
CARINA FOR YOU
CARINA FOR OTHERS
Arthritis/Range of Motion (ROM)
May Is National Arthritis Month
Arthritis is a term used to describe
more than 100 different conditions
that affect joints and other parts of
the body. Arthritis is a very common
chronic health problem, and it is the
most common cause of disability in
the U.S. About 46 million adults (one
in five) in the U.S. have some form of
arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout,
lupus, or fibromyalgia. Two-thirds of
the people who have doctor-diagnosed
arthritis are under the age of 65.
Although there is no cure for most
types of arthritis, early diagnosis and
good management are important,
especially for inflammatory types of
Arthritis causes pain, loss of movement, and sometimes swelling.
Main Types of Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is the "wear and tear"
type, in which the slippery cartilage
that covers the ends of bones in a
joint wears out, causing pain and loss
of movement as bone begins to rub
against bone. It is the most common
form of arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an
autoimmune disease, in which the
person's body begins to attack its
own joints, causing inflammation and
pain. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of
the most serious and disabling types.
It affects mostly women.
Exercise Helps Arthritis Pain
By encouraging exercise,
you can help the person in
your care lose weight and
improve his overall health
and fitness, as well as his
A physical therapist, occupational therapist, exercise
physiologist or doctor can recommend an exercise program
for the person in your care.
ROM exercises keep joints flexible
by moving them as much as possible.
ROM exercises relieve pain, maintain
normal body alignments (positions),
help prevent skin swelling and breakdown, and promote bone formation.
If the person in your care is diagnosed with arthritis, it's important
to encourage exercise before any joint
Endurance exercises, such as water
exercise, walking or riding a stationary
bicycle, help keep the heart, lungs,
bones and muscles strong. They help
the body work more efficiently and
increase a person's stamina, so that
he can work longer without tiring as
Alternative exercise, such as yoga
and tai chi, can be beneficial for people
with arthritis. These forms of exercise
can improve flexibility, increase muscle strength and help the person relax.
Source: CDC; National Arthritis Foundation