SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (WTNH)-- Millions of Americans deal with the pain of arthritis which can be excruciating at times.
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, affecting people of all ages. Osteoarthritis is probably the most common and our risk for it increases with age.
There's no cure but staying active can help ease the pain.
"Osteoarthritis is wear and tear."
Living with arthritis, severe inflammation of the joints, is the focus of this lunch and learn at the Hospital of Central Connecticut Bradley Memorial campus.
"What I see when I go into a senior's home is when they're failing is, they lack mobility, they are at a risk for fall. We really want to energize people to move and move safely," said Marc Levesque, CT Center for Health Aging at Hospital of Central CT.
The message to seniors there, motion matters when it comes to coping with the most common form osteoarthritis.
"If you don't keep on moving, everything tightens up, the muscles, the tendons," said Jennifer Wade-Vauter, CT Center for Healthy Aging at Hospital of Central CT.
Health Educator Jennifer Wade-Vauter is at the head of the class.
"You gotta take it slow, start step by step, increasing the range of motion and helping that muscle elongate, will help alleviate pain," said Wade-Vauter.
Simple moves like touching fingers slowly...
"What you're doing here is you're trying to increase the blood flow and getting those fingers to move," said Wade-Vauter.
"We're elongating, contracting, extending," said Wade-Vauter.
Stretching and loosening the joints, all add up to increasing strength and preventing more discomfort.
It's never too late to start exercising.
"I'm in therapy for it, it's very painful," said Simone Gendreau.
Simone Gendreau was diagnosed two and half years ago.
"I can do my chores and everything that I used to do but some days it's harder than others," said Gendreau.
Committing to a more active lifestyle can help manage the aches and pains of aging.
"Exercise is as powerful as medication as any food as you are going to eat," said Levesque.
Exercises recommended for osteoarthritis include swimming and walking.
Age, obesity and injury are among the risk factors.
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