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Arthritis Self Management


Brief History

Arthritis is one of the oldest diseases known to man. As the population ages in the United States, the burden of arthritis is becoming increasingly prevalent. Arthritis affects approximately 4.7 million New Yorkers and is the leading cause of disability in the state and in the nation.

Research has shown that both non-modifiable and modifiable risks increase the likelihood that an individual will develop arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. Non-modifiable risks include family history, age, and gender. The likelihood of developing arthritis increases with age and is more prevalent in females than with males. Modifiable risk factors include inactivity, obesity, and low levels of education and income.

The Eastern Adirondack Health Care Network has partnered with The New York State Department of Health Arthritis Program and the Northern New England Arthritis Foundation to develop research based arthritis management programs in Clinton, Essex, and Franklin Counties as part of a statewide initiative, BASIC- B eing A ctive S upports I ndependence and C ontrol.

Arthritis Self-Help Course

The Arthritis Self-Help Course (ASHC), is a six-week course designed to give participants the knowledge they need to become active self-managers. By becoming active managers, research has shown that the negative effects of arthritis can be decreased. ASHC is a great opportunity for individuals to gain the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to take a more active role in managing their arthritis/fibromyalgia.

The series of six classes includes topics such as pain management, exercise, managing fatigue and stress, medication, nutrition, and communication with family and friends.

Participants who have completed the course report increased knowledge, increased frequency of exercise and relaxation, increased self-confidence, decreased depression, decreased pain, and decreased physician visits. The class includes a copy of The Arthritis Helpbook. copy of The Arthritis Helpbook.


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