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Happy Mother’s Day!

Sunday, May 8 is Mother’s Day and the beginning of National Women’s Health Week 2022! National Women’s Health Week (NWHW) encourages women to make their health a priority and take care of themselves. There are vast resources of information provided by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services specifically geared towards helping women take control of their health, but in this article we want to focus on a specific problem that is more common in women than men after age 45: Arthritis; because not only is it NWHW, May is also National Arthritis Awareness Month.

Women aged 50-60 years may be 3.5 times (350%) more likely to develop hand arthritis than men in the same age group.They are 40% more likely to develop knee arthritis than men, and 10% more likely to develop hip arthritis. Why it is that women are more susceptible is not completely understood, but some of the reasons may involve hormone levels, as risk of developing arthritis increases significantly after menopause. In spite of normal age-related changes, there are steps we can take in the prevention and treatment of arthritis. Several of the recommendations that Health & Human Services makes to achieve better health during NWHW are the very same recommendations to prevent or alleviate problems with arthritis. Let’s walk through a few key points.

  • Maintain a Healthy Weight

Not only does maintaining a healthy weight lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure, it also decreases stress on load-bearing joints such as the hips, knees, and ankles. Obesity is associated with low-grade, systemic (body-wide) inflammation, and inflammation may contribute to the development of arthritis in any joint, including non-weight-bearing, such as in the hands.

  • Get Moving and Stay Active

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, physical activity can reduce pain and improve function, mood, and quality of life for adults with arthritis. For general health, each adult needs 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity and 2 days of muscle-strengthening activity per week. Most people don’t know where to begin, especially if they are already dealing with painful, mobility-limiting arthritic conditions. This is an important consideration that brings us to our next point.

  • Schedule Your Annual Physical and Other Health Appointments

In addition to general health assessments conducted by your primary healthcare provider, more specific activity routines and joint-health concerns are the specialty of licensed physical therapists. Physical therapy doctors understand better than anyone how to devise a health program that safely works within your current limitations while simultaneously increasing your strength and mobility. In fact, our motto at Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida is “Helping You Move Without Pain.” Our physical therapy doctors and assistants treat back and joint pain without turning to surgery except as a last resort and without prescribing pain medications that merely mask pain symptoms instead of rehabilitating the underlying weaknesses.

Thinking of getting the mother or grandmother in your life a gift this Mother’s Day that will contribute to a healthier lifestyle? If one of your lovely ladies suffers from pain stemming from arthritis, an accident, or injury, consider setting an appointment for her with a Licensed Physical Therapist right here in Bradenton at Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida. We’re conveniently located for access from all around Manatee and Sarasota Counties. Give us a call at (941) 264-1414, email us, or send a message on our Contact Form. We’re your non-surgical back and joint pain specialists!