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Michigan Arthritis Program

May is Arthritis Awareness Month! Move to Improve

Arthritis can lead to severe joint pain and may limit your normal activities. Research has shown staying active is one of the best ways to treat arthritis. Physical activity can help your arthritis by reducing pain, improving range of motion, increasing energy, improving mood, and helping to prevent or manage other conditions, like diabetes and heart disease – but finding safe, practical exercise options can feel challenging.

Check out Being Active When You Have Osteoarthritis and Being Active When You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis to find safe, practical ways to move more and hurt less.

walk with ease
  • ‘Arthritis’ means inflammation or swelling in the joints, and is an umbrella term for more than 100 joint-related conditions. Osteoarthritis is the most common form, caused by wear and tear on the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition, in which the body’s own immune system attacks healthy cells by mistake. Other forms of arthritis include lupus, gout, fibromyalgia, and psoriatic arthritis. Learn more about the different types of arthritis.

    Safe physical activity is important for managing arthritis joint pain and stiffness. Walk With Ease is a six week walking program developed by Arthritis Foundation, proven to improve mobility and reduce pain. Michigan residents can enroll in a self-directed Walk With Ease workshop at no cost at Start feeling better today!

    It can be difficult to get moving when you have arthritis, but being active can help you feel better, move better, and sleep better. This guide to finding safe physical activity with osteoarthritis will help you identify simple, practical ways to move more and hurt less.

    If you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), it may be challenging to stay active when you’re having an RA flare-up. Being Active When You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis offers strategies to identify safe physical activity options for you, and working with your flares to improve your RA symptoms.

    A growing number of adults use complementary approaches to manage arthritis pain. The National Institutes of Health offers a free e-book summarizing the safety and usefulness of a variety of approaches like acupuncture, spinal manipulation, yoga, and more. Considering Complementary Approaches e-book is available here.

  • Are you a healthcare or allied health provider looking for continuing education credits (CEs)? Medscape and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors have collaborated to offer a free online training, Lifestyle Management Programs for Arthritis: Expand Your Knowledge on Evidence-Based Interventions. This activity provides up to 0.25 CMEs/ABIM/MOCs/CEs, and helps healthcare professionals assess their learning needs related to non-drug interventions for patients with arthritis or at risk for arthritis. Register for this activity.
  • Para obtener informacion sobre artritis en Espanol por favor visite a Arthritis Foundation or Centros Para El Control y la Prevencion de Enfermedades.
  • In 2022, a third of Michigan adults (30.1%) reported ever being told by a doctor that they had some form of arthritis – significantly higher than the estimated national prevalence of 23.7%. For more data on arthritis in Michigan, see the most recent Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Survey Annual Report.

    A recently published study in Arthritis Care and Research sheds light on racial and ethnic differences in adult arthritis prevalence, severe joint pain, and health provider counseling about physical activity. Some key findings:

    • Severe joint pain is more prevalent among American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN 39%), non-Hispanic Black (36%), and Hispanic (36%) adults with arthritis compared to White adults with arthritis.
    • More than 40% of adults with arthritis do not receive counseling from their health care providers on the benefits of physical activity for management of arthritis symptoms.

    Arthritis is more common among veterans than nonveterans. Traumatic and overuse injuries during active duty are some reasons why. View the 2023 report on arthritis and veterans from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.