Church Educates Members On Managing Arthritis

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The church is not just a place of worship, it is also a school of learning and this was demonstrated by the Presbyterian Church Gwarimpa, Abuja last week.

The Church organised it’s 2019 annual health week where medical experts were on hand to discuss “Managing Arthritis” with members of the church and interested members of the public.

Arthritis though often assumed to be a condition common among the aged, has been revealed to also affect people of all ages, races, and genders.

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This came to light during the programme where scores of people participated.

During the service, a team of medical experts which include Dr. Noel Arua, Dr. Nennaya Umeh, Dr. Yibala Ekpo, and Pharm. Ngozi James, provided resources and information on how to conquer arthritis by giving the congregation an overview of arthritis including risk factors, common symptoms, and treatment.

Arthritis, according to Dr. Umeh from the National Health Insurance Scheme, is the inflammation of one or more of the joints causing pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and even the connective tissues.

The medical expert ranked the most common symptoms of arthritis to be; pain, redness, reduced mobility, heat, stiffness, and swelling.

Umeh further said there are numerous types of arthritis though they are tackled via different ways depending on where and how it occurs.

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She went on to educate participants on the two types of arthritis that are common- osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

“There are two common types of arthritis, the osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage at the end of the bone is worn down over time. This particular arthritis occurs mainly in the knees, hips, hands and spine and it is very common among older women.

“Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the joints and it mainly affects small joints (hands), wrist, elbows and ankle.”

She, however, stated that the rheumatoid arthritis was common in women age over 60 as it usually affects multiple joint progressively.

Dr. Ekpo also listed and explained the risk factors of arthritis, saying “Family history: Some types of arthritis run in families, so you may be more likely to develop arthritis if your parents or siblings have the disorder. Your genes can make you more susceptible to environmental factors that may trigger arthritis.

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“Age: The risk of many types of arthritis including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout increases with age.

“Gender: Women are more likely than are men to develop rheumatoid arthritis, while most of the people who have gout, another type of arthritis, are men.

“Previous injury: People who have injured a joint, perhaps while playing a sport, are more likely to eventually develop arthritis in that joint.

“Obesity: Carrying excess pounds puts stress on joints, particularly your knees, hips and spine. Obese people have a higher risk of developing arthritis.”

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Mrs James who spoke on the treatment and preventive measure of arthritis, urged the participants to take up regular exercises to help reduce the risk of arthritis especially for those who are obese.

“You have to do regular exercise. The exercise does not have to be taking a run round, it can just be a walk in the house, skipping or doing things that will ease out some stress.

She also advised that people should watch their diets, because “what we eat has a direct and indirect effect on our health. While growing you needed sugar, but as you grow older you will have to cut down on some of those things, like the red meat because it causes uric acid to build and overcome crystals thereby causing inflammation.

“Your posture also should be taken note of at all time, when sitting and while standing. Avoid slouching because this will put pressure on the joint,” she added.

The pharmacist, however, urged members of the Presbyterian Church to abstain from self-medication but to always get the advice of a medical expert.

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