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Arthritis

Arthritis is an illness that causes pain and swelling in the joints, the places where 2 bones meet. Both young and older people can have it. There is no cure for most types, but your doctor can suggest care. The most widely found forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Regular joint pain is a sign of both, and can appear as hip, knee, hand or wrist pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis changes the lining of the joints but can also change other organs. Pain, swelling and redness are common. Treatment can ease symptoms and help improve function. Medicines and exercise can help lessen pain and disability.

Osteoarthritis is called degenerative joint disease. It is the most widely found form of arthritis. It affects close to 33% of people age 65 or older. Treatment can ease symptoms and help function. Education, physical therapy, weight control and drugs may help.

Being physically active can help your arthritis. The key is to add motion slowly to avoid pain. It can help joints more, lower joint pain, boost your mood and raise your energy. Losing extra weight can also help. Check with your doctor before starting exercise.

For more information about arthritis and other health conditions, members may log in to Blue Access for Members.

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