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Prevention Measures

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By Carol Lewis • www.ProHealth.com • April 5, 2000


There are ways to help prevent arthritis. Both CDC and the American College of Rheumatology recommend maintaining ideal weight, taking precautions to reduce repetitive joint use and injury on the job, avoiding sports injuries by performing warm-ups and strengthening exercises using weights, and by choosing appropriate sports equipment.

Lyme arthritis may develop after a bacterial infection is transmitted to humans through tick bites. To prevent this type of arthritis, health experts advise people to use insect repellents, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants while walking near wooded areas, and check for and remove ticks to help reduce the risk of getting the disease. CDC also recommends the prompt use of antibiotics for Lyme disease symptoms. In December 1998, FDA approved the first vaccine, Lymerix, to help prevent Lyme disease.

Hope for the Future

The recent rise in the number of effective new arthritis treatments offers the hope that still better therapies are just over the horizon. For Jo Ellen Gluscevich, the results have not been so dramatic. She remains mostly housebound and must avoid crowds because her immune system is compromised and susceptible to infection. But as the population ages and arthritis becomes a growing problem, the Arthritis Foundation believes that "more physicians are recognizing the severity of the disease and the need for a broader approach toward treatment."

Source: Food and Drug Administration



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