May 162018
 

Putting their walk where their motivation is to reduce joint pain….
Courtesy photo

In the state of Oregon, 27 percent of adults 18 years and older have arthritis and suffer from chronic joint pain, stiffness and swelling. Among those 65 years and older, at least 50 percent have arthritis and suffer from chronic pain. For these residents living with arthritis and chronic pain in Newport, OR, the Newport 60+ Activity Center is providing a physical activity program, Walk With Ease, proven to reduce the pain associated with arthritis. Engagement in physical activity is one of several proven strategies to reduce arthritis symptoms.

“I also live with osteoarthritis,” says Linda Fregulia, the program’s instructor. “It was very inspiring to be able to help other people who live with arthritis improve their lives and live with less pain through this simple walking program. It was great to be able to help each other meet the everyday challenges of getting up and moving.”

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The Walk With Ease program helps people with arthritis get moving by starting at their own personal fitness level, no matter what that might be, and comfortably increasing their flexibility, strength, and endurance throughout the length of the program, enabling them to have a better quality of life. Through this one-hour class, three times per week, adults with arthritis are also able to meet the physical activity recommendations.

Clair Finnigan, a 74-year-old woman with degenerative osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, has had two back surgeries for three compression fractures and as a result has had a very hard time walking. “I need to use my cane or walker,” says Clair. “Standing for more than a couple of minutes without holding on was impossible before participating in the very first Walk With Ease program offered at the activity center. Since participating in this program my quality of life has improved. My back is stronger and I have less pain. The stretching exercises and walking has reduced my pain so I no longer need to only rely on my pain medicine to relieve my pain. My goal is to be able to stand without the use of my cane or walker and I know I will continue to improve as long as I keep doing what I have learned in this program. I have lots of support from family and friends. This is a wonderful program for those of us who live with chronic pain.”

We encourage anyone who is struggling with pain to take part in this and other evidence-based programs designed for people with arthritis and chronic pain.

Peggy O’Callaghan is the supervisor for the Newport 60+ Activity center and can be reached at p.ocallaghan@newportoregon.gov

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