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Content provided by Samaritan Health Services Pain from osteoarthritis? Learn about your options Y ou may have heard your parents or grandparents complain of pain as their joints “wore out,” but this degenerative condition is actually a disease of the joint called osteoarthritis (OA). And for many people, pain from OA can be a daily occurrence. “Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and is extremely common as people age — it shows up in nearly half of those over age 65,” said Kelli Baum, DO, a total joint surgeon at Samaritan Mid-Valley Orthopedics. OA occurs most often in the hands, spine, hips and knees. In a healthy joint, cartilage at the end of the bones creates smooth and pain-free movements. With OA, the cartilage deteriorates and exposes the underlying bone. This causes areas of bone to rub against bone, leading to pain, swelling and stiffness. Baum reports that OA can affect anyone, but people who are obese, have a family history of OA or have had a previous joint injuries may be at a higher risk. “Pain from osteoarthritis usually progresses over time. It can lead to limited mobility and affect one’s quality of life,” said Baum. “To decrease symptoms and maintain mobility, patients should remain active, maintain a healthy weight and find activities to keep their joints moving without worsening their pain, such as water aerobics or cycling.” Tips to manage OA pain Exercise – According to Baum, exercise is one of the most important things you can do to manage OA pain. Exercise can strengthen the muscles around your joint to help support it and help you keep up with your regular activities. Exercise can also help you maintain your weight. should be discussed with your doctor treatments such as weight loss, over-the-counter medications prior to starting treatment. and injections,” said Baum. “Joint Surgery – Osteoarthritis can progress replacement surgery can provide where conservative measures no longer patients a great opportunity to get provide symptom relief. When patients their quality of life back with other have exhausted non-operative treatment treatments are no longer effective.” options and their pain continues to affect For more information on Maintain a healthy weight – their quality of life, joint replacement joint replacement, register for Carrying extra weight is hard on your surgery can then be considered. a free seminar at joints and can wear them out more “Many symptoms of osteoarthritis quickly. Losing excess weight can can be managed with non-operative help your joints feel better and slow the progression of the disease. Assistive devices – Assistive devices can assist with certain activities in order to reduce pain. Canes, walkers and adaptive equipment around the home such as raised toilet seats and grab bars can help make daily tasks easier. If you need more help, an occupational therapist can help you identify ways to modify daily tasks to maintain your independence and capabilities. Injections – Cortisone injections, when appropriate, can help reduce pain from inflammation within the joint. Other, non-cortisone injections are also available. Baum cautions that injections may not be for everyone, so talk to your doctor to discuss whether injections are a good option for you. Pain medication – Over-thecounter pain medications, specifically anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen and Aleve, can help with the inflammation caused by osteoarthritis. Tylenol can also be effective in reducing joint pain. However, these medications may not be appropriate for everyone and Create a bouquet to honor someone special Samaritan Evergreen Hospice invites you to honor a loved one this Memorial Day by crafting a heartfelt, handmade bouquet at Samaritan Evergreen Hospice House in Albany on Thursday, May 23, from 2 to 6 p.m. Stop by, build your bouquet, and take it somewhere special for your loved one or home to share sweet memories for those who are always on your mind and forever in your heart. This event is free, and no registration is required. The hospice house is located at 4600 Evergreen Place SE in Albany, off Del Rio Street near the Mennonite Village. For more information, call 541-812-4662 Livinghealthy Community classes to keep you healthy Celebrate cancer survivors and loved ones Join the Samaritan Cancer Program for National Cancer Survivors Day, June 2, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will be held at The LaSells Stewart Center on the campus of Oregon State University – event and parking are free. For details and registration, 541-768-2171 or Discover weight management options Join us for a free seminar and learn about weight loss surgery, the steps involved, program bene its, insurance coverage and more. June 25, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center. Registration: or 541-768-4280 Nutrition series offered to cancer survivors Join “That’s My Farmer,” a nutrition series for cancer survivors that offers tips about healthy shopping, eating locally and the impact of fresh, wholesome food. The Corvallis-based series runs on Tuesdays from June 11 to July 9, 5:30 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 to 10 a.m., Samaritan Albany General Hospital, Reimer Conference Room. Registration: 541-768-2171 or 541-812-5888 Find support while grieving If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, Samaritan Evergreen Hospice offers free grief support groups in Albany and Lebanon for adults. Each group meets twice a month. Information and meeting schedules: 541-812-4680 What to expect with joint replacement Are you no longer able to enjoy the activities you love due to joint pain? Join the total joint replacement team at Samaritan Mid-Valley Orthopedics and learn about hip and knee joint health as well as options for relieving joint pain, joint replacement and how to get back to active. June 19, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Samaritan Albany General Hospital, Reimer Conference Room. Registration: or call 855-873-0647 Genetics and cancer: Are you at risk? Do you ever wonder about the relationship between genetics and cancer? Vicky Lee, MD, will discuss how genetics can play a role in the likelihood of developing different cancers. June 11, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, conference rooms A and B. Registration: BeHealthy or call 855-873-0647 Visit for a complete list of classes and support groups in your community.

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