Arthritis is a general term that encompasses more than one hundred diseases and related conditions. You may be surprised to learn that one in six Canadians over 15 are living with some kind of arthritis.
Arthritis can strike anyone at any age, physical condition or ethnic background. It may be mild or severe. The symptoms include joint pain, stiffness, swelling and redness in the afflicted area. Symptoms are usually felt in the morning or after any period of rest. Joints may also get swollen after extended activity. Generally symptoms don’t appear suddenly but build gradually over time. You may also experience a cracking sound in affected joints and a limited range of motion. Currently there is no cure for arthritis but it can be managed with treatment.
Osteoarthritis is, by far, the most common type of arthritis. It can affect any joint but it most often occurs in the knees, hips, lower back, neck, fingers and in the base of the thumbs and big toes.
A mistake many people make is not seeking treatment. Like any condition the sooner you seek treatment the better. Osteoarthritis can impair work, social life and family life if steps are not taken to prevent further joint damage, manage pain and increase range of motion.
Your primary health care provider will identify the particular type of arthritis you have. You may be prescribed medication. If you are overweight you will likely be asked to lose a few pounds to lessen the strain on your joints. Eating healthy and getting adequate exercise are likely to be recommended as part of your treatment plan as they will serve to reduce inflammation.
As a member of your health care team Heart Pharmacy can assist you to manage your arthritis by:
checking to see that your medication suits your diagnosis
checking to see that the dose and length of time you should take the medication is correct
checking to see that this medication will not cause problems with other medications you are taking
checking to see that your medications have been correctly prepared for you
providing information about how this medication is expected to help
providing information about over-the-counter medications that may be useful to you in managing any side effects from prescribed medication
providing information on alternative prescription and non-prescription therapies
We’d be happy to provide you with easy-open prescription bottles or special medication packaging, called blister packing, to assist you if you are taking several medications. Additionally, we can provide you with information on education seminars and support groups on living with and managing your arthritis.
Come in and talk to one of our knowledgeable pharmacists at any one of our five locations. Arthritis is a very common condition and you don’t need to suffer quietly. We are ready to help you improve your quality of life.