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What if there was a safe way to reduce joint main without the dangerous side effects of opioid? A report from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows there is little evidence for and serious risk associated with long-term use of opioid for treating arthritis. instead experts recommend low-impact physical activity such as walking, biking or swimming to help alleviate joint pain.

Nationally, 27% of adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis report sever joint pain, a conditional that can limit a person's ability to perform basic tasks. Severe join pain was higher among those with diabetes, obesity, heart disease, fair or poor health, and serious psychological distress.

Given the burden of severe joint pain, at that roughly one in five Utahns reported they had arthritis, Check Your Health recommends two hours and thirty minutes of moderate physical activity each week to help reduce pain, fatigue and stiffness. Medications can help, but there may be a dangerous side affect from taking opioid long-term, including the risk of dependency, addiction, or even death.

For those concerned about safely increasing physical activity without worsening their join pain, community-based programs, such as EnhanceFitness, are available. EnhanceFitness is an hour long program offered at senior centers. The program is taught by certified instructors and provide a fun, relaxed and safe way to get a great workout.

In addition to exercise therapies, the CDC also recommends the use of cognitive behavioral therapy, certain interventional procedures, acetaminophen, and nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs for the treatment of arthritis and severe joint pain.

A list of classes designed to lesson joint pain and help manage arthritis can be found a livingwell.utah.gov or by calling the Health Resource Line at 888-222-2542.

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