NEW LEXINGTON — Arthritis is something that the elderly, as well as some youth, go through on a daily basis making it difficult to complete simple tasks. The Perry County Senior Center is hosting a Walk with Ease program targeted for people who suffer from any form of arthritis.

There were five locals who attended the Walk with Ease class on Monday, at the Senior Center located on First Street in New Lexington. The six week course gives those who suffer from the condition a chance to learn techniques and remedies to help lessen the pain. The program is funded through the Arthritis Foundation and is geared towards anyone who suffers from arthritis.

The program started at 1 p.m. and concluded at 2 p.m. with this week being the second week of the program. The whole six week course hosts 18 classes giving insight on how to deal with arthritis.

“There are a set of exercises and stretches that we do to increase the range of motion (and) flexibility,” program instructor Jason Hina told The Perry County Tribune.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis is not classified as a disease. With over 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions, over 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. The condition is most common among women and it can occur more frequently as an individual gets older.

Symptoms for arthritis hinders a person’s ability to perform daily tasks. Those symptoms can include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go, varying from mild to severe pain. Severe chronic pain can create inability to do daily activities such as walking or climbing stairs. The condition can also cause permanent joint changes which can come in the form of knobby finger joints. According to the Arthritis Foundation, some variations of the condition can affect the heart, lungs, eyes, kidneys and skin accompanied by joints in the body.

“It can be stiffness first thing in the morning,” Hina explained. “It can be fatigue throughout the day.”

The program under the Arthritis Foundation has been effective in educating those who suffer from the joint condition. Research from the Arthritis Research Center and the Institute on Aging of the University of North Carolina has reported the the Walk With Ease program has helped reduce pain and discomfort. It has also helped with the increase of balance, strength and walking pace, building confidence and improvement in overall health for individuals.

“It can hit anybody at any age,” Hina stated.

The program features self-guided books giving people the material they need to learn about the condition. In the Walk With Ease notebook, individuals record their therapeutic stretches and activities. The book also lets those in the class sign a self contract keeping them motivated throughout the length of the six week course.

Hina has been teaching locals in Perry and Morgan County. He commented that he has been targeting those areas because affordable healthcare is scarce for some in those counties. He added that the program provides an alternative way for treating arthritis symptoms as he takes pride in seeing how much people progress through the national program.

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