An ailment often associated with older people but that affects all ages is arthritis.

It's the most common cause of disability in the U.S., doctor-diagnosed in more than 1 in 4 adults in South Carolina, and growing.

That's why state health officials are partnering with health care providers, community and faith-based groups, and others to ease the physical and financial burdens cause by the disease.

Cora Plass, Director of Healthy Aging at the state Department of Health and Environmental Control, says some forms of arthritis are highly preventable with proper nutrition, avoiding joint injury, and regular exercise that includes walking, swimming, riding bikes and even gardening.

“With arthritis it is challenging sometimes because when you hurt, you don't feel like exercising,” Plass points out.  

“So that pain can be a barrier and that's why we have these special programs that we know work to help people so they can gradually become more active and they're gentle exercises that are proven to help people who have a joint problem.”     

Plass says a key goal is to reduce obesity because it often limits exercise that can prevent arthritis.

She says self-management education is effective in dealing with arthritis and other chronic conditions.

For more information on various program available to prevent and battle arthritis in South Carolina, go to or call 1-866-899-3663.

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