Health Plus: Arthritis - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Arthritis

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One out of every five adults in the U.S. has arthritis.

Hundreds of thousands of children also are impacted by the disease.

In Health Plus, an eastern Iowa woman who keeps moving to keep arthritis from slowing her down.

With seven children, 20 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren, Shirley McGarvey needs her energy.

But arthritis tried to slow the 74-year-old down.

"And my fingers just gradually started getting worse and I got it in my feet and over my body and over the last few years I've been getting it in my shoulders and my neck," she said.

Her doctor at Covenant Clinic in La Porte City sees a lot of patients with the condition

"There's no cure for arthritis. It's more managing the disease. There are many treatments available," says Dr. Troy Renaud.

In Shirley's case, osteo-arthritis has broken down the cartilage causing her bones to rub together.

Stiffness, pain and decreased movement result.

She takes medication and goes to physical therapy to control it.

"The key is to catch it early, to avoid activities that are hard on the joints and then to try to keep the inflammation under control," says her doctor.

Shirley and her husband have been farming near Buckingham for 55 years.

So she has chores to do.

"My husband says I don't have to peel potatoes or apples anymore because of my hands."

She also has card games to play!

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