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Programs in Montana Available to Help With Arthritis, Improve Physical Abilities


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Department of Public Health and Human Services officials say that more than one in four adult Montanans report having arthritis. DPHHS Montana Arthritis Program Director Heather Beck said there are a whole bunch of programs going on throughout the state to help people with arthritis. Beck said DPHHS is working with three programs in particular: the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program, the Walk with Ease Program and Stanford University’s Chronic Disease Self-Management Program.

“The Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program is a community based recreational program which was developed by the Arthritis Foundation,” Beck said. “The program’s demonstrated benefits include improved functional ability, decreased depression, and increased confidence in one’s ability to exercise. These classes usually last between eight and 12 weeks and are offered two to three times per week.”

Beck added that anyone can participate in these programs that occur at as many as 35 sites across the state.

“We have some at physical therapy departments, senior centers churches,” Beck said. “I mean, you name it and we probably have a class there.”

Depending on the site, Beck said the program may or may not charge a fee.

For more information about the programs visit the DPHHS website.

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