The Kentucky Arthritis Program (KAP) is a component of the Chronic Disease and Prevention Branch under the Department for Public Health for statewide arthritis initiatives. The purpose of the KAP mirrors the CDC’s mission for arthritis as it relates to chronic disease.
Arthritis is a serious medical concern in Kentucky. More than 1.2 million Kentuckians have been identified as having doctor-diagnosed arthritis or chronic joint symptoms (possible arthritis). Many of these people cannot access the necessary care of an arthritis specialist, i.e., a rheumatologist, because of various barriers to care. See Arthritis Prevalence in Kentucky for additional information.
Kentucky’s Arthritis Program was developed to better determine the extent of the disease in Kentucky, to educate the public and health professionals about the burden of arthritis in the commonwealth, and to help manage the condition through early diagnosis, medical management and self-care. Since the early 1970s, medical research has emphasized that people with chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, asthma, and cardiovascular disease need to become empowered partners with their physicians in managing their own medical conditions. Leaders in the field of chronic disease management have developed seminars and courses that assist people in taking a more active role in self-care. Arthritis is the first medical condition where a self-management course was implemented.
In addition to ongoing strategies to educate the general public about arthritis, the program promotes evidence-based arthritis self-management courses and arthritis friendly exercise programs across the state through local health departments, Department of Aging and Independent Living and statewide partnerships. Heightening the awareness of the medical community and the community-at-large about the availability and importance of self-management interventions for people with arthritis is essential to the growth and viability of this program.
Learn more about the Centers for Disease Control’s Arthritis Program by visiting the CDC Arthritis Home Page.
||What is Arthritis?
The word arthritis generally means joint inflammation, but it is also a term used to describe more than 100 diseases and conditions affecting joints and surrounding tissues. These diseases may also be referred to as “rheumatic conditions." Some common forms of arthritis include: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), gout, bursitis, fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Rheumatic conditions are characterized by inflammation or degeneration of the connective tissue structures of the body, especially the joints and related structures including muscles, bursae, tendons, and fibrous tissue. People with arthritis experience pain, stiffness, and limitation of motion in the affected joints.
Most forms of arthritis are chronic, meaning they are long lasting and have no cure. However, early diagnosis and proper treatment programs can maximize the quality of life for most persons with arthritis.