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The Best Exercises for Arthritis Patients | LifeBrite Hospital of Stokes

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Hand and finger exercises to relieve arthritis pain

More than 54 million Americans have arthritis. Arthritis can affect the joints in different areas of the body, causing pain, inflammation, and stiffness. If you suffer from any of these ailments, you might be excited to learn that exercise for arthritis could help to reduce arthritis pain. 

Relieve arthritis pain with exercise

Yoga, pilates, stretching, swimming, and other low impact workouts are all great exercises for arthritis. Exercise helps to reduce pain and limit stiffness and is especially crucial during an arthritis flare-up. Exercising the joints and increasing the muscle strength around the joints is beneficial to relieve arthritis pain naturally, to gain better mobility in the joints, and to reduce stiffness.

A popular form of exercise for arthritis pain is gardening. While many people might consider gardening a hobby more than a workout, the working of the dirt with hands is an excellent exercise for arthritis and one that sees beautiful results for the laborer. 

The best exercise for arthritis is walking

Walking is a low-impact exercise that can help the overall health and mobility of arthritic joints. Walking on a regular basis can loosen stiff joints, leading to less pain and improving the overall quality of life in patients with arthritis. Patients should set a goal for a minimum of 150 minutes of walking each week. 

Hand exercises for arthritis 

Many people experience arthritis pain in their hands. Specific wrist and finger exercises may be beneficial to help combat the pain and stiffness from hand arthritis. 

Wrist exercises

To exercise your wrists, bend them back and forth a few minutes each day. You can also push against a hard surface, such as a wall, flexing your wrists at the same time.

Finger exercises

Our fingers are especially susceptible to stiffness caused by arthritis, and daily activities that use the fingers can help loosen these joints. Splay your fingers across a table and bend up at the joint that connects the fingers to the hand. Do this on each side three to five times a day. Another excellent finger exercise for arthritis is to make your hands into claws, curling them towards your palm and straightening them back out. Repeat up to three times a day to help keep your fingers from becoming stiff.

Overall hand exercises 

We’ve all heard of using a stress ball as a stress reliever, but did you know that it makes a great full-hand exercise for arthritis pain and stiffness too? Squeeze it in each hand ten times each day.

LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes offers therapy to arthritis patients 

LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes offers inpatient and outpatient Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy, a beneficial option for those with arthritis. Therapy works to strengthen weakened joints and to reduce pain and inflammation. Our trained therapists work one-on-one to provide treatment and education to our patients, ensuring safety and consistency for optimal care.

The best defense against arthritis pain and stiffness is regular exercise. Find an exercise that you enjoy, such as walking or gardening, and try to spend some time engaging in that activity each day. Or, if you would like to try therapy for arthritis pain-relief, talk to your doctor today. 

Atlanta-based LifeBrite, led by CEO Christian Fletcher, operates LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early, LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes, and Lifebrite Laboratories. Learn more about what LifeBrite Laboratories is doing to make healthcare better. 

Woman making a heart with her hands for American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month: have you been screened for heart disease?

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Each January, millions of Americans ring in the New Year with a list of resolutions to focus on for better health. Whether we resolve to get better sleep, exercise more or simply eat better, resolutions have an 80% failure rate.

Although resolutions can be pushed aside, February offers everyone an opportunity to stay engaged in healthy activities. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Since 1964, February has been designated as American Heart Month as a reminder to focus on heart health.

Leading causes of heart disease

The CDC lists high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking as key risk factors for heart disease. The federal agency also lists other contributing factors such as lack of exercise, obesity, and diabetes. In fact, heart disease kills more people with diabetes than any other condition.

The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests seven ways to stay ahead of heart disease. Life’s Simple 7, as the guidelines are known, lists basics such as exercise, maintaining a proper weight, and a good diet as key components to heart health. The AHA also advises everyone to avoid tobacco use and to learn about high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes.

Heart health takes effort but the best way to stay focused on a healthy lifestyle begins with scheduling your regular checkup. Your primary care doctors can screen for early warning signs of disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes symptoms.

Don’t be a statistic. See your doctor, and fulfill your New Year’s resolutions

In the United States, cardiovascular disease kills one person every 37 seconds. A simple health screening can be the critical first step toward a longer, healthier life. 

If you made a resolution to be healthier this year, focusing on heart health and getting a checkup with your physician is a lifestyle change that could keep you from becoming just another statistic.

With six locations in Stokes County, LifeBrite offers healthcare services to meet a variety of needs within our community. LifeBrite currently operates three primary care facilities for family health including family medical clinics in Danbury and Pine Hall and LifeBrite Pediatric Clinic of Danbury.

distressed woman

Make every day a mental health day: LifeBrite CEO stresses the importance of mental health care

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Each year, calendars are filled with awareness campaigns for things like cancer, heart disease, and many other illnesses. Still, for patients struggling with addictions or mental illnesses such as depression, every day is an awareness day.

LifeBrite CEO Christian Fletcher recently commented on the need to treat mental and behavioral health like any other medical issue. In an interview with ThriveGlobal, he noted the stigma associated with mental health treatment in the United States and expressed hope that “the general public will also begin to understand that mental illness is no more a matter of choice than poor vision, Type 1 diabetes, or a broken bone.”

Taking steps forward in recognition of mental and behavioral health needs

In 2008, President Bush signed the Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act of 2008, which mandated that insurance companies must treat mental health equally with other illnesses when providing for treatment. While the bill was a significant step forward in recognition of mental and behavioral health needs, access to treatment—especially in rural areas—has often been difficult.

LifeBrite recognizes the need to serve smaller communities and rural areas. It is our main focus as a healthcare provider.

Stokes county was recently listed as a high-risk area for opioid addiction. Of the 412 counties listed as high-risk nationally, 41 were located in North Carolina.

“I think there is a lot more the system and healthcare providers can do to meaningfully address the U.S. opioid epidemic,” said Fletcher in the interview with ThriveGlobal. “More than 16,000 Americans die each year of unintentional opioid overdoses, and with access to genetic testing and precision medicine, providers can now better understand how patients both react to these drugs as well as monitor patient use.”

Precision medicine, like the specialized testing done by LifeBrite Labs, is one way Fletcher sees the company making an impact in opioid treatment. Recognizing biological traits can help doctors prescribe better alternative medications for high-risk patients. Doctors at LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes have participated in research panel discussions on the epidemic and continue to promote mental health awareness throughout the year.

Making mental health care more accessible

Depression is another issue at the cross-section of mental health and general health treatment. In the United States, suicide is the second leading cause of death in college-age adults and one of the leading causes of death in every age demographic. Yet, access to care is still limited due to a lack of professionals in the field. Access to care can be near impossible to find in many rural areas of the country. Unfortunately, suicide rates in rural areas outpace other parts of the country.

Mental health professionals advise people having suicidal thoughts to call for emergency help or go to the closest emergency room where doctors can help locate proper treatment. LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes is a full-service healthcare facility equipped with emergency care services. The hospital is also a Critical Access Hospital (CAH), which works as part of a statewide network allowing the people of Stokes county access to a wide range of specialists.

In March, there are days set aside for alcohol and drug awareness, and May is Mental Health Awareness Month. There are days in September for suicide awareness, but LifeBrite encourages you to make every day a mental health day.


Atlanta-based LifeBrite, led by CEO Christian Fletcher, operates LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early and LifeBrite Laboratories. To learn more about LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes, visit our homepage.

Sick young woman struggling with a cold.

How to tell if it’s a cold or flu—but get help either way

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Suddenly, you’re tired. Dog tired. Your throat is getting scratchy, and you feel the sniffles coming on. For sure, the cold and flu season is upon us right now. And it’s important to your health, and the health of everyone around you, to recognize the symptoms early. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell the difference between the two because many of the symptoms are similar.

During this flu season, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates there have already been as many as 30,000 flu deaths in the United States alone. It’s easy to recognize cold and flu symptoms and important not to ignore them.

So how can I tell if I’ve got a cold or a nasty case of the flu?

One of the most noticeable differences between the cold and the flu is fever. The flu is almost always accompanied by a fever but a cold rarely shares this symptom. Similarly, flu is more likely to give you chills and a headache than a cold. However, a cold is more likely to present symptoms such as a sore throat or runny nose.

Although these symptoms can be distinguishing, they are not absolute indicators of either virus. Both the common cold and the flu are respiratory virus infections and they can share many of the same symptoms even when they are less common. Contrary to popular beliefs, cold weather does not actually cause either illness. However, it can make it easier to contract either of them because people stay indoors more when it is cold where they can come in close contact with other people and their germs.

How to treat colds and flu, and how to prevent them in the first place

The CDC recommends an annual flu shot for everyone over the age of six months—especially people with compromised immune systems. However, it’s important to consult with your primary physician to determine the best vaccine for you or your family or if you are not eligible for the vaccine.

For patients experiencing symptoms, a nasal swab is a fast, painless way to determine whether you have a cold or flu. The test takes a few minutes and your doctor can quickly prescribe the proper treatment for your condition.

Whether you are needing a seasonal flu shot or a checkup to address symptoms you are experiencing, it is important to seek treatment when you first start feeling sick. LifeBrite operates three preventive care clinics in Stokes County to meet the healthcare needs of your family. LifeBrite operates family practices in Danbury and Pine Hall and a pediatric clinic in Danbury, so come in and see us if the sniffles start for you or your family!


Atlanta-based LifeBrite, led by CEO Christian Fletcher, operates LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early and LifeBrite Laboratories. To learn more about LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes, visit our homepage.