Montana Arthritis Program
The Montana Arthritis, in collaboration with the Arthritis Foundation, is working to improve the quality of life for people affected by arthritis by increasing awareness about appropriate arthritis self-management activities and expanding the reach of exercise programs proven to improve the quality of life for people with arthritis.
These programs include the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program (AFEP), which is a community-based recreational exercise program developed by the Arthritis Foundation. Trained AFEP instructors cover a variety of rang-of-motion and endurance building activities, relaxation techniques, and health education topics. All of the exercises can be modified to meet participant needs. The program’s demonstrated benefits include improved functional ability, decreased depression, and increased confidence in one’s ability to exercise. Classes typically meet two or three times per week for 8-12 weeks ;
The Walk With Ease Program (WWE) is a community-based, group walking program, offered by the Arthritis Foundation. The WWE program was developed by the Arthritis Foundation to help individuals who may either be self or medically diagnosed with arthritis start to maintain a safe walking routine. Participants meet three times a week at local sites under the direct supervision of a walking leader trained according to the guidelines of the Arthritis Foundation. Each meeting begins with a pre-walk discussion covering a specified topic related to exercise and arthritis, followed by a 10-to-40 minute walk that includes a warm-up and a cool down ;
Montana Living Life Well (Stanford’s Chronic Disease Self-Management Program), which is an effective self-management education program for people with chronic health problems. These workshops empower participants to take an active role in managing their health. Workshops meet once a week for six weeks; each sessions lasts 2 ½ hours. During the sessions, participants learn skills needed in the day-to-day management of long-term health conditions such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes, heart and lung disease. This in turn allows them to maintain and/or improve their ability to carry out activities of daily living. Workshops are facilitated by two trained leaders.
The Montana Arthritis Program is based out of the Department of Public Health and Human Services in Helena but has many sites with classes going on throughout the state.