Seniors and people of all ages are afflicted with arthritis. In fact, more than 50 million Americans have some form of arthritis. For many it can even lead to disability. Although there are over a hundred types of arthritis, the two most common that you have likely heard of are rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Other more common types of arthritis include metabolic arthritis, infectious arthritis, degenerative arthritis, and inflammatory arthritis.
Symptoms of arthritis include joint pain, swelling, joint stiffness, reduced range of motion, and redness or warmth in a joint. Arthritis symptoms can range from very mild to very severe and can become worse over time. For some people, the systems are always present, and for others, symptoms may come and go.
Arthritis pain management is a big part of daily life for seniors living with arthritis. Without taking action to handle your arthritis pain you may find it increasingly difficult to perform normal everyday tasks. Arthritis can be debilitating and limiting for many seniors. In fact, arthritis impacts the lives of half of all seniors. But you should know that your arthritis pain can be reduced and managed. That is why these tips for managing arthritis pain are so important.
Depending on which type of arthritis you are afflicted with, the method of treatment you pursue will be varied. However, there are some universal treatments that will help seniors suffering from any type of arthritis. For example, resting, exercising, and eating healthy foods are especially important for anyone suffering from arthritis.
Paying particular attention to the footwear you choose and whether or not you walk with a cane are also important parts of living with arthritis. The right shoes and a cane when advised by your doctor can make a great deal of difference in terms of your everyday comfort. Later, we will talk more about gadgets, or arthritis tools, available to make everyday functions easier for you.
4 Tips for Managing Arthritis Pain
Talk to Your Doctor
Whether or not you have experienced symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of arthritis, talking to your doctor about arthritis is important. You may take preventative measures such as starting a regular exercise routine, taking supplements, and changing your diet to a more healthy and well-balanced one. All of these preventative measures will go a long way to ensure your overall health as a senior.
If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of diabetes such as joint pain and stiffness, you will want to talk to your doctor right away to make a plan for arthritis pain management. The plan you make with your doctor may or may not include medications, but will, without a doubt, include the following tips for managing arthritis pain.
Exercise is a proven way to decrease arthritis pain. It may be difficult to start a new exercise routine if you are already living with arthritis pain. Start off slow and ask your doctor for advice on the frequency and intensity of exercise. Planning an arthritis exercise routine that is sustainable is more important than going full tilt right away. Pace yourself and find exercises that you actually enjoy doing. It won’t take long for you to notice the benefits of movement when it comes to your overall health and lowering the pain your arthritis causes you.
Some of the best exercises for arthritis pain management are low impact exercises such as walking and swimming. Moving your body is beneficial to your joints and will prevent them from further stiffening which leads to more pain down the road. If exercises like walking and swimming are not accessible to you, begin with gentle stretches and moving around the house.
Getting up out of your seat, even if you are in pain, is an important step. Be sure to get up once every hour, even if just to move from one room to another and back or to use the restroom. Setting a timer can be a helpful reminder. Prolonged stillness can really increase your arthritis symptoms
Rest and Sleep
Just as exercise is important, so is rest. When you are experiencing increased pain and are unable to take on everyday household chores, getting some rest may be necessary and beneficial. If you are able to, ask a friend or family member for help with chores and errands.
Proper rest also means getting a good night of sleep. Improving your sleep habits can go a long way in decreasing your arthritis pain. Some simple tips include: reducing caffeine intake, reducing screen time in the evening, keeping a dark and cool bedroom, and enjoying a relaxing routine before bedtime such as using a heating pad, taking a bath, or meditating.
Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables can help reduce some of the inflammation that comes along with arthritis. Foods that are high in Omega 3s can also be extremely beneficial. Most importantly, eating a healthy diet can help you maintain the weight that is best for your body type. Your doctor can help you determine what a “healthy” weight is for you. In doing so you can help reduce the amount of pressure that your joints need to absorb as you move your body.
If you have questions or concerns about arthritis pain management, do not hesitate to contact the experts at Cano Health. We are on your team!