Arthritis pain is common in elderly people and tends to afflict women more than men. Arthritis occurs when cartilage around bone ends wears away, causing bones to rub together. While there are more than 100 types of arthritis, they all involve inflammation or stiffness of the joints.
Osteoarthritis, gout and rheumatoid arthritis are some of the most well-known types of this chronic disease. Symptoms include pain or swelling around joints, stiffness in the morning, and difficulty moving freely. Severe arthritis can sometimes greatly affect mobility – and one’s ability to climb stairs or get dressed, for instance.
Mild or moderate arthritis pain can often be relieved by various exercises, controlling your diet and staying positive. In more severe cases joint replacement may be the best option.
Regular, supervised exercise
A program of regular physical exercise, especially if supervised to avoid injury, can be highly beneficial. Such a program would carefully balance activity with rest, and aim to strengthen muscles around aching joints. It’s important to avoid excessive repetitive movements which could aggravate arthritis pain. If exercises are performed in a friendly and welcoming place with others and are fun, that will be a plus.
Exercise machines can also help, but it’s important to get the right advice on their safe and correct use.
All arthritis pain relief activities should aim to boost your immune system and overall health. A balanced and nutritious diet is a very important element.
“Anti-inflammatory” foods such as olive oil may be beneficial, while foods containing fatty acids can aggravate joint pain. The best diet to relieve arthritis pain will depend on the type of arthritis you have. Good medical advice is essential.
Manage your weight
If you are overweight, losing a few pounds can help relieve pressure on joints and alleviate arthritis pain. This is especially true of load-bearing joints such as those in the hip or knee.
Weight loss can also have psychological benefits for obese people, reduce the risk of diabetes, and help treat arthritis. Overweight people with arthritis who lose weight generally have better mobility and less pain, research shows.
Massage and other therapies/treatments
Physical therapists with experience of treating arthritis sufferers can also help relieve arthritis pain. Massaging the muscles around joints can help, as can the use of hot and cold compresses.
TENS treatment involves physical therapists using electrodes to deliver electromagnetic pulses to an affected joint. This treatment can also be beneficial in some cases.
Some doctors may recommend the use of pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medicines. The aim is always to reduce pain and improve function, without causing further damage to the joints.
Taking a bath with Epsom salts may be another appropriate way of relieving joint inflammation and pain.
Specialists such as rheumatologists can manage treatment for inflammatory arthritis, gout or other complications.
Smoking is bad for your health generally and can trigger rheumatoid arthritis in some people, so should be avoided.
It’s important to stay positive and engaged and work with others to maintain your mobility, independence and good spirits.
Recreation activities and social interaction can help enormously. Elderly people with arthritis pain can ease the burden of the disease by sharing their feelings with others. For those without close family members, or not able to live at home, a friendly care home may be a wise option. Attending social activities such as communal meals, concerts or singalongs can help dispel negative thinking and reduce stress.
Check out the professionals to manage arthritis pain
Haym Salomon Home for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Brooklyn, New York, has experience alleviating arthritis pain. It’s professional team of dietitians and physical therapists can guide you, and you can benefit from its imaginative recreation activities.
Please check our website for further information on our arthritis pain relief services and how to contact us.