Your Guide to Managing Arthritis at Home: Senior’s Edition
August 5, 2020
If you have arthritis, you know how painful and debilitating it can be to get around and to carry out your daily tasks. You likely suffer from pain, inflammation, redness and stiffness to one or more of the joints in your body.
Chances are, your flexibility and mobility has been affected significantly. The symptoms will vary depending on the type of arthritis you suffer from.
In this article, we’ll go over the different types of arthritis and review some tips on how seniors can best manage their arthritis at home.
Types of Arthritis
The most common types of arthritis are rheumatoid, osteoarthritis and psoriatic.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: This is a condition that occurs when your immune system attacks your body tissue. It’s a chronic disease which is accompanied by significant inflammation.
In addition to your joints, the disease can harm other parts of your body — such as your lungs, heart and blood vessels. The disorder can erode bone tissue and do significant damage to the joints.
Osteoarthritis: With this condition, the cartilage surrounding your bones wears down. It’s the most common form of the disease and usually impacts your knees, hands, hips and spine. It also causes pain, swelling, stiffness and trouble with mobility.
The symptoms of this disease can improve with positive lifestyle choices, such as proper eating and exercise.
Psoriatic Arthritis: This disease occurs when you have a condition called psoriasis, which causes red patches with scales on the skin. Arthritis can develop out of this disease, with accompanying pain, swelling and stiffness. This may occur anywhere in your body where you have joints.
Managing Your Arthritis
It’s important to keep in touch with your doctor and consider the medical advice you’re given. You may have a prescription for pain medication and in many cases, this can be an effective treatment. However, there are also lifestyle choices which can help you successfully treat your arthritis symptoms on your own. These methods can greatly improve your condition, as well as your quality of life.
Here are some of the best ways to manage your arthritis at home:
Do Light Exercise - Exercise can help to strengthen your joints, so it’s essential to do some kind of physical activity a few times a week. Try light exercise that won’t be taxing to your body or your joints.
Examples include yoga, Tai Chi, or a dance class. These practices will strengthen your joints without overtaxing you.
Heat and Cold - Both heat and cold are known to significantly reduce arthritis symptoms. Take either a hot cloth or heating pad or an ice pack and apply it to your skin for 15 minute intervals, 5-10 times a day.
Never apply ice directly to the skin. If you like, you can alternate between hot and cold. Another useful remedy is lying in a warm bath.
Wear Braces - There are custom-made braces for arthritis that are designed specifically for you and your body. You can get a brace for your knees, ankles, back, shoulders and wrists.
These are very helpful for your condition, as they take the pressure off the area, reduce swelling and improve your stability. A brace provides you with support and could also improve your confidence.
By using these techniques, you can significantly lessen your arthritis symptoms from the comfort of your home. Remember that you must discuss your plan with your doctor and follow the advice you’re given. With these methods and good medical care, you’ll be well on your way to improving your mobility and your quality of life.
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