Arthritis interferes with daily life
1 in 5 adults in the U.S. have been diagnosed with arthritis by a doctor. Those numbers are huge! With those odds, it’s likely your older adult is living with arthritis pain.
Some people dismiss arthritis as occasional aches or stiffness, but chronic arthritis pain can be so severe that seniors are forced to make unwanted lifestyle changes.
For example, serious arthritis pain prevents good sleep, makes it difficult to get up and walk to the bathroom, and forces older adults to avoid many everyday tasks and activities.
What causes arthritis pain?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. It’s a joint disease where the joint cartilage is breaking down over time.
This causes swelling and inflammation which leads to pain and stiffness. Being overweight, having previous joint injuries, and being older are all risk factors for arthritis.
Managing arthritis pain improves health and quality of life
For persistent, ongoing pain, ignoring it will only make things worse. Arthritis is a degenerative disease, which means it’s not going to get better on its own.
Untreated arthritis can lead to bigger health problems like obesity, diabetes, or heart disease because of forced inactivity. Plus, being in chronic pain decreases quality of life. Imagine how you’d feel if you constantly ached all over and couldn’t move without pain!
Managing the pain and inflammation helps older adults become more active, reduce arthritis severity, and improve overall health.
How to know if arthritis pain is out of control
Some older adults don’t want to admit they have chronic pain or that they need help.
Observe their behavior to find clues that arthritis pain is causing problems. If you notice changes in your senior’s daily routine, investigate to see if arthritis pain could be the reason.
How to manage arthritis pain
Combining treatments to manage pain or reduce inflammation with lifestyle changes like exercise is a good way to keep arthritis pain under control.
Talk with your older adult’s doctor to see if their current medication is an effective way to relieve arthritis pain and get recommendations on helpful exercises.
By DailyCaring Editorial Team