Living with Arthritis for Seniors

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Living with Arthritis for Seniors

There are two kinds of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis with osteoarthritis being the most common. There are treatments for arthritis; you can learn to protect your joints, help to reduce discomfort from it, plus improve your mobility. Learning how to conserve your energy and how to do day to day tasks is important also to help you adapt to the disruptions it can bring to your way of life.

What is osteoarthrosis and what you can do to live with it

Osteoarthritis is the most common kind of arthritis and causes the cartilage in the caps of the bones in your joints to wear away. It can also cause stiffness in those joints and swelling. The joint which is involved becomes deformed over time too, and this limits its range of motion. It addition, you can suffer from chronic pain with osteoarthritis. All of these, or even some of these symptoms, can cause disruptions in your daily life. But what can you do about it?

Some suggestions are listed below which might help with your day to day living with arthritis:

  • You have to keep moving: Don’t stay in one position for any length of time for too long. If you’re sitting, get up and walk around or stretch about every 15 minutes or so.
  • Try to avoid stress on joints: Try to stay away from situations which can put stress on your joints. So, opening a jar can be an issue, but you can buy kitchen tools to open jars designed for people who have this disease.
  • Use the strength that you have: When opening a door that you can push open, use the side of your arm or your shoulder to protect the joints in your hands and fingers if that is where the problem is. If you have arthritis in the knees or hips, use the stronger leg leading when going down and the weaker leg when you’re going up stairs.
  • Be sure to plan ahead: You need to keep your life as simple as possible. Take clothes out of the dryer right away to avoid having to iron; or buy wrinkle free clothing. Organize your kitchen and work areas to make things easier for you. Store anything that’s used often within easy reach.
  • Ask for help: Above all, ask for help when it’s needed. Independence is wonderful, but knowing when to ask for help is important too.

What is rheumatoid arthritis and how to live with it

Rheumatoid arthritis is when your immune system attacks the tissue in your joints. This causes painful inflammation and can also affect organs in your body. With chronic pain, it can be difficult to see past the day that you’re living. However, eating healthier and adjusting your lifestyle can be a big help. Also, talking to your doctor can help with medications.

Additionally, improving sleep, exercising and eating a high-fiber, low-fat diet can help.

The cold/heat treatment

Applying the cold/heat treatment can help with either type of arthritis pain. Ice will restrict the flow of blood through the vessels. This will cause fluid reduction in the tissues as well as decrease the swelling and pain. You can wrap ice in a towel and place it on what hurts for up to 20 minutes several times a day.

The heat treatment is used with a heating pad or a hot water bottle. The heat will open the blood vessels and help to increase circulation. This allows nutrients and proteins to repair the tissue which has been compromised.  Done together throughout the day will give you pain relief.

Living with arthritis isn’t easy, but if you take care of yourself, it can be done better.