Arthritis is a common problem among older adults that can severely affect people’s quality of life. Many people coping with the pain and discomfort of Arthritis find it to be overwhelming. However, there are ways to effectively manage chronic arthritis pain.
Becoming active and engaging in a regular exercise program is important for maintaining healthy joints. Synovial fluid is released to the joints through movement thereby cushioning them throughout motion. Managing pain will be an important aspect of working through Arthritic episodes.
The Aging in Place Experts at Care & Company Senior Care Victoria recommend the following strategies to assist in reducing Arthritis pain:
- Healthy Living. Weight is something to consider when looking at Arthritis management as extra weight puts more stress on your knees and other joints. Every pound of extra weight adds about 4lbs of pressure on the knees, so a person who is 20lbs overweight has 80lbs of pressure on their knees. Joint replacements such as hip or knee can be caused by a combination of arthritis and weight gain.
- Eating a balanced diet. Although there are no diets or dietary supplements that will cure your arthritis, some people do find that their symptoms improve as a result of changing what they eat. Healthy diets include: rich whole grains, fruit, and vegetables. Foods low in saturated fat, and eating Omega 3 fatty acid rich food such as salmon, avocados, nuts.
- Keep moving. Avoid holding one position for too long. Endorphins are stimulated through pain receptors to assist the body in handling pain. Exercise increases and releases endorphins, helping you to feel better during and after exercise. Strengthening the muscle structures around the joints will also help support joint health aiding in pain relief and quality of movement. Stretching exercises help keep joints mobile and prevents stiffness.
- Maintaining a sense of humor. Focus on positive thoughts. Surround yourself with positive people, and engage in hobbies.
- Ask for help.Maintaining independence is essential to self-esteem, but independence at the cost of your health and happiness may be detrimental to your quality of life. Achieve a balance by educating family members and friends about the disease and the limitations it imposes and enlisting their support. Ask for help with specific tasks.
Various types of support services are available to ensure the needs of the senior are met. Home Support Workers, Registered Care Aides, Certified Medical Exercise Specialists and a variety of Nursing staff will help you live at home and provide you with the care that you require.
Written by Johanna Booy, of Care & Company Ltd., SeniorCareVictoria.ca.