Ways to Manage Arthritis at HomeJuly 22, 2022
Arthritis, the inflammation of joints, is one of the most prevalent conditions among seniors—and there are statistics to prove it. According to a CDC study (2013-2015), nearly 50% of adults aged 65 years and older reported physician-diagnosed arthritis.
While arthritis is a chronic condition that can never be cured, it can be treated to lessen discomfort and pain. Doctors may recommend certain medications or therapies, but you can take your situation into your own hands. There are ways to manage arthritis at home that are shown to improve overall discomfort from arthritis symptoms and increase your quality of life.
When you have arthritis, your first instinct may be to keep idle. It’s when you rise from your seat to start walking that you realize the pain in your knee. That is precisely what not to do. If you live too sedentary a life, your body will stiffen and be tight whenever you attempt to rise, which causes you even more pain.
Don’t stay seated in the same position for too long. Try to get up every hour and walk around for a few minutes. It may not seem like much, but this little movement will help strengthen the muscles around your painful joints.
Try low-impact exercise
If moving once an hour will positively impact your joints, low-impact exercise will make a world of difference. Your doctor or physical therapist can help you develop an exercise program that fits your needs, but a few suggestions include yoga, walking, water exercises, and cycling. This form of exercise will help protect your joints, improve your range of motion, and lose excess weight if necessary.
Do not partake in high-impact exercises, such as running, jumping, or something with repetitive motions like tennis.
…But don’t overdo it
As you’re keeping physically active, listen to your body. If you are starting to feel discomfort or strain, stop and rest. You should never “push past the pain,” as this could lead to intense soreness or even injury. You may have to take a day off your exercise if you push too far, which is acceptable.
This applies to more mundane activities, such as deep-cleaning. Cleaning is surprisingly physical, as it involves regular bending, kneeling, and lifting potentially heavy things. Don’t overdo it—take breaks as needed.
Try cold and heat packs
Depending on what you’re feeling, cold and heat packs can be used to treat whatever you are struggling with. Heat relaxes muscles, and cold reduces swelling. Make sure you place a cloth or towel between the cold pack and your skin. Once the pack is no longer cold, put it away. Heat pads should only be used for about twenty minutes at a time.
Turmeric is a spice commonly found in Indian dishes. It contains curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant and natural anti-inflammatory. Recent studies have found that it may help with arthritis pain and inflammation. If you enjoy the flavor of turmeric, add it to your dinners. If you don’t enjoy the flavor, applying oils to the portions of your body that cause you trouble may help.
Maintain a healthy diet
Consuming the proper amount of fruit, vegetables, and whole foods will boost your immune system and health as a whole. Diets with too much red meat, processed foods, and added sugar and salt can aggravate inflammation. Diets with ample fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, result in higher consumption of antioxidants. This can help reduce inflammation.
As briefly mentioned above, losing weight can reduce stress on your joints. If you have excess weight to lose, a healthy diet will help.
Get at-home help
Even with these ways to manage arthritis at home, if you struggle with the condition, some personal care tasks might be more difficult than they once were. An in-home caregiver can help. Home Care Powered by AUAF offers professional, compassionate in-home care workers who can assist with daily living activities, such as:
- Personal care
- Meal Preparation
- Light Housekeeping
- And more.
Our in-home caregivers serve as the bridge between the assistance you require and your independence. To many seniors, this is value beyond describing. If you’ve been considering in-home care, call us at 773-274-9262 to learn more about how we can help you live comfortably.
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