As one ages, the chance for being affected by arthritis increases. According to an article in UW Medicine (an Orthopedics and Sports Medicine magazine), “Nearly 40 million Americans or one in every seven people have arthritis. It affects people of all ages but it most often comes on as a person gets older.”
Anyone can get arthritis. It’s just the older one is, the less resilience they have to it. What happens is, joints and surrounding tissues get impacted and the result is pain in fingers, hips, knees, toes and wrists. This can make many movements very difficult and painful. The two most common types of arthritis are: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
So how can arthritic sufferers reduce their pain? A lot of advice given on this subject is similar to tips given to seniors on how to maintain a good quality of life. It includes: making time for rest, engaging in regular exercise (make sure it is the right type for arthritis such as low impact aerobics, stretching and strength training), and eating a nutritious diet.
There are also some anti-inflammatory medications that can assist in pain and swelling but of course it is important – like with any drugs used to treat chronic issues – not to become too reliant on these. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are usually recommended. Before doing this though, talk to your doctor to see if your particular situation warrants the drug use. There are also dietary supplements (such as chondroitin and glucosamine) which some arthritic sufferers feel help lessen their pain.
Some areas also offer specific classes to seniors that have a focus on dealing with arthritic pain. For example, in Eastern Oklahoma, the Tahlequah Public Library is currently offering weekly classes to help those with arthritis exercise in a safe and productive way. Working alongside Eastern Oklahoma Development District’s Area Agency on Aging and the Department of Human Services Aging Services, a Walk With Ease class is being sponsored from 1-2 every Wednesday. This encompasses: warm up exercises, stretches, strength exercises and more, all good for seniors battling arthritis. The best part? It’s free.
Arthritis is indeed very hard to deal with…But with the right medication, the proper nutrition and gentle-focused exercise, the pain can be substantially reduced and quality of life enhanced.