Arthritis 101: Pain Management Tips and More
When it comes to aging, arthritis is a common among seniors, but it not simply a result of aging. In fact, while many people experience arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation notes that it is not a single disease but rather the general term used when referring to joint pain or joint disease. The Foundation’s site notes that there are over “100 types of arthritis and related conditions.” In honor of Arthritis Awareness, Fellowship Square shares some “arthritis 101” and tips for managing pain as a result of arthritis.
The Arthritis Foundation states that while arthritis occurs more frequently as people age, more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children experience some type of arthritis symptoms, which include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Some types of arthritis can even affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin in addition to joints. Joint pain as a result of inflammatory disease (like rheumatoid arthritis) may require medical treatment in ease pain management by decreasing inflammation that can lead to further joint damage.
There are many natural ways to ease pain associated with arthritis, such as low impact exercises including yoga and tai chi. Both of these can improve flexibility and range or motion in the body as well as provide a sense of overall well-being through mind-body connection. Physical therapy is another form of pain management that one’s doctor may “prescribe” or recommend as part of a joint pain management plan.
For those that are overweight, doctors may recommend weight loss to help ease pressure on joints and serve to reduce or eliminate inflammation. Changes in eating habits combined with increased exercise can be a very effective natural remedy for arthritis. Portion control, limiting caffeine, forgoing fast food and drinking lots of water are all small changes that can create big results in terms of pain relief.
Acupuncture is often used to treat arthritis pain as well. This treatment involves a professional inserting very tiny, thin needs through the skin at very specific “acupoints” on the body. This process serves to stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissue. According to the Arthritis Foundation, it can also can “improve blood flow and activate the body’s natural painkillers.” Topical treatments are also available to treat targeted areas.
Because there are so many types of arthritis, it’s important to speak with one’s doctor to create a specific treatment and pain management plan designed to target the specific types one is affected by. Fellowship Square encourages seniors who are experiencing joint pain associated with arthritis to speak with their doctors to create a treatment plan.