Please note that the information featured in this blog is to be treated as exactly that and not medical advice. For everything else, please consult your doctor or local GP.
Arthritis in the elderly is painful, uncomfortable, and can be debilitating.
It comes with a decrease in mobility, which should not be underestimated. Simple activities that may have been taken for granted in the past such as shopping, walking or sitting in a car could now be difficult and challenging.
With regards to the elderly, osteoarthritis is the most common form and is degenerative arthritis, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling.
Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage – which is the tissue that cushions the ends of the bones within the joints – wears away after it breaks down.
Furthermore, in some cases, all of the cartilage may wear away completely, leaving bones that rub against each other.
There are a number of risk factors with arthritis including:
- Improper alignment of joints
- Previous injury to a joint
- Excessive weight
- Family history
- Stiffness after getting out of bed
- Swelling and tenderness of a joint
- Stiffness and mild pain that comes and goes to a joint
- A crunching feeling or the sound of bone rubbing on bone
Typically, osteoarthritis commonly affects the hands, lower back, neck, and various weight-bearing joints such as feet, hips, and knees.
Furthermore, women are more likely than men to develop osteoarthritis of the hands, especially after menopause, and it can also be hereditary.
If you have osteoarthritis of the hip, it will limit movement, making simple tasks such as getting dressed and putting your shoes on difficult.
Other seemingly simple tasks such as getting in and out of chairs, walking, and climbing stairs, can become quite challenging with osteoarthritis of the knees due to swelling, pain, and general soreness.
In a number of cases, arthritis-related changes in the spine can create pressure on the nerves, resulting in numbness, tingling, or weakness of your arms and legs.
If you believe you have the various symptoms we have mentioned above, we would strongly recommend seeing your doctor, where they will be able to diagnose you through various tests and examinations and suggest appropriate treatment.
Whilst there are various treatments available for arthritis such as anti-inflammatory medication to help manage the pain, there are no treatments designed to cure this condition.
There are other options available which include:
- Eating a healthy diet of foods such as leafy greens, spinach, nuts, and tomatoes can assist with inflammation
- Low impact exercises such as water aerobics, yoga, and tai chi
- Keeping on top of your medication
- Various forms of massage
- Hot baths and hot wheat packs on a painful joint can provide much-needed relief
- Maintaining good posture when seated
If you have arthritis, it can be and needs to be, effectively managed. Having a well-managed care plan in place will assist with a better quality of life especially if you have engaged a home care service in Melbourne to assist you in living an independent lifestyle.
If you would like to find out more about how our home care packages can support you, please click here to leave an enquiry or call us on (03) 8720 1338.