Arthritis is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are over 100 different types of arthritis that can create inflammation in one or more joints causing pain and stiffness. If you or the senior in your life are looking for techniques to manage arthritis, there are various ways to alleviate the symptoms and manage the condition.
Franklin Park® Senior Living understands that managing arthritis can be a challenge, especially if the condition was recently diagnosed. We want to share a few tips to help you or the senior in your life manage the symptoms associated with arthritis. There are multiple forms of arthritis, and it is important to talk to your primary physician or a healthcare professional before trying a treatment option.
Tip #1: Massage Therapy
The Arthritis Foundation, as well as other accredited sources, states that regular massage therapy can help alleviate discomfort and pain experienced from inflammation. While seeking a professional massage therapist is an option, conducting self-massage therapy to the affected joint can also help increase blood flow and reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
Tip #2: Managing Weight and Exercise
Stretching and exercise can help strengthen joints and increase a joint’s motion range. While managing weight can help alleviate some of the stress and tension placed on certain joints, like legs and ankles.
It is recommended that those with arthritis avoid strenuous activity on the affected joints as it can worsen the symptoms. However, stretching, yoga, and water aerobics are great examples of physical activities that can promote weight management and alleviate arthritis discomfort.
Tip #3: Hot and Cold Therapy
Warm water can help decrease the stiffness of joints and increase blood flow, which, in turn, helps alleviate discomforting symptoms and inflammation. Many experts recommend using a hot tub, commonly referred to as hydrotherapy. Scientific evidence has shown that it can help relieve pain, increase the range of movement for affected joints, and strengthen muscles.
On the opposite side, cold therapy is best for acute pain as it restricts blood vessels, which slows circulation and reduces swelling.
Tip #4: Acupuncture Therapy
Many reputable sources are beginning to stand behind acupuncture therapy as studies come out showing its benefits. Evidence-Based Acupuncture is one organization that is leading the charge to show the benefits of acupuncture therapy. “Over a 27 year period, they found 2,189 positive recommendations for acupuncture for 204 health problems…” including alleviating symptoms of chronic pain.
Tip #5: Relaxation and Rest
Listening to the needs of one’s body is one of the best ways to help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis. Many people with arthritis state difficulty sleeping as joint pain and inflammation can increase at night, causing discomfort. Avoiding caffeine before bed, taking a warm shower or bath, and maintaining a quiet and cool room can help foster better sleeping habits.
While learning how to manage arthritis symptoms can be a lot of trial and error, finding a routine can help improve and alleviate the symptoms associated with the condition. If you would like to find more helpful information regarding senior health, we encourage you to visit our Franklin Park® Senior Living blog.