Arthritis: An inflammation of the joints that impacts more than 50 million Americans, making it the number one cause of disability in the country. That means 1 in every 5 adults, 300,000 children, and countless families are affected by arthritis (via). In the elderly, Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and it is one of the most frequent causes of physical disability among older adults (via). May is Arthritis Awareness Month – the more you know, the better you can care for those who may have arthritis.
Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling are the most common symptoms of arthritis. Your loved one’s or patient’s range of motion may decrease, and they can experience skin redness around the joint. Many people with arthritis notice their symptoms are worse in the morning.
While this disease is very common and can be quite painful, there are adjustments you can make at home to ensure your patients or elderly loved ones stay comfortable and healthy.
Signs of Osteoarthritis
- Pain. Affected joints might hurt during or after movement.
- Stiffness. Joint stiffness might be most noticeable upon awakening or after being inactive.
- Tenderness. Your joint might feel tender when you apply light pressure to or near it.
- Loss of flexibility. You might not be able to move your joint through its full range of motion.
- Grating sensation. You might feel a grating sensation when you use the joint, and you might hear popping or crackling.
- Bone spurs. These extra bits of bone, which feel like hard lumps, can form around the affected joint.
- Swelling. This might be caused by soft tissue inflammation around the joint (via).
At-Home Treatment + Relief
- Heating pads and ice packs to provide immediate relief
- Over the counter pain relief (via):
- Analgesics, like acetaminophen (Tylenol), are effective for pain management but don’t help decrease inflammation.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil) help control pain and inflammation. Salicylates can thin the blood, so they should be used very cautiously with additional blood-thinning medications.
- Daily light exercise helps keep joints limber and healthy — check out this article for a list of suggested programs
- Dietary adjustments, such as cutting down on processed foods, sugary items, and dairy can be helpful
There’s not yet a cure for Arthritis, but with regular treatment and a healthy lifestyle, the symptoms can be reduced and keep you and your loved ones can stay comfortable!
For More Information on Osteoarthritis
As always, Abundant Home Health Care is here to support you and your loved ones.If you are in need of home care assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out.