One of the most common ailments of the elderly is arthritis. Arthritis treatment for the elderly is important to start as soon as symptoms show up.
For the elderly, it is important not to dismiss pain in the joints, neck and back as just normal pain due to aging. If not treated early, it can turn into chronic pain and arthritis.
The most common aches and pains with the elderly are:
- Pain and inflammation in the fingers, knees, hips and spine
- Lower back pain
- Nerve pain
- Neck pain
- Joint stiffness in the morning
Common Types of Arthritis
Arthritis is a musculoskeletal disease that causes joint pain and stiffness. The two most common kinds are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear on joint cartilage. As cartilage loses its elasticity, the bones can rub together causing severe pain.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means the body is attacking itself. This type of arthritis is known for sharp pain as well as swelling and deformities of the fingers, feet and wrists.
Gout is another form of arthritis that usually only affects a few joints on the body, most commonly the big toe or the ankle. It is caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals and inflicts intense pain, swelling, warmth and redness.
The pain and inflammation can be so bad that it becomes disabling.
There are many different options for arthritis treatment. Some of the most popular are as follows:
These come in the form of creams, gels and patches that treat pain locally rather than having to go through the whole body. The also are less risk for cardiovascular and gastrointestinal issues.
Wearing the Right Shoes
Wearing flat flexible shoes can reduce the force on knee joints.
Steroids are a synthetic version of cortisol which treats inflammation.
Exercise and Physical Therapy
Low-impact exercise is beneficial to anyone, especially to those with joint pain. Physical therapy is exercise designed to improve posture, strength, function and range of motion. Exercise also improves energy and mood.
Heat and Cold
Heat can be applied with heating pads, warm compresses, warm baths or even hot wax. Heat increases blood flow to the problem area and relaxes the muscles.
Cold can be applied with a cold pack, ice pack or frozen vegetable pack. Cold reduces swelling and inflammation by constricting blood vessels.
Fusion Specialty Pharmacy in St. George can formulate a topical pain cream especially for your elderly loved one. Visit them today to talk with one of their pharmacists.
At Golden Heart Senior Care Southern Utah in St. George, we provide superior caregivers who are certified, licensed, bonded and insured. Your loved one will receive the care they need while we take all of the responsibilities so you don’t have to worry. Care will be uninterrupted. You’re in good hands with Golden Heart. Call today (435) 669-3704.
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