October 12, 2020 is the day the entire world will take note of the incapacitating disease, arthritis. Though Arthritis Awareness month occurs in May, on this date arthritis is globally recognized. We should be aware that currently 54 million fellow Americans have arthritis and of that number, 300,000 of those are children.
Closer to home, it is worth noting that almost 50% of seniors over the age of 65 will have contracted arthritis. The most common types of arthritis in seniors are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and gout. However, there are more than 100 different kinds of arthritis (all with their individual symptoms and risks).
Prevention of arthritis is not an option at this point, since the onset of arthritis can happen due to aging, family history as well as gender. It is generally recognized that more women than men contract arthritis. Statistic show that one in four women compared to one in five men contract this disease. Most women contract rheumatoid arthritis or else osteoarthritis.
Managing arthritis is a challenge, to say the least, with the patient finding it difficult to ambulate due to the physical limitations inflicted by this disease. These physical limitations are caused by joint degeneration, pain, swelling and stiffness of the joints.
Treatment of arthritis varies depending on the type and severity of arthritis one has. Doctors and therapists agree that, apart from the prescribed medications that may be given to a patient, there are several other ways to assist in managing this disease.
Obesity is a common factor in arthritis contracted in the knee joint. It has been proven that for every extra pound of total body weight, you are putting three extra pounds of pressure on your knees. Thus, it can’t hurt to try and keep your weight down to assist in alleviating the pain that accompanies this condition.
Exercise is a great way to keep your weight and the rest of your body healthy. Of course, realizing that one has physical limitations due to arthritic symptoms, it is recommended that you employ such exercises as swimming, yoga or simply walking. The sheer act of movement can do wonders in helping to lose weight as well as lessening the stress on the affected joints.
By walking for no more than five minutes, three times per day, you can begin to limber up. Once you limber up, you can then begin to increase your walking time up to an approachable goal of 30 minutes to one hour per day.
Yoga can likewise strengthen your joints. Yoga exercises enable you to increase your range of motion and strengthen your muscles.
Of course, you can also use alternative remedies such as applying heat or cold packs to the affected areas. If you have a bath with assistive devices, a nice soak in hot water which has been infused with Epsom salts will also help relax your muscles and loosen stiff joints.
Call Missy Donaghy with Interiors for Seniors for a FREE consultation 321-279-3301.
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