The Ultimate Guide to Arthritis in the Elderly

Arthritis is one of the most common medical conditions among older people. In fact, it’s believed that by 2040, more than 78 million people will be diagnosed with this ailment that hinders mobility and causes disability among elderly people.

The most frustrating part about arthritis is that it can spring up at any time and affect almost any body part or joint. In addition, the duration of the debilitating pain can last from a couple of hours to turning into a chronic condition.

So here are some common and early signs of arthritis that you should look out for if you experience sudden pain in your joints:

Signs of Arthritis:

  • Feeling stiffness in joints
  • Inflamed or swollen joints
  • Hindered movement in joints
  • Experiencing pain or tenderness in joints
  • Flushed and warm skin covering joints

These are the early signs of arthritis in elderly people, so if you’re experiencing one or more of these, you should consult a doctor, especially if the symptoms don’t recede within 15 days. Moreover, if any of these signs is accompanied by fever, get immediate medical attention.

Upon visitation, your doctor will probably recommend an x-ray of the hurting joint to determine the extent of the problem and the type of arthritis you’re dealing with. Yes, there is more than one type, with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis being the most common among senior folk.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Commonly referred to as RA, Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease; like all other autoimmune diseases, it makes the body react against itself as if it would if a disease or infection were present.

RA causes the body to destroy the protective lining along the joints, which leads to inflammation and pain. This pain can last for hours and can sometimes be so intense that it obstructs all mobility.

It usually attacks joints in the ankles, knees, hips, elbows, wrists, fingers, and neck. Interestingly enough, if RA causes pain in a part of your body on one side, you might experience the same pain in the same place on the other side!

The disease also has adverse effects on your heart and nervous systems. And although both men and women are susceptible to the condition, it’s more common in women than men.

Osteoarthritis

Also known as the ‘wear and tear’ Arthritis, OA is the leading cause of chronic joint pain among elderly people. It happens when bone cartilage starts to wither. Cartilage is the padding around our joints, so once it wears down, the resulting pain is excruciating.  The condition is common in pressure points such as the neck, hands, back, hips and knees. And the saddest part is that it’s not triggered by external forces, rather, it’s just a byproduct of growing old.

Although most types of Arthritis can be cured, and if not, the pain can be managed with proper medication like NSAIDs and acetaminophen. You can try the following tips to make life easier with Arthritis:

Arthritis Non-Medicinal Treatments

  • Exercising
  • Indulging in fun and group activities
  • Eating healthy
  • Taking rest

A healthy and comfortable lifestyle can also bring about a positive change and be conducive to pain management. Moreover, in these situations, assisted living plans can positively affect the treatment because of quality care and support being provided 24/7.

At AvantGarde Senior Living Community, we provide several senior care plans in Studio City, CA, to fit specific needs and requirements of every senior individual that needs our support. Contact us today!

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