Almost half of U.S. population over the age of 65 has been diagnosed with arthritis. If you are among the millions of Americans who deal with this condition, adjusting your lifestyle will help you find relief. Whether you live at home or at a senior care facility, here are a few tips that will help you live as comfortably as possible.
Despite the stiffness you may experience, keep moving your joints through their full range of motion as much as possible. If you don't move enough, your body may lose its ability to maintain its regular range of motion, leading to challenges with walking and balance.
Stretching daily is an easy way to combat this. Take a few minutes to stretch when you feel the least amount of pain, which might be after taking medications. Also stretch both before and after exercising to prepare and prevent injury.
To reduce symptoms, take all medications prescribed to you by your doctor. Over-the-counter drugs, including acetaminophen and ibuprofen, may also help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
Another option is to apply capsaicin cream directly on the skin of the affected joint. The slight heat it produces typically reduces discomfort.
Smoke or drink.
Some patients use smoking for coping with discomfort, but this will only make symptoms worse. The toxins in the product can contribute to cartilage loss and joint damage.
When combined with prescribed medications, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, alcohol may also cause complications, such as stomach ulcers and liver damage. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help improve your symptoms.
Use high-impact or repetitive motion.
Avoid exercises that will stress the joints, including high-impact or repetitive movements. Jogging, jumping, and tennis are a few examples of activities to avoid.
Instead, choose low-impact options, such as bicycling, swimming, or walking. These help strengthen the muscles around the joints, boost bone health, increase balance, and improve the quality of your sleep.
Managing arthritis becomes much easier with the appropriate senior living facilities. BeeHive Homes of Columbia Falls in Flathead County, MT, offers a well-rounded senior care approach that includes exercise opportunities, healthy meals, and medication management. Their staff is onsite 24 hours a day for assistance, and they also form lasting relationships with each resident in their community. Learn more about them online and call (406) 261-2388 to schedule a tour of their assisted living facilities.