8 Essential Tips to Ease Joint Pain in Senior Years
Studies show that it is common for most seniors over 65 to suffer from ongoing arthritis pain. However, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on doing the things you love. Although arthritis cannot be cured, you can try to keep it under control by following some measures and lifestyle changes. Read on to learn what tips the specialists in skilled nursing facilities for seniors recommend to reduce joint pain in your older years of life so you can make informed decisions.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis refers to the inflammation in the joints. The knees, hands, hips, and spine are the most commonly affected. It can also develop anywhere in the body. Although the symptoms of arthritis may vary across persons depending on the type, some common indications of this condition include:
- Mobility issues and difficulty moving a joint
8 Useful Ways to Ease Arthritis Pain in Your Senior Years
In addition to following your doctor’s instructions carefully, exercising can help if you are suffering from joint pain. Keep moving as much as you can because the lubrication in the joints depends on movement. Having a proper exercise routine can help you in the following ways:
- Reduce pain
- Strengthen the muscles around your joints
- Maintain and enhance their mobility
- Maintain a healthy body weight which helps to take the pressure off your joints
- Improve balance and posture
- Enhance overall health
Your regime should not be strenuous. Otherwise, it may worsen your condition. Try low-impact exercises such as swimming, aqua aerobics, strength training, and yoga. Consult an expert and discuss how you can modify your daily routine to include exercising. It helps to know that all senior housing options, including skilled nursing facilities, offer opportunities for seniors to maintain mobility.
Around 70% to 80% of joint cartilage is made of water, so improper hydration worsens joint pain. In addition, dehydration can also be a source of headaches, fatigue, and confusion. When you are well-hydrated, it enhances your body functions, improves your energy level, and makes your joints feel better. According to experts in skilled nursing homes, it is best to consume at least 8 cups of fluids every day, depending on the weather conditions and your activity level. Try incorporating tea or juices into your diet but be mindful of your sugar intake.
Follow a Healthy Diet
Nutritionists in nursing homes for seniors recommend a balanced diet for arthritis, focusing on general health and maintaining a healthy body weight. Being overweight may increase stress on joints, causing pain and leading to mobility problems. Eating the right foods will ensure you get enough essential minerals and vitamins to strengthen your cartilage and bones. Incorporate superfoods such as olive oil, salmon, garlic, kale, spinach, chia seeds, and cherries into your diet plans to have wholesome, nutritious meals. They can help you with autoimmune arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, and better manage your condition.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Research indicates that losing just one pound takes around four pounds of pressure off each knee. This is why being at a healthy weight is essential to reduce joint pain. A nutritious diet and exercise routine can help you achieve this. Be sure to consult a professional who can help curate a schedule that meets your needs.
Get Good Sleep
Research indicates that sleep, pain, and inflammation are interlinked, which is why a restful night’s sleep is crucial to maintaining your overall health. You can develop good sleep hygiene by keeping in mind the following:
- Stick to a proper routine by going to bed at the same time every night.
- Get warm bedding, pillows, and blankets, and wear comfortable clothes.
- Ensure the room has a pleasant temperature.
- Reduce screen time and avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks before going to bed.
Try Heat and Cold Therapy and Massage
Heat helps loosen stiff muscles and joints, reduce muscle spasms, and stimulate circulation. Heating pads, air-activated heat patches, microwaveable heat wraps, and pain-relieving creams are some effective measures typically recommended by nursing home specialists. You can also try cold therapy with cold pads and wraps for your wrists, knees, and other body parts. Cold packs can numb deep pain and reduce inflammation and swelling.
Alternatively, you can use both heat and cold therapy to get relief from arthritis pain. Experts also suggest gentle massages with oils or lotions to warm up and relax painful joints. It can also help you sleep better.
Arthritic joints cannot tolerate too much stress, so pulling, pushing, or twisting motions can be very painful. Think of ways to avoid putting pressure on your joints unnecessarily. Professional physical therapists recommend taking rest breaks and using adaptive tools if pain persists for about an hour after performing a task. Alternate between moderate and light activities and stretching and sitting throughout the day. Wear proper shoes to reduce foot pain. Learn how to reduce stress, accept what can be changed and what cannot, and try to overcome the harmful effects of stress.
Get Professional Help
Although it can be hard to admit that you need help, getting professional assistance can help reduce your joint pain to a large extent. This is because living with arthritis can be upsetting and disruptive. Stiffness and pain can make it challenging for you to perform daily, such as cooking meals, putting on socks, and more. Having qualified staff to assist you can make things easier and stress-free.
We Offer the Best Care in Our Skilled Nursing Facility
The Holiday Retirement is a prominent skilled nursing facility in Rhode Island providing exceptional services to the residents. Whether you need to recover from your illness or injury, require a long-term stay, or a senior rehabilitation center with a patient-friendly building, we can help. Our friendly staff will listen to your requirements and cater to your needs, ensuring you are happy and healthy.