There are dozens of types of arthritis. Some of them start in youth, while others are linked to old age. Knowing how best to manage the pain begins with knowing what kind of arthritis affects your parents’ joints.
The Common Types of Arthritis in Older Adults
Older adults who are experiencing joint pain often have one of these four types.
#1 – Gout
Gout occurs when uric acid crystals build up in the bloodstream. They collect in joints and cause tremendous pain. The pain can be so severe that even trying to sleep under nothing more than a sheet is too much.
When uric acid crystals form, it’s often the big toe that’s targeted. Pain relievers may help, but doctors typically work on a patient’s diet. Avoiding red meats, shellfish, and cured meats is important.
#2 – Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It occurs when cartilage on the ends of the two bones in a joint starts to wear away. As the cartilage degrades, the bones rub together.
NSAID pain relievers help ease pain and inflammation. Losing weight is also essential. Finally, your parents need to exercise more rather than start to slow down due to the pain.
#3 – Psoriatic Arthritis
This type of arthritis goes hand in hand with psoriasis. It usually appears by the time you’re 50. If your mom or dad has it, there’s no cure. NSAID medications like ibuprofen are used to relieve pain. Medications to control cellular inflammation may also help control flare-ups.
#4 – Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis tends to start in middle age. The pain usually begins in the small joints of the hands and feet first. As it progresses, it will move to larger joints like the knees, hips, and shoulders. Other symptoms include fatigue and warm, swollen joints. Left untreated, joints in the fingers may become deformed.
NSAID medications help ease the pain. If deformities are occurring, medications to slow the progression are recommended.
Talk to Doctors
Make sure your parents see their doctor about their joint pain. The doctor can refer them to physical therapists. Building muscle and bone strength help not only with strengthening joints, but it also lessens the pain. Doctors may have other recommendations and medications that help ease the pain.
Hire Home Care Aides for Encouragement
Your parents need to keep exercising. It’s natural to want to stop walking around when the knees or ankles hurt with every step. While it can seem counterproductive to exercise, it’s imperative. Hire home care aides to encourage your parents to go for walks, swim in the pool, or do chair exercises.
Caregivers can schedule these appointments and remind everyone when an appointment is coming up. You can also have the home care aides drive your parents to physical therapy appointments if it helps out.
If you are considering homecare in Cinco Ranch, TX, for an aging loved one, please call the caring staff at At Your Side Home Care. We will answer all of your senior care questions. Call today: (832) 271-1600.
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