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Marking Arthritis Awareness Month in May

Arthritis is especially prominent in older adults, and is one of the leading causes of disability among older adults in the United States.

The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which causes cartilage — the hard, slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones where they form a joint — to break down. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the immune system attacks the joints, beginning with the lining of joints. Damage to these areas can cause pain, aching, and stiffness. 

Our caregivers can help your loved one to live well with arthritis by monitoring and encouraging exercises, preparing a healthy anti-inflammatory meal, and maintaining the prescribed medication regimen.

The main goals of arthritis treatments are to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. 

Promote quality of life, and functional independence and reduce pain with: 

  • Exercise.

Moving your body can help lubricate joints so they are more flexible, and strengthening the muscles around your joints can reduce the amount of pressure they have to support. Water aerobics help to take weight off of your joints while being able to exercise. 

  • Decrease body weight.

Losing weight can alleviate excess force placed on your knees and other support joints. 

  • Change the foods you eat.

Adding foods with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help to relieve pain. Avoid foods that can cause inflammation and exacerbate symptoms, such as sugar, processed meats, and refined flour. Try adding healthy fats such as those found in avocado, fatty fish, walnuts into your diet. 

  • Assistive devices 

Devices can alleviate the pressure on your joints. For example/ finger and wrist joints, an electric can or jar opener and utensils with thicker handles.

  • Medications.

Doctors treat osteoarthritis with anti-inflammatory medications, including over-the-counter options such as Ibuprofen, aspirin and CBD.

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