Arthritis is a very common condition, and not just among the elderly. According to the CDC, two-thirds of the people in the United States who have been diagnosed with arthritis are under the age of 65, and one-fifth of the adults in the United States suffer from some form of arthritis. Whether you personally have been diagnosed with arthritis or you have a spouse or relative with the disease, you are far from alone.
A large part of arthritis treatment is managing the pain and fatigue that goes along with it. Here are three things that should be part of any arthritis management plan.
Providing Added Heat
Heat is a very effective way to fight the pain of arthritis. There are lots of ways to apply heat, ranging from very expensive to quite inexpensive. At the higher end, a hot tub is a great place to soak in warmth. For many people, a hot bath will have to do; however, sometimes arthritis makes it difficult to get in and out of a bathtub. Consider installing a walk-in bathtub to avoid this problem. And don't underestimate how helpful even small things can be – electric blankets or even small heating pads are an important part of arthritis pain management.
Living with arthritis can be tiring. Having a comfortable place to sit is important – but it's also crucial that it's not too difficult to get back out of the seat later. The pain and stiffness of this condition can make it difficult to get out of the sort of plush, comfortable chair that's really relaxing, leading people to sit in less comfortable chairs or even put off resting until they can get in bed at the end of the day.
A lift chair is an excellent solution to this problem. Lift chairs have mechanisms that can raise the chair from its ordinary position and angle it forward, allowing a person to both get into the chair without flopping down and get out of the chair without pushing themselves up physically. This reduces strain on the joints and muscles, turning sitting and reclining back into a comfortable way to relax.
Arthritis can make exercise very difficult, but keeping muscles in good condition can help keep someone with arthritis energetic and mobile. In addition, being overweight can put extra strain on the joints, so losing weight can help reduce the pain of arthritis. Since it's easy to overdo exercise, however, the choice of exercise is important.
Aquatic exercise is excellent for arthritis sufferers because the water supports the weight of the body. Be sure to start slowly; many community pools have aquatics aerobics classes specifically for seniors. It's also best to use a pool that's heated since heat is so effective at reducing pain and loosening muscles.