Weekend warrior, home renovation, playing with the grandkids, we all overdo it sometimes and suffer joint pain for a day or two. However, for those dealing with arthritis, sore joints aren’t limiting activity for just a few days. Arthritis is one of the United States’ most widespread health conditions and impacts the lives of men, women, and children.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), out of the 58 million Americans currently dealing with an arthritis diagnosis, approximately 25 million experience limitations in their usual activities. That number is expected to increase to 35 million by 2040. Consequently, finding effective treatments and management techniques is crucial for an increasing number of Americans to continue living active lives.
An Umbrella of Diagnoses
Arthritis is a broad category for conditions that affect joints, tissues around the joints, and connective tissues. There are more than 100 different types of diagnosed arthritis, but the majority of them involve joint pain and stiffness. Osteoarthritis is the most common type and occurs frequently in the hands, hips, and knees. And while some types of arthritis are considered autoimmune diseases (i.e., rheumatoid arthritis) and others develop from general wear and tear on the body, experts have not yet identified the cause of many forms of arthritis. Women are at higher risk of most types of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. In contrast, men’s risk is higher for gout, though experts still do not completely understand why.
Self Management Strategies
There are many ways to manage your joint pain and maintain or even improve your quality of life! Here are four strategies to consider:
- Joint Friendly Activities: Physical activity is one of the best things you can do to improve mobility, reduce pain and fatigue, and increase function. It is a simple, effective and drug-free way to manage pain. Moreover, this activity can also help reduce your risk of or manage other chronic conditions. Walking is an easy way to take care of yourself and prevent or delay damage to your joints. Other examples of joint-friendly activities are biking, dancing, and swimming.
- Talk to Your Doctor: If you are struggling with pain symptoms, it’s important to talk with your doctor right away to correctly diagnose which type of arthritis you are dealing with and find out which treatment strategies will work well for you. Early diagnosis is critical for reducing the amount of damage done to joints and limit symptoms.
- Manage Your Weight: Managing your weight is important for people diagnosed with arthritis. That’s because reducing your weight eases joint stress, offering pain relief and lowering the risk of damage, especially to the hips and knees. Losing as little as 10-12 pounds can significantly lessen the impact your joints absorb every day.
- Protect Your Joints: Injuries to joints can cause or worsen arthritis, so it’s important to choose activities that are easier on your joints. Low impact activities have a lower risk of injury, less twisting, and reduced stress on joints.
Maintaining Your Lifestyle
An arthritis diagnosis may feel overwhelming. However, self-management strategies can help you maintain your mobility and lifestyle. There are also therapies and tools in development to assist you.
- Talk to your doctor about medications for pain management and joint protections.
- Ask about physical and occupational therapy to learn specific strategies for mobility and lifestyle improvement.
- Check out the latest tools and gadgets designed to give stiff fingers more grasping power and sore shoulders more range of motion.
About Generations Home Care
Generations Home Care personalized in-home care and support services help those recovering from illness, injury, or surgery, living with a chronic disease, or dealing with the natural process of aging. We help people live a fuller, healthier, and independent life.
Our caregivers are trained in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended COVID-19 safety precautions. We offer levels of care ranging from companionship, to respite for the primary family caregiver, to homemaking services, to assistance with activities of daily living, to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Generations Home Care takes a holistic approach and emphasizes a consistent, client-centered plan of care.
Our Specialty Services Include:
- Rehab or hospital-to-home programs for safe discharge.
- Short-term post-operative care during recovery periods.
- Non-medical life management services for people with chronic conditions.
- Veteran’s connection to care program.
- Live-in services and couples care.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at 602-595-HOME (4663) or by filling out the contact form on our website.