Arthritis is a painful condition that causes joints to swell and stiffen. Unfortunately, the condition progresses with age, leaving many seniors in debilitating pain and limited mobility. Other than administering pain medications, senior caregivers are simply unaware of alternative treatment options. If you provide home care for a senior loved one, help promote arthritic relief with the following seven tips.
Easing Arthritis Pain with Heat
- The muscle strain caused by arthritis is both painful and bothersome. Caregivers can decrease a senior’s muscle tension by applying moist heat compresses, cold compresses or combination of both.
- Simply put; heat causes muscle tissue to relax. Experiment with other heat delivery systems until you find one that produces results. If heat compresses aren’t doing the job, senior caregivers can utilize alternate means of heat therapy. Try using a hot bath, hot tub, heating pads or electric blankets
- If a senior loved one experiences painful morning stiffness, it’s time to get proactive. Before getting out of bed, take ten minutes to apply a heating pad on all arthritic areas. If lying in bed a little longer is not an option, seniors can get rid of muscle stiffness by taking a hot shower first thing in the morning.
- Exposure to cold temperatures causes numbness in painful arthritic areas. Applying an ice pack directly to the swollen and painful joints brings pain relief.
- Senior caregivers must be diligent about monitoring hot and cold therapies. Extended exposure to cold or hot temperatures can damage healthy muscle tissue or create skin problems.
- Losing weight is a great way to ease arthritic pain in seniors. If your loved one is overweight, her joints are likely under extreme pressure when in motion. Doing age-appropriate exercise is a great way to lose weight and improve arthritis.
- Exercising in the water is a great low-impact workout, easing stress on a senior’s body. For older adults with arthritis, pool exercising can help to reduce chronic pain and boost flexibility. What’s more, many community pools offer exercise classes for older adults with arthritis.
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