How Achy Joints Affect Seniors
As you become older, you may think that the aches and pains of joints are something you must live with. But that isn't necessarily the truth at all. There is a selection of treatment options, such as joint replacement, medications, supplements, and even exercise.
What the Problem Is
When you are younger, and something hurts, many times the body will heal itself without assistance. You expect the same thing to happen as you age, but it doesn't. If you have chronic pain, you may take pain relievers, hope it goes away, and don't see your doctor.
But you should see your doctor because, as with most people, you can't tell if you tore a tendon or if you did something to a joint. You need to see a doctor to make sure just what the injury is. There are many types of joint-related pain with different treatments that can help with the pain.
Types of Pain-Related Conditions
There are many types of pain-related joint conditions that can make your life more difficult. But knowing how to treat it can help lower the pain levels. Some of these conditions are:
- Osteoarthritis: This is one of the most common type of arthritis with people 50 years and older. What happens is the rubbery cartilage, which acts as a shock absorber, loses its elasticity, and becomes stiff. It causes your joint to become more susceptible to any damage. The disease can happen in almost any joint in your body with the hips, knees, fingers, and spine being the most common.
The symptoms include pain and boney knots in your finger joints with soreness and aching joints. Some ways to get relief are painkillers, medications, and alternative supplements. But you may need to lose weight to reduce stress on any weight-bearing joints.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: This type of arthritis is different from degenerative joint disease. When inflammation occurs, it’s on both sides of your body, which distinguishes it from the other kinds of arthritis. But, many of the symptoms are similar, and it can lead to an early death. If diagnosed early in the development and with aggressive treatment, there is a better chance of maintaining the function, preventing disability, and improving survival.
- Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) or Temporal Arteritis (TA): These diseases usually occur at the same time and are thought to be related. PMR involves the larger joints of your body, such as the shoulders and hips. TA involves inflammation of the blood vessels in your head, which can include the eyes. These diseases are caused by your body's immunity fighting with itself.
Symptoms of PMR are fever, weight loss, fatigue, pain, and stiffness in the shoulder and hip joints. Sometimes the only sign is the inability to pull yourself out of a chair or not being able to raise your arms above shoulder level. One of the most common symptoms of TA is a severe headache. If the TA isn't treated, you can develop irreversible blindness, mini-strokes, or strokes. The treatment for these diseases is prednisone which is a steroid.
- Fibromyalgia: Pain and tenderness of numerous points throughout your body is a symptom of this chronic disease. What causes fibromyalgia isn't understood, but it causes severe fatigue and sleep problems. There isn't a cure for fibromyalgia.
Treatment mainly focuses on managing fatigue, pain, depression, and other symptoms. The treatment focuses on trying to break the cycle of decreased physical activity, pain, and increased sensitivity. Antidepression medication in low doses may be recommended before going to bed, so you get more restful sleep. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help to decrease the pain, but if used long-term, you need to consult your doctor.
If you are having difficulty with joint pain and need assistance with chores and personal care, we here at Right at Home can assist you. Give us a call today.