Anyone can experience arthritis regardless of their age. This condition, however, is more common among seniors or people ages 65 and older because age plays a role in increasing someone’s risk of arthritis. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show 49.6 percent of seniors have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
If you or your senior loved one starts to feel unexplained joint pain, it could be a sign of arthritis. Early diagnosis can help you manage the condition before it gets worse.
Treatments Available for Seniors with Arthritis
Consult a doctor to determine the type of arthritis you or your loved one has. Keep in mind that arthritis requires a specific treatment depending on its type. Osteoarthritis, for example, can be treated using over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines. Your doctors may prescribe other medications that help slow down the damage caused by the disease.
Using cannabidiol (CBD) oil also helps relieve pain and minimize inflammation. If you’re new to a cannabis-based treatment, you can take it through a tincture. Researchers explain that CBD attaches themselves to specialized receptors in your brain and immune system. One of the receptors manages pain and inflammation in the immune system.
Although most people tolerate CBD well, you might still experience some side effects, such as:
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling irritated
Understanding Arthritis in Seniors
Having arthritis can limit your or your senior loved one’s ability to walk, kneel, bend, climb stairs, or participate in social activities. It can occur to any part of the body at any time. The warning signs that you’re developing arthritis include:
- Pain, swelling, or tenderness in your joints
- Cracking or crunching sounds when moving
- Warmth or redness in joints
- Bony knobs on the joints of the fingers
- Reduced range of motion
Arthritis comes in different forms. The four most common types are:
- Osteoarthritis – this is the most common form among seniors, which starts to develop due to wear and tear of cartilage, losing the protection of the bones in the joints.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) – this is an autoimmune disease wherein the body attacks the lining of the joints. The pain you would experience comes from the inflammation in the joints that this condition has caused.
- Gout – this is the most painful form of arthritis. It develops when uric acid forms in the connective tissues or joint spaces.
- Reactive arthritis – this is a reaction to infection from other parts of the body. Apart from joint inflammation, its symptoms may include conjunctivitis and inflammation of the urinary tract.
Maintaining Healthy Joints
As you age, you become prone to developing more health problems like arthritis. But you can still do something to prevent such a condition to enjoy your senior years. According to Arthritis Foundation, you can prevent developing arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis, through the following:
- Maintaining a healthy weight – having extra pounds put additional pressure on joints that bear weight.
- Control blood sugar – high glucose levels result in the faster formation of molecules responsible for making cartilage stiffer and more sensitive to mechanical stress.
- Perform physical activities – this is an ideal way to keep joints healthy. Doing moderately intense exercise for 30 minutes five times a week helps joints to stay limber and maintain the muscles that support your hips and knees strong.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential to keep one’s body strong and well-functioning. Whether you or your loved one start experiencing symptoms of any form of arthritis, make sure to take immediate actions to manage it and prevent further complications.