These tips were developed with the help of the Arthritis Foundation. Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease that is not a normal part of aging. Inflammation in the joint tissues causes pain when you bend or move. Arthritis can rob seniors of their quality of life—causing them to lose muscle strength, sleep, and even sink into depression. Managing the pain is possible: Pace yourself; Protect your joints by using sprints or braces and an assistive device and practice good posture; Control your weight by losing just one pound of body weight which will take four pounds of pressure off your knees. The best way to lose weight is physical activity combined with a healthy diet. It is important to move safely and wisely. Talk to your doctor about types and amounts of activity that can help you build strength, increase endurance and maintain flexibility; Get a good night’s sleep. Better sleep equals less pain. Avoid alcohol and caffeine in the evening, go to bed and get up at the same time every day and avoid stress before bedtime. If you need relief now, a combination of prevention and pain relief strategies works best for most people. Try heat and cold treatments, relaxation techniques and massage. Pain relievers, anti-inflammatories and topical treatments can also help. Remember to tell your doctor how much pain you have and share your goals for pain control.
*This information brought to you by the National Council on Aging.