What Is Arthritis and How Can I Prevent It
September is recognized annually as Arthritis Awareness Month. Half of all people aged 65 and older struggle with arthritis, with the most common symptoms being osteoarthritis and gout. Take the initial step to educate yourself and your senior loved one on the symptoms of arthritis and learn how to best prevent it.
If you suffer from chronic pain or find it difficult to move around, chances are you might have arthritis. Most types of arthritis cause symptoms such as swelling and pain in your joints. Other certain arthritis can even have effects on your organs, such as eyes and ears, which further stresses the importance of knowing how to best prevent it.
Types of Arthritis
The most common type of arthritis in seniors, osteoarthritis effects a large group of seniors across North America. It is most prominently related to old age and injuries untreated from youth. Naturally, as we age, we expose ourselves to increased risks of osteoarthritis.
Autoimmune arthritis is when our body’s immune system attacks the healthy cells of the body by mistake. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common version of this arthritis symptom.
Infectious arthritis is a simple type of arthritis that spreads from one part of the body to another, which pertains to a joint.
Gout is a painful type of arthritis that starts from the big toe and builds up throughout the body due to an overload of uric acid. As we age, certain blood pressure medicines can also increase our possibility of having gout.
Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis
Look out for these common arthritis symptoms:
- Lasting joint pain
- Joint swelling
- Joint stiffness
- Tenderness or pain when touching a joint
- Problems using or moving a joint normally
- Warmth and redness in a joint
Approximately 24 million seniors are limited in their activities from arthritis. With that being said, by staying active, these seniors can decrease the significance of pain by about 40%. Exercise is a great way of minimizing the pain caused by arthritis, as much as it might hurt to start.
Additionally, seniors with arthritis may also find it harder to manage other symptoms such as obesity and heart disease. As a correlation, approximately half of the seniors suffering from arthritis are also affected by diabetes and heart disease. This usually causes people with arthritis to be impaired physically one way of another, making it harder for them to meet their daily physical activities.
While living with arthritis can certainly seem daunting and be tough to cope with, make sure you or your senior loved one are informed and understand the facts to help control symptoms.