Your dad moves around slower than he used to. You’ve noticed he has a harder time standing up from his sofa. His doctor says he probably has arthritis. What causes arthritis? Is there anything you can do to help?
The Different Types of Arthritis
There’s not just one type of arthritis. There are several kinds. Each one has different symptoms and causes. Here’s a breakdown.
#1 – Gout
This form occurs when uric acid crystals build up in the blood and affect certain joints. It’s most common in the big toe and affects more men than women. Swelling and pain are key symptoms. The pain can be excruciating and make it hard to put on a sock, shoe, or even pull a sheet over the toes during sleep.
#2 – Osteoarthritis
This is the most common type of arthritis. It occurs with aging and repetitive use of the joints. The cartilage at the end of bones wears away. If it wears down enough, bone rubs on bone and creates severe pain.
#3 – Rheumatoid Arthritis
This form is a disease where the body’s immune system attacks the lining in the joints. It often attacks small joints like those in the hand and feet. This leads to inflammation and swelling. Over time, it can destroy the bone and cartilage and cause fingers to curl and be hard to move. Rheumatoid arthritis is more common in women and runs in families.
Treatment options depend on the type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is usually treated through hot and cold packs, muscle/joint ointments, and over-the-counter pain relievers. There’s no cure. If a joint is badly worn, surgery may be discussed.
Gout often requires dietary changes. You should avoid alcoholic beverages. Shellfish like oysters are best avoided. Red meat is also something you should skip. If the pain is severe, a prescription pain reliever that eases gout pain may be recommended.
Over-the-counter NSAID pain relievers will ease some of the pain. Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers may also be given prescriptions for corticosteroids and medications that slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.
With these forms of arthritis, exercise shouldn’t be stopped. Working the joints is helpful. A diet that helps ease inflammation can also help. Ask your mom or dad’s doctor about foods that may help with joint health.
Don’t let arthritis impact your dad’s daily routine. If the pain is making it hard for him to go up and down his stairs, stand up after sitting or drive his car, talk to him about elder care. With elder care services arranged, he has the help he needs to get things done around his home and outside of the home. Call to learn more.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elder Care in Bellmore, NY, please call the caring staff at Companion Home Care of Long Island. Senior Home Care serving Suffolk, Nassau, and Queens Counties. Turn your questions into answers. Call Today (631) 884-0005