How to Find Relief from Inflammation caused by Arthritis

One of the common health issues many seniors are suffering from is arthritis. In fact, it is estimated that 50 percent of the 65-and-older population has some form of arthritis. It is also the top cause for disability in America. In addition, seniors are not the only group of people impacted by arthritis; it affects people of all ages, even children.

The symptoms of arthritis:

  1. Joint inflammation
  2. Restricted movement
  3. Pain
  4. Stiffness
  5. Red or warm skin
  6. Weakness

We say “some form” because there are several types of arthritis. These include: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. The pain from all types of arthritis can be helped by medication, rest and exercise. Most commonly, arthritis in seniors affects the hips, knees, spine or hands.

The medications that help arthritis most are anti-inflammatory ones. These are available over the counter (Advil, Aleve, etc.) or by prescription (corticosteroids). These can help reduce the swelling that arthritis often causes.

Exercise can be extremely beneficial for those suffering from arthritis. These exercises include: strength training exercises to help build muscle strength (weight training), endurance exercises (bicycle riding), aerobic exercises (brisk walking, jogging or swimming) and range-of-motion exercises (yoga or stretching).

Newer studies are proving that a healthy diet can also help improve arthritis symptoms.

For example, Omega 3 fatty acid has been proven to reduce inflammation. The best source of Omega 3 comes from cold-water fish, such as tuna, salmon, sardines, anchovies, herring, scallops and more. For those that are not fish-eaters, taking a fish oil supplement will also help decrease the pain of arthritis.  If you would like to stay away from animal products, you can also find Omega 3 in chia seeds or flax seeds.

Whole grains are also important for those struggling with arthritis. This is because fiber lowers the levels of C-reactive proteins, which lowers inflammation in your body. Good sources of whole grains include: quinoa, oats, wheat and brown rice.

Protein can also decrease inflammation. Perhaps the best source of protein for inflammation is beans, which ideally should be consumed twice each week.

Seniors suffering from arthritis may also want to join an arthritis support group. Support groups offer a unique way for people to get tips from other people facing the same challenges.

If you’re a senior finding it difficult to cope with arthritis, or you know a family member that is, Nurses Guild may be able to help.  Our staff has extensive experience with helping seniors with arthritis stay comfortable in their home.  Contact us today!