I remember my grandfather wringing his hands with a noticeable grimace on his face due to the nagging pain of arthritis. The discomfort was real and would often prohibit him from performing basic, activities of daily living he enjoyed.
With World Arthritis Day approaching, Saturday, October 12, now is the right time to bring awareness to this painful condition, those who endure its wrath, and what many aging adults admit helps ease the discomfort.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is an inflammation in the joints. It is a disease that causes aching pain in the fingers, elbows, knees, shoulders, spine…wherever joints, there is a risk for some form of arthritis. This is especially true of aging adults, because it is usually seniors who suffer with arthritis.
It is estimated that arthritis affects more than 50 million people in the United States. This affliction takes many forms and can make a weather forecaster out of practically every sufferer. (When barometric pressure changes, it effects the pressure of fluid in the joints, causing increased discomfort).
There are as many as 100 types of arthritis, but the most common types include:
Osteoarthritis: A degenerative joint disease, that occurs when the cartilage between joints diminishes, causing pain due to a lack of cushion between bones; It is most common in weight-bearing joints such as knees, hips and spine, and affects posture and mobility
Rheumatoid Arthritis: An autoimmune disorder, where the body’s immune system attacks itself; RA can be inherited or genetic and is not contagious; the second most common form of arthritis, it typically effects fingers, knuckles, elbows, shoulders, knees and feet
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis: Exists in various forms; Still’s Disease is one form that affects the whole body, causing daily fevers and anemia, and can present secondary effects on the heart, lungs, eyes and nervous system; Usually physical therapy and exercise is recommended for growing bodies
Infectious Arthritis: Caused by bacterial or viral infections that affects joints and other areas; it is often caused by staph infections, tuberculosis, Lyme disease and gonorrhea; it can also present as a result of injury where organisms directly impact the joints
Ankylosing Spondylosis: A systemic disease that effects more than just joints; an inherited arthritis of the spine, vertebrae fuse together, diminishing posture and severely limiting mobility
Lupus: A chronic, systemic, inflammatory, connective-tissue disease that causes swelling, pain and damage to joints, skin and internal organs; the antibodies the immune system produces naturally to fight bacteria and viruses, do not discern the difference between foreign invaders and healthy tissue
Gout: A crystal-induced arthritis that results from an accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints
Although these are just a few types of arthritis, the common denominator between them is ways pain.
Symptoms may include:
- Deep, aching pain
- Trouble dressing, combing your hair, gripping things, bending over, squatting, or climbing stairs, depending on which joints are involved
- Morning stiffness that typically lasts less than 30 minutes
- Pain when walking
- Stiffness after resting
- Warm to the touch
- Swollen and harder to move
- Unable to move through a full range of motion
Surveys Say CBD Relieves Pain
I’ve found recent reports and surveys encouraging! There is product on the market now that seniors with arthritis pain can purchase legally to help ease their arthritis pain: CBD.
Forbes recently reported that Remedy Review conducted a survey of 1000 aging adults, ages 54 and up, to find out if they had tried Cannabidiol, or CBD, and if they had tried it, what the effects had been?
9% of seniors admitted to trying CBD and 51% stated they had an improved quality of life because of it!
The Forbes article stated, “42% of the seniors surveyed said they were taking the CBD to deal with inflammation, and 40.9% to deal with chronic pain. 38.6% said they were giving CBD a try in order to deal with poor sleep quality, and 31.8% used CBD to deal with arthritis pain. And it's working.”
The Arthritis Foundation also conducted a survey of 2,500 arthritis sufferers to find out if they had tried CBD for their inflammation and if so, had it been effective for their arthritis pain relief? When the survey was complete it found 79% of people had either tried CBD or were considering using it, primarily to relieve pain.
With that in mind, the organization created guidelines for CBD use for seniors suffering with arthritis. They state that it is not an endorsement of CBD use, but an attempt to provide “clarity” about CBD usage with so little scientific evidence available to prove it does relieve arthritis pain. There are simply many arthritis sufferers who have experienced arthritis pain relief, reduced stress, improved sleep and more benefits, thanks to CBD.
The Arthritis Foundation recommendations regarding usage of CBD products:
- Go low and slow, meaning start with a low dosage and only slowly increase it until you get to a point where it starts to make a difference.
- Find a reputable company that verifies a third party has tested the products.
- The group also makes it clear that patients should not stop taking arthritis medications already prescribed by doctors.
- The group also says to beware of drug interactions and recommends discussing with your doctor about whether or not taking CBD is a good idea.
The Forbes article continued, “A study from the European Journal of Pain also showed that CBD applied directly to the skin has helped lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis.
“We’re certainly still in the early days of CBD popularity, especially in the senior market, but so far the outlook looks good.”
I am not endorsing the use of CBD, either. However, it is legal in Florida and across the United States, and seniors are claiming it is effective for arthritis pain relief, inflammation and more, so it may be worth a try!
If you or someone you love suffers from any form of arthritis, the compassionate caregivers at Home Helpers are available 24/7/365, to assist with homemaker’s services like light housekeeping, laundry, and meal preparation, as well as personal care, and general activities of daily living to make life’s journey a little less painful and much more pleasurable! I am happy to offer a FREE consultation to assess individual needs, so I can match the right compassionate caregiver for you or your loved one.
We, at Home Helpers® Clearwater, are honored to have received the Home Care Pulse – Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice Award for 2017, 2018 & 2019. We proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier℠ (727) 240-3059
WMBF News/Arthritis Foundation