Did you know that over 50 million adults in the United States suffer from arthritis? Older adults and seniors are among the hardest hit, and as the weather gets colder, pain from arthritis increases and natural ways to combat this disease are sought after.
There are many prescription medications that can help ease the symptoms of arthritis, but many of them come with unpleasant side effects that can be tough to endure. These side effects include but aren’t limited to, stomach upset, nausea, weight gain, swelling in feet and even bone loss.
So, what’s the good news? Well, there ARE natural answers to help ease arthritis pain! Read on.
Managing Arthritis Naturally this Winter
• Stay Active: While it might seem really hard to want to exercise or be active when every joint is hurting, there are other things you can do if getting out for a walk is too difficult. Consider chair yoga, stretching indoors, or even swimming to lighten the pressure on those stiff joints.
• Alternate Hot and Cold: Often, doctors recommend alternating a heating pad with an ice pack to bring swelling down and help bring relief. It’s not appropriate for all arthritis pain, so be sure and ask your doctor it’s a good idea in your case, or the senior family member you love.
• Keep Your Weight Under Control: Extra pounds naturally put pressure on joints and bones and can cause pain, especially in seniors. For each pound that is carried on the body, the knees have to carry about 5 pounds of pressure. Losing just a few pounds can bring BIG relief to arthritic knees!
• Eat a Healthy Diet: Foods have a huge impact on arthritis pain. There are foods that are known to cause inflammation and swelling such as sugar, carbs, and many processed foods. Avoiding a diet loaded with chemicals and sugars will surely help joints calm down and feel better. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy food—try dark berries, fish, grapes, nuts and green leafy veggies to fight swelling and inflammation!
• Drink Lots of Tea: Green tea, in particular, has wonderful benefits, not the least of which is its ability to fight off inflammation. It has been known to block chemicals in the body that lead to swelling, and green tea also does a lot for the immune system. Drinking green tea each day could be a great way to be healthier and feel better!
• Warm up joints: For seniors, it’s important that the body and joints are warmed up slowly through a warm bath, heated swimming pool or even heating pads. Doing this can really help prevent pain or make that arthritis achiness much more tolerable. This is especially true during the winter months.
If you or a senior loved one suffer from arthritis pain, ask your doctor about an aquatic exercise program. The ability to move and exercise without pain is so much better in the water, and in those cold months, getting in soothing warm water can be a wonderful time of relaxation.
Contact us today for more tips and ideas on how seniors can manage winter arthritis pain better!
Home Helpers of MetroWest is a locally-owned, trusted home health care agency and offers quality, compassionate senior in-home care services including home care assistance, 24-hour live-in care, personal care, companion care, respite care, Alzheimer's & dementia care, Parkinson's care as well as homemaker services in Concord, Framingham, Lincoln, Marlborough, Natick, Southborough, Sudbury, Wayland, Wellesley, and Weston, Massachusetts.
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