Tips for Dealing with 5 Big Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
Elderly Care in Deerfield, IL
Osteoarthritis is an extremely painful ailment that affects the joints and it has a lot of different symptoms to manage. Your loved one's doctor can give you specific tips to help with her specific issues, but there are some things that you can do to help, too.
Stiffness in the joints is likely to be a problem for your loved one after she's rested for a little while or after sleeping. Moving the joint helps a lot, but that's sometimes tough for your loved one to do, especially if there's pain along with the stiffness. Gentle stretching can help quite a bit. Heat therapy can also work well. Either a heating pad or a warm shower can take a lot of the stiffness away from the joint.
Pain is one of the first ways that your loved one may notice that she's dealing with osteoarthritis. The pain can range from mildly uncomfortable to debilitating, so it's important to have a game plan for helping your loved one to deal with the pain. Talk to your loved one's medical team to find out if medication may be an option. If not, there are other solutions that her doctor can suggest which might include physical therapy or a mix of heat and cold therapy.
Your loved one is likely to experience swelling in and directly around the joints. This is her body's response to the deterioration and the pain in the area. Overusing the joint can also cause tendons and muscles in the region to swell. Ice can help significantly with swelling as well as with the heat that can often accompany swelling. If your loved one is trying to do too much, rest is something that will help quite a bit.
Poor Range of Motion
A reduced range of motion can happen due to pain and swelling or it can happen because your loved one's joint has deteriorated that significantly. It's important to visit her doctor and to determine what exactly is causing the diminished range of motion to get a proper treatment plan. Physical therapy can be quite effective, and either you or your loved one's elderly care providers can help her to do the exercises at home regularly.
Feeling weak in a joint area, particularly a knee or hip, can cause your loved one to avoid moving more than she should. The best way to deal with muscle weakness is to incorporate strengthening exercises into her routine. Your loved one doesn't have to start lifting serious weights, but any activities that help her to build up her muscles will help to strengthen the joint.
Helping your elderly loved one to deal with all of the different symptoms of her osteoarthritis is easier than it might first seem.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Deerfield, IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.