When you think of arthritis you may picture an elderly individual, although people of all ages can experience symptoms of arthritis. It can greatly limit the activities you are able to participate in.  It can also lead to an increase in depression. These are both very common problems affecting seniors so it is worth evaluating if arthritis is a contributing factor. When you think of arthritis you may picture an elderly individual, although people of all ages can experience symptoms of arthritis. It can greatly limit the activities you are able to participate in. It can also lead to an increase in depression. These are both very common problems affecting seniors so it is worth evaluating if arthritis is a contributing factor.

According to the NIH, arthritis is caused by an inflammation in the lining of the joints. The two most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.  People with lupus and certain infections can also experience arthritis. Learn more with the NIH.gov website – CLICK HERE

While medication is often recommended for people experiencing symptoms of arthritis, following are a few alternative treatments:

  1. Supplements, such as fish oil, and vitamins.
  2. Heat and cold therapies which include cold compresses for short periods of time, a warm shower or heating pad.
  3. Diet also plays an important role in managing symptoms.  Some people find a gluten free diet to be beneficial.  Also eating foods high in antioxidants, such as blueberries, or high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon can be helpful.
  4. Physical therapy is another treatment often used as well as acupuncture.
  5. Keeping your weight down can greatly improve pain in joints.
  6. Exercise is also beneficial for people with arthritis, especially low impact activities such as walking or swimming.

There are so many ways to manage the symptoms of arthritis. Working with your doctor as well as becoming educated on the variety of treatments available are critical to being able to manage symptoms so you can continue to enjoy a good quality of life.

Roslyn Paine, MSW, LSW
DignityFirst Health at Home Care Manager