Aging in Place with Arthritis
Arthritis is a category of conditions marked by severe pain and joint deterioration. When seniors refer to arthritis, they usually mean joint pain or joint disease – along with stiffness, swelling, and compromised range of motion. Some types of arthritis also affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin as well.
But not everyone who lives with arthritis pain takes steps to address it. Most people know to monitor their diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol. But when it comes to chronic pain, some people overlook the issue for some time. This can affect their mobility and quality of life.
Understanding the challenges of arthritis and working around them can help you live comfortably and happily for years to come.
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For obese patients, knees and hips are the prime sources of painful inflammation. An obese body develops characteristics that can actually keep the person from losing too much weight. The human brain is hard-wired to go into starvation mode if its fat stores are compromised. This feeling of deprivation undermines any efforts to lose weight. Arthritic joints make exercise harder than ever – particularly if the pain is enough to necessitate a joint replacement.
If you are overweight to any degree, start slow on your weight loss journey. Work with your healthcare team to establish realistic goals. Healthier foods at sensible proportion sizes are key. A pedometer is also a great help. Even though losing a few pounds may not be noticeable to you, every pound loss will help your heart, adjust your metabolism, and take enough stress off your joints to help you feel better.