You might think that joint pain is just part of getting older, and to some extent that is correct. As people get older, their joints do sometimes wear down due to the wear and tear of life. This gradual erosion of the joint is called osteoarthritis. Although your dad might start feeling the aches and pains of old age, there’s no reason he has to live with the discomfort. There are many ways of dealing with joint pain so that he can keep doing the things he loves.
There are many changes your dad can make to the way they live that can ease joint pain. Among them are:
- Weight Loss: Obesity places excess pressure on the joints. Studies have shown that losing just 11 pounds can cut the risk of osteoarthritis by half.
- Change Shoes: Wearing shoes with adequate cushioning will reduce strain on the knees and hips.
- Exercise: It seems like exercising would cause more joint pain, but the truth is that when done properly it can reduce pain. Your dad may need to work with a physical therapist to develop an exercise program that will strengthen the muscles that support joints without causing additional pain. Many experts suggest that exercise done in the water are an excellent option since the water supports body weight, taking the pressure off joints. Other low-impact exercises, like bicycling and walking, may also work well.
If your dad’s attempts to reduce pain through lifestyle choices don’t work, talk to the doctor about pain relieving medications. If the pain is mild, the doctor may suggest over the counter pain relievers, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Topical medications, such as creams and rubs, can help as well. The doctor may prescribe a medication. Because even over the counter medicines can cause drug interactions, it’s best to talk to the doctor before your dad starts taking any new medications.
Other Methods of Pain Relief
There are several non-medicinal methods for pain relief that your dad may want to try. Some of them are:
- Hot and Cold Packs: A hot or cold pack applied to the painful area may help. Whether your dad uses heat or cold is a matter of preference, so try both to see which one feels best.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese procedure that uses needles. Doctors believe that it works by increasing blood flow to the painful spot and causes the body to release endorphins.
- Meditation: Meditation may help by reducing stress. Stress makes inflammation in the body worse because of chemicals that are released when a person is under stress.
If your parent suffers from the aches and pains associated with age, an elderly care provider can help them to ease joint pain. An elderly care provider can assist your parent with applying hot or cold packs. They can drive your parent to the local pool for exercise classes. An elderly care provider can also remind your parent to take the medications suggested by the doctor. Or, when the pain is severe, they can allow your parent to rest while they take care of things around the house, like cooking, laundry, and light housecleaning.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elderly care in Charlton, MA, please contact the caring staff at Medex Healthcare today. Call 508-826-1641