May is Arthritis Awareness Month!

This month, our home healthcare services team is looking at a health condition that affects so many seniors — arthritis. This includes over 100 conditions that cause joint disease and joint pain, affecting over 50 million adults in the United States. Here is some helpful information about arthritis and its treatment.

Do I Have Arthritis? 

As this name is given to such a large group of conditions, there’s no definitive single set of symptoms for diagnosis. However, these four most common symptoms can indicate an issue:

  1. Swelling, pain and stiffness in the joints
  2. Decreased range of motion
  3. Physical changes to the joints, for example, knobby finger joints
  4. Difficulty with daily activities like walking, typing and climbing stairs

If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to speak with your doctor as soon as possible to get the right diagnosis and treatment.

Osteoarthritis, the most common condition in this category, generally affects the elderly. It is caused when the cartilage (the hard but smooth cushioning surface on the ends of bones) wears away, leaving bone to rub against bone. This causes pain, swelling and stiffness, which often worsen over time, resulting in a lack of strength in the joint.

Inflammatory arthritis conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are immune conditions which occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks the joints of the body, resulting in painful inflammation and even damage to internal organs and other parts of the body. It can result from genetic and environmental risk factors, including smoking.

Treatment for Arthritis 

For osteoarthritis, symptoms are treated by not overworking joints, engaging in therapeutic activity and strengthening the muscles around the joints, healthy weight management, hot and cold therapies, assistive devices, mild pain medications and avoiding repetitive movements.

For inflammatory arthritis, early diagnosis is very important, as patients can get medical treatment in the form of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) to reduce pain and inflammation and prevent permanent damage.

Compassionate, Quality Care from Our Home Health Aide Services Team in New Jersey 

Whether you need permanent senior homecare services or someone qualified and experienced to assist your loved one on a respite care or temporary basis, we are here to help through HomeWorks. As one of the leading home health agencies in NJ, our staff are fully certified in New Jersey and have senior care training and experience. Please feel free to ask for formal certification and references.

For more information about HomeWorks’ home health aide services, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/Home-Care-Services-For-Seniors