May Is Arthritis Awareness Month
Are you or your parent one of the 60 million adults with arthritis? According to the Arthritis Foundation, it is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Joint pain can make everyday tasks like hygiene and house cleaning difficult. APC can help with these tasks.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is characterized by swelling and tenderness at one or more joints, usually getting worse as one ages. Arthritis is not a single disease. It is a category of conditions and diseases that affect the joints.
While the main symptoms of arthritis are swelling and tenderness, other symptoms can include
Other symptoms associated with different types of arthritis include
- Redness and warmth at the joint
- Limited range of motion
- Difficulty moving the joint.
While some medicines can slow the progression of arthritis, treatment focuses on relieving the pain and maintaining use of the effected joints. Pain medicine and hot and cold packs are the best options for arthritic pain. Weight loss and exercise help with joint flexibility and range of motion.
Types of Arthritis
There are many types of arthritis and related conditions. Let’s look at the most common types.
The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis is caused by the breakdown of the cartilage in the joint. Known as the “wear and tear” arthritis, it can result in bone on bone and damage to the connective tissue. Sports injuries, obesity, and age all contribute to osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that attacks the joints, especially the lining around the joint. The cartilage and bone can be destroyed as the disease progresses. Rheumatoid arthritis is not genetic, but a family history may make you more susceptible to triggers of rheumatoid arthritis.
Gout is most common in the big toe but can affect other joints as well. When the body makes too much uric acid which then forms crystals that gather in the joint, gout develops. Gout often occurs suddenly at night.
Psoriatic arthritis can occur in people with psoriasis. Like psoriasis, it is progressive but may come and go. Psoriatic arthritis can also affect other parts of the body besides the joints, including nails and eyes.
APC Can Help
There are many ways that APC can help you or your loved one with arthritis.
- Changes to the finger or toenails
- Loss of hair
- Rash, or itchy, scaly skin
With help from APC, you or your loved one can enjoy aging at home, despite arthritis.
- Our attendants can help with housework, meal preparation, dressing, and other personal care needs that have become difficult or painful because of the arthritis.
- Physical Therapy can help with exercises to strengthen the muscles around the joints, keep joints flexible, and with range of motion.
- Occupational Therapists can help with assistive devices like canes or walkers to aid in mobility.