Aging Well Journal Newsletter – May -2014 – AW Health Care

Aging Well Health Care Says, “Be AWake to Arthritis.”


Osteoarthritis (OA)…According to Aging Well Health Care, people most often develop osteoarthritis (OA). OA develops when the cartilage that pads the joints begins to wear away. Bones rub against each other causing pain and stiffness. OA most often occurs in the hands, neck, lower back, or the large weight-bearing joints of your body, such as knees and hips.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease, a type of illness that causes the body attack itself. RA causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in just one joint, or many different joints at the same time. Pain can last for hours and is sometimes accompanied by fatigue and fever. RA can also cause problems with the heart, muscles, blood ­vessels, nervous system, and eyes.

Gout is a very painful kind of arthritis. It most often happens in the big toe, but other joints can also be affected. Swelling may cause the skin to pull tightly around the joint and make the area red or purple and very tender. Gout is caused by too much uric acid in the blood. Too much uric acid forms hard crystals in the joints which causes pain.


Treating Arthritis

Take action to ease arthritis pain. Here’s what you can do: Get enough rest, do the right exercise, eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, and learn the right way to use and protect your joints.

Proper shoes and a cane can help. But have the cane fitted by a professional. Don’t borrow one from a friend or neighbor. There are also gadgets to help open jars and bottles or to turn the doorknobs. Try a heating pad or cold pack, soaking in a warm bath or swimming.

AW Health Care is here to help you deal with arthritis. Call us! In Missouri: (314) 726-5600. In Illinois, call (618) 344-8800.

Medicines can help with pain and swelling. Acetaminophen might ease OA pain. Some people find NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), like ibuprofen, naproxen, and ketoprofen, helpful. Gout is also treated with NSAIDS, or corticosteroids. There are many new, effective drugs on the market to treat RA. Check with your doctor to see which might be right for you.

 Older people lifting weights in gym

Exercise Can Help

Daily exercise is important if you have arthritis:

Range-of-motion exercises, like dancing, might relieve stiffness, keep you flexible, and help you keep moving your joints.

Strengthening exercises, such as weight training, will strengthen muscles that support and protect your joints.

Aerobic or endurance exercises, like bicycle riding, will improve heart and artery function, will help prevent weight gain, and also may lessen swelling.

It’s not easy to start an exercise program when you have stiff, achy joints. See your doctor first to get your pain under control. Then start slow. Try low-impact exercise like Tai Chi, yoga or swimming. Ask AW Health Care about exercise and therapy in your apartment. We can help! In Missouri, call (314) 726-5600. In Illinois, call (618) 344-8800.


Get Gardening Outside. The Weather is Great!

May is a beautiful time to do a little gardening. Even if you live in an apartment, you can start a small garden with a few containers, potting soil, and small starter plants. If your apartment has a balcony or patio, that’s even better! Start your containers out there. Gardening enriches your life…mentally, physically and spiritually.

Flag in Blur

May the wreaths they have won, never wither…

Nor the star of their glory grow dim.


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