Joint inflammation & pain; Signs and remedies for your elderly loved one’s daily pain
Elderly people tend to go through a lot about joint pain. But most of the time they don’t actually do anything about it. This is tricky, because joint inflammations should not be ignored as they can be signs to bigger issues.
Watch your loved ones closely…
Does your parent or grandparent experience one or some of those symptoms?
- Stiffness and mild pain that comes and goes with activities like walking, bending, or stooping to severe joint pain that keeps on even when they rest or try to sleep.
- Stiff joints when they haven’t moved them in a while, but the stiffness goes away once they move the joint.
- Longer lasting pain, swelling and stiffness to the joint.
- Swelling, warmth and redness in the joints.
- Skin is pulling tightly around the joint and making the area red or purple and very tender.
- An inflamed big toe.
If the answer is yes, then they are probably suffering from one of those types of arthritis:
O.A. is the most common type of joint inflammation or arthritis.
What it is:
- The tissue padding bones in a joint starts to wear off. At OA’s worst, all of the cartilage in a joint wears away, leaving bones that rub against each other.
- Affected areas: hands, neck, lower back, or weight carrying joints like knees and hips.
Why and when does arthritis happen?
- Family history
- Being overweight
- Injuries or overuse of the joints
Rheumatoid Arthritis (R.A.)
R.A. is an autoimmune disease, and the most common type of autoimmune arthritis.
What it is:
- The body attacks the lining of a joint just as it would if it were trying to protect it from injury or disease, hence causing inflammation, pain, swelling and stiffness to the joint.
- Affected areas:
- Any joint like fingers, wrists, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, ankles, feet, and neck;
- Can also attack organs such as the heart, muscles, blood vessels, nervous system, and eyes.
- Till today, the exact cause of RA is unknown. However, there is evidence that autoimmune conditions generally run in families.
Gout is one of the severest types of RA and it usually affects the big toe. Eating foods like meat, beans or anything high in uric acid can worsen the case.
What it is:
- An attack can begin when crystals of uric acid form in the connective tissue and/or joint spaces. These deposits lead to swelling, redness, heat, pain, and stiffness in the joint.
- Swelling may cause the skin to pull tightly around the joint and make the area red or purple and very tender.
- Affected areas:
- As mentioned above, Gout mainly affects the big toe,
- It can also affect other joints, including ankle, elbow, knee, wrist, hand, or other toes.
- Just like RA, the cause of Gout is not known.
- However, Gout attacks can be linked to the following:
- Consuming foods like shellfish, liver, dried beans, peas, anchovies, gravy or alcohol.
- Being overweight may also make gout worse.
- Certain medications like blood pressure medicines can also increase the chance of a gout attack.
There are of course other types of arthritis like reactive arthritis, which occurs as a reaction to another illness in the body, and arthritis in the TMJ (the two joints connecting the jawbone to the skull), where the jaw joins the skull. However, the types explained above are the most relevant ones when it comes to elderly.
Natural Remedies for Arthritis
Joint inflammation is not inevitable. There are a few things that elderly can do to prevent severe joint pain.
Add this yellow spice to your everyday recipes to help them benefit from its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Basic massaging:
It’s no secret that massages help relieve muscle and joint pain. So, do your loved ones a favor and learn how to give them a good curing massage. It will help improve their range of motion through reducing the pain and stiffness they experience in their joints.
- Regular exercise:
Exercise strengthens the body’s joints (especially knees and elbows). Make sure they are always wearing well padded shoes and are walking or stretching on soft surfaces like grass.
- Heat and ice packs:
– Regular long warm morning showers and using heating pads while sleeping can help ease muscle and joint stiffness.
– Use a cold ice pack or simply a bag of frozen veggies to instantly relieve joint pain.
- Hand movements:
Practicing hobbies that emphasize hand skills like sewing or knitting can really help with hand and fingers joint pains.
If none of this helps, please make sure to have your loved ones see a doctor as soon as possible.
Tabibi’s doctors always have your back whenever you need them. We’re there for you 24/7, anywhere in Greater Cairo. Call 16724 or WhatsApp 01115001247 and our team will visit you right at your doorstep.