If your elderly loved one has arthritis, it is important to know they could experience a range of issues. Research shows that many people who have arthritis also experience chronic headaches. When caring for your elderly loved one, it is important to know more about the relation between these 2 health issues.  

Defining Arthritis

Senior Care Cleveland, NC: Arthritis and Headaches

Arthritis is basically around 100 conditions that lead to joint pain. Anyone who has arthritis could experience swelling, pain, and stiffness in the joints. The symptoms could range from mild to severe. For some people, their condition can stay the same for years. For others, it can progress and worsen quickly.   

Arthritis Causing Headaches 

Arthritis can cause headaches. The most common type of arthritis that causes headaches is osteoarthritis. The pain isn’t in the patient’s head. It is actually the neck vertebrae getting attacked by the immune system.  

 

In addition, there is spinal inflammation that sends the brain signals that say there are painful stimuli in the body, especially the neck. The blood supply rushes to the brain and leads to headaches. 

Symptoms of Headaches Caused by Arthritis  

Unlike the headaches that most people experience, when someone has a headache from arthritis, the pain usually starts in their neck. After the pain starts there, it will go up from the bottom of the head. It usually reaches the top part of the head and then spreads to one side. There shouldn’t be pain around the temple.  

 

Many people who get this type of headache will have tingling in their scalp, neck, and/or arms. This might mean they have a pinched nerve around their neck. This could be caused by disc degeneration.  

 

There have been patients who have been diagnosed with migraines when, in fact, the true diagnosis is a headache caused by arthritis.  

Treatments for These Types of Headaches 

If your elderly loved one experiences headaches and they have arthritis, it is important that you or one of their senior care providers take them to their doctor. The doctor can determine if the headaches are due to arthritis. If there is a pinched nerve, the doctor might prescribe physical therapy to help treat this.  

 

If there are other health issues going on, your elderly loved one’s doctor might prescribe medications to help with their pain and discomfort. Sometimes patients need a neck brace to help offer pain relief. If the disc degeneration or arthritis is serious, surgery might be recommended. 

Conclusion 

Arthritis can be a painful condition. It can cause someone to have headaches. If your elderly loved one experiences headaches and they do have arthritis, you might want to have them see their doctor for possible treatments.  

 

If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care in Cleveland, NC, contact the caring professionals at TenderHearted Home Care today. Call us at (704) 612-4132 

 

Sources 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4590146/ 

https://www.arthritis.org/diseases/more-about/can-osteoarthritis-be-causing-my-headaches 

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