Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is another form that occurs when the body attacks itself. It’s most common in women and usually appears in middle age. It’s also a very painful form of arthritis. If your mom has it, she may need help and support while managing the pain.
Basic Facts Regarding Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. The body’s immune system attacks the tissue in joints and other areas of the body. Over time, it damages the membranes within the joints and that leads to erosion of the bone. Joint deformity can happen at that point as the ligaments and tendons stretch and fail to keep the bones aligned properly.
Symptoms include sore, warm, swollen joints. The joints in the fingers and toes are usually the first targets. After sitting or getting up in the morning, the stiffness is most worse. Some people also become easily fatigued and develop fevers.
Not every older adult gets rheumatoid arthritis. It is more common in women. It’s also more prevalent in people who have family members with it. Smoking and obesity are other risks.
How Is the Pain Managed?
Doctors may prescribe corticosteroids to help relieve some of the inflammation, but they’re not often used for the long run. NSAID pain relievers like Advil or Aleve are more common. They’re over-the-counter medications that will help with the swelling, fever, and pain.
Prescription medications that help slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis may also be used, but the risks with those medications are possible liver damage, lung infections, and slowed bone marrow production.
Exercises are recommended to help keep the joints as limber as possible. Your mom may be told to get a stress ball and squeeze it every day to strengthen the muscles in her hands. Daily walks, pool-based fitness programs, and Tai Chi are other recommended exercises.
Cold packs can help ease swelling and inflammation. Heat packs or warm baths can help loosen the muscles and ease the pain.
Senior care services can help your mom manage the pain. Caregivers can make sure she’s getting enough exercise by supporting her on walks. They can keep her motivated.
Caregivers can remind her when it’s okay to take her medications and pain relievers. They can cook meals and do the housework for her. Call a senior care agency to make arrangements for services that help with rheumatoid arthritis management.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care in Rockwell, NC, contact the caring professionals at TenderHearted Home Care today. Call us at (704) 612-4132.