MORE ON MANAGING ARTHRITIS

Mar 27th, 2013 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Lifestyle, Health & Fitness

Seniors Manage Arthritis Pain

We seniors are always on the lookout for advice about managing arthritis pain. Most of us get this dis-ease in our senior years. The lucky ones just have osteoarthritis; rheumatoid arthritis is not only painful, it’s debilitating. So our ears perk up when we hear or read about how arthritis can be managed, or even better, prevented.

Here is some information SCJ gleaned from an Internet search:

  • In July 2012, The British Medical Journal published a study that revealed women who drank three alcoholic beverages a week cut their risk of rheumatoid arthritis in half. Wine, beer or liquor… it doesn’t matter. That old adage ‘If a little is good, a lot is better’ probably does not apply in this case!
  • Arthritis and Rheumatism Journal reported a study about eating tart cherries. Study participants who ate 10 to 12 cherries a day lowered their risk of gout attack by 35 percent. Some natural medicine proponents tout drinking tart cherry juice daily to control arthritis pain.
  • Exercise (here we go again!) helps maintain mobility, increases muscle strength in the legs and decreases fall risk. The mobility helps diminish the development of arthritis, thus putting off or lowering the level of pain.
  • Acupuncture is an alternative treatment that increasing numbers of seniors are accessing to control arthritis pain. This editor was having knee pain last Christmas when a friend visited; the friend is an acupuncturist. She gave me two acupuncture treatments for the knee pain, and I have not had pain since. Medicine is beginning to recognize the value of acupuncture as a form of treatment for a variety of ills, including arthritis.
  • The Journal of Biological Chemistry identifies curcumin (in the spice, Turmeric) as a possible treatment for autoimmune disease. (January, 2013) Many seniors routinely add Turmeric to salads, soups casseroles and other dishes simply for the health benefits it offers.

Traditional Treatment for Arthritis

We seniors need to recognize the benefit and value of traditional treatment for arthritis as well as that identified above. Arthritis pain is nothing to fool around with. Any senior experiencing pain needs to consult her/his primary care physician and work with her/him on a treatment plan that diminishes the pain as much as possible.

Such treatment will likely include medications that target the specific kind of arthritis identified. Any alternative or complementary treatment needs to be discussed with one’s PCP and a plan needs to be developed in cooperation between patient and physician.

 



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