May is Arthritis Awareness Month, a good time to learn more about a condition that affects so many older adults. Arthritis is actually a general term that is used to refer to more than 100 different types of conditions that affect joints. Though some types of arthritis are rare, others occur more often. Below are just four of the more common kinds of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common kind of arthritis. It occurs over time as joints are damaged by overuse. Weight bearing joints are affected more often than other kinds of joints, so people with osteoarthritis are often affected in their spine, knees, hips, and feet. The cartilage that protects the ends of bones breaks down. Eventually, the bones may rub against one another. Osteoarthritis is painful, but people with it don’t usually have the fatigue or feelings of illness that can come with other kinds of arthritis.
Gout is a kind of arthritis that causes inflammation, but not body-wide. It is caused by a build up of uric acid crystals in a joint. The most commonly affected joint is the big toe. It is an extremely painful form of arthritis. It often strikes suddenly with the senior feeling fine one day and waking the next day in terrible pain. An attack of gout typically lasts anywhere from three to ten days. Over time, a person with gout will experience more frequent attacks.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. The body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the tissues that line joints, causing inflammation. Some people with rheumatoid arthritis develop nodules, or lumps, on their joints. The nodules most often form on joints that have pressure placed on them, such as knuckles, elbows, and heels.
Psoriatic arthritis causes inflammation in both the joints and skin. In the skin, it causes scaly red and white patches. The patches usually happen on the elbows, knees, scalp, navel, and around genitals. In addition to skin symptoms, it causes swelling in the joints. Sometimes only one or a few joints are affected. It can cause swelling in fingers and toes.
If your aging relative suffers from arthritis pain, a senior care provider can help them manage the pain. A senior care provider can remind them to take their arthritis medications. They can also help keep the older adult more active, which can help strengthen muscles and support joints. Senior care providers can also drive the person to their medical appointments.
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Senior Care in Pinellas Park, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff At Assisting Hands Home Care Today! 727-748-4211.