Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Arthritis Pain

Published by Steve Hedberg on August 22, 2009 Under arthritis

elderlycoupleOne of the most difficult tasks for many seniors with arthritis is also one of the most common tasks preformed daily. This is the task of standing up, which can be very hard for someone who suffers from one of the many types of arthritis, and is much more difficult after the senior has been seated or laying down for an extended period of time.

What is the Vicious Cycle of Arthritis Pain?

Often, arthritis pain is worst in the morning and there may be thirty minutes to an hour where the senior is simply in too much pain to move. In many regards, arthritis can actually cause a vicious cycle of pain and inactivity, which feed off one another, resulting in more pain and discomfort.

This cycle is started when the senior realizes that it would be painful to stand up. As a result, they remain seated for an even longer amount of time, which only serves to make the pain and discomfort even greater when they do decide to stand up. This only serves to reinforce their decision to remain seated, creating the vicious cycle of arthritis pain.

Arthritis Pain Management and the Importance of Exercise

There are a number of different types of arthritis, some of which respond reasonably well to anti-inflammatory medicines, which can help reduce pain. However, in many cases regular pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin, are not effective against arthritis or are likely to cause other health problems in the elderly.

Instead, for most types of arthritis, preforming regular exercise is much more effective at treating arthritis. It is very important, however, to consult with a doctor to determine what type of exercises to preform. The exercises should be low impact and low risk. Often, water aerobics are popular among seniors, as is walking and stretching.

Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Arthritis Pain

To help break the viscous cycle of pain caused by arthritis, it is important to not give in to the urge to remain seated or immobile for extended periods of time. Instead, make a point of getting up every 15 or 30 minutes to do a little stretching, walk around the house, or doing a safe exercise that your doctor has recommended.

Everyone is important, so it is essential to listen to your body. Determine how long you can remain seated for before arthritis pain occurs and make certain to stand up and exercise before you get to this point. Some also find that heat helps soothe sore joints, so consider using a heat pad or hot water bottle to help reduce pain, however exercise and staying active is far more important.

It is also essential to ensure that you will be able to safely stand up, preferably without assistance. Some arthritis sufferers rely on walkers placed in front of their chair as support when standing. Rolling walkers are also popular, but it is essential that the walker has a solid brake system on it and that the senior remembers to set the brake.

Another more elegant solution is to use a lifting aid, like a lift chair, which is similar to a recliner, but actually raises into the air to make it easier to stand and sit.

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