When older adults are challenged by arthritis pain, the last thing they may want to do is exercise. Nevertheless, it’s crucially important for seniors with arthritis to continue being physically active to prevent the disease from progressing and to enhance joint functionality. The key is determining the ideal degree and form of exercise to deliver health benefits, while preventing further pain.
Enhanced Home Care, providers of the professional home care Kansas City seniors trust, is committed to helping seniors safely and effectively enhance physical activity to boost overall health and wellbeing. If your older loved one is reluctant to exercise because of arthritis pain, the first step is to schedule an appointment with his or her health care provider for help with pain management and suggestions on an appropriate physical activity program.
With the physician’s permission, the following checklist may be helpful in dealing with some of the common problems of exercising with arthritis:
Is your loved one experiencing mild pain prior to exercising? Often people with arthritis encounter some measure of discomfort when initially beginning an exercise program, and have the tendency to stop the exercise at that point. However, professionals advise moving forward through mild pain with simple range of motion movements, which actually will provide lubrication for the joints and benefit blood circulation. Pain should diminish after a couple of minutes of gentle movements, which can then be followed with a low-impact physical activity program, like walking.
Is the senior experiencing a higher degree of pain before exercising? Moderate to significant pain at the onset of activity must be managed differently. If the pain is limited to one particular spot, such as the hips, give those joints a chance to rest and recover, and focus instead on exercising remaining parts of the body for a day or two; and then try again.
Is there heightened pain during exercise? If pain intensity goes up rather than lowers while exercising, the individual should stop and see the doctor again for help. Inflammation or injury to the joint could be an issue and needs to be addressed.
How is the senior feeling after exercising? If moderate to significant pain is evident after exercising, switching to a different type of physical activity that’s easier on the joints is suggested. Water aerobics, swimming and riding a stationary bike are often good for those with arthritis – but again, check with the physician for consent prior to commencing or changing an exercise plan.
- Providing safe, reliable transportation to healthcare appointments
- Picking up medication refills and running other errands
- Offering motivation and support to take part in a physician-approved exercise program
- Preparing nourishing meals
- Assisting with ambulation and personal care needs, such as showering and getting dressed
- Providing warm companionship to brighten each day
- And so much more
Contact the home care Kansas City team at Enhanced Home Care for more arthritis management advice and to learn more about our in-home care solutions for seniors. You can reach us any time at 913-327-0000.