Welcome to our Senior Fitness series. This article will focus on sharing Arthritis information (be sure to read the infographic below from GeriatricNurses.org) and our reading recommendations. We are happy that you are reading this as it is our sincere hope to publish useful and informative articles. Please jot us a line to let us know what topics you are interested in.
Over 50 Million
“Over 50 million Americans have arthritis, making it the number one cause of disability in the country. That means 1 in every 5 adults, 300,000 children and countless families. … The first steps in conquering arthritis are learning the facts, understanding your condition and knowing that help is by your side.”
∼ Source: Arthritis.Org
We hope you find this information helps you locate resources to help you *or a loved one. This information is intended to help you formulate questions to ask your doctor and is NOT medical advice. Your Doctor is your best source of information and guidance, and should be your first course of action.
Arthritis?! Now What?
Recently diagnosed with arthritis in the hip (Osteoarthritis or OA), my doctor provided two pages of information about hip and/or knee arthritis but I wanted to learn more. Yes, it’s a common term I’d heard all my life, but I never KNEW anything about it – other than it hurts. So, after a few days of this diagnosis sinking in, I began to think of lots of questions so I’ve been trying to learn more about this condition – what it is and what it is not. My next appointment is in 3 months so hope to get all my questions formulated by then.
Researching the topic of Arthritis has been interesting and informative! I haven’t found the exercises (I’m still researching for specifics) but instead found a lot of useful information – but I’m interested in exercises for OA of the Hip so that’s going to take a little longer, but I did find some generally useful guidelines for anyone with arthritis that I wanted to share with you:
- Avoid foods that may cause inflammation – sugar, MSG, saturated fats, trans fats, refined carbs, gluten and casein, aspartame, alcohol, Omega 6 Fatty Acids (check labels)
- Best foods to eat – fish, soy, extra virgin olive oil, cherries, low fat dairy products, broccoli, green tea, citrus, whole grains, beans, garlic, nuts
- Avoid putting too much pressure on the joints (avoid jolting the joint by jumping) – excess weight puts pressure on your joints
- Weather has it’s affects (see below)
- Exercise – strengthen your muscles to support your joints
- Weight loss and exercise are recommended for osteoarthritis
Types of Arthritis
It’s common for people to think that arthritis is a condition that only affects seniors, but that is far from reality. Certain types of arthritis does affect seniors more than others, but it is by no means a disease that targets people of a certain age.
There are more than 100 different forms of arthritis. Arthritis may arise from aging, damage to the articular cartilage, autoimmune diseases, bacterial or viral infections, or unknown (probably genetic) causes.
∼ Source: openstax CNX cnx.org
Here are some examples of the different types of arthritis. You can find the full list on the Arthritis Foundation website – they are also a great source of information for you.
Bursitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Gout, Lupus, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Pediatric Rheumatic Diseases, Rheumatic Fever, Spinal Stenosis and Tendonitis, to name just a few.
Exercise is key to maintaining good quality of life so be sure to check this valuable resource for understanding exercise limitations for your specific type of Arthritis *(or someone you love): Arthritis.org/…/Your-Exercise-Solution/
Arthritis is a general term for conditions that affect the joints and surrounding tissues. Joints are places in the body where bones come together, such as the knees, wrists, fingers, toes, and hips. The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a painful, degenerative joint disease that often involves the hips, knees, neck, lower back, or small joints of the hands. OA usually develops in joints that are injured by repeated overuse from performing a particular task or playing a favorite sport or from carrying around excess body weight.
Eventually this injury or repeated impact thins or wears away the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones in the joint. As a result, the bones rub together, causing a grating sensation. Joint flexibility is reduced, bony spurs develop, and the joint swells. Usually, the first symptom of OA is pain that worsens following exercise or immobility.
Treatment usually includes analgesics, topical creams, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (known as NSAIDs); appropriate exercises or physical therapy; joint splinting; or joint replacement surgery for seriously damaged larger joints, such as the knee or hip.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that usually involves various joints in the fingers, thumbs, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, feet, and ankles. An autoimmune disease is one in which the body releases enzymes that attack its own healthy tissues. In RA, these enzymes destroy the linings of joints. This causes pain, swelling, stiffness, malformation, and reduced movement and function.
Although osteoporosis and osteoarthritis are two very different medical conditions with little in common, the similarity of their names causes great confusion. These conditions develop differently, have different symptoms, are diagnosed differently, and are treated differently. NIH – National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Weather & Arthritis
People with arthritis often claim they can predict the weather, based on their joint pain level, and with good reason. Studies show a change in weather can increase pain so watch for any changes in
- Barometric pressure (especially falling)
- Temperature (especially lowering)
∼ Source: Physical Therapy Professionals
Terms to Know
- A tough, flexible tissue that lines joints and gives structure to the nose, ears, larynx, and other parts of the body.
- In medicine, the place where two or more bones are connected. Examples include the shoulder, elbow, knee, and jaw.
- Doctors who diagnose and treat diseases of the bones, joints, muscles, and tendons, including arthritis and collagen diseases.
- Synovial Fluid
- The slippery fluid produced by the synovium (joint lining) to lubricate the joints.
Helpful Resources for you
Arthritis – An infographic GeriatricNursing.org:
|Learn more about Arthritis|
Senior Fitness articles will be prefaced with SF: and we’ll publish articles and printable exercises. We value your opinion and your feedback is important to us, so please be sure to let us know what you think!
Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to visit us. As always, we are wishing you the best of health!