For older adults struggling with arthritis pain, the last thing they may want to do is exercise. Yet it’s crucially important for those with arthritis to stay physically active to prevent the disease from progressing and to maximize joint functionality. The key is determining the appropriate level and type of exercise to provide health benefits, while avoiding further injury.
The Baltimore home care team at Absolute Companion Care is committed to helping older adults safely and effectively enhance physical activity to improve overall health and wellbeing. If your elder loved one is reluctant to exercise due to arthritis pain, the first step is to schedule an appointment with his or her doctor for pain management assistance and recommendations on an appropriate activity plan.
With the doctor’s approval, the following checklist can be helpful in managing some of the common effects of exercising with arthritis:
Are you experiencing mild pain prior to exercising? Often those with arthritis experience some degree of discomfort when first beginning an exercise program, and tend to stop moving at that point. However, experts recommend continuing through mild pain with simple range of motion activities, which actually will lubricate the joints and improve circulation. Pain should subside after a few minutes of gentle movement, which can then be followed by a low-impact exercise program, such as walking.
Are you experiencing a higher degree of pain before exercising? Moderate to severe pain at the onset of activity should be handled differently. If the pain is limited to one particular area, such as the wrists, give those joints a chance to rest and recover, and focus instead on exercising other parts of the body for a day or two and then try again.
Are you experiencing heightened pain during exercise? If pain intensity increases rather than decreases while exercising, the senior should stop and visit the doctor again for assistance. Inflammation or damage to the joint could be an issue and needs to be addressed.
How are you feeling after exercising? If moderate to severe pain is felt after exercising, switching to a different type of physical activity that’s easier on the joints is advised. Water aerobics, swimming and riding a stationary bike are often recommended for those with arthritis – but again, consult with the doctor for approval before starting or changing an exercise plan.
Absolute Companion Care, leaders in Baltimore home care services, can help older adults with arthritis in a variety of ways, including:
- Providing safe, reliable transportation to medical appointments
- Picking up prescription refills and running other errands
- Offering motivation and encouragement to engage in a physician-approved exercise plan
- Preparing nutritious meals
- Assisting with ambulation and personal care needs, such as bathing and dressing
- Providing friendly companionship to brighten each day
- And so much more
Contact the Baltimore home care professionals at Absolute Companion Care for more arthritis management tips and to learn more about our in-home care solutions for seniors. You can reach us any time at 410-357-9640.