For seniors struggling with arthritis pain, the last thing they may want to do is exercise. Yet it’s crucially important for older adults with arthritis to remain physically active to protect against progression of the disease and to enhance functionality of the joints. The key is finding out the right degree and type of exercise to produce health benefits, while avoiding further harm.
The St. Louis home care team at Compassionate Nursing Services is dedicated to helping older adults safely and effectively boost physical activity to enrich overall senior health and wellbeing. If your older loved one is resistant to exercise as a result of arthritis pain, the initial step is to schedule an appointment with his or her physician for help with managing pain and suggestions on an appropriate exercise plan.
Is the senior experiencing mild pain prior to exercising? Sometimes, seniors with arthritis experience some level of discomfort when initially beginning an exercise program, and tend to stop exercising at that point. Nonetheless, professionals advocate moving forward through mild pain with simplified range of motion movements, which actually will lubricate the joints and improve blood circulation. Pain should abate after a couple of minutes of gentle movements, which can then be followed by a low-impact physical activity program, such as walking.
Is there a higher degree of pain prior to exercising? Moderate to significant pain at the onset of activity should be handled differently. If the pain is limited to one particular region, such as the hips, give those joints the opportunity to rest and recover, and focus instead on exercising other parts of the body for a day or two; and then try again.
Is heightened pain a factor during exercise? If pain intensity accelerates rather than diminishes while exercising, the senior should stop and see the doctor again for suggestions. Inflammation or injury to the joint might be an issue and would need to be addressed.
How does the senior feel after exercise? If moderate to extreme pain is felt after exercising, changing to a different type of physical activity that’s easier on the joints is advised. Swimming, water aerobics, and stationary bike riding are often suggested for those with arthritis – but again, consult with the physician for consent before commencing or changing an exercise plan.
Compassionate Nursing Services, leaders in St. Louis home care services, can help older individuals with arthritis in a multitude of ways, including:
- Providing safe, reliable transportation to medical appointments
- Picking up medication refills and running other errands
- Offering motivation and encouragement to engage in a physician-approved exercise plan
- Preparing healthy meals
- Assisting with ambulation and personal care needs, such as showering and getting dressed
- Providing pleasant companionship to brighten each day
- And so much more
Contact the St. Louis home care professionals at Compassionate Nursing Services for more arthritis management recommendations and to learn more about our in-home care solutions for seniors. You can reach us any time at 314-432-4312.