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Joint Pain Management for the Elderly

Almost half of all older adults suffer from arthritis-related joint pain, making it a common health concern among the U.S. elderly population. Arthritis is especially likely to affect high-traffic joints that are used often, such as the knees, shoulders, and lower back.

If you are a senior citizen or know someone who suffers from chronic pain brought on by arthritis or another condition, here are a few things that can help provide relief:

elderly woman

Regular Medication

For moderate to severe joint pain management, anti-inflammatory pain medication can be very effective. Depending on the severity and frequency of a person’s symptoms, arthritis pain management medication such as Advil or Motrin may be used. These pain relievers help reduce stiffness, swelling, and discomfort. Additionally, topical creams can be applied to the affected areas to reduce pain.

In addition to prescribed medication, using hot/cold therapy like a heating pad and ice can help with joint pain management.

Dietary Changes

As a person ages, the body doesn’t absorb nutrients like it once did, so dietary changes are needed. To ensure joint health and reduce the symptoms of arthritis, older adults should see their doctor about how to modify their diets in order to address chronic pain.

An arthritis-friendly diet typically consists of foods that don’t promote inflammation, such as leafy vegetables, legumes, fish, fruits, and other vitamin-packed foods. These foods help elderly adults maintain a healthy weight and promote bone strength, which can help manage arthritis-induced joint pain.

healthy food


Physical Activity

Last, make sure you or your elderly loved one is participating in plenty of physical activity. Many older adults and their caregivers make the mistake of becoming sedentary because even the smallest movements can cause pain. But managing arthritis-related joint pain doesn’t mean giving up an active lifestyle. In fact, experts encourage older adults experiencing joint pain to stay active—even if it’s just walking or doing light weightlifting. The movement helps mitigate and alleviate the stiffness and inflammation that cause pain. It also helps with mobility and flexibility.

Practicing range-of-motion exercises, resistance training, and gentle movements can help older adults stay fit and keep pain in check. Physical therapy that includes light exercises and movements can also help boost joint health.

Houston Physicians’ Hospital has a team of highly specialized orthopedists who understand the painful effects that arthritis can have on older adults in Clear Lake. Our joint solutions and arthritis treatments can help the elderly keep their joints healthy and enable them to live with less pain.

Houston Physicians’ Hospital also provides general surgery, back and neck pain treatments, and spine solutions.