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Health Care for Senior Citizens – About Arthritis by KV Gopalakrishnan

August 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

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Once you cross the threshold of fifty years, it is best to be aware of some typical diseases which have the potential to diminish your enjoyment of everyday living. Arthritis is certainly one of the ailments that falls into this class. This article offers you, in a nutshell, information about the disease, as well as the lifestyle modifications, which might enable you to prevent it and address it if needed.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is typically the swelling and infection of one or more body joints, where a pair of bones meet. Arthritis develop when the cartilage, which protects a joint and enables it to move freely, gets affected. Since the cartilage facilitates in absorbing impact when stress is exerted on the joint like when you walk or jog, its damage affects movement of the joint. When the normal quantity of cartilage material diminishes, the bones may begin rubbing with each other, triggering discomfort, swelling (inflammation), and rigidity, resulting in Arthritis.

Causes for Arthritis

The damage to the cartilage and joint soreness can occur due to a variety of factors. This impairment to the cartilage can occur due to normal wear and tear of joints, a damaged bone, infection in the region caused by bacteria or virus, and in some cases due to an auto-immune condition wherein body immune system erroneously assaults healthy tissues. Generally Arthritis gets cured once the particular trigger goes away or is addressed. At times the disease does not get cured. When this occurs, it is called chronic Arthritis.

Signs and symptoms of Arthritis

The indicators of this illness include joint ache, joint inflammation, restricted movements of one’s joints, soreness on the skin close to a joint, stiffness especially in the early morning and warmth all-around a joint. An early on diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis is definitely a crucial factor in treating it and also preventing it from turning into acute.

Treatment options for Arthritis

The healthcare specialist treating Arthritis is referred to as a Rheumatologist. The comprehensive treatment solution of Arthritis consists primarily of life-style modifications, physical exercise program, and if needed medicines, dietary supplements and surgical procedure. Immediate therapy include things like, heating or cooling, Orthotics (splints) support, water treatment and massage therapy. The objective of treatment is usually to minimize suffering, enhance function, and prevent further harm to the joint. Nevertheless, in a few instances, the root cause can not be remedied.

Cure for Arthritis – Lifestyle changes

Life-style modifications are the favored treatment solution for Arthritis as well as other types of joint inflammation. Primarily, it is important to get rid of any excess weight to reduce the stress on the affected joints. Physical exercise may help alleviate stiffness, minimize suffering and fatigue, and boost muscle and bone strength. It is best to seek advice from your therapist to design a workout plan that may suit your needs.. Work out plans may also incorporate low impact aerobic activity, flexibility workouts and power training for muscular tissues. If necessary, the therapist can recommend usage of some unique devices to help you to drive, dress and do other everyday activities.

Other tips which can enable you to get relief include:

 

  • Having 8-10 hours of sleep,
  • Avoiding remaining in one position.
  • Avoiding extra pressure on joints and
  • Practicing yoga and meditation.

 

So far as nutrition is concerned, it is best to eat healthy diet which include:

 

  • Substantial amount of fruits and veggies,
  • Omega three rich foodstuff such as fish, soybeans and walnuts.
  • Complex carbohydrates with minimal salt, sugar and fat
  • Green tea is claimed to scale back inflammation and degradation of cartilage.

 

Prevention of Arthritis

For prevention of Arthritis, please take care to avoid strain or injury to joints and also to have timely cure of infections in the region of joints. It might be far better to stay away from jogging after you cross fifty years of age mainly because it can result in weakness to knee joints and lower back.. Swimming is an effective alternative for jogging.

The lifestyle adjustments and the dietary recommendations described in the section ‘Cure for arthritis – Lifestyle changes’ are equally relevant in preventing it.

The goal of this short article is to present you with basic information about Arthritis as well as emphasize the significance of lifestyle modifications for curing and preventing it. Having said that, you should invariably seek the advice of a healthcare professional to treat the ailment.

Senor Citizen Consultant

Retired from Government service and enjoying life.

My aim is to help senior citizens by giving useful tips to enable them to enjoy health, wealth and happiness.

http://enjoyafter50.com/ <-Visit this website for tips and tricks to make your retirement life happy and enjoyable.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=KV_Gopalakrishnan

Recovering from Hip Replacement Surgery

August 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Recovering from Hip Replacement Surgery

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One of the most complex joints in the human body is the hip. In order for the thighbone to move smoothly and normally in the socket, the body must have healthy cartilage and adequate joint fluid.

Disruption of this system — disintegrating cartilage, fluid imbalance, fractures, etc. — can cause the joint to swell, bringing severe pain and stiffness that makes daily activities and work almost impossible. Osteoarthritis, overuse of the joint, injury and other medical conditions can cause these problems.

Treatment Options

If physical therapy and medication do not control hip pain or improve mobility, doctors may consider one of two surgical options. One treatment is hip resurfacing, a procedure that caps the ball of the joint with a metal prosthesis and replaces the socket. The other treatment option is hip replacement, a procedure that replaces the original joint with an artificial one.

Hip Replacement Surgery and Complications

Hip replacement surgery is a very serious procedure that requires a lot of preparation on the patient’s end. In addition, it is important that recovery plans and follow-up treatment are tailored carefully to the needs of the patient to ensure safe and effective healing. Without a proper recovery plan, complications and additional surgeries could follow.

The most common complications from hip replacement surgery are infection and blood clots. To reduce the risk of infection, patients are usually given antibiotics after surgery. To prevent blood clots, health care providers may choose medication and/or physical therapy.

Some patients experience complications with the hip implants themselves. Implants with two or more metal parts, including some made by manufacturers Biomet and DePuy, can lead to metal poisoning and other severe complications. Zimmer manufactures the Durom Cup, which can come loose and cause serious pain. Patients need to contact their surgeon right away if they have any serious complications after hip surgery.

Recovery

After hip replacement surgery, it is important to do mild strengthening exercises, such as contracting and releasing the leg muscles, and short pumps of the ankles. However, patients must limit the movement of their hips. Exercises should be initially performed with a physical therapist, and then at home after proper instruction has been given.

Patients should plan ahead to have family and/or friends assist them at home for at least the first week or two after hip replacement. In addition, patients will not be allowed to drive for up to four weeks and will need to plan transportation to doctor appointments, physical therapy and the grocery store.

After hip replacement, patients should avoid using lotions or oils on the hip area, especially around or near the incision. Keeping the area dry is important in order for the incision area to heal properly. Within one to two months, physical activities and daily routines should start to return to normal, however, these activities should be resumed gradually to avoid falls and other injuries that might damage the hip again.

Slow walks with leverage from a crutch or cane can be helpful during recovery. Patients should avoid steps, hills and slopes. Routine visits to the physician should occur at three, six and 12 weeks, as well as six and 12 months after surgery.

 

Jennifer Mesko is the managing editor of Drugwatch.com. She keeps the public informed about the latest medical news, recalls and FDA warnings.

Senior Citizens Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, and Arthritis – Causes and Treatments By David Crumrine

April 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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“Arthritis” does not mean only that someone has stiff, aching joints. Many types of arthritis exist, each with its own symptoms and treatments. Most types are chronic, meaning that they can be a source of discomfort for an extended period of time. Arthritis can afflict joints almost anywhere in the body and may cause changes you can see and feel, including swelling, warmth, and redness in the joints. It can last for a short time but be very painful or continue for a long time with less pronounced results while still damaging the joints.

Arthritis is extremely common in the United States, especially among senior citizens. Still, there are many steps they and those providing care for the elderly can take to relieve the different types of arthritis. The most common types in this population are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.

Osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis in senior citizens and begins when cartilage, the type of tissue that pads joints, begins to wear away. This can eventually cause all the cartilage between bones to wear away, forming painful rubbing of bones against each other. This type of arthritis is most common in the hands, neck, lower back, knees, and hips.

Symptoms of OA can range from stiffness and mild pain that accompanies exercise or bending to severe pain in the joints even in times of physical rest. OA can also cause stiffness during times in which you haven’t used specific joints in a while, like when you’re on a long car ride, but this stiffness usually goes away when you move your joints again. OA can eventually lead to problems moving joints and sometimes to developing a disability if the areas affected are the back, knees, or hips.

Aging is often the greatest risk factor for developing OA. Other factors depend on the area of the body afflicted-for instance, OA in the hands or hips may be caused by genetic factors; OA in the knees may be caused by being overweight; and injuries or overuse of joints in the knees, hips, and hands may lead to OA.

Rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) differs from OA in that it’s an autoimmune disease, meaning that your immune system attacks and damages the lining of a joint as if it were an injury or disease. RA leads to inflammation of the joints, which causes pain, stiffness and swelling, sometimes in multiple joints at once. It may be severe enough to prevent you from moving a certain joint. Senior citizens with RA may often experience fatigue or fever. You can develop RA at any age, and it’s more common in women.

RA can afflict almost any joint in the body and is often symmetrical, meaning that if you have RA in a specific joint on one side of your body, you probably experience RA in the same joint on the other side of your body. RA can damage not only joints, but also the heart, muscles, blood vessels, nervous system, and eyes.

Gout.

Senior citizens with gout experience the most severe pain relative to many other arthritis patients. An attack begins when uric acid crystals form in the connective tissue or joint spaces, leading to swelling, stiffness, redness, heat, and pain in the joint. Attacks often follow eating foods like shellfish, liver, dried beans, peas, anchovies, or gravy. Drinking alcohol, being overweight, and taking certain medications may worsen the symptoms. In senior citizens, using certain medications to lower blood pressure may also be a risk factor for a gout attack.

Gout is most common in the big toe, but it can occur in other joints such as the ankle, elbow, knee, wrist, hand, or other toes. Swelling may cause discoloration and tenderness due to skin stretching tightly around the joint. If you see a doctor during an attack, he or she may take a sample of fluid from the affected joint.

Other forms of arthritis.

Other forms include psoriatic arthritis  in patients who have psoriasis; ankylosing spondylitis, which mainly affects the spine; reactive arthritis, which occurs as a reaction to another illness in the body; and arthritis in the temporomandibular joint, the point at which the jaw attaches to the skull.

Arthritis Symptoms and Warning Signs.

Senior citizens and those providing their elder care should look out for the following symptoms as they may be indications of arthritis:

  • lasting joint pain
  • swelling in a joint
  • stiffness in a joint
  • tenderness or pain when touching a joint
  • difficulty in using or moving a joint normally
  • warmth and redness in a joint

 

Any of these symptoms lasting longer than two weeks should be addressed by a physician. If you experience a fever, feel physically ill, have a suddenly swollen joint, or have problems using a joint, a doctor should be contacted sooner. You will have to answer questions and go through a physical exam. Before suggesting treatment options, your doctor may want to run lab tests and take X-rays.

Arthritis Treatment.

Some common treatment options exist even though each type of arthritis is treatedsomewhat differently. Rest, exercise, eating a healthy diet, and becoming educated about the right way to use and protect the joints are key to minimizing the effects of arthritis. Proper shoes and a cane can minimize pain the feet, knees, and hips while walking, and some technology exists for helping open jars or bottles, turn doorknobs more easily, and otherwise improve quality of life in senior citizens with arthritis.

Additionally, some medications can lower the pain and swelling. Acetaminophen (in Tylenol) and some NSAIDs are sold over-the-counter and can ease pain. Other NSAIDs must be prescribed. It is important for senior citizens and those providing their in home care to pay attention to the warnings on both prescribed and over-the-counter drugs and to ask a doctor about how to properly and best use over-the-counter medicine to treat arthritis. The FDA also has information about many medications.

Some treatment options are specialized for individual types of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis Treatment.

There are medicines to help senior citizens with pain associated with OA, and rest and exercise may ease movement in the joints. Managing weight is also important. If one experiences OA in the knees, a doctor can provide shots in the knee joint, which can help to move it without as much pain. Surgery may also be an option to repair or replace damaged joints in senior citizens.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments.

Treatment can diminish the pain and swelling associated with RA and cause joint damage to slow down or stop. One will feel better overall, and it will be easier to move around. On top of pain and anti-inflammatory medications, a doctor might prescribe DMARDs, which are anti-rheumatic drugs that can slow damage from RA. Corticosteroids, including prednisone, can minimize swelling while waiting for DMARDs to kick in. Additionally, biogenic response modifiers block the damage inflicted by the immune system and help people with mild to moderate RA when other treatments have failed to work properly.

Gout Treatment.

If you’ve gone through a gout attack, talk to a doctor to discuss possible causes and future prevention of attacks. Work together with your doctor and other elder care providers to plan and execute a plan for prevention. Commonly, NSAIDs or corticosteroids are recommended for an acute attack. This treatment diminishes swelling, allowing you to feel better fairly shortly after treatment. Usually, the attack fully stops within a few days. If one has experienced multiple attacks, a doctor may be able to prescribe medication to prevent further attacks.

Exercise can help Arthritis.

In addition to taking the proper medication and allowing your joints to rest, exercise can help senior citizens to stay in shape, maintain strong muscles, and control symptoms of arthritis. Daily exercise like walking or swimming keeps joints moving while lessening pain and strengthening the muscles around joints. Before starting any new exercise program, it is important to discuss options with your physician.

Three types of exercise are the best for senior citizens with arthritis:

  • Range-of-motion exercises reduce stiffness, improve flexibility, and keep joints moving. Activities like dancing fit into this category.
  • Strengthening exercises strengthen muscles, which improves support and protection to your joints. Weight training fits into this category.
  • Aerobic or endurance exercises improve health in the heart and arteries, prevent weight gain, improve how your body works overall, and may decrease swelling in some joints. Riding a bike fits into this category.

Other things to do to manage Arthritis.

 

On top of exercise and weight control, a number of other methods may help senior citizens ease the pain around joints. Applying heat or cold to joints, soaking in a warm tub, or swimming in a heated pool may help you feel better and move your joints more easily.

Surgery may be an option when damage has become disabling or when other treatment options have not adequately diminished pain. With surgery, joints can be repaired or replaced with artificial ones. Commonly, arthritic knees and hips are replaced.

Unproven remedies.

Many senior citizens with arthritis try treatments that have not been tested or proven to help. Some are harmful, like snake venom, while others are harmless yet unhelpful, like copper bracelets.

Here are a few ways to determine whether a treatment is unproven:

  • The remedy is said to work for all types of arthritis and other diseases
  • Scientific support is from only one research study
  • The label doesn’t include directions or warnings of use

Areas for further research.

 

Studies suggest that acupuncture could ease OA pain in some senior citizens. Dietary supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin are also under investigation and may reduce OA pain. More research is needed to determine whether these types of treatments actually work to reduce symptoms and damage to joints.

Talk to your doctor and others involved in your elder care.

Try not to make light of your symptoms by telling yourself that joint pain or stiffness is simply caused by aging normally. Your doctor and other elder care providers can discuss possible treatment options with you to safely minimize your pain and stiffness and prevent more serious joint damage.

The Caring Space http://www.TheCaringSpace.com

David Crumrine at the Caring Space We are an organization that connects caregivers and care seekers, providing an easy and affordable resource for families seeking care for friends/loved ones and caregivers seeking employment.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_Crumrine

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    Las Vegas, NV 89148

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