Page 16 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - July 2017 - 24-07
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Page 16 Senior Times - July 2017
By: Sherii Sherban, Publisher
• Consider an ice pack or heating pad when you need pain relief in your joints. Ice helps with pain by reducing swelling. Heat helps with pain, relax muscles, restore energy, and decrease fatigue. Alternate to reduce swell- ing and soothe pain. No more than twice
per day. For short-term relief from arthritis
moist heating pads may help.
• Do not wear old shoes to workout if you
have arthritis. Worn out shoes distribute your weight incorrectly and/or cause prob- lems in your leg joints. If you see uneven wearing on the soles of your shoes, replace right away.
• Sleep is vital! 8+ hours/day = reduced pain. • Typing habits. Hands level to keyboard.
Place raised pad beneath your mouse.
• Acupuncture can be helpful for chronic
• Stretch all muscles daily to increase your
flexibility. Loss of flexibility is a major con- cern for sufferers of arthritis. Start at feet, move in an upwards direction to head.
• Chiropractor or physical therapist.
• Yoga helps body and mind using stretching
and relaxation techniques
• Soft music actually has the ability to allevi-
ate arthritis symptoms. It relaxes your body, which helps lessen arthritis aches and pains and can assist with falling to sleep.
• Use assistive devices to help you to engage in difficult activities. As an example, a cane can greatly improve your joints.
• Diet - Fish oil supplements (omega-3 fatty acids) may relieve pain and inflammation.
Laughter is one of the best medicine for those who suffer from arthritis. It increases mood and decreases stress.
Talk to others about your condition.
Explain how your condition is affecting you and how you are dealing with it. Arthritis
can change your personality due to stress and anxiety as well as affect your relationships with others. Be sure to include your physician in the conversation.
Arthritis is a condition characterized by stiffness and inflammation, or swelling, of the joints. It’s not one type of disease, but it’s a general way of referring to joint pain or joint diseases.
While you may only experience mild discomfort at the beginning of the condition, symptoms can worsen over time... eventually limiting movement and impacting activities of daily living.
What causes arthritis? While there are many different types of arthritis, the two major categories are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheuma- toid arthritis (RA). Each of these arthritis types have different causes.
OA is most commonly the result of wear- and-tear to the joints. Use of the joints over time can contribute to the breakdown of protec- tive cartilage in your joints. This causes bone to rub against bone. That feeling can be very painful and restrict movement.
RA is when the body’s immune system at- tacks itself. Specifically the body attacks the membrane that surrounds the joint parts. This can result in inflamed or swollen joints, de- struction of cartilage and bone, and ultimately pain. You may also experience other symptoms of inflammation, such as fever and loss of appetite.
Sometimes, traumatic injury or an infection in the joints can advance the progression of ar- thritis. For example, reactive arthritis is a type of arthritis that can follow some infections. This includes sexually transmitted infections
such as chlamydia, fungal infections and food- borne illnesses.
When the body breaks down purines, a substance found in cells and foods, it forms uric acid. Some people have high levels of uric acid. When the body can’t get rid of it, the acid builds up and forms needle-like crystals in the joints. This causes extreme and sudden joint pain, or a gout attack. Gout comes and goes, but if left untreated it can become chronic.
Other Causes
Sometimes arthritis can occur with no known cause. Other skin and organ conditions can also cause arthritis. These include:
• Psoriasis, a skin disease caused by excessive skin cell turnover.
• Sjogren’s, a disorder that can cause decreased saliva and tears, and systemic disease.
• Inflammatory bowel disease, or conditions that include inflammation of the digestive tract such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
Risk Increases From:
1. Age.
2. Family history.
3. Women are more likely to have RA than
4. Men are more likely to have gout (inflam-
matory arthritis).
5. Excess weight increases risk for OA – it
puts more pressure on the joints. 6. History of previous joint injuries.
Decrease Risks:
Good posture can lead to better joint health and function and can minimize arthritis pain. To the best of your ability try to:
• Stand up straight – Your joints and spine will feel a bit stronger.
• Don’t slump over when you sit down.
• Make sure that your weight is distributed
evenly across both of your legs.
What Might Help?
• Medication.
The Care You Need to Help You Stay in
When asked, most older adults say that they want to live in their own com- munity as long as possible. For those with chronic conditions and limited resources, this can be a challenge. CentraCare is part of the National PACE Program (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) and serves to meet the health care needs of frail adults 55 or older living in Calhoun, Kalamazoo, and Eastern VanBuren Counties.
Services are coordinated by the CentraCare team to:
Ensure safety in the home
the Home You Love!
Promote wellness
Focus on quality medical care Provide an opportunity for socialization Support caregivers
We have two locations to serve you. Our Battle Creek Center is located at 200 West Michigan Ave., Suite 103, inside the Kool Family Community Center and our Kalamazoo Center is located at
445 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI
Call us to find out if CentraCare is right for you or someone you love.
(269) 441-9313 or visit

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