The process of getting older is often accompanied by various health conditions, including arthritis and osteoporosis. Although such conditions can feel overwhelming and even debilitating at times, they can generally be managed. By following a few strategies and making a few lifestyle changes, an individual who suffers from arthritis or osteoporosis may successfully combat symptoms such as pain and fatigue. The key is to stay as active as possible.
According to Huffington Post contributor Daniel P. Malito, arthritis is “the leading cause of disability in America.” The two primary kinds of arthritis are osteoarthritis—a degenerative condition of the joints—and rheumatoid arthritis—an autoimmune disease. While people of all ages can develop various types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is a fairly common problem among aging men and women.
Although this disorder is more common in women than in men, plenty of men develop osteoporosis. This condition consists of a weakening of the bones, and it is a major cause of bone fractures among seniors. High-risk individuals include women who are 65 or older, men who are 70 or older, and postmenopausal women who have experienced fractures in the past.
Get Professional Help
One of the first steps to take for a person with one of these conditions is to get some professional help. A trained wellness professional can provide ongoing treatment, designed to alleviate pain and keep the body in relatively healthy shape. This professional can also offer advice on how to stay active and healthy at home.
Utilize a Team of Professionals
Ideally, a person who is suffering from arthritis or osteoporosis will take advantage of a variety of professional services that are helpful to people with these conditions. By scheduling sessions with those who specialize in chiropractic care, physical therapy, and therapeutic massage, an individual can benefit from a comprehensive, balanced, and effective rehabilitation routine. This may also be the fastest way to experience positive results.
Another crucial aspect of dealing with these conditions is to stay active. As Dr. Brian Graham of the Graham Rehabilitation & Wellness Center points out, “staying healthy and fit” becomes even more important as people grow older. Although it may seem challenging to get started on a fitness routine, exercising regularly usually becomes easier to do over time. Some days may be more difficult than others, but even small steps toward getting fit can help immensly.
One strategy that many individuals have found useful is to make exercise fun. Walking for 30-45 minutes in a shopping mall can be an enjoyable activity. Playing outdoors with grandchildren can also make exercising seem like fun instead of drudgery. Exercising with a partner is another way to make exercise sessions engaging and pleasurable instead of boring and tedious.
Engage in the Right Kinds of Exercise
As discussed by the staff of the Mayo Clinic, engaging in the right kinds of exercise is also important. Strengthening exercises and aerobic exercise benefit people who have arthritis or osteoporosis, but high impact exercise (like running) could actually cause further damage. Flexibility exercises are helpful, so taking a yoga class could be a great choice for a person with osteoporosis or arthritis. Everyday activities may also be useful; walking, swimming, dancing, and even gardening are all activities that can help seniors combat discomfort and remain in good physical condition.
Dealing with health issues like arthritis and osteoporosis is sometimes frustrating. However, a qualified professional or team of professionals can help a person to manage such a condition. Staying healthy and active is crucial for a person with one (or both) of these conditions, and doing so can also be a lot of fun.