Roughly one in four adults in the United States has been diagnosed with a form of arthritis. If someone in your close circles is among them, learning how to support them can go far toward relieving their symptoms and ensuring the best possible quality of life.
Our expert team at Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Kansas City, Missouri, pairs their vast experience with advanced technologies to diagnose and treat arthritis.
Here, we explore more about arthritis, including ways you can help your loved one.
Arthritis is a group of diseases that cause the swelling and tenderness of inflammation in one or more joints. This inflammation commonly causes stiffness and pain, both of which usually worsen over time.
Some of the types of arthritis include:
- Ankylosing spondylitis, which affects the spine
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, which affects children
- Gout, which causes severe “attacks,” often involving the big toe
- Osteoarthritis, which involves gradual “wear and tear”
- Psoriatic arthritis, which coincides with scaly skin issues
- Reactive arthritis, which stems from an infection
- Rheumatoid arthritis, which causes autoimmune responses
Because arthritis is progressive, early diagnosis and treatment are important for slowing its damage down and guarding against complications, such as a disability.
How to support your loved one with arthritis
While there’s nothing you can do to completely take your loved ones’ arthritis woes away, you can take steps to support the management of their disease and its symptoms, such as:
- Accompanying them to medical appointments
- Engaging in low-impact exercise, such as yoga and walking, together
- Creating nutritious meals to enjoy together
- Offering to help with difficult tasks, such as running errands or chopping vegetables
- Providing a compassionate, listening ear
If your loved one is really struggling emotionally, you could also guide them toward helpful resources, such as an arthritis support group. Research shows that such support can help by improving moods, providing positive coping skills, and even reducing pain.
Seeking more medical support
If your loved one’s health seems to be suffering due to arthritis, our experts can help. Encourage your loved one to come in for an exam, where we can recommend a personalized care plan that addresses their unique needs.
Once your loved one has a treatment plan lined up, you can also help by doing physical therapy exercises together or making sure they take their medications as prescribed. A day-by-day, easy-to-open pill box, for example, may keep them on track with any oral medications.
To learn more about arthritis or get your loved one the care they need, call Northland Orthopedic & Sports Medicine or request an appointment on our website today.