There are many misconceptions around arthritis, one being that it only affects older people. Anyone with the condition will have heard that this isn’t the case. But the other thing about arthritis is that the symptoms can change as we age. The question is, what can you expect as an arthritis sufferer, and what steps can you take to minimise any disruption it may cause.
Arthritis and age
According to the stats, arthritis is more common in people 65 years and over. But nearly two-thirds of sufferers are under 65. The truth is it can affect children, young adults, men, and women. When it comes to gender, women are more commonly affected. But actually, it’s a fairly indiscriminate condition.
So, if you’re thinking that your arthritis is only due to your age, that’s not necessarily the case. At the same time, arthritis can change over the years. So, if you’re getting used to the ways it is currently impacting your day to day, it’s worth having a full understanding of what might happen over the years, so you can actively manage it.
How symptoms can change
One of the more painful conditions that can affect us as we age is osteoarthritis or OA. But aside from the physical effects of painful joints, research hints that older people have a different perception of pain from younger people too. So, you might feel your arthritic pain more acutely as you age.
That doesn’t mean that you have to suffer in silence, however. There are ways to manage any increase in pain. The first and most important step is to speak to your doctor about pain management. They will be able to advise on suitable medications and activities to help you reduce the sensation of painful joints.
Ways to manage your arthritis
From a practical point of view, you can take action yourself as well. This isn’t about sidestepping the doctor’s visit and relying on home remedies. But more of a way of tweaking your lifestyle to accommodate your arthritis and avoid it taking control of you.
Here are just a few things to ask your doctor about:
- Look into suitable exercises – you will need to speak to your doctor about suitable exercises, but just be aware that the NHS advises that an active lifestyle can actually help. Despite physical activities often being more difficult, you can find the right level and type of exercise to complement your lifestyle and feel better.
- Think about your diet – a balanced diet is always a good idea, but through eating a range of the right kinds of foods, you can feel healthier, and reduce any pressure on joints by getting rid of any extra pounds.
- Modify your home – when daily tasks like bathing are a chore, it’s easy to feel despondent. But modifications to your home could be a great way of getting around this. Walk-in baths and showers are just one solution that could drastically improve your everyday life.
Whatever your age or the type of arthritis you have, it’s important to remember that there is help out there. And there are ways to work around it and live a full life. It’s all about getting the right support, the best information, and a good understanding of how and why it’s affecting you. From there, you can tackle the issue head-on, for the better.