One in five adults in the United States struggles with some form of arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 62 percent of those are over age 65. In fact, if you live to age 85, you have a nearly 50 percent chance of getting arthritis.
Arthritis encompasses as many as 100 different types, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and gout. Osteoarthritis is the kind that affects most seniors and is often linked to old joint injuries from excessive weight or accidents. People often blame sports injuries for their arthritis, but paradoxically, the right sports can be key to managing arthritis pain.
JaNahn Scalapino, M.D., a rheumatologist with Sutter Medical Group in Sacramento, says a combination approach to chronic pain management often succeeds with most of her patients.
“Multimodal arthritis pain management is best,” she explains. “We consider the right combination of medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, physical modalities such as heat and ice application, and topical relief measures to develop an individual approach to arthritis pain.”
To start your arthritis self-care plan, Dr. Scalapino recommends these tips.