Pain management Techniques for Elders with Rheumatoid ArthritisTweet
Aug 31, 2016 , 6 min read
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a form of arthritis caused by an autoimmune disorder. A person may be prone to developing RA at any age. When one shows signs of RA after the age of 60, it is called as Elderly Onset of Rheumatoid Arthritis (EORA).
The EORA can be acute and in some cases, it can be gradual but have harmful effects. RA in elderly population shows symptoms such as reduced mobility and instability in the joints. The difference between developing RA at a younger age and older age is the type of joints that are impacted. When someone develops RA at a younger age, the pain is felt in the hands, feet, and wrists. If someone develops RA after the age of 60, the pain impacts larger joints like the shoulder, elbow, hips, and knees. In both cases, the body misinterprets the healthy joint tissues and it is attacked by the immune system, leading to pain, swelling and discomfort.
Symptoms of Elderly Onset of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Elders who are diagnosed with RA complain about early morning stiffness in the joints. The moment they are up, they find joint movements are not as fluid and this stiffness could last anywhere between an hour to few hours in the morning. Some of the others signs of EORA are joint swelling, severe fatigue, involuntary weight loss, and low fever. Cold weather means a drop in the air pressure and these weather changes can also impact joints and they experience increased pains. It is one of the many reasons why elders complain about joint pain during the monsoon and winter months.
As per Ayurveda, the pain caused due to RA in elders can be managed by making dietary and lifestyle changes. A diet which is rich in nutrients should be consumed. Foods like garlic, wheat, millet, barley, cabbage, carrot, bitter gourd, and leafy green vegetables are recommended. Turmeric milk or herbal tea with ginger and honey can also be taken to reduce AMA within the system.
Foods to Avoid
Elders should avoid eating curd as it is difficult to digest, instead, they should consume buttermilk. Restrict consumption of peanuts, soy, red meat, all-purpose flour, processed foods, and white sugar. Avoid drinking alcohol, tea, coffee, soft drinks and ice creams. Ayurveda believes that an increase in the Ama Vata is one of the reasons that cause pain in RA patients. Through diet planning, one can manage the digestive system and suppress Ama, in turn managing toxicity levels around the joint.
Even though RA in elders causes severe pain, they must exercise to strengthen muscles surrounding the joints. Slow walking is beneficial in keeping the joints active in the hip, knee and feet region. It improves blood circulation and reduces stiffness in the joints. Pranayama and other breathing exercises will calm the mind and help the person manage the excruciating pain.
Yoga exercises under a certified instructor can provide flexibility and relief from RA pain for an elderly person. Application of herbal oils such as, joint care oils such as ARTHOHILLS ULTRA and JOINTOCARE can be beneficial as it will heat up the joint region and ease out the pain.
We hope that these tips can help you overcome pain arising out of the Rheumatoid Arthritis condition.