Why It Hurts: Understanding Arthritis Pain

arthritisArthritis is a debilitating condition for many older adults, and the nagging aches and pains can feel relentless. It’s interesting to note though that two arthritis patients can be diagnosed with the exact same type and degree of joint damage, and while one experiences excruciating pain, the other might feel only mild discomfort. The reasons behind these extreme differences can include any of the following factors:

  • Gender: Women simply feel pain more intensely than men, studies show. It’s also more common for women to be diagnosed with chronic arthritic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis.
  • Age: Research indicates that those age 65 and older are more likely than their younger counterparts to report a higher intensity and persistence of pain. However, it’s also true that for some older adults, nerve endings may become less sensitive, resulting in reduced pain levels.
  • Genetics: Certain gene variations are now being linked to our pain thresholds and our likelihood of developing certain pain-causing chronic conditions. Testing related to genetics and pain is still underway.
  • Other Diagnoses: Those with multiple chronic conditions may experience higher levels of pain and discomfort from the heightened level of pain signals being created; however, it’s equally possible that pain management techniques are enhanced for those who’ve learned to better cope with the varying symptoms of multiple conditions.
  • Support: Having a circle of support from family and friends can have an impact on the level of pain felt and how it’s managed. Support groups for specific conditions such as arthritis can also help tremendously.

One thing to keep in mind is that chronic pain should always be brought to the attention of the physician, and never just pushed aside with the thought that it’s just an inevitable fact of life.

For more assistance in helping manage the pain of arthritis, call on the Phoenix in-home care experts at Nightingale Homecare. Just a few of the ways we can help include:

  • Providing medication reminders to ensure meds are taken on time and exactly as prescribed
  • Transporting and accompanying seniors to medical appointments and procedures, and ensure they’re safely settled back in at home afterwards
  • Planning and preparing healthy, nutritious meals
  • Engaging in physician-approved exercise programs to build up strength, flexibility and endurance
  • Plus a full range of skilled nursing and therapy services, including physical, occupational and speech therapy, offered right in the comfort of home

To learn more about how Nightingale Homecare can help your senior loved one enjoy a better quality of life, call us any time at 602-504-1555.