Aging increases a person’s chances of developing painful joints, but many seniors manage to avoid joint pain by staying active and eating a healthy diet.
The most common causes of joint pain in seniors are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear, often as a result of overusing the joints day after day or putting too much pressure on the joints via excess weight.
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by an autoimmune response in which the immune system attacks the tissue that lines the joints.
Common risk factors for developing autoimmune diseases include taking certain medications, being exposed to toxic chemicals, and suffering from infections. Low-grade inflammation also plays a role in rheumatoid arthritis.
From our experts at Casa de Salud, here’s everything you need to know about preventing and treating joint pain.
Inflammation plays a significant role in the development of joint pain. A diet high in sugar and refined carbs and omega-6 fats could be contributing to the rising numbers of people suffering from arthritis and joint pain.
Americans eat way too much sugar. As of 2012, the average adult consumed about 77 grams of added sugar per day, which is 19 teaspoons. This doesn’t include natural sugar in fruits and milk, because added sugar is the extra sugar that’s added to foods during manufacturing.
Although omega-6 fats are necessary for optimal function, when consumed in large quantities, they promote inflammation. Research indicates that the healthy omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is somewhere between 1:1 and 4:1, but today the ratio people consume is about 16:1.
Cutting back on sugary drinks, processed foods, and fast foods goes along way toward a more anti-inflammatory diet.
Joint pain can also be largely prevented by maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly. However, when engaging in physical activities, don't forget to warm up first, and avoid putting pressure on the same joints on consecutive days.
Incorporating pool exercises into your workout routine may also help, as water takes the pressure off your joints. Water also provides more resistance than air, so exercising in the water can be equally as challenging as exercising on land.
Treatments available for joint pain
Depending on the cause of your joint pain, Dr. Afshin Akhavan may recommend painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), and creams. You may also benefit from physical therapy.
Find relief for your symptoms with us in Los Angeles, California
If joint pain gets in the way of your day-to-day activities, contact us to schedule an appointment. With the help of our experts, you’ll discover the cause of your pain and learn what treatments are available to manage it.