Many older adults suffer from chronic knee pain. Their knee pain may be caused by arthritis, an injury, or something else. Regardless of what causes the pain, living with knee problems can be difficult. After all, the knee is the primary joint involved in walking. If your older adult family member suffers from knee pain, there are many ways to manage knee pain and prevent further injury. Below are just a few of them.
Don’t Risk a Fall
Painful joints can make seniors more likely to fall. The joint may be unstable, or they may move incorrectly trying to avoid the pain. A fall could cause a knee injury or worse. To avoid falling, older adults should use handrails on stairways. Increasing the lighting in the house may also help. If the doctor recommends using a walking aid, like a cane or walker, be sure the senior uses it. Eldercare providers can also prevent falls by assisting the older adult to walk safely, cleaning up clutter that could cause tripping, and reaching things on high shelves so the person doesn’t have to climb on stepladders or chairs.
Ice can reduce swelling and ease pain. A bag of frozen peas makes an excellent ice pack since it will form itself around the joint when placed on the leg. However, don’t place an ice pack directly on the skin as it may damage the tissue. An elder care provider can help the older adult to safely apply ice.
Although it can help to rest painful joints a bit, older adults with knee pain shouldn’t spend too much time sitting around. Unused muscles can become weak and unable to support the joints, which can make pain worse. Exercise can actually ease pain by making muscles stronger. Talk to the senior’s doctor about kinds of exercise that are safe for them to do. Swimming, tai chi, and yoga are often good options. An elder care provider can drive your aging relative to an exercise class or the pool.
Wear the Right Shoes
Good shoes that provide support can reduce knee pain. Cushioned insoles may also help. A doctor or physical therapist can advise which shoes and insoles will work best.
Over the Counter Medications
If the doctor has approved the use of over the counter medications, the senior should take them when knee pain occurs. An elder care provider can remind them to take the medicine and supervise them to ensure they do not take too much.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elder care in Englewood, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today. Call us at (303) 756-9322.