Joint pain is often something that seniors find themselves dealing with as they age. But just because it’s common, that doesn’t mean that your elderly family member has to ignore or just put up with that pain. Knee pain in particular can be especially painful and difficult to manage. It also can completely change your senior’s ability to be as mobile as she needs and wants to be. Here are some things you both need to know.
Factors that Contribute to Knee Pain
So many different factors can contribute to knee pain for your elderly family member. Experiencing an injury, being overweight, overusing the knee in the past, and even arthritis can all contribute to knee pain and can keep your senior from being able to walk without pain. There may be other contributing factors, too.
Getting Knee Pain Evaluated
If your elderly family member is dealing with knee pain, even if she considers it to be minor, she should talk with her doctor about it right away. This allows her doctor to rule out possible injuries or problems that need to be addressed. Once your elderly family member knows what is causing her knee pain, she is in a better position to make whatever changes are necessary in order to heal.
Making Lifestyle Changes
Depending on the cause, lifestyle changes may be able to help your senior to manage knee pain. Exercise that is within the recommendations of her doctor can help to strengthen the muscles and joints in the knee. This can be helpful if the knee is too weak or if your elderly family member is dealing with arthritis. Your senior may also lose excess weight, which can relieve strain on her knee.
Treating Knee Pain
Many people find that eventually they need knee surgery, even a knee replacement, in order to fully recover from knee pain. Your senior’s doctor may have other recommendations for treatment options before surgery. Those recommendations could include steroid shots, physical therapy, or topical medications. Using assistive devices, like a cane, when knee pain is severe can help. It also may help for your elderly family member to wear a knee brace to help stabilize the knee.
Keeping Your Senior Safe and Mobile
What’s most important for your senior as she deals with knee pain is that she is able to remain both safe and mobile. Senior home care can help with all of this. Caregivers can assess your senior’s home for possible safety hazards, including tripping hazards. They can also help your elderly family member to be more mobile, by supporting her as she walks and reminding her to use any assistive devices that she needs. Senior home care can also be there in other ways, offering companionship, helping with healthy meals, and anything else that your senior finds challenging.
Any type of pain is an indication that your senior needs to pay attention to what is happening with her body. In the case of knee pain, her activities may be limited somewhat, but there are ways to work around that issue.