The Best Arthritis Treatments for Seniors: Unlocking Relief from Chronic Pain

Arthritis affects over 50 million adults in the United States, with nearly half of those aged 65 and older experiencing this debilitating condition. You may find that arthritis pain and stiffness keep you from enjoying activities like playing with grandchildren, gardening, or golfing. This fact makes finding the best arthritis treatments for seniors crucial to maintaining a high quality of life.

At RxWellness Spine & Health, we understand the impact arthritis can have on your well-being. With multiple locations across VA and MD, we’ve developed a comprehensive, integrated approach to the best arthritis treatments for seniors. 

In this article, we’ll explore the different types of arthritis, their symptoms, and the cutting-edge treatments available at RxWellness to help you find relief and regain mobility.

An adjustment being made a by a chiropractor best arthritis treatment for a senior.

What are the Common Types of Arthritis?

Arthritis is a broad term encompassing over 100 joint conditions, with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis being the most common. Understanding the various types of arthritis is crucial in determining the best arthritis treatments for seniors.

  • Osteoarthritis, which affects nearly 33 million Americans, is caused by joint cartilage’s gradual wear and tear. It leads to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder impacting 1.3 million people in the US, occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints, causing inflammation, pain, and potential joint deformity.
  • Psoriatic arthritis, affecting up to 30% of people with psoriasis, and gout, caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints, are also prevalent among seniors.

What are the Common Symptoms of Arthritis in Older Adults?

The hallmark symptoms of arthritis include:

  • Joint pain and tenderness
  • Stiffness, especially in the morning or after periods of inactivity
  • Swelling and inflammation around the affected joints
  • Reduced range of motion and flexibility
  • Fatigue and decreased energy levels
  • Crepitus (cracking or grinding sounds in the joints)

These symptoms may vary in intensity and frequency, depending on the type of arthritis and the individual’s overall health. For many seniors, arthritis pain can be severe enough to limit daily activities and decrease independence, reducing quality of life

How is Arthritis in Seniors Diagnosed?

Accurate diagnosis is the first step in identifying the best arthritis treatments for seniors. Diagnosing arthritis in older adults typically involves a combination of physical examinations, imaging tests, blood work, and synovial fluid analysis. 

Here’s a closer look at the diagnostic process:

  • Physical Examination: During a physical exam, doctors assess joint mobility, tenderness, and swelling. They may check for signs of inflammation, deformity, or muscle weakness around the affected joints.
  • Imaging Tests: X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans can reveal joint damage, changes in bone structure, and the presence of bone spurs. These tests help doctors determine the extent of joint damage and monitor the progression of arthritis over time.
  • Blood Tests: Blood work can identify markers of inflammation, such as rheumatoid factor and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies, which are indicative of rheumatoid arthritis. Other blood tests may be used to rule out underlying conditions that can cause joint pain.
  • Synovial Fluid Analysis: In some cases, doctors may extract fluid from the affected joint to check for crystals, which can signify gout, or to look for signs of infection or inflammation.

Using a combination of these diagnostic tools, healthcare providers can accurately identify the type of arthritis affecting a senior patient and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

What are the Traditional Arthritis Treatments Options for Managing Arthritis Symptoms in Older People?

Conventional arthritis treatments for seniors often include a variety of medications and therapies designed to manage pain, reduce inflammation, and improve joint function. 

Some standard traditional arthritis treatments include:

Medications and Pain Relievers

Here are some of the common medications and pain relievers used to treat arthritis and joint pain in seniors.

  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Over-the-counter or prescription medications like ibuprofen, naproxen, and celecoxib can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Analgesics: Acetaminophen and opioids may be prescribed to manage pain, although opioids are typically used with caution due to the risk of dependence and side effects.
  • Corticosteroids: Oral or injectable steroids can temporarily relieve inflammation and pain during acute flare-ups.
  • Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs): These medications, such as methotrexate and sulfasalazine, can slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis by modifying the immune system’s response.

Physical Therapy

Working with a physical therapist can help seniors maintain joint flexibility, strengthen surrounding muscles, and learn proper body mechanics to reduce stress on the joints.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists teach seniors how to perform daily tasks with less pain and provide advice on adaptive equipment and home modifications to enhance safety and independence.

Surgery

In severe cases, joint replacement surgery (arthroplasty) or joint fusion (arthrodesis) may be recommended to alleviate pain and improve function when other treatments have failed.

While these conventional treatments can provide relief, they may not always be the best arthritis treatments for seniors due to potential side effects and limitations.

The Downside of Traditional Arthritis Treatments for Seniors

While traditional arthritis treatments can provide relief, they come with potential drawbacks and limitations:

  • NSAIDs and analgesics may cause gastrointestinal issues, such as stomach ulcers and bleeding. They can increase the risk of heart problems and stroke.
  • Corticosteroids, when used long-term, can lead to weight gain, osteoporosis, and an increased risk of infections.
  • DMARDs, though adequate for rheumatoid arthritis, can have serious side effects like liver damage, kidney problems, and increased susceptibility to infections.
  • Surgery, while sometimes necessary, is invasive and comes with risks such as blood clots, infections, and prolonged recovery times.
  • Traditional therapies may not address the underlying causes of arthritis or provide long-term relief without ongoing treatment.

These limitations have led many seniors to seek alternative and complementary approaches to managing their arthritis symptoms, such as chiropractic care.

A chiropractor discussing the best arthritis treatments for them.

Why Chiropractic Care is One of the Best Arthritis Treatments for Seniors

Chiropractic care is among the best arthritis treatments for seniors. It offers a non-invasive, drug-free approach to managing pain and improving joint health. By focusing on proper alignment of the spine and other joints, chiropractors help reduce inflammation, decrease pain, and improve mobility. 

Chiropractic care is particularly beneficial for seniors with arthritis because it addresses the root cause of the problem rather than just masking the symptoms.

Key Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Seniors With Arthritis

Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits of chiropractic care for older adults with arthritis.

  • Pain Relief: Chiropractic adjustments can help alleviate joint pain and stiffness by reducing pressure on nerves and promoting better joint function.
  • Improved Mobility: Chiropractic care can help seniors maintain or improve their range of motion by restoring proper joint alignment and reducing inflammation, making it easier to perform daily activities.
  • Reduced Inflammation: Chiropractic manipulations can help reduce inflammation in the joints and surrounding tissues, a critical factor in managing arthritis symptoms.
  • Enhanced Overall Well-Being: Chiropractic care targets specific joints and promotes overall wellness by supporting the nervous system, improving circulation, and encouraging the body’s natural healing processes.
  • Non-Invasive and Drug-Free: Unlike surgery or medications, chiropractic care is a natural approach that does not involve invasive procedures or potentially harmful side effects.

Chiropractic care promotes healthy aging by enhancing balance, flexibility, and overall well-being. It is an excellent choice for older adults seeking a natural, holistic approach to arthritis management.

RxWellness Multimodal Approach to Providing the Best Arthritis Treatments for Seniors

At RxWellness Spine & Health, we believe in providing the best arthritis treatments for seniors through a personalized, synergistic approach.

Chiropractic Adjustments

RxWellness chiropractors use gentle, precise adjustments to restore proper joint alignment, reduce inflammation, and alleviate arthritis pain. Chiropractic care is a safe, non-invasive treatment option that can improve joint function and mobility.

Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative medicine, including PRP therapy and A2M injections, is quickly becoming one of the best arthritis treatments for seniors. RxWellness offers advanced regenerative therapies, such as A2M (Alpha-2-Macroglobulin) injections and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, to promote natural healing and reduce inflammation in arthritic joints.

  • A2M Therapy: A2M is a revolutionary treatment that harnesses the power of a patient’s own blood to combat joint inflammation and pain. By concentrating A2M proteins and injecting them into the affected joint, this therapy can help reduce the progression of arthritis and improve joint function.
  • Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy: PRP therapy starts by extracting a small sample of the patient’s blood, which is then processed to concentrate the growth factors and healing properties found in platelets. Subsequently, this concentrated solution is injected into the arthritic joint to promote healing. This therapy can help stimulate the body’s natural repair processes, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain.

Physical Therapy

RxWellness physical therapists work closely with patients to develop targeted exercise programs that strengthen the muscles around arthritic joints, improve flexibility, and reduce pain. 

They may also use modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and cold laser therapy to enhance healing and reduce inflammation.

Massage Therapy

Therapeutic massage can help reduce muscle tension, improve circulation, and alleviate arthritis pain. RxWellness massage therapists use techniques like Swedish and deep tissue massage to address each patient’s specific needs.

Acupuncture

This ancient Chinese practice involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate healing, reduce pain, and improve overall well-being. RxWellness acupuncturists are skilled in using this therapy to help manage arthritis symptoms.

Lifestyle Counseling

RxWellness providers offer guidance on nutrition, stress management, sleep hygiene, and other lifestyle factors that can impact arthritis symptoms. They work with patients to develop sustainable, healthy habits that support optimal joint health and overall wellness.

Dry Needling

This therapy involves inserting thin, sterile needles into trigger points (tight, painful knots in muscles) to help relieve pain, reduce muscle tension, and improve mobility. RxWellness practitioners use dry needling to target specific areas of the body affected by arthritis, helping to alleviate pain and promote healing.

By combining these evidence-based therapies and services, RxWellness Spine & Health offers some of the best arthritis treatments for seniors in a comprehensive, holistic approach. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best arthritis treatments for seniors?

The best arthritis treatments for seniors typically include a combination of natural therapies such as chiropractic care, physical therapy, regenerative medicine, and lifestyle modifications. These treatments focus on reducing pain, improving joint function, and enhancing overall quality of life without relying on invasive procedures or heavy medication.

How can chiropractic care help seniors with arthritis?

Chiropractic care is one of the best arthritis treatments for seniors because it offers a gentle, non-invasive approach to pain relief. Chiropractors use targeted adjustments to realign joints, reduce inflammation, and improve mobility, helping seniors manage their arthritis symptoms and maintain an active lifestyle.

What role does regenerative medicine play in treating arthritis in seniors?

Regenerative medicine, such as A2M therapy and PRP therapy, is becoming increasingly popular as one of the best arthritis treatments for seniors. These innovative therapies harness the body’s natural healing properties to promote tissue repair, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain in arthritic joints, offering a promising alternative to surgery

Are there any lifestyle changes that can complement the best arthritis treatments for seniors?

Yes, lifestyle modifications are a crucial component of the best arthritis treatments for seniors. Adopting a healthy diet, maintaining a proper weight, engaging in low-impact exercises, and managing stress can all contribute to reduced arthritis symptoms and improved joint health. RxWellness Spine & Health offers lifestyle counseling to help seniors make these positive changes.

Empty Chiropractic Chairs in a RxWellness Office

Discover the Best Arthritis Treatments for Seniors at RxWellness Spine & Health in VA, DC, and MD

Arthritis can be a challenging condition to manage. Still, with the proper care and support, seniors can find relief and improve their quality of life. 

At RxWellness Spine & Health, our multifaceted approach to treating arthritis in seniors combines the best arthritis treatments for seniors, including the latest in chiropractic care, regenerative medicine, physical therapy, and other proven therapies to provide comprehensive, personalized treatment plans.

With multiple locations throughout the DMV, RxWellness makes it convenient for seniors in the DMV area to access the expert care they need to manage their arthritis symptoms. Don’t let arthritis hold you back from enjoying the activities you love. 

Contact RxWellness Spine & Health, or call us today at (703) 904-9666 to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards a more comfortable, active lifestyle.