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Your parents have brought you up with unconditional love and care. Now that they are old and infirm, as a loving adult child, you feel responsible for supporting them. So, it’s essential that as your parents age, you should take more care of their orthopedic health in order to ensure them a good quality life.
Firstly, contact an orthopedic expert like Dr Arunava Lala for appropriate medical care. Your orthopedic might suggest the below to reduce pain:
Physical therapy: Encourage your ageing parents to exercise regularly. If they can begin building strength in their knees through a structured Physiotherapy program early, they have a better chance of avoiding knee surgery.
Bracing: Some people with knee osteoarthritis (OA) have non-aligned spine, hips, knees and feet resulting in increased pain and potential additional damage to affected joints. An expert Orthopedic like Dr Arunanva Lala might recommend a specifically developed brace for knee OA to help your parents maintain mobility and decrease their knee pain, joint stiffness and the amount of pain medication needed.
Medications : You need to take care and know how much of what pain medicines are prescribed by your Orthopedic and whether these will be ok when had in combination with the other medications that your parents are already taking. This should include any prescription medications as well as vitamins or supplements as these can all have drug interactions. It is helpful to maintain a written list of your parent’s medications to encourage them to take their medications correctly and consistently.
Weight Management and Exercise: Due to OA knee pain, most people tend to become less and less active over time and hence gain weight, which in turn does more harm to the knee joint. Encourage your parents to start walking – which is the best low-impact exercise. Also Yoga helps to stretch the muscles and strengthens them, reducing stiffness and increasing mobility.
Mental Health: Living with chronic pain and declining mobility may cause depression and anxiety. So, it’s important to keep a check on how your elderly parents are coping emotionally with their reduced mobility. Assure them of your support and love and be attentive to their needs. Define a clear regimen of exercise and activities for them to follow to ensure they have the least of bone and joint-related problems if any.
These basic measures on your end can really make a big difference in their good orthopedic health. In addition, the diet of your parents plays a critical role in their orthopedic health. As they get older the bones start losing mass. So, ensure their meals are rich in calcium, vitamin D, more protein, vitamin B12, magnesium, and vitamin C – all of which are important for the nourishment of bones. Add milk, nuts, tofu, sardines, leafy greens, beans, and salmon to their daily meals.
Even if everything “looks fine”, it’s important to take your parents to a good Orthopedic for regular checkups. After a physical examination, the doctor may recommend tests and prescribe medicines if required. As a last measure, he may suggest surgery. Usually, early diagnosis will pave way for better and effective treatment which helps your parents to keep bones and joints in good health. After the first visit, do keep up with the follow-ups. Ensure your parents are following the advice of the doctor consistently.