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Arthritis and Joint Pains

Common types of arthritis and your role as homemaker or home health aide.

Common Types of Arthritis

Arthritis means inflammation and destruction of joints. At times, there may be other symptoms. The shoulders, ankles, elbows, wrists, fingers, and toes are the most common joints affected by this disease. Arthritis or inflammation can be due to an allergy, an injury, or an infection. Some causes of arthritis cannot be determined--it just appears. Everyone seems to have a different reaction to this disease.


There are more than 100 types of arthritis. Mentioned below are the most common types of arthritis.

  • Osteoarthritis: This is the most common type of arthritis. It is thought that after continual use, the joints and their linings just wear out and become thin. The bony surfaces become thick and develop little spurs that cause pain and inflammation every time the joint moves. Then the bones rub against each other causing pain and inflammation. This type of arthritis is most common among the elderly.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: This is a crippling, chronic disease. All connective tissue may be affected. If the disease starts in the joints, connective tissue in other organs may eventually be affected. This type of arthritis usually starts in young adulthood or childhood. Three times more women than men have this type of arthritis.
  • Gout: This disease is most common among men. Uric acid crystals build up in the blood and lodge in he joints, causing inflammation and pain. This can be sudden and painful. Any joint can be affected.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis: This disease, more common in men than in women, may start in childhood and almost always before the age of 35. It is an arthritic disease that attacks only the spine and/or the shoulders and hips. Following treatment, persons with the disease usually remain stiff but can function and lead normal lives.

Your Role as a Homemaker/Home Health Aide

Remeber, arthritis is a chronic disease. That means the client will have it forever. Help him to establish a safe and efficient routine for daily care and that decreases muscle stress and fatigue.

Excersise and rest are important parts of the client's plan of care. Follow the exercise routine. Do not change it uness you have discussed the change with your supervisor. If you notice that your client's response to the exercises has changed, report it.

A client may try unconventional methods of treating his arthritis. Do not assist in these treatments, and make your supervisor aware of them. It is not your role to judge these treatments; just report their existence.

Assist the client with his medication and treatment plan. Each client is treated differently. Treatment may include diet, weight reduction, rest, and exercise. An occupational therapist and physical therapist may also be involved with this client.

Listen to the client. He may have many feelings about this disease, and he may require emotional counseling from a mental health clinician or psychiatric nurse. Discuss your conversations in the home with your supervisor so the she can make the decision whether to call these professionals.

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Comments (6)

nice article.


Off to a good start. Hope to see more.

@ irene, are you by any chance the irenen1 from triond?

Don't you recognize my drop-dead gorgeoud face???

lol I do.. hahah