Senior Care in Concord, NC
You have taken up jogging in an effort to get healthier in the new year and lose a few pounds, but after the third day you start experiencing a sharp pain in your foot and it becomes difficult to stand on much less run.
Your parents have been taking long walks with their senior health care services provider to help achieve a healthier weight and ease their arthritis pain in their knees and hips, but your father starts complaining that his shin is hurting him when they start walking, especially on the hard surface of the sidewalk or the road.
While it is easy to think that these pains are just your body getting used to being active and that you need to work through it, it could be an injury referred to as a stress fracture. Just like the name implies, these tiny cracks in bones are generally caused by stress placed on the bones such as through repeated impacts on the same body part as in running or jumping, or high impact on bones that are not accustomed to the pressure, such as a senior walking on a hard surface. They happen most often in the bones of the legs and the feet, but they can occur in other areas of the body as well depending on the types of activities that you are doing.
Though relatively minor, these injuries can be very painful and must be managed to prevent them from worsening. Symptoms of a stress fracture that you and your parents’ home care provider should look out for if your loved ones have started a new exercise program or have been more active than usual include:
- Pain in the area that starts mild and worsens over time
- Tenderness in the area of the injury
- Pain that decreases with rest
- Swelling around the injured area
Though most stress fractures heal within a few weeks of the injury, without proper management and care they might not heal fully. This can lead to chronic pain in the area, increased risk for further stress fractures in the area, and even nerve damage that will diminish health and physical functioning for years to come. Use these guidelines to help the bone heal:
• Stay off of the injured body part as much as possible until the doctor says it has healed enough to resume activities
• Apply ice packs for 10 minutes at a time up to four times a day to relieve pain and swelling. Make sure that you do not apply ice or ice packs directly to the skin as this can cause serious damage. Instead, cover the area with a towel or thin blanket and place the ice on top
• When the pain has lessened and you feel ready, resume your activities slowly. You do not want to overexert the area and further damage the injured bone, or cause another stress fracture because the bone tries to support the weight without allowing it to press into the damaged area. Start slowly and work your way up until you resume normal activity again.
As always, consult with a your senior loved one’s physician before they begin any exercise regimen, and certainly see them immediately if your senior experiences pain.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Concord, NC, contact Caring at Heart today. Our staff will answer all of your questions about caring for an aging adult. Serving Charlotte, Statesville, Ballantyne, Mooresville, Huntersville, Matthews, Concord, Gastonia, Pineville and Indian Trail. CALL TODAY (704) 837-4564.