How to manage joint & arthritis pain for the Medicare patient

Over millions of people in the U.S alone suffer from chronic pains caused by arthritis. One in four adults reports having severe joint pain. Learning about the pain and how to manage it is half the battle. Did you also know that you are entitled to certain rights, programs, coverages, and extended support through the affordable care act as a Medicare beneficiary?

Ways to reduce & manage your joint and arthritis pain

Whether you experience severe joint pain (pain 7 or higher out of 10) or persistent pain (pain experienced all day or every day in the last 3 months), here are some ways to help you manage it:

  • Physical activity/therapy alone or with a community can be as effective as over-the-counter medicines. It can also help improve and restore joint function. *
  • Infusions and teas such as Willow bark and ginger have anti-inflammatory properties.*
  • Arnica and herbal creams, gels, and patches can help relieve pain,*
  • Working to lower your anxiety stemming from pain can be very beneficial and can be done with physical activity such as walking, swimming, and more.
  • Take a self-management education workshop in Spanish or English.

*Please consult with your physician and pharmacist before taking any over-the-counter medications. Some herbal products and supplements may interact with your medication regimen.

 How Medicare can help

Medicare offers chronic care management services under Part B. These services can help you pay for health care and help you manage chronic issues if you have 2 or more severe chronic conditions that last a year or more. According to Medicaid, you might have to pay a monthly fee for this plan. Part B is part of the original Medicare but with a deductible and coinsurance. Most people over 65 become eligible for it as it is supplemental coverage. And if you have additional insurance or have both Medicare and Medicaid, both can help cover any costs. 

The chronic care management that Medicare offers includes a plan for you that lists your problems and goals, various providers, medications, services in the community, and more information. After agreeing to the service, your provider will prepare the best care plan for you–including medication management, 24/7 access to all your urgent care needs, and ongoing support in any health care setting. They’ll even help you review your medicines when needed.

Many state-based consumer assistance programs for people with Medicare and Medicaid programs can help you! Click here for a complete list of them and medicine discount cards.  

You are not alone in this journey; Abarca is here to help and guide you through it. As part of our mission to offer the community better care, stay tuned for more blogs to better you and the lives of your loved ones. For more information regarding arthritis, visit The Arthritis Foundation.

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This blog was written by Ana Rivera, Clinical Programs Manager at Abarca Health.

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