The nurse is developing a plan of care for a client who has joint stiffness due to rheumatoid arthritis. Which of the following interventions is most effective in relieving stiffness?
1. A warm shower before performing activities of daily living.
2. Aspirin after activity to decrease inflammation.
3. A 10-lb weight loss to limit stress on joints.
4. Cold compresses to joints for 30 minutes to relieve stiffness.
Warm showers, baths, or hand soaks can help relieve joint stiffness and allow the client to more comfortably perform activities of daily living. Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs should be taken before activity to help decrease inflammation and reduce joint pain and inflammation. Although weight loss may decrease stress on joints, pain and stiffness will continue to be a problem. Cold compresses are most effective for relieving joint pain, whereas moist heat is useful for decreasing pain and stiffness. When cold compresses are applied, their use should be limited to 10 to 15 minutes at a time to decrease the risk of tissue damage.
CN: Basic care and comfort; CL: Synthesize