Saturday, November 8, 2008

Neck Stretches for Relieving Arthritis

Physical activity plays a vital role in managing arthritis. Research shows that exercise is an essential tool in managing arthritis. Regular, moderate exercise reduces joint pain and stiffness, builds strong muscle around the joints, increases flexibility and endurance and wards off other health problems.

Three Neck Stretches
  • Tilt your head sideways, with your ear going to your shoulder. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side. Do three to five repetitions.
  • Turn head to one side and look back over your shoulder. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side. Do three to five repetitions.
  • Tuck chin in and pull head straight back. Hold for 5 seconds and then tilt your face to the ceiling and hold for another 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Anyone for Pigs in the Blanket?

Natural remedies for relieving arthritis pain is nothing new. People have been using a variety of concoctions since the dawning of mankind. With all the medications and other treatments you will find available, sometimes, it is nice to see an old-timer in terms of treatments still works as good today as it did in years past.

Take a look at this fashionable favorite!

Cabbage leaves have been used to soothe inflammation for hundreds of years. If you want to try this arthritis “Pig in a Blanket,” blanch a cabbage leaf and apply warm or cold to the area of inflammation. You can keep the cabbage in place by wrapping it in gauze or an elastic bandage.

What you get is a pain-free life with the only downside being that you may smell like cabbage for a while….

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Aspirin the Most Trusted Painkiller?

After learning about the adverse side effects linked to prescription painkillers Vioxx, Celebrex and Bextra, arthritis patients are turning back to over-the-counter drugs in hopes of finding a safer option.

Many are again opting for aspirin. Aspirin is regarded as one of the oldest, most trusted painkillers of all. In fact, it has been around for so long -- more than 100 years -- that it never went through the stringent tests today's drugs must go through in order to become non-prescription. With more than 100 billion tablets of aspirin consumed worldwide each year, aspirin is commonly used to treat inflammation and pain.

However, reliance on this over-the-counter drug may result in serious health problems, including gastrointestinal bleeding and stomach irritation. While aspirin may be fine for the occasional ache or pain, doctors do not recommend it for chronic pain sufferers because aspirin is not void of health risks.

One pharmacist (and senior editor for Harvard Health Publications) offered a word of caution pertaining to the safety of aspirin and other over-the-counter pain relievers: "My guess is that if aspirin was launched in 2004, it would not be an over-the-counter drug. People have the misunderstanding that if you can simply buy without a prescription, that it is completely safe to use. But every drug has side effects."

Although aspirin offers pain relief with less side effects than the Cox-2 inhibitors, there are other arthritis pain relief products, like Arthritin, that work completely side effect free.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

An Ounce of Prevention... It's Not So Different for Your Dog

A previous blog post addressed ways to prevent arthritis in humans. Now I want to talk about arthritis prevention for man's best friend. No surprisingly, the tips are very similar in beast as they are for man.

•Loss the weight: Maintaining proper weight is key to arthritis prevention in man and in beast. And since we humans (ideally) control what the dog eats and how much he eats, controlling the dog's weight might be easier than controlling our own. Just remember, you are doing your dog no favors by slipping him treats and table scraps.
•Exercise: This is easy prevention for dogs. Unlike we humans, who seem to have an aversion to exercise, dogs love it. They beg for it. Cut back on the food, but give your dog all the exercise it wants.
•But don’t over do it: Take Fido out for several 10-15 minute walks daily instread of one long walk, especially if your dog is getting up there in years. •Diet: A natural diet high in vitamins and minerals is essential for healthy bones and tissue.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Canine Arthritis Symptoms

It sure would be easy if your beloved dog could speak up and tell you that his joints are hurting. They can't so it's up to you to recognize the the signs and symptoms of canine arthritis.

Canine Arthritis Symptoms: Here are a few signs that your beloved pet has painful joints;

  • Has trouble getting up from a lying position
  • Avoids stairs
  • Is slow moving
  • Is slow to lie down
  • Avoids jumping
  • Plays less
  • Sleeps more
  • Is less excited to see you when you come home
  • Has weight gain

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Common Arthritis Causes

There are over 100 different types of arthritis and probably as many causes of arthritis as there are types of arthritis. The most common cause of arthritis though is wear and tear.

So what causes wear and tear on the joints? Here are the most common;
• Age: As age increases, so does the risk of arthritis. Cartilage becomes more brittle and is more likely to wear away with the aging process, leaving the joints without the protective cushioning it needs.
• Injury: Often, a previous injury can accelerate the wear and tear process on the joint and lead to arthritis later in life.
• Excess weight: Extra weight increases the pressure on joints, which can result in an earlier onset of arthritis.
• Sports: Years of playing tennis will stress the elbow. Football and baseball can stress the knees. If you stick with one sport for many years, you can increase the chance of arthritis later in life.
• Occupational Hazards: A number of jobs can contribute to the onset of arthritis. Jobs, such as assembly line work, with repeatative motion for extended periods of time can lead to tendonitis or other forms of arthritis. Construction work and other jobs that require constant heavy lifting can also contribute to arthritis.
• Infection: Both viral and bacterial infections can result in the onset of certain types of arthritis.
• Stress: Not only will it kill you, it can make the trip to the grave a painful one. Being under too much stress can upset the body’s hormonal balance, which in turn upsets the body’s immune system. A weakened immune system leaves you vulnerable to foreign bacteria, which can result in the onset of arthritis.
• Genetic predisposition: While heredity plays less of a role than your own lifestyle, it does play a role. If your mom hobbles around on arthritic knees, you might want to give yours a little extra special care.

You can't do much about your genetics but there is plenty you can do about the other common causes of wear and tear on the joints. With that in mind, you can reduce the wear and tear on your joints by;
• Avoiding repetitive movements.
• Keeping joints flexible and muscles strong with a regular exercise routine. • Avoid lifting heavy objects that are too heavy.
• Live a life of balance and moderation.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Canine Arthritis

Yes, dogs get arthritis too. It is estimated that over 10 million dogs have been diagnosed and 31% of owners state that it is an a real problem for their pets. Canine arthritis is most common in older and large breed dogs since they will put more weight on their joints than the smaller pets. However don't overlook the signs of arthritis in any size pet as they get older.

Pain and discomfort is the same for pets as it is for humans, cartiliage breaks down around the joint in them as it does in us humans. The same medication glucosamine and chrondroitin work for pets as well as humans in relieving pain. MSM also works beautifully for dogs with arthritis. There are an assortment of pet foods that already include these supplements for the older pet.

Remember that your pet cannot speak to you about what ails him, so keep an eye on your pet and recognize the signs of pain.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Swimming Soothes Fibromylagia Pain

Swimming can significantly soothe fibromyalgia pain, European researchers reported in February after studying aquatic exercise as an effective fibromyalgia treatment.

In this study, published in the journal "Arthritis Research & Therapy," researchers divided 33 female study participants into two groups. For eight months, one group exercised in warm water for more than 60 minutes three times weekly. The other group did no aquatic training.

The swimming women reported an improved quality of life and said the workouts eased their pain.

Researchers noted that adding an aquatic exercise program to the fibromyalgia treatment mix is effective for pain and cost-effective in terms of both health care costs.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Depression and Early Retirement

A study from Finland indicates that depression increases the liklihood of workers taking early retirement.

Depression in middle-aged men will cause more men to retire early whereas women with mild depression will take the leap to retire early. The high number of US workers' who decide to retire early would indicate the severity of depression's impact.

Exercise: Best Arthritis Treatment

As unusual as it sounds, exercise is one of the best treatments for arthritis. If you have stiff and painful joints and you do not have a regular exercise regimen, now is the time to start working out. People who follow a regular exercise routine are better able to decrease the stiffness and pain associated with arthritis.

The best types of exercises for arthritis:
•Range of motion exercises help maintain or increase flexibility. This in turn relieves stiffness.
•Strengthening exercises build the muscles around the joints and takespressure off the joints.
•Endurance exercises help maintain overall body health. Endurance exercises also help with weight management and increase cardiovascular fitness.

The goal of exercise is to relieve stiffness without aggravating the joints or worsen symptoms. With that in mind, start slowly when starting an exercise program. You can build up in time and intensity as you gain strength. Always, always listen to your body. Your body will let you know loud and clear if you are doing too much too soon.

Remember to warm up and stretch your body with range of motion exercises before exercising and do the same when you are cooling down. But above all, remember to have fun. If you select exercise activities that you enjoy, you are more likely to keep your routine.

No exercise article would be complete without the "talk to your doctor before starting" disclaimer. In additional to that, seriously consider working under the supervision of a physical therapist or trainer in the beginning. These exercise experts will teach you how to get the best out of your exercise program while also being kind to your body. Your local YMCA or health club should have a trainer on staff.

Arthritis and Exercise

Exercise is a very important treatment. While arthritis causes stiffness and painful joints, exercising relieves the stiffness and lessens the pain. If you adhere to a regular routine you will be able to fight off many illnesses and decrease stiffness and arthritic pain. The most important exercises to follow are:
  • Range of motion: to help maintain/increase flexibility and relieve stiffness
  • Weights: to strengthen muscles around the joints
  • Endurance: cardio exercises help with overall body health including weight management.

Begin your exercise program slowly and keep working up to the goal of not injuring yourself or aggravating your joints. Remember to discuss your program with your physician and if possible under supervision of a physical therapist. Once your body has become accustomed to regular exercises you can add recreational exercises (biking/swimming) and aerobic exercises.
Enjoy your exercises and choose them well. People who have fun are more likely to keep a regular routine and get the best from exercising.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

An ounce of prevention...

You know the old say; "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” If you want to avoid arthritis later in life, take these preventative steps now;
•Loss the weight: That extra weight you carry around is no friend to your feet, ankles, hips, knees, and spine and causes excess wear and tear on weight-bearing joints.
Exercise regularly: Regular exercise strengthens muscles so the muscles can do their job of supporting the joints while weak muscles place a strain on joints. Lose the weight, but use your muscles.
•But don’t over do it: Regular exercise is essential for overall health.
Overusing your joints has a detrimental effect on the body. The key is balance. Maintain a consistent exercise schedule instead of playing "Weekend Warrior."
•Avoid repetitive movements: Repetitive movements can cause problems later in life so to decrease your chances of developing arthritis, avoid repetitive strain on the joints.
•Eat well and drink plenty of water: A healthy diet is an important factor in
avoiding arthritis. Keeping your body hydrated keeps your joints hydrated. Watch your diet now and you can avoid sore joints later.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Easing Arthritis Pain Naturally

Here are a few natural ways to help ease your pain;

  • Vitamin C: Researchers at Boston University Medical Center found that 75 mg of Vitamin C daily slows the development of knee pain. Vitamin C is needed to make collagen, an important ingredient for cartilage.
  • Exercise: Exercise pumps nutrients into joints and provides a means to nourish cartilage. Hence, less hip and knee replacements.
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin: Glucosamine gives cartilage its structure. Together, both glucosamine and chondroitin attract and hold water, which cushions the cartilage. Recommended dosage is 1,500 mg of glucosamine and 1,200 mg of chondroitin with meals.
  • Diet: A mostly vegetarian diet is shown to reduce inflammation. Concentrate on complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, veggies, legumes and fruits and omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in flaxseed oil.
  • Nutritional supplements such as Arthritin for natural pain relief and anti-inflammation.
  • MSM:

If you have arthritis, you are most likely aware of the dangers of taking prescription and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. To avoid these dangers, try natural methods of fighting arthritis and arthritis pain.