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Wellness Tips for Reducing Pain
Beneficial for all types of joint pain, muscle pain, arthritis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.
Disease can start as mild joint pain and back pain, but can progress to Arthritis, Osteoarthritis and Fibromyalgia. We are not allowed to say or write that we can cure arthritis, osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia, because these are defined as medical conditions, and only a licensed health practitioner is legally allowed to tell you that you have arthritis, or any other medical condition. Please take note: we are not offering a “cure for arthritis”.
- Always consult a doctor before beginning a new exercise program.
- Exercise keeps your muscles and tendons around affected joints stronger and more flexible, increasing your overall well being.
- All categories of exercise (aerobic, strength and flexibility) are beneficial for arthritis sufferers. Building activity into your life is always important, but particularly so if you have pain and arthritis.
- If joint discomfort hampers your ability to exercise, plan to build some activity into the times of day when you experience less pain.
- Local recreation and fitness centers usually run exercise programs specially designed for people wishing to control joint and muscle pain.
- Muscles and other tissues that support your joints will weaken when not moved enough, causing the joint to lose its shape, function, circulation and drainage. With this comes increased wear and tear on joint tissue.
- Exercising regularly will help you avoid the strains and stresses associated with weakened joints and muscles. Low-impact exercises (yoga, Pilates, swimming, walking, water aerobics & cycling) can all restore and maintain strength and flexibility. This helps you feel better overall.
Control Your Weight
When you weigh less, there is less stress on your joints. This is particularly true for your knees and other weight-bearing joints. Reduced stress on the joints means less pain. Increasing your activity level will help you to lose weight.
Revise Your Diet
Add more raw seeds and nuts such as pumpkin and flax seeds to your food intake. These foods contain health promoting omega 3 fatty acids, to reduce joint inflammation.
- Eat ginger and turmeric as they have anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular benefits.
- Increase your intake of fresh fruit and raw vegetables.
- Eat more legumes (beans, peas).
- Eliminate foods containing hydrogenated oils, refined sugar or flour, nitrates and hormone loaded meat or dairy products.
Learn to Relax
Research shows that people who respond to stress by becoming anxious are far more likely to develop stress-related physical symptoms such as pain. If you are prone to anxiety, explore the many techniques to help you manage stress effectively. Your doctor, library, and the Internet are good sources of information. Developing relaxation and coping skills can contribute to the feeling of being in control over your body. Try deep breathing exercises, listen to music or relaxation tapes, or visualize a pleasant activity such as sitting by a peaceful lake or lying on a beach.
Use Heat and Cold
Applying heat or cold to your joints can provide temporary relief of pain and stiffness. Heat helps to relax sore or aching muscles and cold will reduce inflammation. Remember to place a towel or cloth between your skin and the source of heat or cold.
Protect Your Joints
Learn to listen to your body and stop any activity that gives rise to pain. Alternate heavy or repetitive tasks with easier tasks and build breaks into your daily schedule. Take advantage of the many helpful devices designed for arthritis sufferers such as jar openers and wide-handled mugs. Use carts instead of carrying heavy loads, and use chairs with a straight back, high seat and arms, enabling you to “push off” from a sitting position.
Position Your Joints Wisely
This will help avoid excessive stress on the joints. Use your back, arms and legs to avoid putting extra stress on joints. For example, carry a heavy load close to your body. Using grab bars and shower seats in the bathroom can help you to conserve energy and avoid falls. Use your larger, stronger joints to bear the weight of loads. (For example, use a shoulder bag instead of a handheld one.) Avoid staying in the same position for long periods of time.
Always bend your knees when lifting heavy objects. The large muscles in your thighs and buttocks are far better equipped to bear heavy loads than the smaller muscles of your back.
Carry Objects Close to Your Body
Holding heavy objects away from the body is inviting back injury. Make sure that you hold heavy objects close to your torso when lifting. Twisting your body while pulling or lifting is a primary cause of back injury. Always keep your body straight when carrying, pulling, or reaching for an object.
Watch Your Golf Swing
The twisting motion employed by golfers often leads to back injury. The inter-vertebral disks (the cartilagenous shock absorbers that separate the bones of the spine) are injury-prone zones for golfers. The disk is most vulnerable when the back is extended or arched, and the body is rotated. With an improper or overly-strenuous swing, the covering of the disk unwinds and tears. Warming up and stretching before golfing will help you avoid disk injury. When swinging your club, do so gently, trying to keep your shoulders and chest centered over your pelvis.
Be Careful Exiting Cars
When exiting a car, turn your whole body to the side. Place both feet on the ground and stand up carefully. Reverse the procedure when entering a car. First, sit down, then swing both legs in together so that you do not twist your back.
The human spine as not designed to maintain a sitting position for long periods of time. Driving, working at your desk, spending time on a plane, sitting at the computer, and watching sports are all activities that can lead to back pain. The best way to avoid back strain is to get up every fifteen minutes or so and walk around. (If you are driving, pull over whenever convenient to stretch your legs.) If you sit for long periods at work, invest in a well-designed chair that supports your back and allows you to change positions easily. A cushion tucked behind your back while driving will help provide support and comfort.