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Why Do I have Arthritis? Part 2 of 3

It is a strange concept, but toiling away at a desk can have serious impacts on your arthritis. With subpar posture and ergonomics, arthritis flares can surface out of nowhere and cripple your productivity and comfort. When it comes to chronic pain, even a sedentary workspace is worrisome. Here are some viewpoints on productivity at your commerical workplace or at your home office:

The Ultimate Posture Upgrade

Ensure a healthy posture at all times. With a well-crafted chair and a good posture, you can eliminate a lot of the tension that comes from arthritis. If you are feeling tired, call attention to your posture so you can correct any slouching. Adhere to a habit of periodically taking a break and letting your mind meditate on your physical bearing. Not only will hunching less make you feel better, it will also make you more constructive.

Reduce repetitive tasks. Many solutions that lessen the chance of repetitive strain injury (RSI) can also prevent the chronic pain associated with arthritis. By repeating keystrokes or movements, you can cause or instigate strain on muscles and joints.

Reconsider your seat. If your workspace chair isn’t preventing pain, consider talking to your manager about finding something that could work better for you. Everyone has different ergonomic needs, so don’t be embarrassed when the default setup doesn’t cut it. Keep in mind that an ergonomic chair might be slightly awkward at first since their main purpose is to be supportive.

Taking the Unconventional Route

Treating arthritis and all its painful and debilitating symptoms does not always require a plethora of drugs and doctor visits. You may be surprised to learn how many household items and exciting activities can prevent arthritis flare-ups and reduce chronic pain. Beyond the many forms of low-impact exercises, there are many urban legends surrounding natural and household treatments, so many claims should be taken with a grain of salt. After examining the medical research in the open and heeding my patient’s recommendations, I have prepared a go-to list of home remedies. Read on to learn about the many techniques to naturally address your arthritis.

Your local gym, hospital, or pool may offer a water aerobics or aquatic fitness class. Essentially, the water acts as your resistance as opposed to a set of weights or bands. In a waist-deep pool, anyone can perform muscle-building and cardio workouts without causing additional pain to arthritic joints and inflamed muscles. Floating in water mitigates the detrimental effects of gravity on sensitive parts of the body when working out and stretching. A physical therapist can assist you during water aerobics to increase your range of motion. Beyond the physical benefits, water aerobics has also been shown to eliminate depression.

T’ai chi is one of the most popular forms of the qigong martial art which is known for its health benefits and self-defense aspects. Different forms of qigong exist, some considered “soft” and “hard” martial arts and others considered modern or traditional. T’ai chi is priceless for those with arthritis because the movements are sluggish and most sessions tend to be shorter. Like many ancient Chinese exercises, there is clear evidence that shows its physical and mental health benefits. One recent study found many of its 40 participants with knee osteoarthritis had gained better flexibility and reduced pain within 12 weeks. If you’re interested in mastering T’ai chi, classes are often offered in local community centers or at YMCA locations.

Qigong is an ancient Chinese practice that involves smooth flowing gesticulations to guide energy throughout the body. Although it has its roots in ancient China, similarly to acupuncture, it is practiced in many cultures today as an effective, cheap, and low-impact way to fortify the body and prevent arthritis-associated ailments. Qigong is influenced by the martial arts and promotes self-empowerment and mental health with breathing techniques and methodical actions. Studies have proven that qigong is effective in treating knee pain sprung by osteoarthritis.

Yoga has a long and rich history through many cultures, but in the United States, the focus is on the physical side of it. The mental and physical perspectives often go hand-in-hand, orchestrating overall greater strength and exhilaration to one’s life. Yoga has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including cancer and heart problems. As a response to the increasingly busy world, yoga provides a means of finding time in the day to concentrate on body and mind. Yoga, along with qigong and T’ai chi, are all great forms of low-impact exercise that boost flexibility.

If you are unfamiliar with yoga, it is an increasingly popular and well-researched workout system that focuses on simple to intense body postures that require might and flexibility and to achieve. Most prefer to partake in yoga in a quiet setting to focus on their breathing and thoughts, similarly to meditation and perform the postures on a padded surface to slash the chance of injury. Whether you are new to the world of yoga or an experienced veteran, yoga can help you achieve your health aspirations. It is important to note that yoga isn’t generally recommended for the physically frail and severely overweight.

In Chinese and eastern culture, many turn to the time-tested treatment known as acupuncture and its many distinctions. The concept behind acupuncture is simple: where your body’s energy isn’t correctly flowing, there will be pain. This notion is something that has been confirmed with modern scientific works of research; where we hurt is usually a result of an issue that blocks our body’s natural healing mannerisms.

Acupuncture is often overlooked due to its strict labeling as “alternative treatment,” but in my experience of employing it in conjunction with many other enhancements, I consider it to be an exceedingly effective, low-risk, noninvasive, and complementary choice for arthritis sufferers. Alongside other treatments or surgery, it can speed up the body’s healing process, thus reducing recovery time, pain, muscle spasms, and flexibility.

By focusing on our meridians — parts of the body that facilitate the movement of energy (or “Qi”) — traditional and modern forms of acupuncture can help stimulate healing and prevent the pain associated with arthritis and chronic pain in general. Contrary to popular belief, acupuncture doesn’t require the use of needles. Suction cups, a favorite of actress Gwyneth Paltrow, and hot spoons can achieve identical results by increasing blood flow to the meridians. All forms of acupuncture should be relaxing since many resemble massage therapy. In light of the holistic philosophy, many acupuncture specialists are also skilled in the art of patient relaxation. Nowadays, medical professionals are experimenting with electro-acupuncture, which brings a lot of the benefits found in the electrotherapy movement systems, which increase mobility in arthritic joints. We’ll get to electrotherapy later in this e-book.

This And That Around The House

Many of my patients are surprised to hear about the all-natural arthritis treatments that are already situated in their homes. Although these homely antidotes cannot replace modern medicine and a healthy lifestyle, they are often faultless for when you’re in need of a nippy and affordable treatment option that doesn’t warrant a doctor’s visit or drugs and their side effects. The combination of these home remedies, appropriate medications, a balanced diet, and exercise can be the ultimate treatment for general well-being and arthritis-related soreness .

Hot peppers contain a particular ingredient that has been revealed to relieve arthritis pain: capsaicin. By acting on the sensory nerves, this natural chemical affects how the brain interprets pain. Over-the-counter (OTC) creams sometimes comprise a small amount of capsaicin to produce an icy-hot sensation. Generally, eating spicy food also releases endorphins, the same chemical that produces the “runner’s high”. Endorphins produce that well-being feeling that can also noticeably lower pain. Peppers can be very spicy, so adding them to a meal can add a flavorful kick while reducing arthritis-related discomfort.

The gin-soaked raisins recipe is unique, but it’s also surprisingly effective in treating arthritis symptoms. Both gin and raisins contain anti-pain properties. Raisins contain several pain reducing compounds such as salicylic acid and ferulic acid. Golden raisins go through an extra process during production that compounds sulphur dioxide, which has an extra layer of pain-fighting ingredients. Gin, made with juniper berries, contains the anti-inflammatory chemical terpinen, which hails directly from the fruit. Simply empty a box of raisins into a bowl with enough gin to cover the dried fruit and let the liquid evaporate for a week until the raisins are still a bit moist. For optimal results, consume nine or less of these raisins a day.

Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits, such as helping to control blood pressure, hydrate, and reduce pain in arthritis joints. Cider vinegar can alter the alkaline acid balance in your body which removes hard deposits of acid crystals that form in less severe arthritic joints. My patients have seen the benefits of applying it topically when blended with hot water and soaking it on the afflicted area for 10 minutes several times a day. Ingesting it also helps. To make it more enjoyable to consume, create a mixture of 2 tsp of the vinegar, 8 oz of water, and 2 tbsp of honey. Note that it may take a few weeks to fully appreciate the results of this home remedy and you might smell like salad dressing after using it, but the smell will dissipate after a few hours or succeeding a shower.

Tart cherries enjoy anthocyanin, which is known for being an antioxidant that can control inflammation in a similar way to ibuprofen. Scientists having patients consume cherry pills for two months show drastic improvements in their moderate knee pain. Consuming these cherry pills or devouring the real thing in the right portions will lead to reduced pain and to a healthier overall diet.

Pectin often used as a thickening agent in gelatinous products, is a natural pain-smacking product extracted from citrus fruits. It’s an inexpensive ingredient that can lower cholesterol. You can purchase pectin as a powder at your local grocery store and easily add it to drinks or meals. By interspersing 8 oz of it in a low-sugar beverage twice a day, you can ease your arthritis symptoms. Pectin may not function right for everyone, so you should reevaluate its effectiveness after 30 days of use.

The Supplement Fixation

These other household approaches don’t treat arthritis directly, but they can often help the body regulate itself better with a stronger immune system. General health is a major way to reduce chronic pain and make your body stronger. Be aware that some of these home treatments aren’t well researched, so keep this in mind when toting these products.

It’s widely understood in the medical community that vitamin pills don’t compensate for a lacking diet or a healthy lifestyle, but in proper contexts, multivitamins can be an easy way to ward off illnesses and slightly strengthen the immune system in during the flu seasons.

Not only is aloe idyllic for treating minor burns, wounds, and frostbite, butit is also healthy and delectable. With its antioxidants and soothing flavor, it makes for a great snack or beverage enhancer as well as an ideal ingredient in lotions.

A common herbal supplement, Echinacea, is known for being one of the most natural ways to strengthen your body’s ability to fight off infections, pain, and disease. When compared to placebos, those who consume the herb were half as likely to contract the common cold.

Garlic, a great tasting and pungent bulb is getting a lot of notice in medical literature, and much of it is displaying the benefits of garlic for your health. Since garlic is so trouble-free to incorporate into many dishes, I highly recommend eating more of it for its health properties and its ability to increase blood flow and mobility.

Nowadays, probiotics are added to yogurts and other dairy products due to new research showing the benefits of healthy stomach and colon bacteria. Many swear by probiotic supplements and their ability to reduce stomach irritation and digestive benefits, so consider either taking some directly or consuming healthy natural yogurts that take it easy on the sugar.

References

Arokoski JP, Leinonen V, Arokoski MH, Aalto H, Valtonen H. Postural control in male patients with hip osteoarthritis. Gait Posture. 2006 Jan;23(1):45–50.

Lindler BN, Long KE, Taylor NA, Lei W. Use of Herbal Medications for Treatment of Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Medicines (Basel). 2020 Oct 28;7(11):67.

Liu X, Machado GC, Eyles JP, Ravi V, Hunter DJ. Dietary supplements for treating osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2018 Feb;52(3):167–175.

About the Author:

Dr. Ali is a medical journalist and copywriter at https://healthcarepropulsion.com.

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