How Stretching Relieves Arthritis

 

Arthritis does not prevent you from stretching your joints, knees, hands, or body muscles. One of the good ways to treat arthritis at home is by stretching. There are lots of results revealing that stretching the muscle and joint can help to alleviate arthritis pain and morning stiffness. Arthritis patients who practice stretching their legs, joints, and knees experience less pain than patients who does not. Irrespective of the type of arthritis you are suffering from, stretching is among the best ways to take care of it. There are different ways an arthritis patient can practice stretching his or her body, these different ways include:

Standing Quadriceps Stretch

This is one of the simplest exercises for anyone who is suffering from arthritis. To do this:

  • Stand beside a wall and rest your left hand on the wall. Next, bend your right knees so that it would be easy for you to lift your foot up.
  • Next, reach behind you with your right hand and grab your ankles. Without stressing your ankle, pull it up and back slowly. Ensure that your ankle does not touch your buttock when stretching it.
  • Relax after the first practice before doing the same with the second leg.
  • Do this exercise for at least 10 minutes but ensure you rest at intervals.

Calf Stretch

Calf stretch is another great exercise for arthritis patients. Constantly practicing this exercise helps to relieve the pain in the joint and avoid earthly morning stiffness. To do calf stretch:

  • Stand facing the wall, but ensure that the space between you and the wall is at least two paces away. Next, place your two hands on the wall.
  • Take a step forward with your right foot while keeping your left leg straight and extended backward.
  • Next, try to lean forward until you can feel the pull at the back of your left calf. Keep yourself in this position for at least 10 seconds. Repeat this process three times for each leg.

Hip Flexor Stretch

Hip Flexor is also a very great stretching exercise for arthritis patients.  To do this:

  • Knee with both feet on the floor. Your knee should be bent on the floor and your right shin should be positioned in such a way that it is flat on the floor and further back than your shoulders.
  • Place your hands on your right knees as if you are resting them on it. Keep your back straight and try to lean a big forward. However, ensure that you don’t lean more than the end of your toes. Try these exercises for each leg and hold yourself in this position for at least 20 seconds.

 Forward Folds

Forward folds are a knee and leg exercise. This exercise is designed to strengthen the bone muscle and allow easy flow of blood in the body joints. To get started with this exercise:

  • Stand with your knee shoulder widely apart. Next, try to bend forward from your waist. While trying this ensures not to bounce and keep your legs as straight as you can.
  • This exercise is best performed if you can reach the floor, however, if you can’t, there is no need to worry. With regular practice, you would be able to do the exercise. Hold yourself in this position for at least 3 seconds.

Stretch Your Shoulders, And Arm Muscles

  • Stand the same way you would when doing any of the legs and knee exercises explained above. Clash your hand together behind your back. While doing this, ensure that your back is as straight as possible.
  • Next, roll your shoulders down and back. Repeat this exercise consistently. For at least 10 mins.
  • Ensure to relax at the end of each rolling for the first few seconds and repeat the exercise until it is up to 10 mins.

Things To Avoid While Practicing Stretching Exercise

Although stretching is a good exercise for arthritis patients, this might not yield any result when done the wrong way. Some of the caution to avoid when practicing any of the stretching exercises include:

  • Do Not Stretch A Cold Muscle

Amy Ashmore, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise states that stretching exercise should only be performed after a five to ten minutes warm-up exercise. Stretching a cold muscle can intensify pain and make the exercise very difficult to practice.

  • Use Dynamic Stretching Exercise To Warm-up

Dynamic stretching exercises include the different types of warm-ups often used by sports players. Practicing dynamic exercise before starting any of the stretching exercises help to improve blood flow and enhance the temperature of the body muscles and joints. Dynamic exercise also makes it easy to move the body. Some of the dynamic exercises that can be practiced as warm-ups include:

  • Tennis players’ warm-up exercises. This exercise includes side and front lunges. Tennis players use this as a way of practicing how to reach for the ball.

Before starting any of the stretching exercises, try the tennis player warm-ups for at least five minutes.

  • Walk around your surrounding for at least 10 minutes. However, start at a very slow pace and subsequently pick up your pace as you progress.
  • Practice squatting as your warm-up exercise. You can start with a half squat or full squat. Do this until you are thoroughly warm up and ready for the stretching exercise.
  • Practice the warm-ups used by footballers. These include jogging, kicking, and squatting. Do this for at least 5 minutes before starting your main exercise.
  • After practicing any of these warm-ups, proceed to the main stretching exercises.

Discomfort Is Inevitable

If you are new to the stretching exercise, be prepared to experience some discomfort while practicing it. However, it is advisable that during stretching exercise, do not stretch to the point of pain, only stretch yourself to a point of mild tension. If after the exercise you are experiencing some pain, this is very normal. But if the pain should exceed 2 hours, then try reducing the duration of each exercise. When stretching becomes an easy feat for you, you can increase the time.

It is noteworthy that before stretching, consult your doctor. The doctor understands your health and knows the best way to calm you.

 

Knee Osteoarthritis Alternative Treatment

 

Many sufferers of knee osteoarthritis believe surgery is the only solution, however, little do they know there are alternative treatments for arthritis. Thanks to medical experts who had availed humanity with these revelations. The paragraphs below explain these alternative treatments to knee osteoarthritis.

 

Yoga

Medical Experts emphatically stated that yoga is one of the best alternative treatments for knee osteoarthritis. Yoga is a system of exercises that involves breathing, stretching, and relaxation. It is targeted to enhance the overall health of the arthritis patient. Yoga also helps you to build your muscles, gives balance to the body, and at the same time eases off the stressful pains around the knee joints. Apart from this, yoga makes the body to become flexible and improves sleep.

 

In a study carried out by Haas in 2010, 75 osteoarthritis patients were randomized to an 8 weeks standard yoga program. The yoga class was held once a week and lasted for one hour. However, participants were advised to practice the exercise on their own for at least once a week. The patient was mostly women and within the age of 52. After eight weeks, participants experienced a significant reduction in the pain and improvement in physical functioning. Participants also experienced improved mental health and well-being. There was no adverse effect reported.

 

Just like the common parlance ” too much of everything is not too good”, too much of yoga may aggravate pains, thereby providing the reverse results. In fact, before you try yoga, consult a doctor to check your body and recommend necessary specifications.

 

Acupuncture

Another alternative treatment for knee osteoarthritis is acupuncture. Acupuncture is a Chinese method of treating pain and illness using special thin needles which are pushed into the skin in particular parts of the body( knee region in this context). Research had shown that this alternative treatment for knee osteoarthritis works for some people but doesn’t work for some. So doctors advise that if after adopting the acupuncture treatment and there is no improvement, the method should be discarded for another method. In all, ensure that you consult a certified practitioner.

 

Massage

Massage is another alternative method for treating knee osteoarthritis. Massage is the action of rubbing and pressing a person’s body with the hands to reduce pain in the muscles and joints. Massaging your leg helps to loosen the muscles that control your knees. However, the key part of reducing the pains of knee osteoarthritis depends on how far one can bend the joints. Doctors said that the potency of this kind of alternative treatment for knee osteoarthritis relies on the sufferer’s ability to do it at least one straight hour per week.

 

It is noteworthy that there are different types of therapeutic massage for osteoarthritis patients. They include Swedish, trigger-point, and neuromuscular massage. Among these three, in a study on the effect of Swedish massage on osteoarthritis patients, the result revealed that this type of massage is an effective alternative treatment for osteoarthritis. The study was conducted by Perlman et al. (2006) and involved 68 osteoarthritis patients who were randomized to a Swedish massage for 8 weeks. The patients were between the age of 50 to 70. In the first four weeks, the patients were massaged twice a week, while in the last four weeks, they were massaged once in a week.

 

After the eight, participants experience a significant improvement in pain and joint stiffness. Also, the physical functioning of the patients improved.

 

There is limited evidence supporting the use of massage therapy on older patients with knee osteoarthritis. However, there is no study on the long term effect of this treatment on patients, there is also no evidence of the extent of its effectiveness when compared to other alternative treatments. The efficacy of the treatment in minority elders is yet to be known.

 

Tai Chi

The popular Tai Chi steps is another alternative method of treating knee osteoarthritis. Tai Chi ( popular known as Tai Chi Chuan in China) is a Chinese system of exercises consisting of sets of very slow controlled movements. Studies have shown that taking at least an hour Tai Chi class for at least twice a week can help strengthen your muscles and improve the stability of your joints. In a particular study that was conducted in China, people who took Tai Chi classes twice a week for twelve weeks felt better up to a year later.

 

In one study that compares the effectiveness of tail chi and another alternative treatment for osteoarthritis, the result shows that both alternative treatment are very good

 

Chiropractic Adjustment

Furthermore, Chiropractic adjustment can also serve as an alternative treatment for knee osteoarthritis. This involves the treatment of some diseases and physical problems by pressing and moving the bones in a person’s spine or joints. This method of treatment can only be effectively carried out by a chiropractor. Research shows that chiropractic adjustment helps to relax the nerves and improves locomotion around the knee joints. According to a medical doctor in San Diego (Dr. Ryan Curda), One may need frequent adjustment at first, then drop to one to two times a month.

 

There are lots of study backing up the claim that all the above mentioned alternative therapy are very good for the treatment of osteoarthritis. However, there is no study showing which among the alternative therapies can be used together for effective results. Also, research on the effectiveness of the therapist did not reveal the duration of the sickness. This is an important area of study.

 

Apart from the methods above, other methods that can also yield positive results includes Meditation, Heat and cold method and Glucosamine, and Chondroitin.

 

In conclusion, Knee osteoarthritis( a form of Arthritis) is a pathological disease that mostly affects older people. It is caused by chronic degeneration of the cartilage and synovial membrane of the joints, leading to pain and stiffness.

 

 

Alternative Treatment for Osteoporosis

Statistics have shown that a significant percentage of humans are likely to have bone loss leading to osteoporosis, at one point or the other in their lives. Although most of the treatment drugs for the condition have shown excellent results in patients, there are still ever-increasing numbers of people who want to try and stick to alternative treatment routines. Note that over the years, there have been reported cases where alternative treatment options for osteoporosis, produced remarkable and sustained results.

Although there is still more research going on to see how useful some of the options are, experts are already beginning to see more prospects in natural/non-pharmaceutical composed remedies. This is not to mean, however, that they would necessarily serve as a total replacement for all the drugs already used for treating the condition. While some alternative treatment options may significantly replace the use of some medications, others may help boost the treatment effect of the drug and may be used as complementary options.

Alternative treatment for osteoporosis involves the use of non-synthesized, natural ingredients, and methods for managing or significantly improving the condition in people. The effects of these alternative treatment options include helping to stop or significantly reduce bone loss, as well as providing specific pain relief effects.

Since there is no definite cure for osteoporosis, it is reasonable to compare the treatment and management options, to see which are the most effective with lesser or no side effects. One of the biggest reasons people are beginning to seek alternative treatment options for osteoporosis is the associated side effects of drug remedies. For instance, some of the side effects of commonly used bisphosphonate drugs are becoming of much concern.

Asides an acknowledged significance in osteoporosis treatment, patients seek remedies that also have very less ill consequences, and this is basically what alternative treatment for osteoporosis aims to achieve.
Alternative treatment options and ingredients for osteoporosis
Usually, most of the alternative treatment options are easy to implement and use on your own. However, it is advisable to inform a physician on your intended course of action, so that they can give more useful instructions.

Here are four useful alternative treatment options and ingredients for osteoporosis

Consumption of soy products

Estrogen has been identified to enhance the activity of bone producing body cells known as osteoblasts. In older women, estrogen production is significantly reduced, and this is considered as one of the underlining triggers for osteoporosis in women. Hence, as the reduced production of this hormone takes effect, there seems to be a corresponding decline in bone production.

However, soybeans have been identified as a natural source of Isoflavone components, which produce some similar effects to estrogen- in terms of bone production. This component is quite similar in structure with the regular estrogen. Several expert studies have suggested that increased or consistent addition of soy proteins to a woman’s diet should be implemented at least a few years before menopausal onset. The idea behind this is that the vital marker that helps prevent the condition is built and accumulated in the body over time, and this could help.
Hence, adding soy products to your daily diet can go a long way in improving your bone conditions. Now, while this works for osteoporosis in women, it may also show similar results in men. Asides soybeans, other important Isoflavone-producing foods include lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, etcetera.

Engaging in exercise routines

Even if you’ve got osteoporosis, this doesn’t mean you cannot engage in some exercise routines. Exercises have a significant way of helping you retain your bone mass, and hence making your bones less brittle. The patient would also be building their muscles in the process, which also acts to shield and protect the bone from easily getting fractured. Exercise in conditions like this also has their way of gradually relieving the individuals of their pain.

Asides these, regular exercise helps the individual build their balance again, and thus reduces their chances of falling when they move about. Since osteoporosis tends to be more pronounced as a person’s age advances, exercise routines are, in fact, essential for people as they grow old. It is one of the most important alternative treatments for osteoporosis.
Before booking your exercise sessions with a coach, however, always remember to consult with a doctor and also let them know how you’re doing. Make sure to find out what exercise types are right for you, and this is what you should stick to.

Black cohosh herb

The ancient black cohosh herb is another alternative treatment that is being explored for managing osteoporosis in persons. Although not so much scientific research has been done to ascertain the therapeutic effect and safeness of this herb, it has been in use for many decades- especially by the native American populace. In 2008, a study group made some findings using rats for the test. It was discovered that the active component in the herb (phytoestrogen) improved bone formation in the rat, over a period of about 48hours.

Studies have shown that estrogen and any other component like it would have some positive effect against osteoporosis. However, not so much is yet known on how effective phytoestrogen is in humans. Another claim supporting the use of this herb as a management option for osteoporosis is that it was also used in treating postmenopausal symptoms associated with reduced estrogen supply.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is not a new term for many people, but you probably did not know it could also have a significant effect on reducing the impact of osteoporosis. This method makes use of contact with strategic points and locations of the human body. If you’re adopting acupuncture as an alternative treatment for osteoporosis, you should see someone who knows how this applies to the healing of the bones.
Additionally, acupuncture may necessarily require the individual to make use of other treatment options together with the method. This is because acupuncture practice is only used mainly as a complementary treatment option for osteoporosis.

Note that although this method is entirely acknowledged by several individuals who have suffered from the conditions, it is one of the alternative techniques still under investigation. However, if you want to try what is natural and is believed to have worked for several hundreds of people, then why not.

Other essential alternative treatment for osteoporosis

Now, there are some basic things that an individual must know when treating osteoporosis. Most times, osteoporosis is caused by insufficient calcium and vitamin D elements in the body. An essential thing to do is adjust your diet to incorporate more calcium and vitamin D producing foods.

Calcium is supposed to be the most abundant element in the human body. They are essential in maintaining bone health, and even its formation. Sometimes, however, a supposed calcium deficiency is an inability of the body to absorb sufficient levels of the element. This is why you also need to take vitamin D rich food as a complement for your calcium-rich foods.

Fortunately, many calcium-rich foods also provide some vitamin D. Hence; you can add more components like spinach, tuna, collards, egg yolk, salmon, orange juice, etcetera to your meals.

On the other hand, to prevent inhibition of vitamin D absorption, patients must avoid using drugs that have shown this tendency. This includes antacid medications, as well as steroids like prednisolone.

Note that the list of alternative treatments for osteoporosis is a little more extensive, although most are still being researched. The condition of osteoporosis varies in individuals, and while it may be less severe in some persons, it could be quite extreme in others. Many times, people who started early on some of these alternative treatment options didn’t have to progress into more severe osteoporosis conditions. But then, even persons who already did had some remarkable improvements as well.