To Your Health
March, 2009 (Vol. 03, Issue 03)
Easing the Pain of Arthritis: Think Natural
By Editorial Staff
Joint pain is a primary consequence of arthritis, a constellation of conditions that affects an estimated 46 million adults and 300,000 children.
Arthritis actually refers to more than 100 different diseases affecting areas in and around the joints, but regardless of which type you have, two things are fairly certain: Pain is an ongoing problem and drugs are an all-too-common treatment option.
Why settle for drugs that come with potential side effects and adverse reactions when there are natural, nontoxic approaches to ease your arthritis pain? Here are a few simple suggestions to consider. For more information, talk to your doctor and visit www.arthritis.org.
- Moderate Activity
Regular exercise helps strengthen the muscles around your joints, increases flexibility and combats fatigue. Any movement can help, but range-of-motion exercises in particular seem to reduce joint stiffness and pain. The type of arthritis and the involved joints will determine which exercises are ideal and which may actually increase your pain.
- Good Food
What you eat may play a role in reducing arthritis pain or doing just the opposite making the pain even worse. Some arthritis patients seem to experience relief when eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet (oily fish, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and a flare-up when eating simple carbohydrates and fatty foods. Bananas, sweet peppers and soy products also may help.
- Proper Body Mechanics
Body positioning during everyday movements can have a profound effect on joint stress and resulting pain. To minimize the stress on your joints throughout the day, maintain good posture, bend at the knees when picking things up, and ensure your work space provides adequate support for your neck, back, forearms and upper legs.