arthritis

Even though I am not a doctor, I am interested in conditions that cause peopIe pain and inability to live their lives fully. I have seen people suffering from arthritis and it makes me sad. When someone has a debilitating disease, his or her life style is diminished. I think that it is good for people who have these problems to talk together. They need to share what they know and maybe that can help others. They can share what things work for them and things their doctor has told them that might help someone else. Please feel free to share your stories at the bottom of this page. As we get older, we all have some physical problems eventually. It helps to be aware and informed.

There are many types of arthritis, but the ones we hear the most about are osteoarthritis. and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is basically a disease that older people get as their joints begin to "wear out" Rheumatoid arthritis can cripple and deform joints of your hands and other joints and cartilage in your body. 

Rheumatoid arthritis can strike people of any age--and does. I have a friend with two children who are 11 and 13. Both of the children have juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.  

My daughter has had rheumatoid arthritis for many years. She is in her early fifties. Sometimes her pain is so bad that she cannot even walk. She has to go to the hospital once a month and have an infusion of medicine so that she can function on a daily basis. Modern medicine has helped to control the pain and deformities, but there is no cure.

My daughter manages her pain well, and tries to eat fresh healthy food so as to minimize the deterioration of her body. She knows her limits and walks when she is having less pain. When the pain is worse, she uses a wheelchair. She exercises her joints whenever she can by using low impact exercise equipment.

The most important thing to do if you develop arthritis symptoms is to find a reputable rheumatologist and make an appointment. You can get help with the suffering this disease brings.


exercise you can do with arthritis

I read a book that suggested that gardening was a good way to get the exercise that is necessary to keep your bones strong.  The author said that pulling weeds or using gardening tools was good weight bearing exercise. Pushing a mower is good for your body ("Eat to Beat..." by Editors of FC&A Medical Publishing).

Exercise is healthy, but if every step you take brings you pain, it seems easier to not exercise. The main reason to exercise is to keep your joints as flexible as possible and to keep them lubricated.

  • One of the first things I did when I realized I had osteoarthritis was to buy a recumbant exercise bicycle. I can sit down and pedal and there is not the stress on my joints that walking causes. These bikes are quite inexpensive at discount stores.
  • Swimming is a healthy exercise that does not put too much strain on your joints.
  • Tai chi is said to be a good way to exercise your joints
  • Yoga is thought to be beneficial for people with arthritis.
  • Stretching exercises can be beneficial and don't put excess strain on your joints.

swimming is a way to exercise without putting too much stress on your joints. kicking your legs while in a floating device or using a noodle is something almost anyone can do. You can hold onto the edge of the pool and exercise or swim.

If you want to work on your arms, you can use bottles of water as weights while in the pool.

diet

Eat (These are some of the vitamins and foods that seem to help with inflammation and keeping bones strong and healthy.

  • Vitamin C - Vitamin C is good for joints. It helps destroy free radicals which can cause damage. Eat plenty of foods containing Vitamin C such as  oranges, kale, strawberries and brussel sprouts. Bell peppers and kiwi are also good sources.
  • Vitamin B6 is good for arthritis patients. this can be found in fish such as salmon, pistachios, spinach, sweet potatoes, garlic, and other healthy foods.
  • niaminicide Some foods which contain this are fish, green vegetables, chicken, turkey, peanuts sunflower seeds and avocados.
  • Eat fresh green vegetables  
  • Eat a healthy diet with plenty of calcium from vegetable sources such as broccoli.
  • Oatmeal and brown rice

Don't eat:

  • Sugar is thought to be a culprit in inflammation so less is better - maple syrup or honey are good substitutes.
  • too much salt
  • Fried foods
  • soft drinks - especially artificially sweetened soft drinks
  • vegetable oil or any trans fats 
  • dairy products
  • too much gluten

Other ways to minimize arthritic pain

  • See a good rheumatologist. You will need professional help with this disease.
  • See a nutritionist. Your doctor can refer you to a nutritionist who can help you make choices that will be good for your body. 
  • Lose weight if you are overweight. Extra pounds put strain on your joints.
  • Get a massage. Regular massaging by a trained practitioner can be helpful in keeping your joints flexible.
  • Acupuncture can help to ease inflammation which causes arthritic pain. Make sure to get a reputable acupuncturist, I found the following quote on Dr. needles medical blog: "
    "As a practicing medical acupuncturist since 1982, I find western medicine and medical acupuncture are very complimentary that results in astounding healing in pain management, addictions to cigarettes and food, and a host of other maladies." #link_2954592 (link to Dr. needles quote)
  • Learn meditation techniques. Steven Rozenweig, M.D. has studied the benefits of meditation on people who have chronic pain. You can read his conclusions at: 
    #link_2953722
  • I am not sure yet if it works, but I have been learning about body coding. The jury is still out here on  that. If you have had experience with this or other healing methods, please let us know below.

To read about a study done on arthritis patients using acupuncture see: 
#link_2953717

**Splat**

As we age, we tend to get age related health problems such as osteoarthritis. Last week I was walking and looking ahead instead of down. I stepped off a curb without expecting it and fell splat into the gutter (the wet gutter). I didn't break any bones, but I jammed my thumb and skinned my knees (first time in many years for a skinned knee). I have mild arthritis, but if the arthritis had been worse, I would have probably had broken bones.

Broken hips and other broken bones are common in older people. Millions of older adults have osteoarthritis, but it is most common in postmenopausal women. Young men generally have stronger, thicker bones than women, but as they age, they can also get this disease. It appears that after age 70, men also are at risk for hip fractures.

Do you have arthritis and have you discovered things that help you? Share your ideas below.
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