“Arthritis is a debilitating disease that profoundly impacts the lives of millions of Americans on a daily basis” said John H. Klippel, M.D., president and CEO, Arthritis Foundation. Arthritis also tops the list of most common causes of disability, according to an article published in the C.D.C (MMWR). In addition, the number of people who report arthritis as the primary cause of disability has increased by one million.
”There are over 100 types of arthritis including Osteoarthritis, Gout and Fibromyalgia." say Suzanne Andrews Host of Functional Fitness PBS TV ‘Arthritis often cause joint stiffness, joint inflammation and pain, making getting out of bed in the morning agonizing, rising from your chair torture, or even a once easy task of getting in and out of your car a monumental achievement.” Suzanne relates a story about a 62 year old patient who had painful joints in her knees; she explains “The strain of getting up compelled her to sit in her chair all day. What she didn’t realize was that sitting all day was actually making her arthritis condition worse and by the time she sought treatment she was in a wheelchair and no longer able to walk.”
Is the only treatments for arthritis - pills or surgery?
Arthritis suffers may feel their only option to relieving pain is expensive medication or surgery. “In order to make an informed decision, you need to be armed with the latest in arthritis treatment choices. Sometimes surgery is necessary, but since surgery is a major event not to be taken lightly, other forms of treatment should be explored first. Medicines are sometimes a necessary evil. Evil because over time they can cause liver toxicity and can also increase your susceptibility to life threatening infections. However, on the other hand, they are necessary at times because they help alleviate pain." says Suzanne
According to Suzanne there is something else that could help alleviate arthritis pain that requires no co-payment, enabling you to once again live a full active life - with renewed energy! “There is a treatment that Doctors once believed would damage your joints and as an Occupational Therapy Practitioner, I have seen the miraculous results of how functional exercise treatment increases people’s functional independence enabling people to once again enjoy life’s simple pleasures.” said Suzanne
Exercise and arthritis – does exercise increase pain?
Doctors as well as individuals with arthritis thought exercising would only cause more joint pain and damage. Times have changed, fortunately, doctors are now aware of the important role exercise plays in significantly reducing and eliminating arthritis pain. Suzanne explains “Therapeutic exercise has proven to be so significant that Doctors often refer their patients to a physical or occupational therapist for a special functional exercise program to increase flexibility, boost energy and improve strength.” Suzanne continues “Exercise can do all of these safely. While increasing blood flow and providing important nutrients to your body, a functional workout keeps your muscles around your joints strong and diminishes joint pain. So strong that the patient mentioned earlier was able to walk, and once again participate in functional activities including going to the bathroom independently. Yes, arthritis, if left untreated, even makes going to the bathroom painful.”
“Functional Exercise includes practicing full range of motion exercises supplying lubrication to your joints which is akin to placing WD 40 to a squeaky door hinge. Please do not try applying WD 40 to your joints as that is an old wives tale! With continued practice of a Functional exercise program, your body will reward you with an increased ability to perform meaningful activities of daily living without pain.” said Suzanne
We’ve all heard the best exercise for arthritis is water aerobics. Suzanne agrees but offers additional options. “Water aerobics is an excellent form of arthritis and I often recommend that to my patients with access to a pool. However it should not be the only type of exercise for arthritis if the goal is to eliminate arthritis pain. In order to eliminate and reduce pain you need to be able to perform exercises that take you through the full range of motion and unless you’re a seagull who doesn’t mind sticking your head under water to bend down, you won’t get the full range of motion exercises your body needs with water aerobics. Muscle tissues have a natural tendency to shorten with aging. Muscles must be regularly stretched to minimize the effect of natural muscle shortening. Flexibility exercises combat the negative effects of stiffness, pain, stress and can significantly improve your life by increasing your functional ability, decreasing pain and turn back your body clock making your joints younger, healthier and fit. When you are flexible, your muscles have a decreased risk of injury because they are more pliable and less likely to tear.”
Suzanne emphasizes that it is Equally important for men to stretch “No matter how strong your muscles are, if your muscles are tight, bending and reaching will become painful. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to bend over to reach for any item when it’s fallen on the ground without pain and stiffness? ..
Functional Exercise from a trained expert will get you one stretch closer to being pain free. If you’re tight, you NEED to stretch because you’re only going to get tighter. So be a fighter and don’t get tighter.”
Healthy Lifestyles Fitness Expert and Host Of PBS TV Functional Fitness, Suzanne Andrews is a Occupational Therapy Practitioner who specializes in increasing your health with DVD's for the plus size and over 40 population. To purchase her DVD's click on the link to Amazon.com
Source and Contact: Suzanne Andrews