Tag Archives: joint pain

Joint pain and you … Tufts

If you currently suffer from joint pain—or hope to prevent it—don’t be tempted by ads and fads. Beyond taking any medications recommended by your healthcare provider, there are steps you can take to ease pain and protect joints, according to Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

What Works. To protect your joints, be careful at work and at play. Sports- or work-related injuries to joints can increase the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis. Wear protective equipment and appropriate footwear, and avoid repetitive motion to minimize or prevent joint damage. If you already have arthritis, physical activity is a simple, effective, non-drug way to reduce pain for many people. “In our research, patients with knee osteoarthritis began to see reduced pain and increased function four to five weeks into 12-week interventions with either Tai Chi or physical therapy,” says Chenchen Wang, MD, MSc, director of the Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine at Tufts Medical Center. “Our results indicate individuals with knee osteoarthritis will likely benefit from mind-body exercise therapy regardless of pre-intervention activity levels.” Low-impact activities like the traditional Chinese mind-body exercise Tai Chi, walking, bicycling, and swimming do not put too much stress on the joints or involve twisting and have a low risk of injury.

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Exercise – An effective Rx for joint pain – Harvard

I don’t know how many times I have run across this kind of information, but it never ceases to amaze me – to a large extent – whatever the physical problem –  exercise is often the answer. Eat less; move more; live longer really works. Here is what Harvard has to say about exercise in relation to joint pain.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends:
2.5 hours/wk of moderate intensity exercise.
OR 1.25 hours a week of vigorous aerobic physical activity
Or Some combination of the above – equivalent episodes of at least 10 minutes spread throughout the week. That really isn’t very much when you break it down.

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I just love this cat doing chin ups.

Joint pain can rob you of life’s simple pleasures — you may no longer look forward to walking your dog, gardening, or chasing a tennis ball across the court. Even the basics of getting through your day, like getting into the car or carrying laundry to the basement, can become sharp reminders of your limitations.

But the right exercises performed properly can be a long-lasting way to subdue ankle, knee, hip, or shoulder pain. Although it might seem that exercise would aggravate aching joints, this is simply not the case. Exercise can actually help to relieve joint pain in multiple ways:

It increases the strength and flexibility of the muscles and connective tissue surrounding the joints. When thigh muscles are stronger, for example, they can help support the knee, thus relieving some of the pressure on that joint.

Exercise relieves stiffness, which itself can be painful. The body is made to move. When not exercised, the tendons, muscles, and ligaments quickly shorten and tense up. But exercise — and stretching afterward — can help reduce stiffness and preserve or extend your range of motion.

It boosts production of synovial fluid, the lubricant inside the joints. Synovial fluid helps to bring oxygen and nutrients into joints. Thus, exercise helps keep your joints “well-oiled.”

It increases production of natural compounds in the body that help tamp down pain. In other words, without exercise, you are more sensitive to every twinge. With it, you have a measure of natural pain protection.

It helps you keep your weight under control, which can help relieve pressure in weight-bearing joints, such as your hips, knees, and ankles.

If all this isn’t enough, consider the following: exercise also enhances the production of natural chemicals in the brain that help boost your mood. You’ll feel happier — in addition to feeling better.

For more on developing and mastering an exercise plan to combat joint pain, order The Joint Pain Relief Workout, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

Tony

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What is Food Sensitivity?

The first thing food sensitivity is NOT is a food allergy. Everyone knows what a food allergy is. An allergic reaction is an instantaneous one in which, for example, a person eats a peanut or a shellfish and immediately has trouble breathing. On the other hand, food sensitivity is very different, more subtle and difficult to ascertain. I am currently taking a course entitled “The Science of Natural Healing” from The Great Courses.

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In the course book, the teacher, Dr. Mimi Guarneri, says about food sensitivity, “It is one of the causes of chronic low grade inflammation. You keep taking in a food and your body keeps seeing it as a foreign invader, and your body works constantly to clear the toxin from your system. Even though the reaction may not be severe, the long term consequences are enormous.”

Dr. Guarneri is board-certified in cardiology, internal medicine, nuclear medicine, and holistic medicine. She earned her medical degree from The State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, where she graduated first in her class.

I have talked about stress previously and how chronic stress can be devastating to the human body. It appears that food sensitivity is, in fact, chronic stress brought about by what we eat, rather than our emotional reaction to a situation. Continue reading

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