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Physiotherapy for Fibromyalgia Dubai

If you deal with the aches and pains of fibromyalgia, the thought of beginning an exercise program may make you cringe. In the long run, however, it can do you a world of good. Consider this: Physical therapy has helped many fibromyalgia patients get active and manage their fibromyalgia pain at the same time.

Anne Reicherter, PT, DPT, PhD, a licensed physical therapist and associate professor in the department of physical therapy in the School of Medicine of the University of Maryland in Baltimore, says physical therapy can help fibromyalgia patients “manage their daily living with less pain and generally make life more enjoyable.” She explains that people with fibromyalgia pain are often caught in a vicious cycle: Pain and fatigue prevent them from being active and exercising, but inactivity can trigger more pain and fatigue.

Another benefit of proper exercise? It’s one way to help you get restful, restorative sleep every night. And good sleep benefits fibromyalgia patients, as sleep disturbances are a common fibromyalgia symptom. Working with a physical therapist can help you get the exercise you need for a good night’s rest. Reicherter says physical therapy can also eventually reduce the need for pain medication, and possibly even surgery.

Fibromyalgia patients may find it hard to start an exercise program on their own because they fear it will make their symptoms worse. By having a physical therapist tailor a gentle, yet effective program with your particular pain and fatigue levels in mind, you can eliminate the hard part — getting started. And a recent study found that fibromyalgia patients who participated in an exercise program designed for their specific needs showed improvements in their mood, functioning, and physical abilities even six months after the program ended.

Physical Therapy Options for Fibromyalgia Relief

Increasing flexibility and strengthening muscles through a maintainable exercise routine are two important ways physical therapists reduce fibromyalgia pain and make life more manageable. Options include:

  • Stretching. By increasing flexibility through stretching, tight, stiff muscles loosen up, providing fibromyalgia relief. Your physical therapist can instruct you on the proper way to stretch muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The National Pain Foundation recommends keeping the number of repetitions low — 5 to 10. Holding a stretch for 30 to 60 seconds is good for large muscle groups, with possibly only one to two reps necessary.
  • Aerobic exercise. Low-speed and low-impact activities are best, says Reicherter. Stationary bicycles and elliptical machines are usually less stressful on the joints.
  • Aqua therapy. Swimming and other water exercises are excellent for fibromyalgia patients. Says Reicherter, “The buoyancy of the water can lessen stress on muscles and joints and improve flexibility.” A heated pool may be especially beneficial because the heat can soothe sore muscles.

More Ways to Relieve Fibromyalgia Pain

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) stimulates nerve fibers and can decrease fibromyalgia pain. Reicherter says TENS helps:

  • Block pain signals to the spinal cord
  • Release the body’s own natural pain-killing chemicals
  • Improve local circulation and gently contract muscles for healing and relaxation

Dry needling: Treatment of fibromyalgia using dry needling targets muscles with trigger points and helps to relax muscles that are causing the pain. Research suggests dry needling has an affect on the pain signals that come from the brain.

Manual therapy: Trigger point release and manipulation of spine has also been considered beneficial

Some fibromyalgia patients say they feel worse after starting therapy, but Reicherter says this should not happen if you are getting good therapy and are going slowly. Overdoing exercise or activities after you start to feel better can make you feel worse. Reicherter also points out that exercise soreness is different from fibromyalgia pain. Once you get used to the exercise, you should start reaping its benefits: less pain every day.

Fibromyalgia and Sleep – What You Need To Know

For patients with fibromyalgia, sleep apnea could become a problem. With a wealth of recent research suggesting that those with fibromyalgia are more likely to develop an obstructive breathing problem, known as sleep disordered breathing, or experience nonrestorative sleep, researchers have been looking at the links between these two conditions.

Fibromyalgia is a long-term disorder that causes widespread, chronic pain throughout the body, leading to fatigue, low mood and increased sensitivity to pain. There is, as of yet, no cure for fibromyalgia. Many clinicians report that fatigue and poor sleep have become more prominent than pain in their patients with fibromyalgia. But how do you know if sleep apnea is related to how you’re feeling?

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is the partial or complete collapse of the airways while you are sleeping because of muscles in your throat relaxing. Apnea just means that the flow of air into and out of your lungs stops for more than 10 seconds, but when this happens many times throughout the night, you can expect to snore more, wake frequently and find it difficult to enter sleeping phases necessary for full sleep health.

Can sleep apnea cause chronic fatigue syndrome?

The most recent studies show evidence that up to 60% of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome have sleep apnea, but there are no definitive links between having sleep apnea and developing CFS or fibromyalgia. The effect of sleep apnea, including fatigue and lack of sleep, may contribute to a feeling of chronic fatigue, but this is not inherently linked to the condition of CFS itself.

Does sleep apnea have any relationship with fibromyalgia?

Yes, it does. Think about how not getting a good night’s sleep disrupts your day. You may find yourself feeling more moody, less active, more drowsy and less able to function. Combined with the pain from fibromyalgia, not getting good rest can increase sensitivity to pain, increase mood issues and lead to exhaustion. Studies have shown that fibromyalgia has a profound relationship with sleep apnea, leading patients to suffer more through the combination of these two conditions.

Can chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia run in families?

As with many conditions, CFS and Fibromyalgia show some evidence that they run in families. If you have a family history, you might be more prone to developing them, but there are environmental factors at play too.

Is sleep apnea a valid medical condition?

Yes, it is. Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition in which you stop breathing, possibly hundreds of times throughout one night. This lack of oxygen to the brain and body has a damaging effect on your health and pre-existing conditions. Untreated sleep apnea might not be able to kill you, but the effects of it can be detrimental; including developing heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

If you have sleep apnea, how do you feel during the day?

Not getting restorative sleep has a big impact on your daily functioning. Some types of sleep apnea mean you might notice that you have a dry mouth, headache or low mood. You’ll be tired, sometimes exhausted despite sleeping, or suffer from insomnia.

Can losing weight cure sleep apnea?

Some sleep studies have found that larger necks or higher BMIs can predispose people to sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. Combined with treatment of fibromyalgia your clinician may suggest losing weight as part of developing a healthier lifestyle. It has been shown that exercise and diet play a big part in many chronic pain conditions including fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. Increasing your quality of life is always the goal, so weight loss might be an option for you.

As with many chronic pain conditions, sleep is vitally important to recover from the pain and fatigue of everyday living. Cognitive behavioural therapies, mindfulness and medication, alongside lifestyle changes are all beneficial to regaining an optimum quality of life, and treating each condition as it presents is important.

If you suffer from fibromyalgia, sleep apnea or another chronic condition, it’s important to keep in touch with your clinician, updating them on your symptoms, sleeping patterns and overall functioning, so they can help you as much as possible.

Take a deep breath and get started – Yoga for Arthritis could be your key to reduce pain

Yoga is a mind and body practice with its historical origins in ancient Indian philosophy. Like other meditative movement practices used for health purposes, various styles of yoga can combine physical postures with breathing exercises and meditation.

The word ‘yoga’ means union. It unites the mind, body and spirit. Those who get into a regular schedule of yoga invariably experience many health benefits.

Studies have shown the intrinsic value of dynamic exercise programs – with yoga and Tai Chi in particular helping to ease the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.  These same studies also suggest that practising yoga regularly might have other health benefits – like reducing heart rate and blood pressure as well as in the relief of anxiety and depression.

The evidence is clear

The evidence is clear that, when combined with a program of good medical care, yoga may provide important additional physical and psychological health benefits for people with arthritis. Many RA sufferers who have taken it up and stuck with it – maybe for years – consider it to be an important part of their lifestyle and disease management.

Yoga can be a safe and effective form of physical activity, but as with any new activity, it is important to take proper precautions. Talk with your doctor first and ask specifically if there should be any limitations or restrictions he thinks you should observe. For arthritis patients it is important to discuss your wish to take up yoga with your rheumatologist or orthopaedist.

You’ll want to find a yoga instructor with a lot of experience, ideally one who has worked with people with RA. The most committed instructors are registered with the Yoga Alliance, based in the US, in which teachers bear the designations E-RYT 200 (completing a training regimen and teaching for a minimum of two years) and E-RYT 500 (even more qualified and four years plus of teaching).

An experienced yoga teacher will know how to help you modify poses and, as important, won’t hold you back from doing what you are able to do. The experts suggest starting off with a private session or two with a yoga therapist, so you can learn adjustments to poses that work for you before you enter a main class.

Approved yoga styles for RA

People with certain types of arthritis are advised to look for these schools of yoga:

  • Iyengar Yoga – This method emphasizes precision and alignment in each posture, along with correct breathing techniques. A Iyengar instructor might suddenly shift your foot half an inch to put your hips in the proper place, which prevents you from putting excess pressure on the joints. Poses are typically held for a few minutes. The classes themselves include props which are particularly helpful for people with limited mobility.
  • Hatha Yoga – Technically refers to all forms of yoga involving postures. The term has however come to mean slower-moving classes – each pose is held for at least a few breaths. Separate breathing practices, known as pranayama, and a brief period of meditation are also typically included. With Hatha it’s easier to figure out how to modify poses that affect your joints. A deep relaxation period ends each session.
  • Restorative Yoga – An adaptation of Iyengar yoga, this practice is all about relaxation. Poses are held for five minutes or more with bolsters and blankets used to ensure each pose is comfortable. It allows you to get into a mental and physical state of deep rest. But don’t confuse restorative yoga with yin yoga, another practice that holds poses for a long time and aims to push the joints to their limit to improve flexibility. These stretches that can be too severe for people with RA.

Styles to avoid

On the subject of yoga styles RA suffers should avoid, there’s Bikram. Indian guru Bikram Choudhury developed this precise style, in which 26 specific yoga postures are done in a room kept at 105 degrees Fahrenheit and with 40 percent humidity! Its totally fatiguing, something people with RA don’t need more of, and the Bikram poses doesn’t allow for much adaptation. In fact, some of the poses particularly stress the joints.

Exercise enthusiasts are often drawn to vinyasa classes which encompass poses linked in a dynamic, flowing practice that is more aerobic than other yoga types. Instead of a hold you might immediately move into a twist, then a different stretch, then another – and so it goes on. Also, unlike the relaxing music you’ll find in most yoga classes, music here is often fast and furious to accompany the quick-paced movements.

While in theory a class of flowing movements can be fine for someone with RA, the face pace just doesn’t allow much time to alter poses that put pressure on the wrists or ankles. There are a small number of specialty vinyasa classes available that are geared for people with joint pain and in these classes participants are often able to use chairs.

Weight loss, diabetes and yoga

A person can burn anywhere between 200-500 calories during an hour of yoga but other forms of exercise may help to more efficiently burn calories.

However, the secret to weight loss and regulation of sugar with yoga may come from a different mechanism. Studies have shown the benefits of yoga in decreasing blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes. These yoga-based exercises are not based on aerobic activities but mostly on postures which are designed for spinal twisting and increasing intra-abdominal pressure.

New hormones produced by the intestine have been discovered only recently – namely, incretin hormones. These stimulate insulin secretion in response to meals. The two most important incretin hormones are called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP).

The increase in intra-abdominal pressure from various yoga poses and the response from the intestinal nervous system may promote a rise in these hormones, subsequently promoting weight loss and regulating diabetes.

Hypoxia for better health

Pranayama is an ancient Indian yogic technique of regulation of breath included in the daily routine of the yogis. It involves gradual training of the respiratory apparatus for prolonging the time of being able to hold the breath.

In the yogic practice there are more than eight types of Pranayama, which involve breathing through one or the other nostril, or through the rolled tongue made like a tube. The breath is held after inhaling, let out in expiration, or somewhere between the two in rhythmic sequencing. Medical research shows that there are benefits of induced hypoxia and hyperventilation for short periods of time. It’s also well documented that these breathing techniques can reduce anxiety and improve the mood.

Many studies have demonstrated that yoga reduces the disease activity scores in RA patients as well as improving spine flexibility, range of motion and provides for the actual strengthening of joints.

It’s no secret that stress, anxiety and your emotional state can directly affect your arthritic symptoms. By writing down your feelings using a technique known as Expressive Writing, you may be able to alleviate some of the pain and tiredness you’re experiencing.

People use writing, whether creatively or through a journal for many different issues. They may be going through a stressful period in their lives, or they might need an escape into another world to deal with reality. Some of the best authors in the world wrote during difficult times and produced some of the most iconic work we know and love today. So why do you have to be any different?

Expressive writing is a little different to the usual diary-keeping habits you might be familiar with. The key to expressive writing is being able to focus on your entire experience, holistically. Writing about your physical symptoms and the pain you’re going through might be helpful, but this is about getting to the core of your emotional state.

Firstly you’ll want to sit with your feelings; the spectrum of emotions that you are going through at this exact moment. This involves being in the present and labelling the feelings that come up. It’s vital not to judge anything at this point – the goal is to write honestly and openly. Write about something important to you at this time, regardless of whether you think it’s good, correct, bad or wrong. These terms do not exist in this space.

You can write on paper, type on a computer or even speak into a dictaphone – just ensure you have a space in your life where you are not being disturbed and can think clearly. This writing is for you, and you alone. Expressive writing is a private endeavour – you can choose to share this with your loved and trusted ones – but the focus is on complete transparency for now.

Expressive Writing isn’t as long as a journalling session and doesn’t have to last weeks. Take about 3-4 days and spend about 30 minutes in seclusion, expressing yourself.

Don’t be alarmed if what you write surprises you – expressive writing is used as a tool to disclose our deepest thoughts and feelings to ourselves. Getting them outside of your head is the first step to acknowledging them.

The research on expressive writing with Arthritis sufferers is very promising. In studies, people have reported lessening joint pain, stiffness and stress levels. Arthritis may only clinically affect your joints and mobility, but remember we are all connected.

The effect of chronic pain on our mental health is a growing field of interest. You might be experiencing shock, grief and loss from the life you had before. This is not only natural, but it is manageable through techniques to improve your mood and outlook.

Don’t be afraid to reach out and get help when you want it. Expressive writing can be the first step to understanding yourself, learning about your emotional state in the moment and taking back some control of your life.

Age comes to us all, steadily and readily and means we could soon find our joints a bit stiffer and noisier than we were used to in our heyday. Is that something to be concerned about?

Most health professionals agree, the knee is a really common joint to make noise. After all, we use our knees more than we realise; when we bend, stand up, crouch down, walk, run and jog. The new noises could be coming from naturally aging cartilage or ligaments – which when developing unevenly can cause tight patches and rough areas that rub when you move.

Keeping your knees healthy is fairly simple, and just involves adding to your regular routine. If you don’t exercise and are experiencing cracking and popping from your knees – now is the perfect time to start!

1. Stretch!

Even if you’re not planning on exercising today, stretching warms up the muscles for daily use. It has a lot of other benefits too – it makes you more awake and refreshed, ready for the day ahead. Or stretching at night can help your body wind down for a better sleep.

2. Start Gentle

If you’re not a regular gym-rat then you’ll need to start slow and short. Build up gradually – at your own personal pace – to longer and harder workouts. Too much too soon and you could end up with injuries.

3. Focus on the muscles around the knees

The knees work best when they are supported, so focus on the muscles around the knees for the best outcome. Cycling and climbing, even if it’s just some stairs, will help.

4. High Quality Shoes

Don’t waste your money buying cheap shoes you have to replace every few months. Invest in a pair of good shoes and make sure they fit well – all of your joints will thank you!

5. Try specific Exercises

Building up leg muscles to support your knees requires special exercises that target this area. Go for a walk up a hill or some steps, and don’t forget about weights – adding these to your ankles while you watch the TV can also help to keep your lower half strong.

6. Watch your Weight!

Obesity does more damage to our overall health than we realise. Extra weight puts more pressure on your hips, knees and legs and this can contribute to pain and weakness. Try to eat a balanced diet, exercise moderately and see your doctor if you require more help.

Overall, most knee noises bring little cause for concern. However, see your doctor if you experience any pain or swelling. Cartilage damage could be a sign of Arthritis and causes pain if it wears down too thin. Another section to check for is the Meniscus. This curved disc operates as your inbuilt shock absorber, but trauma or age-related damage can result in quite a lot of pain.

Exercise Arthritis Pain

If you are looking to start any form of exercise, then it is a good idea to discuss this with your doctor first. This is particularly important if you have not exercised for some time and/or are aged 40 and above. Your medic will assess your condition and advise you about suitable forms of exercise. He can also refer you to a physiotherapist if necessary. The important issue is finding something that you are able to do and enjoy. Many people start a sport or exercise with plenty of enthusiasm only to find that this has declined after a short period of time. There are many reasons for this, one of these being a lack of motivation. Motivation is why you persist with exercise even if it is hard work or exhausting so you need to find an activity which will keep your motivation levels up.

Your choices are joining a gym, jogging, cycling, swimming, walking or even dance classes. But remember to check first with your GP before undertaking any of these. As one sufferer put it: “I don’t want my pain and struggle to make me a victim. I want my battle to make me someone else’s hero.”

arthritis Learning to Cope as a Partner Carer

For spouses and partners, it is important that you do not neglect your own needs whilst looking after your loved suffering with severe arthritis. The role of carer can be stressful and demanding which, if not carefully managed, can affect your own health and general well-being. Of course, it is a rewarding role and one that many get a huge amount of satisfaction from. But, as a partner-carer, you need to take time out for yourself.

There are networks that can help – but don’t forget your family and friends. Don’t cut yourself off from others. Spend leisure time with your children, socialize with your friends and undertake some form of activity. Exercise can help or try a new hobby. Accept that there will be times when you feel frustrated or tired. This is an entirely normal reaction and means that you are basically, human. Allow yourself to feel like this and try and do something to take your mind off things. Says Scott R. Beach, PhD, director of the Survey Research Program at the University of Pittsburgh and lead author of a 2005 study on care provider behavior: “Use all the available carer services in your area. Or if you have any family members who can help out for a few hours a day, use them, so you can get away for a while. Don’t try to do everything yourself.”

Arthritis and Stretching 1

Staying in one position for too long can make joints stiffer. When working at a desk or watching TV, make sure to get up every 15 minutes to do stretching and get your body moving. Adjusting your position frequently can keep you from getting achy too. Even simple exercises are ideal for reducing the symptoms of arthritis as well as ensuring that the joints remain flexible and mobile. The issue of mobility is a vital one as this will help to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints which keep them in place.

The old saying ‘use it or lose it’ is particularly relevant to arthritis sufferers. Exercise confers a range of benefits which include weight management, healthy heart and lungs, increased energy levels and improved mental well-being. Experts recommend that we all exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes a day at least five times a week. If this sounds a lot then break these 30 minutes up into three, ten-minute sessions. You may find this easier to do as well as fitting in better with your lifestyle. But try not to overdo exercise. If you are stiff and sore, then this to be expected but if this is worse than before you started then it is a sign of having overdone things. Many arthritis sufferers find that exercising little and often provides the best results.

July artworks hbmcBe a smart shopper 2

Before your trip to the shops, make a list of items you need. When possible, go to shops you’re familiar with, so you won’t spend extra steps walking around, looking for what you want. Importantly, take your time. When you’re in a rush, you’re more likely to put unnecessary strain on your joints, wear yourself out, or become overwhelmed, so budget an extra half-hour to get your shopping done. Also, take short breaks before and after you go to the store to put a warm or cold compress on troublesome joints. Although taking short breaks may seem like it will take you longer to complete a task, they can help conserve your energy, keep you from getting overly fatigued, and ultimately be easier for your joints.

Opt for paper bags over plastic so you can clutch heavy grocery bags with your arms instead of straining your hands. If you do need plastic, loop the armholes through your forearm – just don’t let them slide into your elbows, which aren’t as good at supporting weight. And minimize. Buy small packages that are easy to lift. Remember, this isn’t the only time you’ll have to pick that item up. You’ll have to lift it each time you use it at home too. Keeping your shopping trips short can also reduce joint strain. Go to the store more often for fewer items instead of putting it off until you have a long grocery list. And buy pre-prepared food items. You can cut down your cooking efforts by purchasing foods that are already washed and trimmed or chopped. Most stores offer fresh fruits and vegetables that are already peeled and diced into bite-size pieces. You can ask an employee at the butcher counter to slice or cube meats so they’re ready to cook when you are.

If possible, ask a friend or family member to accompany you, or ask a store employee to help with things that are bulky, heavy or hard to reach. Also, consider taking advantage of the home delivery services that many supermarkets and stores now offer – especially if you’re having a symptom flare. And choose wisely when buying your groceries. Healthy foods, such as fish, olive oil, fruits, and vegetables, are high in antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation, while processed foods may increase inflammation. By changing one or two shopping habits might make a noticeable difference in your levels of pain and stiffness after a trip to the shops.

Arthritis Organize Your Home for Better Accessibility

Keep items you use often within easy reach so you don’t need to bend and stretch to get your hands on what you need. Also, consider stocking up on supplies that you use in different rooms – so you can keep one set in each spot. For instance, keeping cleaning supplies in both the kitchen and the bathroom will make it easy to grab those cleaners when you need them. Small areas of clutter can easily become mountains of stuff if they’re not contained. Assess your home and identify clutter hotspots. Place a decorative container where you tend to empty your pockets. Organize bills and mail in a folder. Designate a place for your keys and mobile phone.

Take a look at items you frequently use and where you keep them. Then, reorganize in ways that make sense for you. If there’s an item you often use in your living room, but it’s stored in your bedroom, move it to your living room so it’s always at hand. You can also keep items you frequently use, such as a laptop, on a cart with wheels and move it from room to room as needed. Whether opening medication bottles or food containers, RA can make these such tasks difficult and painful. Ask your pharmacist to dispense your medications in easy-open bottles, Also, use openers that make the job easier. For example, there’s the Dycem Bottle Opener which helps remove childproof tops. A nutcracker or pliers with a long handle can assist in loosen bottle caps.

Many larger department stores and online suppliers sell a tool called a reacher. It can help you grab items located high up. Keep one handy in your home to reach items easily when no one is around to help. If you find yourself frequently using the reacher to perform the same task, consider moving the object to a more convenient location. Having arthritis can increase your risk of falls. Look around your home and get rid of anything that can cause you to trip. Pick up clutter on the floor. If you have rugs, make sure they’re secured to the floor. Use nonslip mats in showers and bathtubs. In the kitchen, there are countless tools and assistive devices available to make the preparation of meals easier. Replace your troublesome gadgets with those that make your life easier. Look for pots and pans with two handles instead of one. Use magnetic measuring cups and spoons that stick together so they’re easier to find in crowded drawers. Really, the list of gadgets out there is almost endless.

July artworks hbmcBreathing Exercise  2

As already discussed, stress is never pleasant and it can be particularly problematic for people with RA. High levels of stress can exacerbate its symptoms and increase inflammation. Fortunately, there are many self-help strategies that can overcome stress. Meditation is well recognized by medics, psychologists and of course followers of the Buddhist faith alike – and breathing exercises, particularly the practice of deep breathing – is at the forefront of such tried and tested methodology.

The simple act of breathing in and out may seem straightforward, but the way you choose to do so can make a big difference. For instance, taking shallow breaths into the top half of the lungs can be very energizing, while deep breathing into the diaphragm can help you focus your body and mind.

Breathing even deeper into your abdomen has been hailed as an important healing technique for centuries in yoga and meditation practices – there’s bound to be a meditation group where you live which you can join. When you begin to breathe with more control, patience, and deliberation, you can also change the way your body experiences and relays sensations, including pain. Deep, slow breathing activates a relaxation response, which automatically relaxes the tension in your muscles and deactivates the stress receptors. With each deep breath, you’re delivering more oxygen to your muscles, which lets those fibers release and relax.

Focusing on your breath invites you to shift your attention without forcing you to concentrate too much, and that is a great recipe for happy distraction. As you get the hang of your deep belly breathing, your thoughts will grow quieter and you’ll begin to enjoy the rhythm without critiquing your state of mind or body. As any chronic pain patient knows, distraction can be an excellent tool for pain relief. So, when you combine the physiological benefits of deep breathing (deactivating the stress receptors) with the natural distraction that comes along, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly your pain seems to dull and dissipate. Try this:

  • Open your mouth and exhale. Now, close your mouth and take in a long, slow lung-full of air through the nostrils.
  • Keep your mouth closed and breathe out again through the nose – long, slow and controlled. With each inward breath, imagine that you are pushing the air into the center of your body and then out through the fingers and toes.
  • Each time you breathe in and out, that is considered a round. Do at least 7 or 8 rounds. You can stop once you begin to feel the relaxation radiate through your body and mind or continue with a few more similar breathing exercises for deeper relaxation.
  • While you’re doing this, close your eyes if possible. This enhances the benefits of each breath – it immediately activates the alpha brainwaves and prompts relaxation.

Prevention Methods for Arthritis Flare ups

Prevention Methods for Arthritis Flare-ups; The fact is, once you’ve experienced an arthritis flare-up, you won’t ever forget it. The excruciating pain will put you on your guard against future attacks and certainly encourage you to develop a solid prevention plan. Flare-ups of RA, OA and lupus symptoms can occur after a period of disease remission. The exact causes of arthritis flares are not known, and it is important that you don’t blame yourself for disease recurrence. Maintaining your medication regimen and following a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, a well-balanced diet, the right amount of sleep for you, managing stress and not smoking can `help reduce the risk of flare-ups.

Here are some tips for preventing an arthritis flare-up. While these tips come with no guarantee, they are common sense actions which will cut your chance of going into a flare-up.

  • Keep to your doctor’s treatment regime. Don’t skip your medications or other treatments. It is important to keep inflammation and pain under control. Skipping medications gives your body a chance to flare-up, allowing pain and inflammation to increase. Arthritis can be likened to the embers of a fire, smoldering and looking for an opportunity to re-ignite. Don’t knowingly help it ignite.
  • Keep moving. Exercise can maintain a range-of-motion in the joints and assist muscle strength. But, at the same time, it is important not to overdo activities. Overdoing activities and ignoring physical limitations can provoke a flare-up, defeating the objective of your efforts.
  • It is important not to stress joints or add an extra burden to the mechanics of them, especially with those already affected by arthritis. Following a few simple principles can help us protect the joints and, by doing so, decrease pain and inflammation and the risk of a flare-up.
  • Stress has a negative impact on arthritis. While in real life is not without stress, try and do what you can to simplify your life: organize your day, conserve energy, and develop an attitude of acceptance. Meditation can help.
  • Getting proper rest and sleep is important. People with arthritis need to rest their bodies even more than the average, healthy human. But don’t become sedentary – strike a balance between rest and activity. Disrupted sleep, especially on a regular basis, seems to increase pain and the risk of a flare-up, but of course, it can be a vicious cycle at times, with arthritis causing restlessness at night, so making the condition worse.
  • Some claim certain foods increase inflammation and make arthritis symptoms worse. This is likely the most individual tip of all those mentioned so far. If you are aware that certain foods make your arthritis feel worse, simple. Steer clear of them. Just don’t eat foods that you know might trigger inflammation.

Women More Than Men Are Victims of Arthritis

Females have a lighter skeletal framework, and they tend to lose bone mass during and after the menopause. The tendons become looser and less strong in women compared to men, increasing the risk of injury. The female hormone estrogen has a protective effect on the bones – but once levels of this fall, for example […]

If you or a loved one afflicted are afflicted with arthritis, a fruity solution to getting the most out of life again is at hand. Revered since ancient times as the Fruit of Life, the pomegranate is truly living up to its hallowed tag in the fight against arthritic pain. Long recognised for its anti-oxidant, anti-viral and anti-tumour properties – as well as being a rich source of essential vitamins – recent clinical research shows that the juicy red seeds of the pomegranate can also be potent alleviators of rheumatoid arthritis pain.

In a study published in the Journal of Inflammation, conducted by the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, it was found that the extract from pomegranate seeds is able to suppress human mast basophil cells. These cells promote inflammatory reactions and encourage the breakdown of cartilage, a common symptom of arthritis.

If you or a loved one afflicted are afflicted with arthritis, a fruity solution to getting the most out of life again is at hand. Revered since ancient times as the Fruit of Life, the pomegranate is truly living up to its hallowed tag in the fight against arthritic pain. Long recognised for its anti-oxidant, […]

You Don’t Have To Be Old to Suffer From Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis can strike at any age. While statistically you’re more likely to develop RA when you’re over 60, lots of cases start a long time before then. To make sure you’re clued up, we’ve got 15 early-sign symptoms to look out for.

Fever

A raised temperature can often be a sign of infection, and in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis this can be a very clear indicator. Lots of RA medication lowers your immune system response, leaving you more open to developing infections or contracting viruses, so it’s important to keep an eye on your temperature.

Anemia

Inflammation of the joints can adversely affect your bone marrow, causing a decrease in red blood cell production, which in turn can cause anemia. This is often corrected through proper treatment of RA, but it’s something to look out for, as it can be a serious condition when left unmanaged.

Functional Loss

People who suffer from RA often complain about problems with their grip or dexterity and this is a very common issue. Swelling, inflammation and other processes that happen in the joints of Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferers cause problems with movement and ability that can seriously affect your life, especially if you’re used to physical work.

Symmetrical Problems

One of the key characteristics of RA is that it causes the same problems on both sides of the body, and while this is often the case – it doesn’t always occur. For most sufferers though, the severity, pain and movement issues occur symmetrically as opposed to other joint and internal diseases.

Polyarthritis (many joints)

Young people with arthritis tend to only be affected in one or a few joints, however it can eventually lead to Polyarthritis. This means that many joints are affected, especially with RA – this can mean anywhere from the hands, feets and smaller joints to the knees, shoulders and pelvis.

Swelling

You can usually tell when your joints are bigger than usual, and swelling is a common problem for RA sufferers. It stops the joint from being able to move properly, so it might make it difficult for you to walk, to pick things up or even use your hands for tasks such as writing or typing.

Deformity

Rheumatoid Arthritis causes the loosening of ligaments, alongside the erosion of cartilage and bone, which can lead to deformity. This usually affects the hands and feet and can make movement difficult. With proper management, this can be avoided in chronic sufferers, but early detection is definitely key.

Stiffness

If you’re no longer bouncing out of bed in the morning, you could be suffering from joint stiffness. Usually at its worst immediately after you wake up, joint stiffness can affect how well you move and delay your progress in the morning. Treatment usually helps reduce this symptom.

Tenderness

Inflammation usually means a part of your body has expanded or filled with excess fluid when it’s not supposed to. This leads to some pretty nasty pain, but also tenderness. Any joint filled with fluid is going to be uncomfortable without the added pressure from outside, so anyone who touches your RA affected joints is going to cause more pain for you.

Limping

One of the first symptoms to look out for in children who suffer with RA, limping is caused by problems with the joints in the legs and feet. Whether this is due to pain, inflammation, swelling or a bit of everything, walking can be painful and imbalanced at any age.

Heat

Often stated as the strangest symptom of RA, joint heat is when the joint becomes abnormally warm to the touch. While you might not be able to cook an egg using your wrist, this heat comes from the inflammation caused by RA and can become worse as the disease progresses.

Joint Pain

Active Rheumatoid Arthritis means your joints will be inflamed and this can hurt – a lot. A thickened synovium plus excess fluid can send your pain nerve signals into a frenzy. This can lead to pain during movement and even during rest, which is basically constant pain.

Range of Movement Problems

Range of Movement is something we rarely think about – until we don’t have it fully anymore. In RA sufferers, swelling and inflammation can lead to reduced range of movement, and in long-term sufferers this can be permanent. It’s important to let your clinician know of any range of movement changes you experience.

Redness

If the swelling is bad enough on your joint, you might notice some redness. This is due to expanding capillaries dealing with the shock of the increase in size, and is very common in RA sufferers. This doesn’t happen with all inflammation, however you might notice it most around the smaller joints in your hands and feet.

Fatigue

One of the biggest problems with Rheumatoid Arthritis is how it uses your energy. From the constant pain, the swelling and fever to the anemia, these symptoms can drain your energy and cause fatigue. If you’re not eating enough, this tiredness can get worse, very quickly.

Rheumatoid Arthritis can develop at any age, and while the symptoms above can be scary, it’s important to realise that correct treatment and advice from a Rheumatologist can help you manage your condition and even return you to a normal way of life.

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