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Webmaster | 4. September 2008 @ 13:00

When you find yourself living with pain every minute of every hour of every day, just getting up in the morning can seem like too much to ask. When you find it hard to remember the last time you werenít in pain, itís not unusual for fear and depression to take hold and drag you into a downward spiral that makes the pain even worse. Even on good days, exercising can still be the last thing you feel like doing.

Thereís evidence, however, that exercise may be one of the best things you can do to help manage chronic pain. A recent (2000) study by Martin Hoffman found that moderate exercise reduced the amount of pain people suffering from chronic back-ache perceived they felt. Other anecdotal studies and reports have confirmed that sometimes, activity can work wonders.

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EXERCISE & PAIN RELIEF

Experts have suggested four possible reasons for the pain-reducing effect of activity. The first has to do with endorphins. These are chemicals your body produces naturally during exercise, which have the same kind of effect as opiates like morphine and codeine. Endorphins actually block the perception of pain, and create a general feeling of wellness, both of which are invaluable to someone with chronic pain.

A second reason is that regular activity helps to improve both the ease with which we fall asleep, and the quality of our rest once we do. Pain, can become more or less difficult to deal with depending on our resource levels. Most sufferers experience difficulty sleeping when the pain is bad, which can prompt another downward spiral. Something that helps us sleep better, means more energy and resources, which in turn, allows us to cope better with the pain we experience.

A third is that exercise helps release tension (see Exercise & Stress for an explanation of why). Tension, stress and frustration, as any sufferer of chronic pain will attest, increase pain levels. This means that anything that helps relax the body will also usually help reduce pain levels.

Finally, if the chronic pain occurs after an injury, targeted exercise can strengthen the muscles around the injury site, taking pressure off the injured tissue. Of course, the wrong kind of exercise can actually re-injure the area too, so itís important to get professional guidance from a physiotherapist, or a personal trainer who specialises in rehabilitation work, rather than trying to go it alone.

USING EXERCISE TO HELP YOU MANAGE PAIN

An important disclaimer: this article is written assuming that, if youíre experiencing chronic pain, youíre already working with a healthcare professional to manage it (and if not, you need to be!) Check any suggestions you want to try with that professional, and follow their recommendations. Also, if an activity increases your pain levels, donít do it. Itís OK to have muscles that are tired and slightly sore the day after. Itís not OK to experience any joint pain or sharp, stabbing pain during or after exercise, or anything that makes your chronic pain worse. If you experience any of these, seek advice from your healthcare professional as soon as possible.

That said, the most beneficial kind of exercise depends very much on the individual. One of Optimum Lifeís key principles is that activity will always do more good if itís something you enjoy. This is even more important when you experience chronic pain, when something you start dreading or tensing up about can quickly make your condition worse. Additionally, it helps if you choose activities that give you a good range of aerobic, strength, and flexibility exercises. Good potential choices to start with include walking, swimming, stationary cycling, yoga or tíai chi.

Finally, be aware that exercise will be most helpful for pain management if itís one out of many tools you use. Medication, diet, visualisation, relaxation, acupuncture and biofeedback have all been shown to have positive effects on pain individually Ė but the best effects seem to come from taking a multi-disciplinary approach. Take time to research the different therapies available to you. There are a number of excellent pain management sites online Ė two of the more popular ones include The Chronic Pain Haven or The Mayo Clinic.

Chronic pain will never be fun to live with, but there are options available that make it more manageable. Give yourself the gift of being willing to try out different options until you find the combination thatís right for you, and donít be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Meanwhile, until the next issue, may every day bring you closer to your Optimum Life.

If you have any questions about this weekís article, please donít hesitate to contact me. Otherwise, until next time, may every day bring you closer to your Optimum Life.

Copyright 2005 Tanja Gardner

About The Author: Optimum Life's Tanja Gardner is a Personal Trainer and Stress Management Coach whose articles on holistic health and relaxation have appeared in various media since 1999. Optimum Life is dedicated to providing fitness and stress management services to help clients all over the world achieve their optimum lives.

To read more articles like this one, please subscribe to Optimum Fitness News at http://optimumlife.co.nz/Newsletter%20Signup.htm. To find out more about how you could benefit from online personal training, please visit http://www.trainerforce.com/optimumlife/. To find out more about holistic fitness and stress management please visit http://optimumlife.co.nz, or contact Tanja on tanja@optimumlife.co.nz.

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Webmaster | 10. July 2008 @ 16:02

There is a variety of prescribed arthritis medications which health professionals can give to help with rheumatoid arthritis. While these arthritis medications may not cure, they can relieve pain, alleviate symptoms, and even slow the development of rheumatoid arthritis.

Anti-inflammatory non-steroidal drugs can reduce pain and assist with inflammation. These drugs may be used as an arthritis medicine and may be obtained over the counter and in prescription form. (Most people are familiar with aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium.) The only negative aspect of these arthritis medications is they can lead to stomach problems, such as bleeding and indigestion. They can also raise blood pressure in a person and cause susceptibility to fluid retention.

COX-2 inhibitors are a class of Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which do not cause as much harm to the stomach. This class of arthritis medication functions by suppressing an enzyme called cyclooxygenase which is a factor in inflammation. However, fluid retention and elevated blood pressure may result as side effects of COX-2 inhibitors. Reports are also coming in that people who use this class of drug may be more liable to a stroke or heart attack.

Corticosteroids are arthritis medications which are able to reduce pain and inflammation. They can also moderate the damage to joints caused by rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, numerous arthritis sufferers who take corticosteroids have stated that they feel significantly better. However, after a time the effectiveness of corticosteroids may diminish. There is also the risk of suffering severe side effects such as diabetes, weight gain, and decreased bone density, after long-time use of corticosteroids.

It is important to see a doctor at the earliest signs of rheumatoid arthritis. While modern medicine has not been able to find a cure for arthritis, they are making strides in pain relief and slowing down the progression rate of rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. Immunosuppressants can be supplied as an arthritis medication to help control the immune system. Without such treatment, the immune system in rheumatoid arthritis patients is not balanced and it is out of control. TNF blockers are sometimes prescribed in combination with an immunosuppressant. TNF blockers operate by blocking the protein which inflames the joints. Those on TNF blockers report reduced pain and less stiffness.

Those diagnosed early with rheumatoid arthritis can be given arthritis medications known as disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. These drugs slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. Thus, if the arthritis is caught early, much damage to the joints can be forestalled.

About the author:Matthew Landsmann is the proprietor of Great Arthritis Choices. This site has easy to read articles containing excellent information about Arthritis. Visit: www.great-arthritis-choices.com

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Webmaster | 13. February 2008 @ 16:02

Arthritis is a complex disorder that comprises more than 100 distinct conditions and can affect people at any stage of life. Two of the most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. These two forms have very different causes, risk factors, and effects on the body. The most common symptom in both is persistent joint pain. The joint pain of arthritis can appear as hip pain, knee pain, hand pain, or wrist pain, as well as joint pain in other areas of the body.

For most people arthritis pain and inflammation cannot be avoided as the body ages. Joints naturally degenerate over time. Fortunately, arthritis can be managed through a combination of vitamins, medication, exercise, rest, weight-management, nutrition, and, in some cases, surgery. Arthritis is a chronic disease that will be with you for a long time and possibly for the rest of your life. Your treatments will probably change over time and medication may be adjusted. Having a positive mental outlook and the support of family and friends will help you live with arthritis and be able to continue to perform your daily activities.

Before going any further, it is important that you remember to discuss any and all vitamins and supplements with your doctor before adding anything to your diet. Though it is not common, some vitamins and supplements can have adverse reactions with medications you may already be taking. Do not stop taking any prescribed medications without first talking to your doctor.

As an alternative to getting your RDA through diet, many people now take vitamin supplements. The following list of vitamins are known to be especially beneficial to arthritis sufferers:

Vitamin B5 - When grouped together B vitamins work at their peak, B5 specifically being good for reducing swelling.

Vitamin B3 - This vitamin reduces tissue swelling and dilates small arteries, improved grip strength and joint mobility and increasing blood flow. Note that Vitamin B3 is NOT advised for persons with high blood pressure, gout or sliver disorders.

Vitamin B6 - Another B that reduces tissue swelling. B-6 shrinks the synovial membranes that line the weight-bearing surfaces of the joints. It thus helps to control pain and to restore mobility in the elbows, shoulders, knees and other joints.

Vitamin B12 - This vitamin aids in multiple functions. It helps with cell formation, digestion, myelin production, nerve protection.

Vitamin C - This vitamin acts as an anti-inflammatory, relieving pain, and rids the body of free radicals. In addition to reducing inflammation, vitamin C also helps form collagen, the protein "glue" that holds cells together. Collagen is especially important in connective tissue to insure healthy ligaments, cartilage, tendons and the joints themselves.

Vitamin E - This is a strong antioxidant that protects joints from free radicals while increases joint flexibility.

Vitamin K - This vitamin assists with mineral deposit into the bone matrix.

Selenium and Zinc- The antioxidant nutrients such as selenium and zinc might also be effective because of their ability to stop free radical damage to joint linings that in turn causes the accumulation of fluids, swelling and associated pain.

Chondroitin - the key structural component in cartilage and plays an important role in the maintenance of joint cartilage.

These guidelines will help you evaluate supplements to relieve arthritis symptoms. If used under the guidance of your physician, you may find a dietary supplement to compliment your current arthritis therapy regimen. You just need the right information to help you separate potentially useful supplements from the rest.

Copyright 2006 PillFreeVitamins.com

About the author:Steven Godlewski is a self-made millionaire and is currently working with the staff at PillFreeVitamins.com He has an extensive background in nutrition as well as other health related fields. For more health-related articles see their website at: http://www.pillfreevitamins.com

HT~ Arthritis :: Comments (0) :: Link
Webmaster | 26. September 2007 @ 16:02

There are many different treatments for arthritis. If you are interested in trying some alternative forms of therapy, try acupuncture arthritis knee ankle pain. Acupuncture can be a very effective method of treatment for all forms of arthritis pain, including rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. It has been shown by scientific studies to be particularly effective when it comes to knee and ankle based pain.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical procedure in which certain points of the body are stimulated. American acupuncture incorporates a number of different cultures processes. The whole idea originated more than two thousand years ago, but it became well known in the seventies in the United States. Most Asian countries, including China, Japan, and Korea have their own forms of this helpful procedure. For many, acupuncture arthritis knee ankle pain procedures are quite helpful. The most studied, and most practiced form of acupuncture in the United States involves first a massage of the affected area, then the joint in question in penetrated with thin, solid needles made of metal.

Who Can Use Acupuncture?

You do not need an arthritis diagnosis to need acupuncture help. Because most acupuncturists are not licensed doctors, you will not even need to consult your insurance company, as most do not pay for alternative therapies like this one. If you want some names of good acupuncturists in your area, check with your doctor or your herbalist. They should be able to refer you to competent professionals. Be sure to check your acupuncturist's credentials, as there are some good national acupuncture organizations that may help narrow your search. You may be able to find some websites that list these acupuncturists in your area. Remember that your acupuncturist is not a doctor, so they cannot offer you a diagnosis for your joint pain. They can only offer you pain relief.

For more information on other forms of alternative therapy for your arthritis pain, whether it is in you knee or ankle joints, see some of the other articles on this site.

About the author:Dean Iggo

HT~ Arthritis :: Comments (0) :: Link
Health Guru : Arthritis - The Inflammatory Disease
Webmaster | 17. June 2007 @ 16:17

One of the most common conditions in the United States today is a debilitating inflammatory disease that affects our joints. It is estimated that there are over 100 different forms of this disease and over 40 million people suffer from one form or another.

Though typically thought to be an affliction of the aging, arthritis can affect anyone at any time, and with all of the different forms, each with their own symptoms, it could be hard to determine just what type of arthritis an individual is suffering from.

The signs and symptoms of arthritis are varied, though some of the first symptoms are familiar and easy to recognize. Symptoms such as general pain or swelling around the joints, an increased stiffness in the joints in the morning, a cracking sound in the knees when standing, and joints with a red appearance that feel warm to the touch are all signs of arthritis.

However, before you rush to purchase an over-the-counter arthritis treatment, you should talk to your doctor. Your doctor is the only one who will be able to tell you what form of arthritis you may have and how to treat it.

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis that plagues sufferers. It affects the joints and is a systemic disease that can affect other organs. Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms tend to disappear after sometime, but the problem is still there. The true cause of rheumatoid arthritis is presently unknown, though many suggest that things such as infections, fungi, or bacteria are the culprits. However, there are also those that believe that rheumatoid arthritis is hereditary. Painful and swollen joints are a common warning sign of rheumatoid arthritis, followed by muscle pain, extreme fatigue, redness and warmth at the joints, even a low grade fever and appetite loss.

Next to rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis is a common affliction, caused by breaking down of joint cartilage. Osteoarthritis commonly begins in one joint and typically only affects the one joint. It does not move to internal organs. Osteoarthritis commonly affects the knees, hips, hands, and spine. By the time the pain starts setting in for an osteoarthritis sufferer, the damage to the affected joint cartilage could be considerable.

Relieving pain from a form of arthritis can be as simple as over-the-counter or prescription medication. However, in the most severe cases, surgery may be necessary. Being overweight can also play a role in arthritis. Some physicians believe that a change in diet can also ease the pain of arthritis, though there is a lot of debate on the topic. Regardless, you should speak to your doctor who can tell you just what form of arthritis you may have, and what treatment options may work best for you.

About the author:

Amanda Baker writes for http://tobeinformed.com - a website for health, fitness and wellness. or you can ease your pain by checking out pH miracle diet....Find out for more info at www.fasteasydiets.com

HT~ Arthritis :: Comments (0) :: Link
Health Guru : What You Should Know About Arthritis
Webmaster | 21. May 2007 @ 16:17

Should the person experience some muscle pain which lasts more than 2 or 3 days, there is a strong chance that one has arthritis.

Arthritis is a common disease that affects millions of people worldwide. This can be felt in the person's joints, skin and organs inside the body. Should the person feel anything wrong, it is advisable to go straight to the doctor.

Doctors have discovered that there are over 100 types of arthritis. Given the number, the doctor will not be able to know which one is affecting the person without an examination.

There are 2 common forms of arthritis. The first is rheumatoid arthritis which is considered a chronic disease. There is inflammation in the joints caused by cartilage damage. Anyone who has this will suffer long term joint damage that will lead to chronic pain and disability. Pain is usually felt when waking up in the morning and will gradually disappear during the day.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a problem that will not go away. This happens in three stages. The first is swelling. The second is the rapid division and growth of cells. The third is when these cells release enzymes that will eat the bone causing the joint to lose shape until the person will not be able to move it anymore.

Since this is systemic disease, it can spread and affect other organs in the body. The best way to prevent is from happening is detecting it early to prevent the person from being disabled.

This can be treated with proper medication and therapy. There many drugs available that the patient can use. Some drugs offer pain relief to reduce the inflammation. Others can just do one function.

The second is called osteoarthritis. This happens more often than rheumatoid arthritis but unlike the first, there is no inflammation present. The cartilage in the joint is damaged and will eventually degenerate. Pain will slightly be felt when the person gets up but this will hurt later on during the day.

Osteoarthritis can either be primary or secondary. When it is primary, it is often associated with age. It is similar to a car where the parts have to be replaced due to wear and tear. Doctors consider this to be normal as people grow older.

The secondary type is often associated with something else that has caused this to happen. Some of these factors are an injury that took place, heredity, obesity and bone density.

Osteoarthritis can be treated with medication, exercise, weight control, joint protection, physical and occupational therapy. This is done to relieve the pain and slow the progression of the disease.

Both of these are caused by different things. The common thing between these 2 types is that joint pain can happen anywhere in the body.

Given the many medications available to treat this disease, the patient has to be aware of the side effects of each before choosing which one to use. The doctor should explain these to the person in order to make the right decision.

Arthritis and itÔŅĹs different forms will not go away. Since this is an insurable disease, the best thing that the doctor and others can do until a cure if found is to help the patient ease the pain the slow the growth of the disease.

About the author:

Robert Thatcher is a freelance publisher based in Cupertino, California. He publishes articles and reports in various ezines and provides arthritis resources on http://www.your-arthritis-resources.info. Why not refer use pH miracle to solve your problem? Look out www.fasteasydiets.com for more info.

HT~ Arthritis :: Comments (0) :: Link
Health Guru : Arthritis - The Inflammatory Disease
Webmaster | 6. November 2006 @ 18:17

One of the most common conditions in the United States today is a debilitating inflammatory disease that affects our joints. It is estimated that there are over 100 different forms of this disease and over 40 million people suffer from one form or another.

Though typically thought to be an affliction of the aging, arthritis can affect anyone at any time, and with all of the different forms, each with their own symptoms, it could be hard to determine just what type of arthritis an individual is suffering from.

The signs and symptoms of arthritis are varied, though some of the first symptoms are familiar and easy to recognize. Symptoms such as general pain or swelling around the joints, an increased stiffness in the joints in the morning, a cracking sound in the knees when standing, and joints with a red appearance that feel warm to the touch are all signs of arthritis.

However, before you rush to purchase an over-the-counter arthritis treatment, you should talk to your doctor. Your doctor is the only one who will be able to tell you what form of arthritis you may have and how to treat it.

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis that plagues sufferers. It affects the joints and is a systemic disease that can affect other organs. Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms tend to disappear after sometime, but the problem is still there. The true cause of rheumatoid arthritis is presently unknown, though many suggest that things such as infections, fungi, or bacteria are the culprits. However, there are also those that believe that rheumatoid arthritis is hereditary. Painful and swollen joints are a common warning sign of rheumatoid arthritis, followed by muscle pain, extreme fatigue, redness and warmth at the joints, even a low grade fever and appetite loss.

Next to rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis is a common affliction, caused by breaking down of joint cartilage. Osteoarthritis commonly begins in one joint and typically only affects the one joint. It does not move to internal organs. Osteoarthritis commonly affects the knees, hips, hands, and spine. By the time the pain starts setting in for an osteoarthritis sufferer, the damage to the affected joint cartilage could be considerable.

Relieving pain from a form of arthritis can be as simple as over-the-counter or prescription medication. However, in the most severe cases, surgery may be necessary. Being overweight can also play a role in arthritis. Some physicians believe that a change in diet can also ease the pain of arthritis, though there is a lot of debate on the topic. Regardless, you should speak to your doctor who can tell you just what form of arthritis you may have, and what treatment options may work best for you.

About the author:

Amanda Baker writes for http://tobeinformed.com - a website for health, fitness and wellness.

Check out pH miracle diet....Find out for more info at www.fasteasydiets.com

HT~ Arthritis :: Comments (0) :: Link