Monday, October 10, 2011

Physical Management of Arthritis

October Article in Dockline Magazine page 28

Last month we talked about Nutritional Management of Arthritis. Now, let’s focus on what can be done physically to treat arthritis. You may think that if a joint is arthritic you should try to rest it as much as possible but that is not really accurate. What would work better, a rusty old hinge that gets used regularly every day or one that hasn’t moved in a year?

Obviously there are many factors that go into what type of activity you should do. The type of arthritis, the location and the severity are all factors that need to be considered. Talk to your chiropractor about your specific case. That being said there are many options for people with arthritis when it comes to exercise. One of the most important things is to maintain an active lifestyle. Either in your work, your leisure time or preferably both involve yourself in activities that require you to get up and move.

When it comes to exercise start off nice and easy and let your chiropractor know of any changes that you notice as a result of your new exercise program. We suggest that you start off with something that focuses on flexibility and movement such as yoga. Gradually, you can increase your workouts to include cardio and strength training. Swimming and biking are great low impact cardio exercises that can help keep you limber while strengthening the heart and lungs thereby promoting overall health.

Your strength training options are only limited by your imagination. If you need help coming up with some exercises talk to your chiropractor or find a qualified personal trainer to help you get started. Not only will strength training help with your arthritis it will strengthen your bones and muscles which also helps protect your joints.

If you lack the discipline necessary to exercise regularly look for activities that you can do outside of your daily routine to get your heart pumping and your body moving. Dancing is an excellent example of an activity that incorporates both. Go out dancing, take a class or check your local events calendar for dances. Thanks to Dancing With the Stars, ballroom dancing has become popular.

Last but not least is getting adjusted regularly. If a joint is locked up or subluxated it can’t move in its normal range of motion. A chiropractic adjustment frees up the joint and removes stress from the joint and nervous system. This allows the joint to move more freely and allows the brain to better understand the environment and adapt to changes in the environment.

So get moving. Talk to your chiropractor, find activities that you enjoy and are appropriate to your health status and get to it. If you do you will find that you will have greater energy and vitality, less aches and pains than those around you who choose not to move.