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Five Holistic Ways to Relieve Arthritis Pain Without Surgery
If you have arthritis, you know how painful this condition can be. There are exercises, stretches, and at-home care techniques that you can use to help manage your symptoms or even alleviate some of your arthritis pain. Simply by doing these each day for a few minutes, you should notice some improvement. However, it is always a good idea to consult with your doctor before you commit to making any significant changes in your exercise routine.
1. Back and Abdominal Exercises
You want to have strong back and abdominal muscles to help prevent back muscle strain or injury to the soft tissue. This is especially important if you have arthritis and are prone to discomfort or back pain.
Back Exercise: Back Rock and Roll
- Lay on your back and pull your knees up to your chest, placing your hands on the back of your thighs.
- Once you’re in position, hold it for 10 seconds and slowly roll your knees from one side to the other by rocking your hips.
- While you’re doing this, keep your shoulders and upper back flat on the ground. This exercise will strengthen your back muscles.
Abdominal Exercise: Lying March
- Start by laying on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your arms lying at your sides.
- Second, tighten your stomach muscles and slowly lift one foot 3 to 4 inches up.
- Hold it for ten seconds, then rest.
- Do this with alternating sides, 10 times each.
2. Neck and Shoulder Stretches
If you sit for long periods of time, you could suffer from a stiff back. In turn, this can easily lead to a stiff neck and shoulders with pain and discomfort. If you practice easy, low-impact exercises every hour or two while you’re sitting for an extended period, it should release some of the built up tension. If you have arthritis, these stretches are so important because people with arthritis are prone to having degenerative disk problems.
Neck Stretch: Neck Drop and Raise – Start by standing or sitting up straight. Slowly start to drop your head forward until your chin is resting on your chest. Hold yourself in this position for 5 to 10 seconds and slowly return to the starting position. Now, slowly drop your head back slightly and hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Do both of these 5 times each day.
Shoulder Stretch: Crossover – Begin by standing with your legs shoulder-width apart, then raise your right arm parallel to the floor and bring it across the front of your body with your upper arm coming toward your chest area. Put your left hand on your right elbow and gently pull your right arm farther across your body. Make sure your elbow isn’t locked, and hold this position for 20 seconds. Repeat 3 times with each arm.
3. Low-Impact Aerobic Exercises
These exercises are designed to help people with arthritis exercise in a way that won’t put any added stress on their joints. Low-impact water aerobics are gaining popularity. If the pool is a warmer temperature, this will also help soothe the ache that comes with arthritis. You will be able to get your daily exercise without feeling like you’re putting extra weight or stress on your already inflamed joints.
4. Heat or Ice Therapy
If your arthritis is acting up and causing you to ache more than normal, you can incorporate heat or ice therapy into your daily routine. Heating pads will help to soothe your tired muscles and stiff joints. You can also relax in a warm bath. If your arthritis is causing you to swell, you can apply ice packs or submerge the swelled joint in ice water. You can alternate these methods as you deem necessary. They will work to help bring the inflammation that comes with arthritis down.
5. Massage Therapy
A final holistic way to treat your arthritis you can incorporate into your routine is massage therapy. This method has been shown to be very effective for people who suffer from hand or wrist pain and swelling. A short session each day or every other day can help to reduce the pain levels and stiffness that comes with arthritis. It may also help to reduce your anxiety levels and leave you feeling refreshed once the session is over. You can either go to a licensed professional or do it yourself in the comfort of your home.
Each of these five holistic methods can have a positive effect on a person who is suffering from arthritis. You may have to experiment to find the ones that work the best for your lifestyle, but relief is out there if you are ready to give it a try.
Six Stretches to Help Alleviate Your Aches and Pains
Do you wake up each day with minor aches and pains? If you said yes, you’re not alone. Each day, thousands of people wake up with pain that wasn’t there when they went to sleep. We understand how frustrating this problem can be!
Here are six easy stretches to try at home, at your own convenience, that will help combat your lingering pain and stiffness. However, if this is new to you, always consult your doctor before you begin or significantly change your exercise regimen.*
1. Knee to Chest Stretch – Do you commonly have tightness or an ache in your lower back?
If you answered yes to this question, the knee to chest stretch might help alleviate this feeling. This stretch will help you ease the tightness in your lower back and rear end muscles, and you start by lying on the ground flat on your back with your toes pointed toward the sky. Once you’re in position, gently start to bend your right knee 90 degrees. With your hands behind your thigh, gently pull your leg up to your chest. Stay in this position for twenty seconds, then slowly relax your leg and continue with your other leg. Repeat this process three times for each leg.
2. Lying Knee Twist – Do you have aches in your mid-back or abdominal muscles throughout the day?
This stretch will help to strengthen your mid-back, buttocks, and abdominal muscles. To start, lie on your back with both of your legs flat on the ground, extended straight. Next, bend your right knee up and lay it across your body’s left side. Do this until you feel a pulling sensation through your back and buttock muscles. Hold this position for twenty seconds, and then clench your abdominal muscles and slowly move back to your original position. Repeat this process three or four times on both sides.
3. Yoga Cat/Cow Stretch – Do you have a tight or achy feeling throughout your back?
The Yoga Cat/Cow stretch will help to strengthen your back and core muscles. Begin on your hands and knees with your hands below your shoulders and your knees straight under your hip line. Slowly exhale, gently arching your spine while you do so. Hold it for five to ten seconds. Inhale, and clench your abdominal muscles and the muscles around your back while you do so, holding it for five to ten seconds. Move slowly between each movement, and repeat ten times.
4. Piriformis Seated Stretch – Do you have sciatica or radiating nerve pain down your legs?
This stretch is designed to slowly and gently lengthen your piriformis muscle over time. Sit down with your back straight, and bring your left leg over your right leg, placing your foot right next to opposite thigh, and tuck your right leg towards your rear end. Place your right hand on the outside of your left knee to help gently hold the stretch. Hold this position for 20 seconds, and alternate sides three times.
5. Cobra Stretch – Do you have lingering tightness in your lower back and abdominal muscles?
You can loosen your tight lower back and abdominal muscles by lying flat on your stomach with your legs out straight behind you. Plant your palms on each side of your head, making sure both your elbows and forearms remain horizontal to the ground. Slowly begin to push your body in an upward motion so your weight shifts. Settle onto your forearms while keeping your hips firmly on the ground. Once you feel a gentle stretching sensation in your core and the muscles in your mid to lower back, stop and hold that position for up to ten seconds. Slowly go back to the beginning position, and repeat four or five times.
6. Restful Pose – Are you tense throughout the day and looking for a simple way to relax?
You can loosen and relax your muscles by getting on all fours and positioning your knees slightly wider than your hips. Angle your feet inward until your toes touch and slowly slide your hips back while you bend your knees. When you get to a comfortable sitting point, completely slide your arms forward until they are straight in front of your body. From there, let your head go forward into a nice, relaxed position and stay in this position for twenty seconds. Slowly go back to your original position, and repeat three times.
Each of these gentle stretches can help you get rid of achy, tired, and tense muscles if you start a routine and keep it up. You’ll start to feel better, and you’ll be able to go about your day being more productive and happy as you do so.
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I believe that patient education and open communication with your doctor are the keys to achieving healthy, fully functional results and patient satisfaction, which is why I strive to provide the highest quality of Physical Therapy and Pain Management care for patients of all ages. This is done by combining technical skill and broad experience with cutting-edge technology for impeccable medical results.
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