The best medicine for osteoarthritis is exercise, especially yoga. Professor Phillip Conaghan, chair of musculoskeletal medicine at the University of Leeds, explained this is because exercise is a natural painkiller.
Acetaminophen and other anti-inflammatory drugs are typically recommended for this condition, but a new study in The Lancet confirms that these drugs are useless in treating this condition, regardless of the dose.
The only painkiller proven to be effective for osteoarthritis is diclofenac, which is described as having severe and debilitating side effects.
Even otters know exercise is the answer with arthritis
In a recent article, we read that Eddie, the playful sea otter at the Oregon Zoo, takes arthritis seriously by shooting hoops to ease arthritis pain. Eddie doesn’t play basketball to hear the cheering crowds, he’s a baller behind the scenes because he has arthritis in his elbows.
Exercise and yoga are medicine
• Study finds that yoga may be a safe and effective way to keeping moving for the 1 in 5 adults who live with arthritis.
• In a randomized trial, people with arthritis who practiced yoga had about a 20% improvement in physical health with similar improvements in pain, energy, mood and carrying out day-to-day activities and tasks.
“Yoga may be especially well suited to people with arthritis because it combines physical activity with potent stress management and relaxation techniques, and focuses on respecting limitations that can change from day to day,” says Susan J. Bartlett, Ph.D., an adjunct associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins and associate professor at McGill University.
Without proper management, arthritis affects not only mobility, but also overall health and well-being, participation in valued activities, and quality of life. There is no cure for arthritis, but one important way to manage arthritis is to remain active. Yet up to 90% of people with arthritis are less active than public health guidelines suggest, perhaps due to arthritis symptoms such as pain and stiffness, but also because they are unsure of how best to remain active.
Many people have discovered that changing their diets may also help in managing symptoms of arthritis. Autoimmune diseases have been linked to gluten sensitivity, anti-nutrients in certain plants, grains and seeds, as well as imbalances with the gut microbiome.
The body is designed for motion
Walking, swimming, tai chi, qi gong, dancing, and beginning yoga are all excellent for arthritis sufferers. Contact a personal trainer or physical therapist for exercise guidelines. Check out local yoga classes and always move at your own pace in fitness classes.
In Portland, Portland Yoga offers Gentle Yoga which is the type of yoga that is suitable for arthritis sufferers.
Learning to move and exercise differently are important for people with arthritis. Do what you can, but do that much.
News: The Mind Aware Show, hosted by author, speaker, and radio host, Dana Wilde, has invited me to be an expert guest and interviewed on the show! This will be a recorded podcast so updates will follow. Fitness is really fun!
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