ATHRITIS AND PAIN
by Joseph Patrick Jakubal
WHAT TO DO ABOUT ARTHRITIS PAIN
The human body is a magnificent work of art that is designed for movement. Day after day, year after year joints take a beating and ultimately show the effects of wear-and-tear. However, this does not mean that we are doomed to a life of misery from arthritic pain. By reducing the pressures placed on joints and keeping them loose and flexible ... we can remain pain free and supple for the rest of our lives.
USE POSTURE TO RELIEVE THE PAIN
Poor posture puts an abnormal amount of pressure on many joints resulting in the wearing away of bones and cartilage. Of course, this ultimately causes pain. When sitting make sure that you select a chair that allows you to sit straight and not slumped with your head off balance in a foreword position. This causes undue stress and strain on the lower back and neck. The idea is to keep the basic structure of the body in a position that supports it's own weight rather than tilting at odd angles.
USE EXERCISE TO RELIEVE THE PAIN
Joints can often slip out of alignment and cause stress and strain when the muscles are not strong. However, when muscles are well toned they hold joints in place to keep them stable and make them flexible and unlikely to exhibit the symptoms of wear.
Exercises to choose are those that do not impact on the joints ... walking, swimming, health riders, and trampolines.
APPLICATION OF HEAT
Heat is known to relax muscles and stimulate blood flow. By putting a heat source (heating pad, hot towel, hot pad, etcetera) on the sore area for 20 minutes at a time (for a total of three times a day you can coax the joint into moving smoothly again.
APPLICATION OF COLD
Cold applications are reserved for sudden flare-ups of arthritic pain because arthritis is pain, swelling, heat and redness of joint tissue due to the secretion of histamine ... this causes blood vessels to dilate to increase blood flow to the area ... cold reverses this process by helping to constrict the blood vessels. Apply the "cold" source (ice cubes, cold water, etcetera) for 20 minutes at a time with at least a 45 minute interval between applications.
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
The compound that gives chili peppers their "heat" is called "capsaicin" ... it interferes with "substance P", which is required for nerves to transfer pain signals to the brain. Look for creams at the pharmacy that contains "capsaicin" ... it does not work for everyone but for some it can provide much relief.
MSM is an abbreviation for methylsulfonylmethane. Theoretically, it is a pain medication that works by blocking nerve impulses of pain from reaching the brain. It comes as a pill or cream and is commonly used to treat arthritis. It is sold as a food supplement and contains sulfur in minute quantities. Large scale testing has not been undertaken in the year 2000. One small-scale study revealed that 80% of people taking 2,250 mg a day found considerable relief from their osteoarthritic pain. One problem is that pain relief may take as much as four weeks or more. Another benefit is that MSM seems to be safe. DOSAGES: 8,000 milligrams a day are considered safe, however it would be prudent to begin at 1,000 milligrams a day. As with all supplements, start out small to observe how the body reacts and then increase dosages little by little. CAUTION: Do not use in combination with blood thinning agents like Coumadin or aspirin.