Monday, February 7, 2011

3 Steps to Natural Arthritis Relief - Part 2

Your body is an exquisite piece of machinery. What happens to that expensive foreign automobile if you forget to give it tune-ups, alignments, tire rotations, lubrication and premium fuel?  Tires wear-out, brakes fail and engines cease - the mechanical equivalent of arthritis!  So treat your body like you want it to take you places.  Follow the steps below to fight arthritis:  

 1.) Align the joint: Just as your car’s tires wear out quicker, if the car’s front end is misaligned, so will your body wear out quicker, if you are misaligned.  If a joint is not moving properly or if the weight of the body is unequally distributed, arthritis is inevitable.  Restoring normal biomechanics to the affected joints is crucial to fighting arthritis.  Adjusting and mobilizing joints works to  realign the joints, break up soft tissue restrictions and restore balanced joint motion.   Balancing the body may even include something like putting a heel lift in a shoe so that the pelvis is level - allowing both feet, knees and hips to bear equal weight.  Chiropractic physicians specialize in restoring biomechanical balance to the body. Physical therapists, massage therapists and other physical medicine clinicans also have techniques for aligning the body. You can even correct some misalignments on your own through stretching and traction techniques - that is one reason why many swear by inversion tables.   

2.) Nourish the Joint:  I call glucosamine the “fountain of youth for the joints.”  Glucosamine is a building block of cartilage.  It actually works to repair damaged cartilage and reverse arthritis.  Glucosamine sulfate is naturally derived from shrimp and crab shells. Glucosamine HCl is a vegetarian option for those who have shellfish allergies. I advise my patients to supplement with 1,000 – 3,000 mg of glucosamine per day, depending on the severity of their symptoms.  Most patients report an improvement of arthritis symptoms within 4 weeks.  I also recommend supplementing with fish oil as a source of Omega-3 fatty acids (1,500mg – 2,000mg EPA/DHA Omega 3s/day). Omega-3s are powerful anti-inflammatory agents that can help stop arthritis pain and progression, while also promoting the health and vitality of the rest of the body.  That is the beauty of natural medicine. By treating the cause of disease, the whole body is strengthened – resulting in positive side effects elsewhere in the body! Click to view the glucosamine I recommendClick to view the highly purified fish oil products that I recommend.

3.)  Move the Joint:  During the arthritic process, the body is working towards fusing a joint. Motion is life. Once you avoid moving a joint due to pain, the arthritis process hastens.  By keeping the joint moving, you are fighting arthritis. Non-weight bearing and low-impact exercise, such as swimming, is ideal. It is easier on the joints to move in the water, yet it is much harder on the muscles. In the water, the muscles that support the joints are strengthened, while the joints themselves are finally able to move throughout their range of motion without pain. Any time a joint is moved, it is nourished and adhesions can be broken.  Yoga, stretching, biking, walking, and elliptical machines are also beneficial.  A body in motion, will stay in motion. . . so keep your parts in motion!

If you don’t move it, you lose it!

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