Posts Tagged ‘arthritis’
For decades the recommended daily amount of vitamin D for an adult was set at 400 IU. Doctors and nutritionists were taught that this level was enough for good health.
Then researchers all across the globe started reporting widespread deficiency of the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D. Physician conferences started focusing on the effects of this vitamin on health, bringing much revelation to the old thought that vitamin D was only important to prevent rickets.
Vitamin D Deficiency is Clearly Related to Pain
One of the findings about vitamin D actually pertains to the amount of pain in the body that people have when there’s a deficiency. This pain is in the muscles and in the bones.
One study, performed in Iran at the Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, at Rouhani Hospital at the Babol University of Medical Sciences, evaluated 276 patients who had pain in different parts of their body – in their legs, joints, ribs, back, pain everywhere and fibromyalgia for their vitamin D status.
They compared the results of these patients with 202 patients without the pain, but with similar vitamin D levels.
What Level of Vitamin D is Considered Deficient?
The doctors considered a level of vitamin D less than 20 ng/ml deficient. The “normal” range seen on blood tests from the laboratory is 30 to 100 ng/ml here in the United States.
Researchers discovered that when someone had pain in their legs, ribs, joints or everywhere, they usually also had a vitamin D deficiency.
In fact, the two types of pain that were highly correlated to a vitamin D deficiency were leg pain and joint pain, such as arthritis. They also found that women had a greater correlation of pain with a vitamin D deficiency. (Source: Int J Rheum Dis 2010 Oct;13(4).)
What this study means to you is to get your vitamin D levels checked, and if they’re low, raising them could significantly lessen your pain levels. You could be a lot happier with less pain, right?
Does Age or Type of Disease Affect Vitamin D Levels?
Another study that appeared in a medical journal called Clinical Rheumatology discussed what the correlation was between vitamin D and pain in the joints in 231 patients at the Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center at the South Infirmary-Victoria University Hospital in Ireland.
This time the doctors wanted to see if age or diagnosis affected probability of having low vitamin D levels.
Different Standards for Determining Deficiency
Interestingly, these doctors considered a vitamin D deficiency of less than or equal to 53 ng/ml. This level actually makes more sense since you should never be at the bottom of any ranges for vitamins and minerals.
Over Two-Thirds of Them Were Deficient
The researchers discovered that 70% of the patients had a deficiency, and 26% had a severe deficiency (defined as less than 25 ng/ml). The patients who had rheumatoid arthritis were deficient 77% of the time.
Those with connective tissue diseases or inflammatory joint disease were deficient 69% of the time, and those with osteoarthritis 62% of the time. If patients had bone or muscle/joint pain in their back or osteoporosis, the deficiency rate was at 75% and 71% respectively.
Age Didn’t Really Matter
They also discovered that age affected vitamin D status. You might think that if someone is young, they have more opportunity to go out in the sunshine more often and thus, should have higher levels of vitamin D.
Well, the research revealed that 65% of patients who were 65 or older and 78% of those who were 30 years old or less were deficient in vitamin D. (Source: Clin Rheumatol, 2011 June; 30(6).)
This gives us the clue that really, anyone can be deficient. Get your levels tested soon and take any appropriate actions right away. And do hold yourself to the higher standards of vitamin A deficiency levels as in Ireland. Don’t just get by when it comes to your vitamin D levels. Your bones and joints will appreciate you all the more when you do!
Treatment of osteoarthritis in the knee with acupuncture instead of surgery not only gives good clinical results, but it is non-invasive and painless procedure, according to researchers.
With the help of acupuncture reduces pain and stiffness characteristic of osteoarthritis and improves the functional capacity of the knee after a month long its application.
The procedure is also the much cheaper alternative to treat people with osteoarthritis.
These statements are based on a study involving 90 people with osteoarthritis of the knee who were treated with acupuncture for two years in a clinic in St Albans, UK, between 2008 and 2013.
Before treatment, all patients had severe symptoms of pain, inability to walk long etc.
After the first month of sessions incidence of pain in patients is significantly reduced and mobility – improved.
Acupuncture is a type of medical treatment, wherein the special pins are placed at specific points in the body. Therapy that originated in traditional Chinese medicine, now gaining more and more popularity.
Acupuncture stimulates different parts of the human body for therapeutic purposes – restores health and general health and removes the accumulated pain.
When using special acupuncture fine needles must be sterile. Needles are different from the standard medical – their ends are sharp and smooth. Patients report that the procedures are painless with them.
Although the relationship between physical activity and sport is not straightforward, there is consensus that the movement of the affected joints is mandatory for arthritis. Physical activity, consistent with the disease is an important addition to drug therapy. It can be initiated in the form of physical therapy at a specialized medical facility and continued at home.
The therapeutic role of appropriate physical activity consists in the activation of metabolic processes in the cartilage that regenerate lost proteins and proteoglycans, ie Increase in the synthesis of substances that make up cartilage and replace lost cartilage.
Balanced exercise restores joint mobility and strengthen muscles that support it in the future and preserve the functional capacity of the joints.
There are three sets of exercises that should be practiced in osteoarthritis. The first aims to increase the range of motion in affected joints, the second – increasing the resilience of the adjacent muscles, and the third – increasing their strength. Each contributes to maintaining and improving mobility.
Increasing the range of motion by careful stretching and movement of joints. Movements must pass along the natural and residual (potential) joint mobility. Regular, preferably daily repetition of these exercises increases the flexibility of cartilage and ligaments, which as an end result improves joint mobility.
Increasing muscle endurance is achieved with aerobic exercise. These are exercises that are performed for tens of minutes, without involving intense physical exertion. These are intensive walking, jogging, aerobics and more. Aerobic exercises are very useful for people in later life in general, not just those with arthritis. Besides muscles, they strengthen the heart and make breathing more efficient. Aerobic physical activity increases energy expenditure of the body and promotes weight loss, improves endurance of the body and reduces the feeling of chronic fatigue. Improves sleep.
Muscle strength is increased by strength training, where in the short term effort to develop maximum muscular tension. They burn less energy than aerobic, thus contributing to a lesser degree of weight loss. Should be only a small part of the overall physical activity of people suffering from osteoarthritis, which should focus on light aerobic and stretching exercises.
Best exercise to be part of a comprehensive treatment including drug treatment, changing eating habits and correct weight, if any exist. Obesity is a risk factor for the onset and accelerated progression of osteoarthritis. Every excess pound of body weight increases pressure on the hip and knee joints, and joints in the foot. Overweight for years, causing accelerated wear of the articular cartilage. Reduce it reduces pressure on joints and reduces the feeling of pain and stiffness in arthritic changes.
In no case, however, should not be too much physical exertion, even with healing. It should always be followed by a moderate and prolonged rest. Making appropriate arrangements should be left to a qualified professional – an orthopedic surgeon, physiotherapist, physiotherapists and others.
It’s been 3 years now since I have had a rotator cuff injury from improper workout procedures, and I can tell you, that it’s such a bother to have such an injury, especially if you are an athletic person who is into sports, like swimming, tennis, and basket ball, or trekking, or even just working out to stay in shape.
How I got my rotator cuff injury is simple, I simply did not keep my shoulders down during my full hang in the pull up and chinup exercises. This lead in some tearing of the muscle and tendons on my rotator cuff. This happened quite a lot especially when I was forcing myself to do the last one or two reps even though I was too tired to do so, making me fall back to full hang position and tearing up my shoulder’s rotator cuff tendons in the process.
And to top it all off, I am a bit of an MMA fan, and so is my cousin. At one time I got caught in a overzealous Kimura shoulder lock and did not tap out in time thinking that I could try to escape, and I ended up feeling a bit of heat in my rotator cuffs right after the lock.
After a month of rehabilitation and a few months of self-rehabilitation through instructed exercises I managed to heal most of the effects of the injury, and as a bonus, I also learned how to prevent rotator cuff injuries and dislocated shoulder joint injury as well in the process.
Today I live by 5 rules and ways to prevent any shoulder injury from happening again, and so far it has not only prevented me from injuring my shoulder, it has also helped me strengthen my supporting muscles to prevent me from injuring my shoulder joint and tendons again.
5 Ways to Prevent Shoulder Joint Injuries
- Don’t over exert your self, especially when doing shoulder-related exercises.Your shoulders are the most injury-prone part of your upper body. No matter how strong you are, if you fail to sustain any weight while doing pulling exercises, your shoulders tendons will be the ones to pay first. To prevent any injury, see to it that the weights are not too heavy for you to pull, and never ever lower the weight using gravity with your hands still holding the bar. (e.g. when doing pull ups or rows). Always control the lowering motion of the pulling exercise to prevent any strain on your shoulders.
- Never lock your knees and elbows during press exercises.This is a general rule to prevent injuries in both your hip joint while doing squats or leg press, and your shoulders during press exercises. Whenever you lock your elbow and knee joints, your ball and socket joints( shoulders and hips) get all the strain straight form the weight. If the weight is too much for your ball and socket joints to handle, you will most likely get injured.
- Strengthen your muscles.Working out the supporting muscles of your shoulders can help you prevent injury to your shoulders. This is not too obvious, but your shoulders will thank you for strengthening your arm muscles someday when the time calls that they work together.
- Strengthen your rotator cuff muscles.When I rehabilitated my shoulder injury. The main focus was to strengthen up the muscle fibers around my rotator cuffs in order to compensate for the rotator cuff tendon tear. This can be done even without the tear in the first place to prevent the tear from even happening.
- Don’t straighten your arms when you try to support your fall.Whenever your lose your balance or fall off something, never lock your elbows by straightening your arms. This will put all the strain on your elbows, leading to dislocation. I’ve nearly dislocated my shoulder time and time again before I learned this whenever I get pushed down in basketball or get thrown down from a take down in a spar. Always bend your elbows to protect your shoulders.
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