Tips for Osteoarthritis: Stretching for Success

Tips for Osteoarthritis: Stretching for Success

Table of Contents:

  1. Stretching for Success
  2. Body Focus: Proper Lifting Technique
  3. Understanding & Dealing with Arthritis Pain

 

 

Stretching for Success

Here are some tips for osteoarthritis pain and increasing your mobility through stretching.

We have discussed the importance of exercise in increasing the odds of beating osteoarthritis in previous articles. Now, we are going to add some simple stretching exercises that can be added to your arthritis-beating regimen.

Stretching the Pain Away

Stretching correctly provides an easy method of reducing arthritis pain that takes only minutes each day. Done properly, these stretching regimens serve to enhance and speed the healing process by reducing pain and increasing mobility.

Note: If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you should not engage in stretching unless you have discussed this with your physician. These tips are mainly for osteoarthritis sufferers.

Knees

The knees are one of the favorite targets for osteoarthritis. As such, you should spend a little extra time stretching them. Here are some good stretches for the knees.

While sitting in your favorite chair, with your knees in front and your feet directly below your knees, move one foot at a time out in front of you (without lifting your foot off the ground). Slide your foot forward and leave it in that position for about ten seconds. Next, move this foot back into position below your knee.

Repeat this about 5-10 times and then move over to the other foot. This is especially good after you have been sitting for a long period of time. You can do this several times daily and should only take about 10 minutes each day.

This low-impact exercise is going to help with pain reduction and increase your mobility.

Wrists

The wrist is one of the most active areas of the human body. Wrists are also a favorite target for osteoarthritis, but fortunately can be easily exercised.

Sit at a table and place your forearms out in front of you at rest. Clasp your hands together and intertwine your fingers. Now, bend both wrists to the left and hold that position for about 5-10 seconds. Repeat this motion about ten times. Next, do the same exercise only this time bend to the right. This exercise provides enormous benefits in terms of reducing pain in the wrist area.

Now, add two more steps. While sitting in that same position with your arms extended in front of you and your hands intertwined, just lift your arms up toward the ceiling and hold that position for 5-10 seconds before lowering them back to the table.

Remaining seated, now remove your arms from the table and simply place them out into an open space. Slowly move your arms downward toward the floor and hold that position for a few seconds. Then, raise your arms back up into a level position. Repeat that procedure the same number of times you did when stretching upward.

Watch upcoming issues of The Arthritis Ninja for more stretching exercises.


Body Focus: Proper Lifting Technique

If you are an arthritis sufferer, you may have a difficult time doing the very simplest of chores like going up and down stairs. Even getting out of bed can prove painful. When lifting objects, special care needs to be taken to lift things properly and with the least amount of strain.

Those with arthritis need to follow the proper techniques when lifting. Unnecessary stress on joints from improper movements and improper lifting can be reduced greatly from just taking the following approaches. When lifting…

  • Always ask for help if it is needed
  • Always bend at the knees
  • Always keep your back straight
  • Always keep the objects you are lifting close to your body
  • Always use mechanical help when available (a handtruck, a dolly)
  • Always turn with your feet, not your body
  • Always keep your feet apart, and staggered if it is possible
  • Always wear non-slip soles on shoes when lifting
  • Never jerk or twist!

Just knowing the basics of lifting properly can take stress and strain off of the joints that will be taking the brunt of most of the weight. This will keep your joints from undue strain. Your knees, back, and shoulders will thank you!

 

Please note:
As readers of the Arthritis Ninja are aware, prudent exercise benefits those who suffer from arthritis. Most of the exercise recommendations made here are low impact in nature and designed to assist those who suffer from arthritis. Nonetheless, we always recommend that you consult with your physician before engaging in any type of exercise program.


Understanding & Dealing with Arthritis Pain

The first thing that one needs to learn when dealing with arthritis pain is to be able to manage it. Whether your pain is excruciating or merely a minor bother, it is not fun.

Even though there are several ways to describe the pain, there are generally two kinds of pain: “acute” which would have a sudden onset and vanish within a few minutes and “chronic” the most painful and longest lasting. Whereas acute pain serves a purpose (protecting body from danger, alerting yourself to things like nails, fire, etc.) chronic pain is a benefit-less nuisance.

When this pain is from arthritis it is often caused by inflammation, a localized protective reaction of tissue to irritation, injury, or infection characterized by pain, redness, swelling, and sometimes loss of function.

A damaged joint can also cause pain through crepitation; the rubbing together of bone fragments that cause crackling or popping sounds.

Pain can also come from muscle tension, strained muscles, and fatigue. The tension from affected muscles can cause undue stress on other muscles that are trying to compensate for the afflicted ones. This is dubbed as “strained supporting tissues”. In time, both the strained muscle structures, and those trying to compensate for them, can tire and cause “fatigue”, often exacerbating the pain.

Pain Solutions

Now let’s look for the solutions to dealing with this pain.

Methods that you can do in your home to bring relief without the use of drugs would include some or all of the following:

  • Massage Therapy
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Cold and Heat packs
  • Supplementing your diet with glucosamine
  • Relaxation
  • Magnet Therapy
  • NSAIDs (watch out for side effects)
  • Cox-2 inhibitors (also be wary of side effects)

See You Next Volume

This concludes Volume 8 of The Arthritis Ninja. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram to be notified as soon as the next issue of The Arthritis Ninja is live! Please share with any friends you know who have arthritis and would be interested.

Yours in Joint Health,

The Arthritis Ninja

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