April 03, 2019

Experiencing arthritis symptoms can badly affect your daily life. But, there are different activities that will help improve your joint health. In this article, we will explore the activities that can increase bone strength and joint flexibility.  

Having arthritis and musculoskeletal disease should not hinder you from having an active life. Instead, you should exercise regularly The pain you are experiencing should not stop you from doing daily activities at any time of the day. 

The following activities that will be discussed are joint-friendly and can be helpful for you in promoting your joint health, bone health as well as improving your overall wellbeing and quality of life. 

1. Yoga

Researchers have found that doing yoga on a regular basis can actually help you reduce chronic pain and achieve flexibility to improve stiffness on your joints. Moreover, it can also improve your mood and decrease your anxiety levels. 

A study published in the Journal of Rheumatology where 75 patients participated has been randomly assigned to either a control group or to eight weeks of twice-weekly yoga classes plus a weekly practice session at home.

Researchers have assessed the participant's physical and mental health before and after the study without knowing which group the participants have been assigned.

Compared with the control group, participants that are doing yoga has been reported a 20 per cent improvement with their energy levels, improvement in pain severity and their ability to complete physical tasks. In addition, it also helped their mental health, mood and overall well-being.

It only shows that yoga is a safe and holistic therapy for patients that are suffering from chronic pain disorders. It is safer to practice yoga with a yoga teacher that can work closely to achieve maximum relief and effectiveness. 

 

2. Tai Chi

Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese exercise that involves slow and gentle movement that can help provide relief if you have arthritis. Tai chi is also gentle for your bones especially if you have little range of motion and stiff joints. 

Studies also suggest that tai chi can help reduce the risk of chronic heart failure and can treat fibromyalgia. Researchers also suggest that tai chi can provide great benefit to patients who are suffering from osteoarthritis. 

A study conducted to eighty-two women who have osteoarthritis were randomly assigned to a control group or tai chi program. They completed post-test measures at  6 months. 

Findings show that participants in the tai chi program had greater knee endurance and bone mineral density in the neck. Also, the fear of falling during daily activities have reduced significantly in the tai chi group which may help prevent fracture.

Meditative exercises such as tai chi may improve quality of life, mood and also reduce symptoms on people who have chronic heart failure and chronic musculoskeletal conditions.  

Tai chi is also said to help people who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. For more information, you can read "Tai Chi Can Help Veterans Fight PTSD"

 

3. Water Exercise

If you love water, then doing water exercise or aquatic therapy would be a great activity to have fun and at the same time improve your weight management, reduce swelling and pain on your joints. Water exercises such as water walking, sidestepping and arm raises are easy on the joints and help reduce the tension.

Also, do not worry if you don't know how to swim because water exercises are designed for anyone which also include non-swimmers since it involves simple exercises such as walking and bending your legs and arms. 

Water's buoyancy also reduces the impact and stress on joints because it supports the body's weight. They say that performing water exercises in a warm pool will add a soothing effect and reduce pain. Also, water exercises are great for improving strength, flexibility, rehabilitation and increasing range of motion. 

Athletes use water to rehabilitate after injury or intense training. Moreover, people who suffer from different forms of arthritis that can't perform land exercises use water to perform exercises that may help relieve pain and stiffness. Remember that it is also important to do a warm up in the water before starting exercises to prevent injury. 

Studies show that doing water exercise for two to three times every week can show significant improvements in your joints, bones as well as your cardiovascular health. 

 

4. Meditation 

Meditation is a mind and body practice that can increase the calmness of the mind and relaxation of the body. It can also help relieve depression, muscle tension and enhance your well-being.

Clinical studies show that meditation can help ease anxiety and improve your mental health, in addition, people with musculoskeletal disorders can benefit from it because it can reduce inflammation in your joints. 

Researchers also prove that meditation can be helpful for people who are suffering from arthritis since it can help them cope with their symptoms such as swelling and joint pain. 

Studies show that meditation helps protect your brain from ageing and may halt the progression of dementia such as Alzheimer's disease. For more information, you can read "Music and Meditation May Halt Progression of Alzheimer's"

 

5. Acupuncture 

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine that uses needles that are inserted at points along meridians to restore the balance of the qi which is a type of energy or life force. It is proven to reduce pain due to musculoskeletal diseases such as osteoarthritis, backache and fibromyalgia. 

Acupuncture is one of the best ways to ease the pain you are experiencing from arthritis. Some people are scared of trying it for the first time since needles are used for this treatment. But, don't mind the needles because you will not feel any pain or get wounds from inserting needles that are thin like hair strands, instead, it will give you relief and will help you relax. 

A study published in the Medical Journal of Australia shows that acupuncture can also provide relief for chronic pain, especially for your lower back pain and sprains. It is also beneficial for the treatment of depression and reducing your stress levels. 

Researches also prove that inserting acupuncture needles can help in the production of body hormones such as cortisol which is essential in the reduction of inflammation in your body.  

 

6. Pilates

Pilates is much similar to yoga, the only difference is that Pilates is focused on relaxing the muscles that are tensed while providing the strength needed for the muscles. Equipment can be used to practice pilates such as resistive bands and fitness balls. 

Research shows that pilates is one of the best forms of exercise for arthritis patients that involves gentle, strengthening and stretching exercises. Pilates helps relax your muscles that are tensed while increasing muscle strength and joint flexibility.

Doing Pilates exercises on a regular basis can be really helpful for your bone health and wellbeing. Some of the benefits that you can get from doing Pilates include a decrease of feeling fatigued and tired, increase in flexibility and also an improvement in balance. 

However, be advised that before starting doing Pilates exercises you should need to consult your healthcare provider for medical advice. Also, you need to find a professional Pilates instructor in order for you to do Pilates safely and effectively. 

 

Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle

1. Always maintain good posture. Good posture is necessary to prevent arthritis that usually affects the hip and spine. It can prevent you from having osteoarthritis. Doing the right posture will help prevent your back from getting sore and will also reduce tension and muscle pain. 

2. Quit Smoking. It is strictly advised to avoid smoking to achieve optimal health and good bones. A study conducted by Arthritis Research and Therapy has found that light smoking can be linked to an increased risk of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis. We all know that smoking is very harmful to your lungs, in addition, it is also harmful to your bones and joints. 

3. Avoid Drinking Alcohol. Gout which is one type of arthritis is directly related to alcohol. Research shows that drinking glass of wine can help improve symptoms of arthritis, but it is really important to drink in moderation and responsibly, to avoid adverse effects such as badly affecting your kidneys and other internal organs. 

4. Have a Balanced Diet. A balanced diet is really helpful for having optimal health. Having a healthy diet that includes veggies, fruits and nuts can help you reduce your inflammation. Moreover, it can help you have a healthy physical and mental wellbeing. Studies say that what you eat can ease symptoms of arthritis. 

5. Positive Outlook in Life. Don't let stress affect your daily life, people that have chronic conditions like arthritis should have a more positive outlook in life since this will help improve not only their mental health but also their physical health which may reduce the inflammation in their joints. 

 


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