Some people with arthritis claim that therapies like acupuncture, yoga or hydrotherapy help improve their symptoms.
It goes without saying that nothing
can replace the treatment set by your doctor. Even if sometimes it doesn’t seem
like it’s working and you want to throw in the towel, it’s important to be
patient and trust your doctors, because they know better than anyone what we
That said, it’s always good to be
informed about the options available to you, so let’s look at some options
which could, with the approval of your doctor and in combination with your
regular treatment, help to alleviate symptoms of the illness like pain and
Acupuncture, an ancient technique
The technique of traditional
acupuncture has been handed down from generation to generation, over millions
of years, and has now been named part of the intangible cultural heritage of
humanity by UNESCO. You may know that it consists of the insertion of small,
thin needles in specific points of the body, and that it’s used to treat many
diseases. Well, we want to tell you a bit more. In the case of arthritis, many
people have tried it and have seen the results for themselves. This is because
acupuncture causes the production of endorphins which, in turn, have an effect
on the receptors which reduce our sensitivity to pain. The location and the
length of the needles depends on a precise diagnostic process, which should be
done carefully and should also be highly individualized.
We don’t want to mislead you, so we
have to admit – there are currently no clinical studies that clearly prove the
impact of acupuncture on arthritis. Nevertheless, it seems that more and more
people with arthritis are trying it for themselves and find that their symptoms
Yoga, wisdom from India
Not only does it manage to reduce
the pains caused by arthritis, but also the associated inflammation. And it’s
not just the people who’ve tried it who say so: it’s also been proven by a
study carried out by a group of researchers from John Hopkins University in
Baltimore, after working with a group of thirty adults with rheumatoid
arthritis and a sedentary lifestyle. Two groups were set up – one practiced
yoga and the other acted as a control group. The yoga group practiced deep
breathing and relaxation exercises, as well as meditation techniques. After
eight weeks, this group said that their pain had reduced significantly. The
inflammation in their joints had also reduced, in contrast to the control
group, who still had the same symptoms as on day one.
Hot and cold treatment, a home remedy
Here’s something that’s simple and
easy to do, but seems to work well in the treatment of certain types of
arthritis. Some people respond better to heat, others to cold. Whichever
applies to you, it seems that that the temporary application of heat or cold
can reduce the stiffness and pain caused by arthritis. While heat is useful to
fight against stiffness, cold helps to reduce swelling and alleviates muscle
spasms. If you’re wondering how you can try it out, well, it couldn’t be
easier! To apply heat, you can have a warm bath, apply hot compresses, use a
hot water bottle or even a paraffin bath, with melted wax and mineral oil. For
cold, a simple ice pack will do.
Some people have realized that what
makes them feel better is the combination of heat and cold. In that case, you
should apply heat, then cold, and then heat again. And be careful! Don’t use
any of these methods for more than fifteen minutes. If you want to try this
technique, ask your doctor which is the best for you.
Biofeedback, science fiction made real
that we’re not always aware of certain physiological characteristics of our own
bodies. For example, we can’t sense what brain waves we’re emitting or what our
blood pressure is. Although in principle these functions are automatically
carried out automatically by the nervous system, there are ways to exert
influence over some of them. How? Through biofeedback, for example. In a
typical session of this technique, the person rests comfortably on a chair
while sensors on the skin send information to a machine. In this way, you can
learn about your biological functions through visual and aural stimuli.
Biofeedback works like a mirror which lets you see and hear your body’s activity
to modify unhealthy behaviors.
Researchers believe that this
therapy can help people with arthritis to relax the muscles around a painful
joint. Placebo or reality? Whatever the case may be, what seems to be true is
that the results are tangible. Will you give it a try?
Hydrotherapy, streams of vitality
The therapeutic action of
hydrotherapy is a result of its heating and mechanical effects. This technique
takes advantage of the body’s reaction to hot and cold stimuli, the prolonged
application of heat and the pressure exerted by water. Sensations produced in
our skin by water have effects in the rest of the body: they stimulate the
immune system, slow the production of stress hormones to calm the nervous
system, stimulate digestion and circulation, and alleviate pains caused by
several diseases - including arthritis.
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