I am constantly hearing my client’s state, with a death sentence matter of fact-ness, that their doctor has said they have arthritis. The look on clients face says it all. So many feel that arthritis means the end to a pleasure filled, activity driven life, and they have no options for treatment. This is such a sad and bleak message that so many doctors and health care professionals’ non-chalantly pass out without any explanation or thought to how this gets translated back into the minds of their patients. First off, Arthritis simply is “inflammation of one or more joints”! There are over 100 different forms of arthritis! The range and intensity of “arthritis” is incredible immense. Arthritis ranges from Ankylosing Spondylitis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Gout to just acute swelling and pain in one’s joint. No wonder so many have this horrid feeling inside when they picture the possible disfigurement that can accompany the previously mentioned auto-immune chronic diseases. They may imagine they will end up looking like the Hunch Back of Norte Dame or something a little less drastic… But in actuality, so many that have “arthritis” have the simple acute forms that can easily be eased. In fact, the CDC states that over 50 million Americans have arthritis… that’s about 15% of the population! Almost everyone I have seen in my Massage Therapy practice in Portland has been told at one time or another, that they have arthritis. Possible treatments for simple arthritis and even some more major forms include: 1) Chiropractic, if the joint has become acutely fixated and needs some joint mobility, 2) Massage Therapy to help increase blood flow and increase range of motion, 3) Specific Exercises and Stretches at home or the gym to simply resting the affected area and applying ice and 4) Supplements such as MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) or DMSO2 have been known to have anti-inflammatory properties. So you see, with some possible exercise, stretching, chiropractic treatment to restore joint function, massage to help increase blood flow and range of motion coupled with a supplement that can help decrease inflammation, simple arthritis is not the end of life. It might mean some changes in life style, but with some work, diligence and patience, you can get back to life….and maybe even improve it!
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