Mayo Health Care
Exercise and Diet as Pain Relief Therapy
To avoid physical pain, most people usually avoid engaging in strenuous activities and vigorous movements of the body. However, inactivity may actually worsen the condition and result in more pain in the long run. Since the human body is designed to be in motion regardless of your health condition, making your body inactive will lead to muscle degeneration. Through regular exercise, people can avoid pain or, at least, have an effective means of attaining pain relief therapy. Once the muscles start to deteriorate, other problems may soon develop such as diminishing bone density, depression, and a weakened heart. On the contrary, regular exercise can help keep joints flexible and strong.
Moreover, physical activity promotes pain relief by releasing mood-enhancing chemicals in the body that help deal with arthritic pain and lessen pain perception. The three types of exercise recommended for arthritis patients involves the following: * Flexibility Workouts * Cardiovascular Workouts * Strength Conditioning Flexibility workouts involve stretches that can help enhance range of motion. Cardiovascular includes aerobic workouts, walking, water exercises, and cycling. Strength conditioning, includes isometric or isotonic workouts. Isometric workouts are static exercises that involve applying resistance without moving the joint.
An example of isometric workout is pressing your hands against the wall while standing. It works out your chest muscle without joint movement. Isotonic workouts, on the other hand, use the full range of motion such as bicep curls and leg extensions. Different exercises work for different individuals. A certain exercise that works for you may not work for your buddy. Always remember to apply appropriate effort in proper form to avoid further injury and minimize pain. Consult a doctor or a well-trained fitness instructor before engaging in a fitness program. While regular exercise promotes natural pain relief by releasing mood-enhancing chemicals in the body that reduce perception of pain, being overweight can takes its toll on the joints due to the excess poundage they have to carry. A variety of weight loss programs are available everywhere but a nutritionally-balanced diet, besides regular physical activity, is a proven method for weight loss. On the other hand, weight loss with a poor diet may result to being underweight that leads to inactivity.
When the hormone levels are off, it can aggravate pain. While limiting intake of animal protein and saturated fat is ideally healthy, people need not become vegetarians to avail of pain relief benefits from proper nutrition. Instead, beef up on foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Eating whole grains and organically produced foods rich in fiber substantially help reduce your consumption of carcinogens and other harmful chemicals usually present in processed foods. These chemicals in preservatives may negatively stimulate the immune system. Some studies are exploring on the pain relief properties of two dietary supplements, chondroitin and glucosamine, in relation to osteoarthritis. However, there is much research to be done on their long-term safety and effectiveness. While chondroitin side effects may be rare, it may include headache, motor uneasiness, euphoria, hives, rash, photo-sensitivity, hair loss, and breathing difficulties. Those with bleeding disorders or taking blood thinners should consult with their doctor before taking the supplement. Some glucosamine products may be made with shellfish, and may cause adverse reaction in people with shellfish allergies.
Side effects include upset stomach, drowsiness, insomnia, headache, skin reactions, sun sensitivity, and nail toughening.
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