In Part 2 of our Series on How to Take Charge of Your Arthritis, we discuss the first tip from Victoria Chiropractor Dr. Mark Smith on what you can do to gain control of your arthritis and get well! Dr. Mark would be happy to come and speak about arthritis care to your seniors group, health group, or other group, please don’t hesitate to contact us to arrange a time!
Arthritis Tip #1: Exercise and water
As human beings we are genetically designed to get up and move- a LOT- regardless of whether you have arthritis or not. In fact, we should be getting about 10,000 steps per day! A step counter or pedometer (like the ones we have been handing out at the office for christmas) is a great way to keep track!
Movement and regular physical activity (every day for approximately 20-30 minutes) does several things to help maintain joint health and assist those suffering from arthritis:
- Maintains muscular strength to support the joints and maintain joint alignment- this helps to prevent uneven wear and tear of the joints
- Trains your nervous system to maintain your coordination, balance, and ability to prevent falls and injuries
- Pumps fluid into joints and cartilage to keep joints lubricated and moves waste and metabolic by-product out of the joint
- Causes the brain to release endorphins- which are natural painkillers and make you feel happy and help fight depression
SO aim for 20-30 minutes of physical activity per day (or 10,000 steps) and drink 1 ounce of clean, preferably filtered water for every kg of body weight per day! (or take weight in pounds, divide by 2 and drink approximately that many ounces per day)
Our society is becoming more and more sedentary, with 25% of Canadians suffering from obesity. Increased body weight increases pressure and load on joint surfaces, making a bad situation worse if you have arthritis. So don’t think of physical activity as something you ‘squeeze’ into a day- think of it as an essential nutrient for your body!
Dr. Mark is often able to help patients with arthritis through chiropractic care by identifying exactly where the arthritis is and using specific chiropractic adjusting techniques to restore as much motion and realignment to the affected areas as possible. This can often decrease muscle spasm, increase fluid flow in and out of joints, and relieve pressure and irritation from surrounding nerves, allowing the body to function better.
Stay tuned for our next article with a new tip on how to take charge of your arthritis!