Managing Arthritis

 

I’m very privileged to present an article written by Steve Tattershall. In this article “Managing Arthritis without Drugs” he shares his profound knowledge about arthritis and how to minimize or even eliminate the development of this widespread disease.

Steve is the founder of Fail-Safe Isolation, which provides excellent in-depth information and recommendations about many isolation topics. This topic is related to isolation health issues he has written about in his blogs such as his Self-Care in Isolation article, and his personal and family experience with the disease. His past writings on health and long experience with treating arthritis make Steve Tattershall a perfect choice to have as our guest author this week.

Now, let’s read and learn about do’s and don’ts concerning Arthritis.

 

I’m honored to share this article on arthritis health with you hereManaging Arthritis Without Drugs: knee xrayat Easy Steps for Healthy Living. Pernilla has provided powerful information here for people who are ready to live a better, healthier life, and eager to take the first steps. I am writing in that spirit to support people concerned about arthritis. If you are fortunate enough to live past 50, then you are likely to learn about osteoarthritis in your joints. This inflammatory disease is very common, especially if work or play has left you with minor joint injuries or wear and tear on your knees, hips or other joints. Medical science has many treatments available including joint replacement surgery, steroids, and non-steroidal medications; unfortunately, nearly all of these are temporary and come with side effects and a hefty bill. Fortunately, there are simple actions we can take for managing arthritis without drugs or surgery, and they don’t involve high costs or long-term drug dependence. The side effects of these actions are a healthier longer life. If you have a few minutes to spare, then you can learn about them and begin taking action today.

 

Healthy habits or drugs without end

 

Living with arthritis can be miserable, can be a sentence to life-long prescription drugs and side effects, or it can mean some lifestyle changes entirely in your hands. As we age, most of us begin doing exactly the wrong things for our general health, especially for arthritis. Because this often leads to an isolated lifestyle, I’ve blogged about health issues related to that isolation on my site like my posts on agoraphobia and on Self-care in Isolation. Whether isolated or interactive, our lifestyle choices can benefit from change for better health. And changes can be fun!

Since arthritis is an inflammatory disease, if we are to fight it, we must wage a war against inflammation. If you are like most 21st century adults, you have inflammatory habits that are not in your best interest. Let’s look at ways to transform those habits from arthritis boosting problems to arthritis health opportunities.

There are a few basic changes that can turn immune system dysfunctions and other inflammation problems around and get systems working for you. Here are those PILLARS OF ARTHRITIS HEALTH:

  1. Active lifestyle with healthy exercise to strengthen joints and support immune health
  2. Adopting healthy sleeping, resting and posture habits
  3. Eating healthy, non-inflammatory foods, consistently
  4. Removing other inflammation triggers

If you have enough determination and the right tools, habits can be changed; we will help with the tools and give you some reasons to stay motivated. If you aren’t motivated or don’t want to change your lifestyle, there are physicians and pharmaceutical companies eager to take you down the drugs-forever path. Here is an article about getting that help without getting up off the couch: Telehealth Review. If you would rather keep it all under your own control, here are the steps:

 

1. Healthy exercise (vs the couch potato lifestyle)

As we age, our metabolism tends to slow and our muscle mass tends to dwindle. Add in the normal injuries, diseases and aches and pains that come with time, and you have anAntique chair, upholstered with red velvet invitation to sit more and move less. This is an unhealthy and inflammatory lifestyle that is perfect for adding fat and building more arthritis in your joints. The worst exercise is no exercise, coupled with a sedentary, isolated lifestyle; almost any exercise is better than that, so long as it doesn’t break your bones. While any low-impact exercise like swimming or riding a bike is great for arthritis and general health, do what YOU enjoy, because the key is that you must do it often. Pernilla offers a guide to regular exercise that is great for general health, weight control and arthritis in the article here.

If you get out of the house or office, walk or play and do this every day, you will improve your joint health.

 

2. Healthy sleep, posture and rest

Our bodies are built to recharge during healthy deep sleep each night. Nobody fully understands all the things that sleep does for us, but the problems that come from lack of sleep are generally understood, and immune system health is high on that list, as are brain health, cardiovascular health, and joint health. While our ancient ancestors slept whenever it was dark outside, averaging 8 hours or more per night, our sleep needs may vary from 6 to 9 hours per night. I know that there never seems to be enough time, andSleepy adult feet stick out from covers we cut down on sleep as we must get things done. You should remember that cheating your body of sleep comes at a cost, and you will pay with more illness and a shorter life; you will also pay with poor health, including joint problems, cardiovascular problems, and other inflammatory illness. Find a way to get enough sleep, and you will be able to make those waking hours more productive and fun.

Along with lack of sleep, too much sitting is another big health problem that aggravates arthritis, especially when you throw in a TV or computer screen. Sitting is the most unhealthy and inflammatory position we can adopt, yet many of us spend most of the day that way. Our bodies were designed for walking, standing and lying down – sitting was a clever if flawed invention that has gotten way out of hand. If you are to dealBody posture in perfection with arthritis, then sitting is your enemy. Find a way to walk, stand or lie down when you can, to avoid the sitting trap.

Of course, you WILL sit at times, but try to ensure that you get up regularly and move around. Time yourself so that you don’t stay seated for more than 15 minutes without a walk or other exercise. If you can have a standing desk or work table available, then using it can be a healthy decision. Enjoying more leisure time with family or friends outside or in other active play or work is a great choice. Of course walking around, stretching and doing a few exercises can offer a refreshing break from standing or sitting while working or watching entertainment or sports.

 

 

3. Eating healthy in a non-inflammatory way

There are many common eating habits found in western diets that are inflammatory with a damaging effect on osteoarthritis. At the top of the list are the worst offenders: sugar, trans-fats and highly processed foods. Keeping these vicious inflammatory villains out of our bodies is theVeggies and fruits first priority, and a great method is a Healthy Food for Your Body guide on this site. It covers most of the basics of what to eat and what to avoid. I will just add a few more that have particular power over inflammation and joint problems:

Avoid: Sugary or Artificially sweetened drinks, margarine/non-dairy creamers, milk, partially hydrogenated oils, wheat and red meat

Consume: Pure water, fresh greens, veggies, fruit, ginger, nuts, dates, fish/oil, clove oil, coconut oil, EVOO* and avocado

Tip: Try to increase consumption of greens, veggies, and fruit by blending them into green smoothies with nuts, avocado, and almond milk

While eating the right food is important, eating the right way also makes a difference. It’s important to get enough greens to provide calcium for bone health and enough cold water fish or fish oil, and to eat in a way that supports your health:

  • Eat a moderate diet to support a healthy weight
  • Stop eating before 8 pm so you sleep well without serious digestion process stress
  • Consider following a calorie restricted or intermittent fasting lifestyle – much more natural for human biology

*Extra Vergin Olive Oil

 

4. Eliminate inflammation triggers

While we’ve already covered sugary foods and sedentary living, there may be other triggers for your inflammation, and you must find and eliminate them if you are to protect your joints.Bunnybaby Some common examples are dog or cat dander, dust mites, dryer sheets, cows milk and freshly treated permanent press garments – or other things that cause an allergic response. Asthma attacks, rashes, flushing, and headaches can be symptoms of inflammatory responses, so anything that causes these reactions is a likely trigger. This doesn’t mean that the cat or bunny must go, but it does mean that he shouldn’t sleep in your bedroom, much less on your pillow if you are allergic to him. Of course, if you are severely allergic, complete separation or assistance from allergy specialist may be the only viable options.

There are places you go, spices you eat, creatures near you or other activities or environmental factors that cause a problem. If they have caused issues more than once you know what they are. The key here is to be aware, then take action to minimize your exposure to these triggers for inflammation.

 

So how do we make all this happen?

 

Understanding the problem is half the battle. The other half is changing our behaviors to achieve our health objectives. As the saying goes:

If you keep on doing what you did, then you’ll keep on getting what you got”

It is possible to change well-established habits, but it takes real effort and determination. Fortunately, this site has help you can turn to for assistance in finding your way to makingUphill climb that change. Check out the HABIT CHANGER  for tools to help you conquer that difficult process. If you are determined to find a healthy path away from arthritis, then you have a great shot at making it happen. But ultimately it is up to YOU. It is my hope that you succeed, and I’m willing to help, but it will be your challenge and your responsibility.

I thank you for your attention during this journey into healthy ways to minimize or eliminate the development of osteoarthritis in your joints. I’ve enjoyed sharing this information and I hope it helps you on your life journey.

Please feel free to share any thoughts, stories, or feedback with us or ask any questions you may have in the comment box below.  We want your input and appreciate your wisdom, so please feel free to join the conversation.

Best wishes for your health,

Steve Tattershall

About the author

Founder of Fail-safe IsolationSteve Tattershall is an authority on medical isolation equipment and Chief Technical Officer of Banthrax Corporation, a US-based manufacturer of medical and laboratory equipment used worldwide. A public speaker and published author, he has written, studied and consulted on technology and healthcare extensively for the last two decades. Heavily involved in research on arthritis, inflammation and related topics for his personal and family health, he also deals with these subjects in equipment application.  He blogs on isolation related matters including healthy living in isolation and under crisis conditions. Steve lives with his wife, Bonnie and 2 cats (Chip and Alberta) in Southwestern Ohio, USA.

Follow his blog at FailSafe Isolation

 


Healthy Habits, Healthier Life


 

Please feel free to leave any questions or comments you have for Mr.  Tattershall in the comment box below.
We highly value your opinion and look forward to hearing from you.

 

13 Thoughts on “Managing Arthritis Without Drugs”

  • Although I don’t have arthritis, I have been suspicious at times. Especially when it gets cold and wet outside, my hands start to ache and get very painful. Is this normal? Anyway I love what you have said here about eating a healthy diet. Is there any scientific evidence behind how bad diet effects arthiritus ?

    • Hello Josh,

      Please, apologize for this late response to your question. Somehow your comment got lost, as I forwarded it to Steve. Here I finally am answering your questions.
      Yes, it is common that our hands or feet ache when it is cold and wet outside. The coldness effects the thin blood vessels in the hands and feet – they constrict when the temperature drops. If your hands ache very much and don´t go away rather quickly after getting inside to the warmth of a house, I recommend you to check with your physician.
      A study of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers was made in Sweden. By eating a Mediterranean diet (lots of vegetables, fruit, olive oil, fish and a very moderate meat consumption) for three months, showed a reduced inflammation and enhanced joint function. However, it is evident, that too much sugar-containing food and meat and lack of vegetables and fruit, will cause deficiency symptoms and very much likely cause chronical diseases sooner or later.
      Thank you, Josh, for leaving your comment.
      Hope you are fine, wish you a happy & healthy life!
      Pernilla

  • These are all great ideas. I have arthritis in one knee from when I used to be a runner. It can get pretty painful. Right now I am taking a prescription for something else, but it has taken away the pain in my knee completely. But, I won’t be taking this prescription for ever thankfully. I was looking for natural ways to alleviate the pain and just make it go away. I did not know that exercising it would help. I have been more like babying it LOL I was surprised to read that dryer sheets can cause inflammation. Now that was interesting to read!

    • Glad you like the article. Knees can be difficult – I’ve had arthroscopic surgery on both of mine several years ago to deal with torn meniscus, but these days the real challenge is arthritis. If you have damage to your meniscus or to a ligament, you might have problems until it is repaired. Sometimes repair surgery works well, and sometimes it does little or even makes the problem worse. While inflammation aggravates such problems, anti-inflammatory food and environment are not always the complete answer. That said, it almost always helps, and in the case of arthritis, it can make a big difference. Moving is important with arthritis, as complications like bone spurs will generally get much worse if you stay still too long.

      In fact, I stay away from pain killers and use anti-inflammatory means to deal with arthritis in my knees. When one of my knees still was a problem recently, and I needed more, I opted for a synvisc injection which simply lubricates the knee, without any anesthetic. This way, rather than hiding the problem, I can tell what is working and what is not; pain killers don’t allow that knowledge, so they allow us to do more damage without realizing it. Synvisc and anti-inflammatory living makes a big difference for me – a few weeks ago I could barely walk, but this morning I feel great after 90 minutes of intense racquetball.

      The toxic or inflammatory exposure we get from routine foods and other items in most of our lives is surprisingly wide ranging. I really encourage you to read the book “Clean” by Dr. A. Junger. It is available from amazon or ebay, and is inexpensive, especially as an e-book. He covers a lot more than dryer sheets in his comprehensive review of the irritating stuff most of us are exposed to. You can also have a look at my post on coping with exposure, “Surviving the Toxic Soup “(https://failsafeisolation.com/surviving-the-toxic-soup).

      Thanks for joining the conversation. I hope we hear from you again.

  • Hi Josh – thanks for joining the conversation
    Your questions are very perceptive. I’ll do my best to address them.

    While my arthritis symptoms don’t generally flare up with the weather, many people report that their symptoms do, so it is possible that you have some early osteoarthritis or some other joint disorder. Most of us develop damage in our joints over time, and if there is inflammation in those joints, it can develop into arthritis. It’s worth mentioning in your next doctor visit to get a professional opinion. This is important, as such symptoms could also point to MS or other serious progressive diseases.

    Osteoarthritis is well recognized as an inflammation-based disease that primarily progresses because of immune system attacks on critical parts of our joints. The approach we advocate in this post is based on well established food science that has identified inflammation factors related to most foods. While I’ve noted that for me personally, inflammatory foods aggravate arthritic inflammation, I’ve generally relied on expert advice from physicians and experts on holistic health, such as Alejandro Junger, MD, author of the book “Clean”. I recommend that book, as it is filled with powerful advice on pursuing an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. My process is to use the suggestions and scientific basis as a guide for choosing my own diet, then see what works. Dr. Junger actually promotes that approach.

    As for scientific evidence, I’ve seen more lists of cases and theory than comprehensive studies of anti-inflammatory diet and arthritis. This is as I would expect, since there is no big cash payoff for steering people toward fish and greens and away from sugar and beef. US FDA mandated studies needed to make medical claims set a high bar that generally demands big investments from drug companies to comply. Since we can’t patent coconut oil or salmon salad, it’s not feasible to pay for those studies without prescription drug income. Holistic treatment approaches generally rely on much smaller studies and expert judgment.

    I hope this response addressed more questions than it raised. In any case, feel free to write us again with any questions or observations you care to offer.
    Thanks,
    Steve Tattershall

  • I was surfing the net looking for Arthritis cures for my dad and came across your website. I saved your website to my favorites and emailed my dad a link to it. He live with Arthritis and it has effected his like dramatically. He’s always in pain unless he takes pain medication which he hates. I hope this works out for him. Thanks again,

    Jack

  • If he hates the pain meds, this approach should give him another option without the side effects, and at a more reasonable cost.

    Thank you, Jack, for stopping by and for sharing the post with your dad. I hope we hear back from you or your dad to see how he responds to the lifestyle changes.

  • What a great idea featuring other authors who share your same niche/interests. As we all know, learning and researching on ways to improve your health can be very overwhelming, but it felt simple with these easy breakdowns. Especially if you are new to game. The article reflects what your page is all about, especially with the 4 easy steps.

  • I enjoyed your article. Very informative and full of useful information. I also discovered that I am doing almost everything wrong that you listed. Everything you said not to do, I’m doing. So I have a long way to go to change my bad habits.
    Thank you for the help.

    • Thanks for joining the conversation, Deborah. I’m glad you found the post useful.

      Don’t get overwhelmed by the amount of change, lot’s of opportunities are a good thing! Every long journey starts with a single step, and it sounds like you have many options for which step to take first. Even if some of the changes needed are too hard, every positive change can make a positive impact on your health. You also may find some of these new ways of living and eating are fun or exciting – worth a try?

      Please stop by again, and thanks for your comment.

  • I have to say, this post is extremely useful to me right now. I have arthritis and i avoid at all costs to take pills for it, but lately with a more rainy weather the pain is getting extreme to the point I throw up. I will make sure to follow the advice you gave, and take care of my diet, foods can influence a lot. Thank you 🙂
    Regards!

    • Glad to hear that it’s helpful for you, Arlet. Thanks for commenting.

      Diet and exercise are crucial for me. I play racquet sports (tennis and racquetball) and my knees won’t allow it, unless I follow this lifestyle. Hopefully it will work as well for you. Please come back and let us know what you find.

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