The Arthritis Foundation’s Tai Chi program in one of the most immense studies has shown betterment in pain, fatigue, stiffness and overall quality of life.
Dr. Leigh Callahan, PhD, studies head writer, associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and member of UNC’s Thurston Arthritis Research Center, states that participants in the study ability to reach and keep balance had also improved.
Their study had demonstrated that there are important benefits of the Tai Chi course for persons with all kinds of arthritis including fibromylagia, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The studies findings were in both rural and urban locations across a southeastern state and northeastern state.
Participants totaling 354 who had been recruited 20 locations in North Carolina and New Jersey were part of this study. At random they were designated to two groups. Intervention group had received twice weekly Tai Chi course for eight weeks. The other group was the delayed control group. All participants had received standard and eight week follow up assessments, after which time the control group also received the Tai Chi course.
Eligibility for the study required participants to have any kind of self-reported, practitioner diagnosed arthritis, age 18 or older and have independent movement ability. They were not required to do Tai Chi while standing. They were eligible for the study if they could preform Tai Chi while sitting.
Fatigue, stiffness and ability of physical function from self reports were gathered at standard and eight week assessment. Participants questions related to ability to do daily activities for daily living, overall general health and psychosocial measures as how they saw their helplessness and self-efficacy. The physical performance rates recorded were time chair stands that took a measure of lower extremity strength, movement speed both normal and fast along with two measures of balance of a single leg stance and reach test.
When the eight weeks had concluded the participants who received the course had displayed medium improvements in the areas of pain, fatigue and stiffness also a heightened sense of well being measured by psychosocial changes. Also noted was increased reach and balance.
Around 60 to 80 percent of persons who endure arthritis seek out alternative treatments especially when it comes to the enduring pain. The main reasons alternative medicine is sought out include that conventional medicine is not working as good as they had hoped, want more relief, side effects from medications, reduce stress from the chronic illness.
Some of the popular alternative therapies used among arthritis patients:
Known for its graceful and gentle movements which even the elderly can perform is a safe and effective way for the relief of arthritis pain and gain balance, strength and flexibility. Tai Chi promotes movement of energy throughout the body. Just in a small amount of time of five, ten or fifteen minutes persons doing Tai Chi have noted some pain relief.
The Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi Program implements the Sun style of Tai Chi which is one of the four recognized styles of Tai Chi it includes lively steps and exercises that could help improve mobility, breathing and relaxation. None of the movements require bending deeply or squats. The program contains twelve movements of six basic and six advanced. You can purchase their Tai Chi DVD on line for $29.95.
Chiropractic care is a healing system centering on the bodies structure. Treatment plans are based on the persons age, build, pain levels and general health. Treatment frequency depends on whether condition is acute or chronic, age and overall health.
Chiropractic treatment includes correcting subluxations in the spine along with other imbalances by use of several techniques and treatments including spinal manipulation and herbs.
There have been dozens of research studies on chiropractic and it has been noted as safe and effective natural treatment. Chiropractors can also distinguish when damage is outside the area of their practice and will do a referral for their patients to a practitioner who has the needed expertise.
Small joints in the body can be damage with arthritis especially in rheumatoid arthritis along with all other joints in the body. One in three persons with arthritis seek chiropractic care.
Acupuncture is believed to decrease pain by heightening the release of endorphins, the bodies own natural pain killers. Many of the points used are near nerves. When the muscle is stimulated it transmits a message to the central nervous system which releases the endorphins. Acupuncture is a drug free method to decrease the pain from arthritis.
The number of treatments is dependent upon an individuals condition and response to treatment. One treatment usually will not give you lasting relief. Usually treatments are two sessions a week for four weeks. It can take several treatments to notice releif. It is usually suggested to try five to ten first before making a decision on the treatments.
By tradition there are four formulas which are used in Chinese medicine for arthritis:
Wangbi Chongji developed by renowned Dr. Jiao Shude. This formula has received national awards. Some of the herbs in the formula may include those of aconite, peony and cinnamon twig.
Shuguan Wenjing Chongji and Shuguan Qingulo Chongji these formulas are used for advanced cases of arthritis pain. Herbs in these formulas include rehmannia, chin-chiu and earthworm.
Fengshi Xiandan formula is used in the early stages of arthritis. Herbs include peony and rehmannia.
Herbs have been used to aide in the treatment for arthritis joint pain for centuries. Some of the common herbs used include:
Alfalfa tea has nutritive minerals. Eases arthritic pain. To take as a tea use one ounce in a pot and cover with one quart of water and boil for thirty minutes. Strain and drink the tea throughout the day. Can use the tea for two to three weeks then stop for ten days before starting tea regime over.
Boswellia acts as an anti-inflammatory similar to non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs. Do not use long term.
Devils Claw is also another recommended anti-inflammatory agent use 1,000 mg twice a day.
Fever-few has been noted to have more anti-inflammatory effects than those of non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs. Use 250mg once or twice a day.
For more herbs you can consult an herbalist who will be able to advise you as to which herbs would be more beneficial to your type of arthritis and pain level.Sources:
Medical News Today