Arthritis/Rheumatism – Prevention and Treatment – Page 1
a). REST – allows the body to heal itself, the mind and emotions to calm down, the muscles to relax and to some degree allows the inflammation in the tissues to subside.
b). RELAXATION – eases tension in the body muscles, quietness the mind and allows mind and the body to heal. Meditation is best.
c). HEAT – causes the small blood vessels and capillaries to dilate thus increasing the flow of blood (circulation of blood). Muscles respond best to this treatment, as the application of heat improves the flow of blood, relieves the pain spasm and relaxes the muscles. A hot bath, sauna or a hot water shower on the aching area can relax spasm and muscle pain. You can also use a hot water bottle or an electric heat pad or infra-red lamps on the area of pain for 10-15 minutes. You can also utilize your own body heat by wrapping a scarf around the neck and a piece of woolens cloth around the waist to ease the ache. Heat should be applied generally at least twice a day; four times a day would be more preferable. Deep heat treatment is also provided by micro wave diathermy and ultrasound therapy which are safe and very effective, but should be taken under expert guidance. Hot and cold contrast treatment is the best pain reliever – apply a towel squeezed in hot water for two minutes; then immediately another towel squeezed in chilled water for half a minute – each application four times, and finally end with the hot towel for one minute. Ice pack is useful immediately after an injury, such as a bruise or an over-stretched ligament, blow or a fall to prevent too much inflammation and swelling. It must be applied for 2 to 3 minutes only.
d). MASSAGE – removes muscular tension and spasm, relieves pain, breaks down the stringent inelastic muscular fibers, stimulates the larger nerve fibers in muscles which travel to the spinal cord and soothes the mind and emotions, Massage also helps relax the skeletal muscles of the human body.
e). APPLICATION – of irritant rubs, heat creams that stimulate the nerves, also irritant poultices such as mustard poultice helps greatly. Pain killers like aspirin can help temporarily and should be taken only if the pain is severe and unbearable.
f). EXERCISES – Stretching and other relevant exercises must be learnt under expert guidance and done daily. The best all round exercise is swimming, particularly if you have a back problem. Every morning, before getting up from bed, lying on the back, stretches the whole body with hands pulling upwards.
g). REDUCTION OF WEIGHT – The heavier you are, the more work the back has to do. Since the excess weight is carried in front of the stomach area, it places additional strain on the low back, as it pulls forward, making your….