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Arthritis Questions

Q. Is there any thing I can do for arthritis other than taking strong medicines? I mainly have it in my fingers and back. Thank you.

A. There are some incredible arthritis medicines out there now and the research keeps going at fantastic rates! Make sure you stay in touch with your doctor.

The old rule of thumb is that "movement" lubricates the joints, so you need to keep moving. Non-weight bearing activities are best like cycling or swimming as they place less stress on the joints.

Q. I have a solid ball about the size of a tennis ball that I have been told to squeeze constantly throughout the day to keep my joints from stiffening. So I do.

Does it really make a difference or was this a gimmick to make me buy the ball and it really doesn't do all that much. I don't really see any success so I thought I'd ask.

A. The more joints move, the less restricted they are... so the "movement" is good for you. I tell patients to "wash the dishes" and squeeze the sponge and they can accomplish two things at the same time!

However, keeping your grip strength up becomes important as well, and your ball is providing resistance which is keeping your hands strong.

As long as it doesn't hurt - keep it up! A few times a day is all you need to keep your strength up!

Q.My Doctor says I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. Is there anything I can do to slow the process or make it feel better? Thank you for your time in answering my question.

A. There are terrific medications that have recently become available in the field of rheumatoid arthritis. Make sure you are working with a Rheumatologist (Doctor who specializes in arthritic conditions).

Q.What can I do to prevent arthritis and the rest of these things I hear people get all the time. I'm 36 now, is it too late?

What do you suggest I do? Is there such a thing a preventative physical therapy?

A. Absolutely! A healthy lifestyle starts as young as possible. Eating right, not smoking, reducing stress, sleeping well (my favorite!) and exercising are the top things you can do to prevent a large majority of disease entities and arthritic problems.

Obesity is a large contributer to arthritic problems. While genetics plays a big role, we are learning that how we live our life is just as important.

Yes - physical therapists are trained in "prevention" - you can meet with a PT who can design a program based on your fitness level, body type, and predisposing issues.



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