Updated: Jun 5
What is #Arthritis?
Arthritis means joint inflammation: (Itis means inflammation).
The word Arthritis comes from the Greek term disease of the joints.
There are more than 100 types of arthritis!
Can Sleeping This Way Make Arthritis Pain Worse?
Sleeping on Your Stomach or using too many pillows under your neck when on your back can increase joint pain. Why?
Sleeping on your stomach makes you twist your neck to the side which places stress on the nerves.
Stomach sleeping compresses your spine, putting increased pressure on your spine and can cause more pain.
What About Sleeping on Your Side?
What Not to Do if You Have Arthritis
When lying on your side, it's best to make sure your spine is adequately aligned. As you can see in this photo, the woman is not using any pillows for support which can cause strain on your joints.
Using Pillows for Arthritis Pain Relief
The best way to sleep on your side for pain relief is to keep your neck in proper alignment, as too many pillows under your neck push your neck forward and that can cause pain and poor posture. A pillow under your knees, as shown here, takes the pressure off your spine. A pillow under your arm helps align your spine and ease joint pain in your shoulder.
If you prefer sleeping on your back, place a pillow under your knees as this takes the pressure off your spine. One pillow under your head is best. If you wake up with pain in your neck, sleeping with too many pillows could be the cause. Select a pillow for under your neck that offers good support, not too hard and not too soft. Support your elbow with a pillow to allow.
What Kind of Doctor Should a Person with Arthritis See?
A Rheumatologist is a board-certified doctor who specializes in inflammatory disease. A rheumatologist will do the appropriate tests and treatment, If the rheumatologist feels you need surgery he/she will refer you to an orthopedic surgeon. However, it is best to try nonsurgical measures first.
Pain Relief Interventions May Include...
Pain management: Heat, Cold, (Ultra Sound, E-stim by a licensed clinician) Paraffin wax if not a diabetic.
Exercises for flexibility, strength, and endurance- ROM, Stretches, Isometric, Resistive, Low Impact Aerobic (Walking) or Water Aerobics.
Environmental modifications for safety and function.
Adaptive and assistive device recommendations for joint protection, safety, and independence.
Diet, weight management, sleep, energy conservation, stress management.
Participation in leisure activities. Social activities that give you enjoyment are important for releasing stress which is vital for decreasing pain.
WHAT ABOUT SUPPLEMENTS?
Glucosamine helps keep the cartilage in joints healthy and may have an anti-inflammatory effect. Natural glucosamine levels drop as people age.
Chondroitin is often used with glucosamine as an osteoarthritis treatment Researchers found that chondroitin appeared to reduce pain, increase joint mobility, and decrease the need for painkillers.
The research into the effectiveness of glucosamine and chondroitin for arthritis symptoms is mixed. While Doctors don't recommend these supplements, they are not opposed to their use if a patient gets relief from using them. Of course, you should always check with your doctor before taking any supplements.
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil and other foods, encourage the body to produce chemicals that help control inflammation This supplement may help ease stiffness caused by inflammation in people with rheumatoid arthritis, but more research is needed.
Curcumin (active ingredient of turmeric) and/or Boswellia serrata: provides relief for people with osteoarthritis of the knee They have anti-inflammatory properties.
Green tea contains compounds that have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may be helpful in combating joint pain.
Vitamin D is important for keeping bones strong and preventing injuries from falls Research shows that people with low levels of vitamin D may have more joint pain.
Suzanne Andrews Functional Fitness’ Healthwise Exercise TV provides an exercise program geared toward modified medically-proven exercises that gets your entire body strong and flexible with easy-to-follow functional fitness moves specifically paced to get you maximum results in minimal time.