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God knows how many movements do our joints make in a day. Our knees, back, wrists, shoulders, hip, etc., are constantly on the move and we can only imagine how much wear and tear it might be causing to them every day.
Joints act as a connection point between bones. Any discomfort or damage, either from a disease or an injury, causes our joints to ache. Painful joints is a very common condition but can badly affect an individual’s quality of life. Osteoarthritis, the most frequent joint disease alone has a prevalence of 22% to 39% in India.
Thankfully, to an extent, one can treat such aches and soreness within the comfort of home. The following are the home remedies that will help relieve stiffness and pain of the joints, the natural way.
1. Heat and Cold Therapies
Each has its own set of benefits. Application of cold treatment in the form of ice packs on the affected joint helps limit swelling and inflammation. Whereas, applying heating pads help you relax the muscles. Alternatively, you may also take a hot bath with warm water. You may also indulge in a relaxing hot tub bath with essential oils in it. Heating the muscles is excellent for muscle pain treatment.
2. Exercise & Physical Activities
Extremely good and beneficial for any and every age group, exercises not only eases the pain but also reduces the swelling. Physical activities like walking, swimming, and aerobics keep your heart moving. It is also a good idea to do strength training in order to keep the muscles strong, which in turn will keep your joints mobile and well-built. You may also target specific joints and muscles for back pain treatment and leg pain treatment.
An age-old, proven and effective method to treat joint, massage acts as a great remedy for knee pain solution, shoulder pain relief and can also treat sprains and sores of muscles too. Always approach a professional or therapist with expertise and experience for a good massage. You shall also inform him about the sore areas that should be avoided. Let him know the trouble you are facing so that accordingly, he can decide the best massage suitable to you.
4. Head to the Kitchen
The kitchen is definitely a storehouse where herbs, staples, and spices act as natural remedies. Ginger extract, cinnamon, sesame oil, and turmeric help ease the pain and some act as antiseptic as well. Cayenne pepper is another natural painkiller to cure knee pain treatment at home.
Started with the dawn of civilization and even exists today, Yoga has many benefits, including arthritis cure, relaxes body and mind, improves flexibility and keeps stress at bay. The right set of asanas can help in treating joint pain due to arthritis and is good for osteoarthritis treatment as well.
6. Weight Management
Managing your weight is very important. Extra pounds will only add to the problem and accelerate the pain in joints. Shedding even a few pounds will even save you from future problems. Check what you eat along with exercising regularly. Intake of calcium and Vitamin D supplements is equally important besides proper diet. One may even opt for walking or jogging. Overweight or obesity is the main reason why bones pain.
Before popping pills or opting for surgery, the best, safest and natural joint pain treatment you all must give it a try is Electrotherapy. With no side effects, this proven method of healing joint pain is used since ages and have a history of complete cure from all kinds of acute to chronic joint pains.
There is no shortcut and no quick-fix. Improving the quality of life shall improve your health. Making little changes go a long way in leading a healthy lifestyle with the least possible health issues.
Depression, a 10 letter word is powerful enough to end a person’s life. It is an inner darkness that gradually affects an individual’s life significantly without anyone’s notice.
Never ever mistake depression as a disease or a mood disorder. Loss of interest in doing anything, willing to isolate oneself, feeling sad for no reason, and getting irritated or angry, if any of these symptoms persist over a long period of time than it is the sign of depression that can badly affect mental health.
The findings of the World Health Organization (WHO) states that around 350 million people are affected by depression, globally. Depression sees no age. Pregnancy depression or postpartum depression, depression in children anyone can be a victim. But whatever the type be, it can certainly be treated. However, there is no particular duration as to how long a depression will last.
How to overcome depression?
The very nature of depression will hold you back from reaching out for help. There is no quick-fix and things take time. It all starts with one step. A step towards positivity and healing. Remember that God helps those who help themselves. Only you can make up your mind to get out of depression.
How to cure depression?
Getting support plays a crucial role in fighting depression. Go for a walk and talk while you walk. Take with you some company or grab your phone and call the person who will never judge you but will listen to all that you have to say. Staying connected is important. Keep in touch with every possible person you know and with whom you can talk to. This will include your family, your loved ones, social groups, friends, relatives, and every person you know. Family therapy definitely works because they know you inside out. So, never miss the opportunity of meeting someone and interacting in person.
Another way of helping yourself is by helping others. Be a good listener and a confidant. When you provide support to others, it acts as a mood booster making you cheerful. Join social groups and support groups. Being with people will never make you isolated. Take part and be a volunteer in social or fun activities. Take your friend out for a movie or a concert or meet over a cup of coffee.
An Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), is another form of mental illness where people have a tendency of repetitive behaviours. Rechecking the things, repeating the routines, and re-thinking are all the symptom of OCD which is basically an anxiety disorder and can be treated in the same way as the depression. OCD people often tend to become anxious and experience major depressive episodes. Here, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (talking therapy) can help deal with anxiety and depression.
To fight depression and anxiety, you need a healthy body. Keep a check on the quality of your life. Set your sleeping schedule. Aim for 8 hours of sleep neither too much nor less. Try and figure out all the things that cause stress, it can be anything, from work overload to relationships and keep them at bay as stress eventually worsens depression. Indulge in relaxation techniques and join a meditation or yoga class or even a gym would do. In short, stay healthy and stress-free.
Apart from the above-mentioned ways of treating depression, one can also go for depression counselling. It helps alleviate the symptoms and makes the person feel better. The natural treatment or home remedies for depression include changing the lifestyle, behaviour, and thinking. In short, the key is to stay positive and take an initiative towards a happy you.
Come winters and the cosy blankets become our best friends. Working outdoors may be painful and it is understandable but what about indoors? We bet, even the thought of getting out of the bed doesn’t cross our mind, isn’t it?
Staying indoors is only an excuse for not exercising. However, there are a number of reasons to exercise in winters as well. Hence, beat the blues, take the required dose of Vitamin sunshine and do not put on those extra pounds.
Stretching as a warm-up or stretching post-workout has always been a very common question. It is important to note that stretching not only helps you impart flexibility but also helps you relax and stay energized. Let’s check the 5 best exercises that can increase your flexibility.
Keep variations with your body stretching exercises and do not stick to only one form. Stretching before a workout helps you to warm-up, which in turn, will keep you, zipped throughout your workout sessions. Stretching post workout is equally important. Ensure you stretch each part of your body. Stretch your hamstrings, glutes, abdominals, shoulders, and neck, post-workout. Pre-workout stretch will typically include arm circles, rotational lunges, neck movement, etc.
Pilates is very much in trend nowadays. Pilates stretches is certainly a great form of exercise providing greater flexibility and utmost strength. From wall roll down to spine stretch to swan stretch, all different stretches are interesting. It shall cover stretching exercises for legs as well. Combination of both, the equipment and mat work does wonders to an individual’s body. A cherry on the cake is that you will also be developing your core strength.
Yoga has something or the other for everyone. It is a misconception that a person having a lack of flexibility cannot do yoga, which is wrong. There are different forms of yoga for flexibility. A type known as Hatha Yoga is focused to improve flexibility. It is basically a slow form where one needs to hold each pose for a few breaths. Indeed, yoga stretches are great for flexibility.
4. Foam Rollers
Use of foam rollers helps improve flexibility and also improves performance in addition to preventing injuries. It basically helps you giving a deep tissue massage with your own body weight, giving you a perfect muscle stretch. It breaks the adhesions and restrictions speeding up the recovery and healing process. The best thing is you can exercise using foam rollers in the comfort of your home. One can see the immediate difference in how flexible your muscles become post using foam rollers.
5. Dynamic Stretching
It is always advised to choose dynamic stretching over static stretching. It prepares for the workout coming ahead providing different movement. The stretch position is not held, instead, muscles bring stretch by themselves. It improves range of motion, increasing blood flow. A lunge with a twist is an example of dynamic stretching. It can be, weighted lunges or lunges with a soccer ball. One can also include kettlebell exercises for strengthening and shedding away those extras.
Performing a full body stretch routine is a great way to improve flexibility, and if possible one shall perform the routine daily. Flexibility can never be acquired overnight. Time and consistency is the key and soon you’ll be bending into positions which were impossible until now. So say goodbye all the excuses and put on your shoes.
After all, ‘tis the season of great flexibility!
The bone-chilling cold of winter is pleasant and loved by all, but for our joints, it is not so a happy and cheery season.
With the drop in temperature during the fall, our joints will experience a rise in discomforts day by day, which will eventually become extremely unbearable for those living with arthritis. Even a study of the effect of cold weather on Arthritis revealed that about 80 to 90% of patients with arthritis could be sensitive to cold weather.
What is the relation between cold weather and joint pain?
Not just winters, humidity and even rain are said to worsen joint pain. So in reality, we experience body pain due to the impact of the change in barometric pressure (atmospheric pressure) on our body. A drop in it can cause our tissues in the body to expand which put more pressure on our nerves that control pain signals, thus making our joints ache during the cold weather.
Don’t worry, there is a way out for everything. The following 6 tips will help you any kind of joint pain due to the cold weather.
1. Stay Warm
Keep your body warm by wrapping winter clothes when you step outside and even indoors if necessary. Keep the aching joints always covered with extra layers if necessary, to avoid the chilly breeze of winter from triggering or worsening the severity of pain.
You may not feel thirsty during winter but that does not mean there is no need to drink water. Dehydration can make you more sensitive to pain, hence it is important to maintain your daily water routine to reduce inflammation and the friction between joint surfaces.
3. Eat right
The goodness of winter is that you get an excellent variety of nutrition-rich fruits and vegetables like spinach, tomato, oranges, cabbage and much more. Eat a balanced diet of lean protein, fats and fibre. Consume foods that are rich in antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation, stiffness and pain in the joints.
4. Get moving
Winter can make anyone from young to old, lazy and stay indoor doing nothing all the time, but it will only cost your joints. So what you don’t feel like going outside for a walk/jog or hit your gym, workout inside. Move around, walk indoors, play with children, dance, try yoga or pilates, stretch and perform light exercises, do anything but don’t sit idle. If nothing, at least practice bed exercises to relieve arthritis pain during winter. Regular physical activity will promote flexibility in your joints, strengthen your bones, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue as well.
5. Soak in the sun
Get some sunshine vitamin – ‘D’. The deficiency of vitamin D is the main reason why we experience knee pain during winters. Absorb some of it from its natural source, sunlight, in the winter or eat vitamin D rich foods that include dairy foods, mushrooms, etc to prevent bone pains.
6. Treat it with therapies
Winter is harsh for those with a rheumatic condition, but, massages and therapies can relax the stiffness, aches and cramps of joints remarkably well. Use heat pad or relax in a heated pool to soothe your joints or, better try the best home remedy for joint pain – Electrotherapy, using which you can relieve any kind of joint discomforts at home, naturally.
Cricketer Ambati Rayudu failed to clear the Yo-Yo fitness test. Ace hockey player Sardar Singh beat the Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli’s test score in Yo-Yo test. You might have heard of Yo-Yo a lot lately in the news, but what on the earth is it?
Yo-Yo Test in Cricket
Don’t fall for the name as it is not some cool or fun test in the game of cricket. Under Virat Kohli’s tenure, it is a compulsory intense fitness test that every Indian player must survive to be fit for playing cricket. It is in fact a variation of the Beep test, a multi-stage fitness test also known as the PACER (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run) test, which was created by Luc Leger of the University of Montreal, where an athlete was required to run from one line to another non-stop before a timed beep and one can no longer run. The number of laps was recorded and as the test continued, the time between beeps shortened. It was not compulsory though.
The Yo-Yo fitness test was then later modified by Danish scientist Dr Jens Bangsbo for footballers, to evaluate an athlete’s aerobic capacity. But then, the former cricketer Anil Kumble introduced this fitness test to Indian players during his tenure as Team India coach, which is now taken and carried out very seriously by the fitness freak Virat Kohli.
How is the Yo-Yo Endurance Test Conducted?
The gruelling routine of Yo-Yo intermittent test is a series of shuttle runs between cones placed 25 metres apart from each other. Three cones let’s say, A, B and C are placed with the following distance in a sequence:
● Cone A and B – 5 metres
● Cone B and C – 20 metres
Once the beep goes off, the player starts running from cone B and has to reach C before the second beep. He has to then return to B before the third beep. This makes up one ‘shuttle’. Upon reaching B, the player can walk/jog to cone A and back to B which is a 10 second rest period in between each shuttle.
As the speed level increases, the time for completing the shuttle decreases. Starting at 5 and level 9, the player has to complete one shuttle, for level 11 – two shuttles, 12 – three shuttles and 13 – four shuttles. From level 14 onwards, each level has 8 shuttles till level 23, which is the highest speed level. If the player fails to reach the cone at any point, he gets the first warning and 3 such warnings indicate the end of the test. The total distance covered is the Yo-Yo test score.
The benchmark Yo-Yo score for Indian cricketers is set at 19:5 level (here 16 is the level and 5 is the number of shuttles the player has completed at that level before the end of the test) which is low compared to Pakistan, who have fixed up to 17:4 and New Zealand who have the highest—20:1. Virat Kohli and Manish Pandey have scored 19 and 19:2 respectively. The Yo-Yo test app is software based and is only available on the App Store.
Yo-Yo test is for all sports players and not just cricket but the importance of it is more in cricket because it is a start-stop sport and not continuous like football or tennis where a player is physically active only in periods like while running between the wickets or bowling and is at rest during fielding or when waiting for their turn to bat. It increases aerobic capacity and improves the focus on batting or bowling, and the ability to recover from injuries. The only way Yo-Yo test can be perfected is by adding activities like burpees, box jumps, jumping knee tucks and power push-ups to your daily workout routine.
Drumstick, Sahjan, Saragvo, or Moringa Oleifera, that derives its name from a Tamil word, Murungai, meaning twisted pod is no regular vegetable, in fact, it is a power-packed superfood.
It is an integral part of South Indian cuisine but is often taken lightly and just for fun where we chew and throw it but, do you know the entire drumstick tree from roots to the pods has a plethora of health benefits? Let’s check them out.
Health benefits of Drumstick
The excellent therapeutic values and high nutrition content of drumstick are quite shocking as it has got almost all minerals, vitamins, and proteins in a remarkable quantity. Even its roots that taste like horseradish, flowers, seeds and stems are recognized to have got therapeutic qualities. Drumsticks are great for developing stronger bones, blood purification, respiratory disorders, pregnancy and lactation, lung problems and much more.
Moringa leaves benefits
You will be amazed at the % of the nutritional value of drumstick leaves alone which have ayurvedic, anti-bacterial and detoxifying properties. The juice of moringa leaves is said to be an excellent cure for earaches, headache, diarrhoea, anaemia, difficult menses, eye diseases and so on.
Benefits of drumstick flowers
The extracts of Moringa flowers are said to reduce inflammation and soothe sore muscles. They are also used in making perfumes and hair oils. Its aromatic flowers is an important ingredient in aromatherapy sessions at spas. When brewed with tea, it acts as a health tonic to treat urinary tract infections. It is also beneficial in enhancing sexual pleasure.
Moringa Seeds Benefits
Consumption of moringa seeds prevents the spread of cancer cells. It is extremely good for cardiovascular health. Moringa seed oil can help you get rid of acne, acne scars, acne marks, removal of black spots, removal of fine lines and get clearer and brighter skin tone with radiance and glow. It can keep sugar levels at control and plays a vital role in sperm production as well.
Benefits of Moringa Root
Moring roots used in the production of perfumes, medicines, fertilizers, and act as cleansing agents in water purification. Its antibiotic properties can treat a variety of illness and medical conditions such as asthma, digestive disorders, gastritis, skin disorders, rheumatism, inflammation and thyroid related problems.
Moringa Powder and how to use it?
Made from naturally-dried moringa leaves, moringa powder has a delicious spinachy green flavour and is high in antioxidants. Consumption of moringa powder can help you reach your weight loss goals, reduce fatigue, make skin healthy and radiant, boost immunity, and improve digestion and muscle growth. A single teaspoon of it with your favourite smoothie or tea is enough for a day.
Moringa side effects
If consumed in safe doses i.e. up to 6 grams daily for up to 3 weeks, there is nothing wrong with it. Too much of it can cause nausea and certain chemicals found in its roots, flowers and bark may cause uterine contractions in pregnant women.
● The most common usage of drumstick is found in South Indian recipes like sambar and rasam, apart from that it can be added into curries, dals, soups and kormas.
● Drumstick leaves can be used as a garnish on in salads.
● Moringa leaves can be fried in chickpea(besan) batter and served as crispy pakoras
● Dried leaves of drumstick can be used as flake toppings on pizzas and pasta.
● Can be stir-fried in combination with a variety of vegetables
● Flowers and leaves of moringa are used in many cutlet recipes.
Almost every night, does the rude wake-up call of cramps break your sweet spell of sleep and make you scream all night long? Then this is how you must deal with it.
Night pain also termed as nocturnal leg cramps or sleep-related leg cramps is a condition resulting in involuntary contraction of leg muscles. It is painful and can happen anytime interfering your sound sleep. Night cramps can affect any part of your leg; calf muscles, feet or thighs. And even though the cramps leave, the sensation of tenderness in the legs, remain for few hours.
Studies suggest that it is more commonly found in 40 % of older people, 7 % of children and teenagers and highly in pregnant ladies. Basically, it increases with age. Certain medical conditions, like diabetes or thyroid, may cause cramps at times. There isn’t any apparent reason for muscle cramps and nevertheless isn’t the cause of concern. However, the following are what that causes severe leg cramps at night;
1. Staying Inactive
Inactivity is the most common reason for cramps. Sitting for a prolonged period or even a poor posture may cause leg cramps. Night cramping is very much possible due to incorrect sleep position. A wrong position may contribute to nerve issues or may hamper the blood circulation.
2. Your Footwear
When was the last time you checked your footwear? We often tend to ignore it and keep wearing it regularly because we assume it to be either stylish or comfortable. Wearing shoes that don’t fit properly or do not provide enough support may strain your leg muscles, leading to cramps.
3. Poor Diet
Lack of water intake will only add to illness and can even cause muscles to cramp. Staying hydrated throughout the day is very important. Deficiency of essential nutrients can cause nerve damage. Ensure your food intake has all the nutrients, including magnesium and potassium. It goes without saying that alcohol consumption should also be very minimal. Don’t let your muscles become vulnerable to cramps.
4. Pregnancy and medical condition
Pregnant women are more susceptible to night cramps. Many medical conditions such as musculoskeletal and nerve disorders, electrolyte and endocrine disorders can also cause cramping.
How to stop leg cramps at night?
There are no definite treatments to cure overnight foot cramping however the underlying cause can positively be treated. The home remedies for leg cramps can include, stretching, massaging, application of heat / cold packs, and immediately stopping the activity that causes cramps.
How to prevent muscle cramps?
Regularly stretching the muscles have been proved to be the best remedy for calf muscle cramp It shall eventually help reduce the frequency of cramps as well. Stretching exercises act as an apt remedy.
2. Proper Diet
Stay well-hydrated with loads of fluids and water. Include foods high in fiber, vitamins, magnesium, and calcium. Limit your intake of alcohol.
3. Make your Bed
Take care that the bedcovers and your blankets are loose. The key is to prevent your feet and toes from pointing downward due to heavy blankets.
Stay fit by stretching and exercising regularly. Avoid overexertion and stay calm all the time. Physical and emotional stress will only worsen the condition. For best results and permanent relief, consider electrotherapy treatment for healing. Using which, it is very much possible to do away with Nocturnal Leg Cramps (NLC) and stay cramp-free.
How many times have you skipped workouts due to achy joints? Almost 2-3 times a week? They break your routine and you end up repenting.
The joints in our body play an incredible role while inducing a great amount of stress. They help us move, act as a connection point of our bones as well as a support system of our body weight. But any kind of excess physical activity can make things uncomfortable for them and the worst, it may lead to wear and tear of them as well.
Exercise is very crucial for everyone, irrespective of their age. It helps us to be functional, avoids any stiffness due to inactivity, and also strengthens the muscles around the joints. The exercise pain can be of any joint, in any form. It can be a joint pain after working out or a knee joint pain. The answer to your question, ‘what causes muscle pain after exercise?’ is because when the muscles are required to work harder than they’re used to or in a different way, temporary microscopic damages occur to the muscle fibres, resulting in muscle soreness/stiffness due to the increased blood flow and inflammation. Thus the area becomes sensitive to any kind of movement.
However, not to worry as the below-mentioned tips shall help you prevent joint pain during exercise.
Mind your workout. Not all the exercises are for everyone. High-impact exercises shall not be performed by the people having conditions like osteoporosis or arthritis and severe back pain. Choose your workout carefully without stressing your joints.
Right technique is the key. You may not know everything about your workout. Small mistakes can end in big injuries. Take help from your fitness trainer or seek advice from the professional.
Never ever skip your warm up. Most people often make this mistake. Exercising without warming up your muscles will only increase joint pain. A thorough warm-up is important as it helps in tissue flexibility and joint mobility.
Skipping stretching post workout will make your joint pay later. During exercise, muscles tend to become tight and if not stretched, it causes more inflammation of joints. Be sure to hold each stretch for about 20-30 seconds.
The joints in your body act as a connection. Hence, it is important that you have a pair of perfect footwear as they are capable enough of providing stability and cushion against the movement you make and save your joints from aggravating the pain.
Stay hydrated. Sweating causes loss of essential fluids from the body. Have a glass of water before you start your workout and keep sipping a little at regular intervals of 15 minutes in between.
Maintain an ideal body weight for your joint health. Excess body weight puts stress on your joints. Weighing healthy is as important as exercising regularly. Save your joints from carrying extra pounds and eventually suffering discomfort.
The health of joints is improved by reducing inflammation. Intake anti-inflammatory and protein-rich foods to relieve muscle pain after a workout.
Correct therapy matters. Know when to apply ice or heat. Application of ice pack immediately after the injury for 15-20 minutes can reduce the tissue swelling. Whereas, warm water helps alleviate the joint pain, which in turn stimulates the blood flow. Or pick the best option for sore muscles treatment – Electrotherapy. Its handy devices can give you instant relief from any kind of joint aches and muscle pains naturally without any side-effects.
The above tips shall definitely help you cure sore muscles, reduce and prevent joint pain. Being alert and taking utmost care shall help minimize the chances of you getting injured.
The chilly mornings, warm blankets, winter is a beautiful season that we all love. But for people living with arthritis, although there is no season or reason for pain, winter can amplify the severity of pain.
During winter, the urge to be a couch potato becomes stronger. A study of exercise habits of more than 1,000 people with knee osteoarthritis revealed that only 13% of the men, and 8% of the women, met the government’s minimum exercise goal (at least 150 minutes a week). In winters, the count may further decline.
By avoiding physical activity in winters, you will only amplify the morning stiffness and joint aches furthermore. Some research suggests that the reason for joint pain and muscle stiffness during winter is because when cold, our body conserves heat and send more of the blood to the vital organs like heart and lungs. Hence our joints receive less blood flow and can feel tight, stiff and uncomfortable.
Don’t worry, to help you enjoy and survive the winter without pain, here are a few simple exercises that you can try without getting out of the bed.
1. Supine hamstring stretch
Stretching your hamstring for 5 minutes daily can improve the strength of your lower muscles.
❖ Lie flat on your back on the bed with right leg bent from the knee
❖ Bring it to your chest slowly
❖ Hold the toes with your right hand and start stretching your leg straight. Bring the lifted leg towards your head until you feel the stretch.
❖ Hold for 30-60 seconds and slowly bend your knee and lower your leg back to the floor. Repeat with your left knee for 5 repetitions.
2. Knee to chest stretch
Strengthen your lower back and glutes with this simple stretch. It is also one of the best knee pain relief exercises.
❖ Lie straight on your back on the bed
❖ Pull the right knee towards your chest using your both hands gently
❖ Hold for 30 seconds or until you feel a throbbing stretch in your leg and the lower back.
❖ Bring your leg back to the starting position
❖ Stretch with the left knee. Do 2 to 3 sets of each knee for the maximum benefit
3. The clam
Known as the best among physiotherapy exercises for knee pain, clamshell exercise strengthens the weak glutes of hips thereby reducing the impact on the knees.
❖ Lie down on one side with your feet together
❖ Bend hips and knees to 90° with shoulders, hips, and feet aligned
❖ Lift top knee up as far as possible while keeping your feet together, then slowly lower it
❖ Repeat 10-15 times on each side
4. Quadriceps stretch
Arthritis in knees can restrict the flexibility and range of motion of the knees. With this stretch, the flexibility of the quadriceps will improve and your knee joint pain will fade away.
❖ Lie down on your stomach
❖ Place your right forearm in the front for support
❖ Slowly bend your left knee and grab the ankle or shin with your left hand
❖ Lift knee off your bed gently until you feel a slight stretch
❖ Hold for a few seconds, repeat alternative sides a few times
Heat is soothing and improves blood flow, decreases stiffness, and sometimes relieves pain. Hence before exercising use your electrotherapy device for better results. Also, take a warm shower after stretching to feel more flexible. You can also ice or UltraCool Pack on your sore muscles after stretch. Remember, exercise eases arthritis pain, increases strength and flexibility, and boosts your energy and a regular practice of it can lessen pain and improve your overall quality of life.
Do you feel chronic aches in your joints a lot lately? When was the last time you soak yourself up in the morning sunshine? You might be wondering what does the sunlight has to do with joint aches, well, your habit of not embracing morning rays is the reason for chronic pains. How? Why? Because that means your body is lacking the sunshine vitamin called ‘D’.
A recent study reported a prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency ranging from 50-94%. Due to the fast-life and 9 to 5 job, our mornings are mostly spent in rushing to work and the entire day, we forget to supply the necessary vitamin D to our body in any form. So let’s understand what is Vitamin D first, its importance or benefits, and how its deficiency can trigger joint pain.
A naturally fat-soluble vitamin that regulates the body’s use of calcium and phosphorus, is a vital nutrient for bone and teeth health and can ward off numerous other health problems. Its deficiency is said to affect both physical and mental health and many of us are unknowingly deficient of it. Our body makes vitamin D when the skin is exposed to the sun, hence the lack of sun exposure is the major reason for vitamin D deficiency in us today.
Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D is measured in the blood as 25 hydroxyvitamin D. The ideal level of it is between 40-80 ng/mL and at below 20 ng/ml, you are considered vitamin D deficient and you may feel the following;
● get sick and infected very often
● fatigue and tiredness
● joint and bone pain
● muscle pain and weakness
● respiratory issues
● neurological concerns including numbness
● slow healing of wounds
● bone & hair loss
Vitamin D deficiency also causes osteomalacia in adults and rickets in children where the bones become soft and weak, autoimmune conditions such as RA, Type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis (MS).
Vitamin D and Joint Pain
Numerous research and study have been conducted in finding a link between vitamin D and chronic pain. And a review of studies from 2016 even showed that people with RA had notably less vitamin D in their blood than people without RA. Another study even showed good relief in the pain symptoms when the participants took vitamin D supplements.
Benefits of Vitamin D
● Sufficient levels of vitamin D are necessary for absorption of other essential vitamins and minerals, particularly calcium and phosphate
● It is important for immune function, inflammation, cell proliferation, and differentiation.
● It can cut down the risk of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension/blood pressure, cancer, inflammation, depression etc.
Sources of Vitamin D
Get some sunlight
Sun triggers the production of vitamin D in our body. Hence it is important to expose our body to the sun for at least 10-15 mins without sunscreen, between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at least twice per week. Please note that darker the skin means you need more sunlight to spark vitamin D production because darker skin absorbs less sunlight compared to lighter one. Also, don’t overexpose yourself or you may get burnt or even skin cancer.
Vitamin D rich foods
In order to minimize the vitamin D deficiency symptoms in adults, one must consume at least 15 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D/day. For that consider including the following in your daily diet;
● oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna (better eat raw in sushi)
● cod liver oil
● fortified foods like cereals, milk, cheese, yoghurt and soy products
● beef liver
● egg yolks
Overdosing yourself with vitamin D is also risky. Hence, check your D levels regularly, eat right and soak in the sun moderately and stay pain-free!