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Yoga for Arthritis: The Complete Guide Book Review

Introduction

Dr. Loren Fishman has teamed up with Ellen Saltonstall, a certified Anusara Yoga instructor, to write Yoga for Arthritis: The Complete Guide. The 2 have also collaborated on Yoga for Osteoporosis: the Complete Guide.

Dr. Fishman serves as Medical Director of Manhattan Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in New York City. (For more information visit ManhattanPhysicalMedicine.com.) He has authored or co-authored 10 books, written 90 academic articles, and is recognized as a pioneer in the treatment of inflammation and pain. He is recognized for his research in scoliosis, piriformis syndrome, osteoporosis, rotator cuff syndrome, back pain and arthritis.

He serves as a member of the staff at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, and is a past president of the New York Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He has written 5 separate books regarding the healing effects of yoga on certain medical conditions. He has recommended yoga to his patients for 35 years, and is also a practicing yogi. He spent one year training with legendary yogi BKS Iyengar in India.

Ellen Saltonstall learned about human anatomy and physical therapy as a result of her early career in dance. She found yoga to be an effective form of physical and mental therapy, and went on to receive her RYT (registered yoga training) certification. She now teaches nationally and abroad, and helps develop certification guidelines and curriculum for Anusara Yoga.

The Idea

The foundation for this book began years ago. Dr. Fishman traveled to India after he received his bachelors degree in Philosophy at Christ Church, Oxford in the United Kingdom. He studied several different alternative healing methods, and found yoga to be the perfect companion to traditional Western medicine for the relief of pain from several chronic conditions.

Ellen Saltonstall discovered yoga as a way to treat the pain she experienced as a dancer. She began studying and practicing yoga, long before she and Dr. Fishman decided to co-author Yoga for Arthritis: The Complete Guide. Saltonstall went on to offer anatomy and therapy trainings, teacher trainings, and private classes and yoga sessions. While offering tele-seminars on multiple therapeutic studies through her YogaTherapyWeb.com website she met Dr. Fishman, and the idea for Yoga for Arthritis was born.

How the Book Is Laid Out

Yoga for Arthritis: The Complete Guide is available in paperback form or as a Kindle digital download for immediate consumption. This review was based on the Kindle e-book, however, the information is the same for both publishing formats.

After a Dedication aimed at yoga teachers, the book begins with a Table of Contents. This moves into a handy List of Illustrations. While illustrations to help you correctly form particular yoga poses are contained throughout the book, these 21 illustrations show different physiological alignments and body parts. You are also shown how Anusara yoga principles help properly realign different joints that have been knocked out of whack by arthritis.

Next up is a List of Tables. These 10 tables familiarize you with the different types of motion and intensities of action that take place in joints and other areas affected by arthritis. The authors thank their teachers, such as BKS Iyengar, John Friend and Others, in an Acknowledgments section. You are then taken to the Introduction of Yoga for Arthritis.

Early on in the introduction you learn that “Arthritis restricts movement, yoga increases your range of motion – these two were made for each other.” Gravity couples with the way the human body is made to put pounding, flexing pressure on joints, ligaments and muscles. Yoga has been proven to actually “improve the microenvironment of the cartilage and elastic parts of structures they protect”, thus increasing flexibility and stability, and decreasing pain.

Chapter 1, simply titled Arthritis, assumes nothing, and begins by asking the question What Is Arthritis?. You learn here that arthritis is literally translated as “joint inflammation”. You also get an understanding of how healthy joints work, and the way that arthritis works on your more than 140 joints to limit flexibility and range of motion, and cause pain.

This chapter contains an informative section titled What Goes Wrong in Osteoarthritis?. Osteoarthritis is the most common forms of arthritis, a broad term used to refer to the more than 100 different types of arthritic conditions. It most frequently accompanies aging, but can also arise from obesity or injury to your joints.

Osteoarthritis often increases in severity over years. It affects joints by causing pain and a shorter range of motion, but doesn’t produce physical sickness or fatigue like some types of arthritis. Basically, this causes because cartilage gradually breaks down. This can lead to problems performing simple actions such as combing your hair, gripping objects, walking or simply getting dressed.

Chapters 2 through 5 are concerned with the explanation of exactly what yoga is. You get to know the Physiology of Yoga, how performing certain physical postures and poses actually works to deliver specific health rewards and pain relief. You are also shown why asanas (yoga poses) need to be performed in a very particular way, as well as some tips on how to hold each pose correctly.

Chapters 6 through 13 address individual body parts where arthritis pain commonly attacks. In each of these chapters specific yoga poses and strategies are discussed to lessen arthritic symptoms. The chapters are titled as follows:

Chapter 6 – The shoulders

Chapter 7 – The hips

Chapter 8 – The lumbar spine

Chapter 9 – The cervical spine

Chapter 10 – The knees

Chapter 11 – The sacroiliac joints

Chapter 12 – The wrists and hands

Chapter 13 – The feet and ankles

Chapter 14 addresses how yoga can be used to treat Scoliosis effectively as a pain relief therapy. Chapter 15 is titled Ankylosing Spondylitis, an inflammatory disease which causes separate spinal vertebrae to fuse together. This makes your spine less flexible than normal, and can result in a “hunched over” posture. This chapter is dedicated to practicing specific yoga poses to help add flexibility to your spine if you suffer from this debilitating condition.

Appendices include an Alphabetical Index of Poses, Poses by Chapter and Alignment Principles from Anusara Yoga. These sections help you quickly locate particular poses previously mentioned in the book. The book closes with a Glossary, a Notes section and a list of Resources for further study.

Who Benefits from Yoga for Arthritis: The Complete Guide?

If you are one of the 350 million people in the world that has some form of arthritis, this book offers hope. It can help whether you are young or old, male or female, and regardless of your culture or religious beliefs. It serves as a simple and easy to use guide for arthritis treatment. Specific yoga poses are revealed which have been proven to effectively treat, and lessen, the painful symptoms brought on by different forms of arthritis. If you or someone you know suffers from this debilitating condition that robs your independence and mobility, you should consider picking up a copy of Yoga for Arthritis: The Complete Guide.

Strangely enough, you don’t necessarily have to suffer from arthritis to benefit from this book. Yoga has been used in the East for centuries as a pain-relief tool. Inflammation is at the heart and soul of many chronic diseases. In many cases, inflammation can be increased, or even caused, by stress. Yoga is an excellent stress relief tool, so it makes the perfect natural pain-relief therapy as well. Whatever your age, arthritis or not, this yoga-based book offers pain-relief and mental health benefits.

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What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects nearly 3 million people in the US. The condition appears mainly in women (at a ratio of around 9 to 1 compared with men), typically between the ages of 30 and 50. Unlike osteoarthritis (OA), which is caused by structural issues due to wear and tear on the body through injury and the process of aging, RA is an auto-immune disorder. This mean the body starts to attack itself for no reason that is yet understood.

Depositphotos_65937379_m-2015OA usually affects the knees and hips. RA usually affects wrists and hands, and ankles and feet. The disease also tends to be symmetrical, that is, affect both sides of the body, such as both hands at the same time.

With RA, the body’s immune system starts to attack the synovium, the lining of the joints, which helps keep them lubricated with synovial fluid. The inflamed synovium invades and destroys the cartilage and bone within the joint. The surrounding muscles, ligaments, and tendons that support and stabilize the joint become weak and unable to work normally. Over time, this will twist and deform the bones.

RA mostly affects the hands, leading to a gnarled, twisted appearance, especially in the fingers. This makes it difficult to perform the basic activities of daily living (ADLs) like getting washed and dressed, and preparing meals.

RA also affects the entire body, resulting in fatigue, intermitted fevers, and an overall loss of energy. Those with RA also have to be careful of heart-health issues.

In order to prevent severe damage from RA, exercise is essential, followed by periods of rest. However, rest periods can make a person feel stiffer, and that stiffness can last throughout the day, as compared with OA, in which the stiffness will usually last no more than 30 minutes after rising.

RA can be very unpredictable, with cases varying in severity, and symptoms changing over time. In some cases, a person might have flare-ups, sudden severe symptoms, and then feel fine until the next flare-up. In other cases, the symptoms are always present.

RA is a chronic illness, that is, one which lasts a long time and at the present, there is no cure, only a range of both natural and prescription treatments.

The goal of treatment is to relieve the warmth, redness, swelling, and pain in the joints. If you suspect you have RA, early treatment is best to try prevent disabling damage.

21 Steps to Better Self-Care If You Have Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, or OA, is caused by the wear and tear on our joints as we age. It can be caused by normal activities over time, the loss of collagen and cartilage as we age, which are like shock absorbers and lubricants in our joints, and injury, such as a sports injury.

OA affects more than 27 million Americans of all ages, but usually hits after 45. Good health is all about prevention if possible, through proper self-care. Taking care of your joints so they will take care of you is important, but if you are already suffering from the effects of OA, there are many simple things you can do at home to get relief from your OA.

The treatment option/s you choose will depend on where the pain is located, how severe it is, and how much time you are willing to set aside to take better care of yourself. In a few instances, you might the help of a partner or perhaps a professional such as a massage therapist to come to your home.

Natural methods for OA pain relief include:

1. resting when you are sore
2. physical therapy after an injury
3. custom workout routines to target trouble spots to maintain mobility
4. not sitting for too many hours
5. not hunching over a desk or computer
6. not doing the same tasks over and over again, which can lead to repetitive stress injury
7. gentle, easy stretching in the morning
8. gentle stretching before and after each exercise session
9. strengthening your core muscles with yoga, tai chi, resistance bands and crunches
10. yoga for flexibility and pain relief
11. cold therapy – apply an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel
12. heat therapy –use a heating pad or hot water bottle
13. hydrotherapy –use water to soothe. Take a warm bath or shower, soak in a warm tub, or work out in a pool.
14. getting enough sleep
15. sleeping on a supportive bed
16. sitting in a supportive chair
17. using assistive aids such as a knee brace or shoe orthotics
18. meditation for pain and stress relief
19. stress-relief to ease tension and tight muscles
20. better posture sitting and standing
21. massage therapy, either from your loved one or a professional therapist

At least a few of these should work well, so set a schedule and journal about your success, and see what a difference each can make to your OA pain.

Should I Exercise If I Have Osteoarthritis?

One of the most common questions asked in relation to osteoarthritis (OA) is whether or not you should exercise. If people have sore and inflamed joints, the last thing they might wish to do was to start working out. However, moderate exercise according to your level of ability and mobility can often be the best way to preserve function and help you lead a mobile and independent life for as long as possible despite your arthritis.

Arthritis is a chronic condition. This means it is long term and is not going to go away. There is no cure for arthritis at the present time. However, there are many different self-care strategies which have been shown to be effective in relieving the pain of arthritis, including exercise.

One of the main causes of pain is the stiffness that is associated with arthritis. This causes a limited range of mobility. The more you rest, the stiffer you will become. The stiffer you become, the more pain you will experience. Therefore, gentle exercise is the best way to keep your joints as healthy as possible and relieve pain.

The current recommendations for adults in the US is 150 minutes of aerobic activity, and two 30-minute strength training sessions per week. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t get anywhere near that, but if you have OA, it’s time to get up and get moving.

Aerobic activity raises the heart rate to work the most important muscle in your body, the heart. Walking at a moderately brisk pace, doing aerobics or Zumba, swimming or doing aerobics in the water, or cycling, are all low impact and suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels.

The US Surgeon General’s recommendation to take 10,000 steps a day is based on the suggested 150 minutes per week outlined as the minimum to stay fit. All the steps in your day count, from commuting to work and shopping, to any dedicated walking sessions you might wish to do.

Strength training builds muscles. Options include light weights, resistance bands, tai chi, and yoga. The latter two are particularly effective when it comes to OA. They improve range of motion and flexibility. They are also useful for relieving pain due to the mind-body connection through the meditative movements of each exercise.

If you’ve been sitting too much because you are in pain, it’s time to expand your horizons with some new workouts. Then see what a difference they can make to your health and OA pain.

What is Osteoarthritis (OA)?

OA is the most common type of arthritis, affecting more than 27 million people in the US alone, usually over the age of 45.With life expectancy on the rise, it is important to care for your joints to maintain your quality of life for as long as possible

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a painful disease that mostly affects the cartilage in the joints. Cartilage is the spongy and slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint and acts as a shock absorber and lubricant for the joint. Healthy cartilage allows the bones to glide over each other smoothly.

However, as we age, our cartilage can start to thin and wear away, which allows the bone ends under the cartilage to wear away. The bone ends rubbing together can cause pain, swelling, loss of motion of the joint, and a lack of flexibility. Over time, it can produce significant disability if proper measures aren’t taken to care for the joints.

OA can be complicated by osteoporosis, a thinning of the bone, which can produce rough, pitted bone surfaces, and bone spurs. These can cause pain and further damage, especially if tendons and ligaments stretch over them when you are moving, causing the ‘snap, crackle and pop’ we associate with older, creaking joints.

OA can also be the result of injury from sports, or from vehicle-related accidents. Extreme sports when young can all add up to wear and tear over time, and eventually require joint replacement, such as knee replacement surgery. Middle-aged ‘weekend warriors’ are also prone to overdoing things when they finally do exercise.

A complicating factor of OA is weight. Being overweight puts a lot of pressure on all the joints, particularly hips and knees. As the bones begin to grind together, fragments of bone or cartilage can snap off and float inside the joint capsule, causing even more pain and damage.

People with OA often avoid working out because of their joint pain, but this will lead to even more damage, reduced motion, and pain. The pain is also caused by inflammation in the body, that is, persistent irritation. We are not yet sure what causes inflammation, but some people with OA have had success in relieving their symptoms though an anti-inflammatory diet of healthy foods, and lowering their stress levels.

If your aches and pains are becoming more frequent, visit your doctor for lab tests to determine whether or not they are symptoms of arthritis.

Protecting Your Joints When Walking

Walking can be an excellent exercise for those with arthritis if they observe some simple but essential safety precautions. The precautions will depend on which type of arthritis a person suffers from.

 jogging on a trail

Osteoarthritis, or OA, is the result of normal wear and tear on the body that comes from aging and sometimes injury. The main symptoms are joint pain, and sometimes popping and cracking, a condition known as crepitus, as the ligaments and tendons stretch.  Movement can be restricted due to stiffness and pain, but the truth is that joint health is a case of ” use it or lose it” with OA.

The more you sit still, the stiffer you will get. If you do try to exercise, you will experience pain, so you will sit still, get stiffer, and so on. Walking can help keep you mobile, improve your range of motion, and reduce stiffness. It will also burn calories, which will help you to lose weight. Losing weigh will take the pressure off knees, hips and back. Experts estimate that every 1 pound lost is the equivalent of 4 pounds of pressure off your knees when you step down.

Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is an autoimmune disorder in which the body starts to attack itself most specifically the feet, ankles, wrists and ankles. Exercise is a must if you have RA in order to try to prevent severe damage as the RA attacks the joints.

A good pair of walking shoes with proper support and cushioning can keep your workouts pain free. Try to walk on an even surface to reduce the risk of trips and falls. Vary your intensity by walking up and down stairs as you are able.  In particular, be careful of walking downstairs, as this can put a lot of pressure on joints such as the knee if you have OA and are overweight.

Avoid carrying too much weight when you are walking, and be sure to stretch gently at the start and end of each walking session. Avoid rugged terrain that can cause you to twist your ankle or knee. Start gradually to avoid shin splints, microtears in the muscles at the front of your legs, which can make every step agony.

A walking program can help increase your flexibility, strength, and build bone and muscle to support healthier joints. So what are you waiting for? Lace up your walking shoes and walk your way to better joint health.

Are You at Risk for Developing Osteoarthritis?

The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA). Three main causes are aging of the joints, obesity, and injury.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can vary widely from patient to patient, and can be intermittent with long pain-free periods of affected knees and hands. The most common symptoms are joint pain, especially with repetitive use of the joint, and it usually gets worse as the day wears on. Swelling and creaking or grating of the joint may be common, and the joint can be warm to the touch. There may be tenderness to the joint when light pressure is applied.

Stiffness of the joint is another symptom, which can occur after a period of inactivity or when first waking in the morning.

Cartilage is a firm tissue that is found normally on the ends of bones to cushion joint movement. As the cartilage deteriorates, the slick surface becomes rough, or completely wears away. When OA becomes severe, total destruction of the cartilage on the ends of the bones creates friction as bone rubs against bone. This can cause limited range of motion of the joint, and pain. Extra fragments of bone, called bone spurs, may develop around the affected joint and feel like hard lumps under the skin.

Other organs are not affected by osteoarthritis, unlike rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus , or other types of arthritis.

What are the risk factors?

There are certain factors that put you at increased risk of developing osteoarthritis. Aging, obesity, and joint Injuries, as from an accident or from playing sports, are a few of the risk factors. The extra weight you may be carrying if you are overweight stresses the weight-bearing joints of hips and knees. Adipose or fat tissue produces certain proteins that can cause joints to become inflamed.

Being female is another risk factor; it is not known why but women tend to be more susceptible to developing OA. Also, if you have a job that requires repetitive stress on a particular joint, that joint may likely be prone to developing osteoarthritis.

Genetics can play a part also; a tendency for developing osteoarthritis can be inherited. And the risk of developing OA is greater in those born with deformed joints or that have a cartilage defect.

Other rheumatic illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout, or even diabetes, can put you at increased risk of developing OA.

Daily tasks can be difficult to carry out if pain and stiffness of the joints becomes severe. Any joint can be affected, but the joints most commonly hit are knees, hands, hip and spine.

Osteoarthritis is a progressive, degenerative disease that worsens over time, with no cure. However, an active lifestyle and healthy weight maintenance, along with other treatments, can retard the progression of the disease and minimize pain while providing much improvement to joint function.

References:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteoarthritis/basics/definition/con-20014749

http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/

 

 

Chinese culture holds the key to ending joint pain?

Read this special report now to discover how to naturally defeat your achy, swollen joints…Once and for all!

Hidden inside this report is an astonishing medical marvel…

…A chinese pain relief secret proven to melt away your joint and muscle pain that’s going to have many rheumatologists, cardiologists, and orthopedic surgeons frustrated.

Perhaps even downright furious.

Because let’s face it…

Even though what i’m about to share with you has a long history of use,  in ayurvedic and traditional chinese medicine.

joint_inflammation

And even though modern science and clinical studies (which i’ll be sharing a couple examples of in a moment) have proven its ability to banish muscle and joint pain…

You’re probably not going to hear about it from your doctor any time soon.

First, because it’s all-natural, inexpensive, and you don’t need a prescription.

But mainly because modern medical wisdom, as you’d probably agree, prefers to mask your pain with overpriced band-aid “fixes”:

The drugs loaded with side effects, the replacement surgeries, and the painful injections, right?

So while you’re putting some doctor’s kid through college, your pain relief is often on….

Click here to read the rest of this report

Gout is possibly the worst joint inflammation of them all

Not all joint inflammations are created equal and gout is supposedly the worst of them all, reading the article that just appeared in the English paper The Independent, I pray the lord I’ll be spared from this pain. but than again it might be much smarter to adapt my lifestyle so as to increase my chances:

 Gout: What is it, what are the symptoms and how is it treated?
Gout diagnoses have doubled since 1990. It affects 1 in 40 adults in the UK, mainly men aged between 30 and 60

My medical school lecture on the subject of gout began with a picture of King Henry VIII – the archetypal king of excess. It’s therefore understandable that patients are surprised when diagnosed with a condition that could just as easily be associated with the modern diet. While gout has somehow retained its reputation as the “Disease of Kings”, the reality is that it doesn’t discriminate.

Gout is a disease caused by inflammation within a joint. A chemical in the blood called uric acid works to break down a substance called purine. If there is too much uric acid in the body, it crystallises to form deposits in the joints, tendons and tissues. These deposits cause the inflammation that we refer to as gout.

Excruciatingly painful

Gout diagnoses have doubled since 1990. It affects 1 in 40 adults in the UK, mainly men aged between 30 and 60. The big toe is the joint most commonly affected. Symptoms typically include a red, hot, swollen joint that is excruciatingly painful, often with a rapid onset. It can be difficult to determine if a patient is suffering from gout or an infection in the joint, as both appear quite similar. For that reason, patients should see their GP if symptoms develop..

You can read on at this link :http://ind.pn/1HcVbsn

Lose Weight for Better Joint Health

Lose Weight for Better Joint Health

Your body is an amazing network of bones and muscles, tendons, nerves and more. By maintaining a healthy body weight, you give your body the ability to stay at optimal performance.

When you carry more weight than your body frame was supposed to support, you may start to notice aches and pains in your ankles, in your knees and in other joint areas. At times, it might even feel like you can barely move.

Or you might discover that sitting still for a few minutes and then getting up makes you feel a lot older than you really are because it hurts to straighten upright. You might even find yourself starting to limit activities you used to enjoy doing because of the pain in your joints.

The reason that you have the pain is because a lot of pressure is being put on those joint areas. Then when you develop joint pain, the last thing you think about is exercising because it hurts the joints when you move around a lot.

But even losing just ten percent of your overall body weight can make the pain ease up – plus you’ll find that you’re able to move around easier, too. You might think that carrying an extra twenty pounds is no big deal, but what you might not understand is how that multiplies the pressure on your joints.

Carrying twenty extra pounds can equal a pressure equivalent to sixty pounds of pressure felt in and against your joints. It’s no wonder that weight can cause joint pain. For each pound over your ideal weight, you should multiply by three – that will tell you how much pressure your joints are feeling.

If you have pain in your knee joints for any reason, then extra weight can cause pain and difficulty walking even short distances. By taking off the weight, you lower the pressure against your knees, which makes walking easier.

Exercise that’s low impact can help you shed pounds and give your knees much needed relief. Walking is one low impact way to lose weight and gain better joint health. Swimming is especially good for exercising – even if you don’t have joint problems because the water offers support for your body while you’re working out.

Losing weight doesn’t just give you better joint health, but it can also help alleviate pain from conditions such as arthritis. Once you start exercising and losing weight, you’ll also notice that your joints aren’t as stiff and that it’s easier to get out of bed in the morning.

You’ll also find that by keeping your body at a healthy weight, you can maintain long-term pressure management and keep your joints healthier a lot longer.

Check out this very interesting video interview: