Osteoarthritis, I Think I’ve Got You Beat!

 

Big shout out to my trainer, David Luis at the Chinatown Y. We have been working together since January (one session a week), and I cannot believe how much better I feel.

  •  So much more flexibility and I rarely need to take an aspirin for pain. Earlier in the year, I was taking aspirin-for-arthritis at least once a day, now it is once every couple of weeks.
  • Depending on what you’re looking to achieve, specific exercises can be hit and miss.
  • But David has added two new exercises to my daily regimen that have had a remarkable affect on my flexibility, mobility and pain levels.
  • The two new additions are kneeling side walk and standing alternating knee to elbow

And again, for those of you not familiar with osteoarthritis: it is the most common chronic condition affecting joints. More than 30 million Americans have osteoarthritis. It most frequently occurs in the hands, hips and knees. It will impact half of all people in the world at some point in their lives.

Read on below for more info, including the nine signs that you’re in good shape.

 

9 SIGNS YOU’RE IN GOOD SHAPE (Source: This Is Insider)

#1 You can touch your toes.

  • If you can touch your toes, you have pretty good flexibility.
  • Stand up, bend at your waist, and try to touch your toes.

#2 Your heart rate falls quickly after a workout.

  •  Are you out of breath for a while and noticeably tired after a hard workout?
  • Or do you recover quickly?

#3 You don’t have extra belly or thigh fat.

  •  There is a link between excess body fat and fitness level.
  • They are early signs of metabolic syndrome: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol.

#4 Your body moves easily.

  •  Pain-free movement makes a huge difference in overall quality of life.
  • Being able to get up out of a chair with ease or go for a long walk without struggling or having to stop because you’re in pain are all indicators that you are in good shape.

#5 You start sweating early in an activity.

  •  If you find yourself sweating quickly after you start moving around, it’s a good sign.

#6 You can accomplish everyday tasks.

  •  If you need help completing some (or all) of your daily tasks, it could be a sign of injury or illness.
  • Staying active and moving more will keep you fitter, longer.

#7 Your posture is perfect (or close to it).

  •  Like flexibility, good posture is imperative for keeping your body safe from injury.
  • It can also indicate that your core muscles and leg muscles are strong, which is a definite plus.

#8 You play sports for fun

  •  You don’t have to play sports seriously to reap benefits.
  • If you play even occasionally, it’s a sign that you’re in good shape.

#9 You refuse to sit all day

  • The longer you sit, the greater your risk of dying from associated complications and diagnoses.
  • Sitting for less than 30 minutes at one time — and then getting up to stretch and move around — gives you the best outcomes and lowest risk of early death.

 

OSTEOARTHRITIS UPDATE:

The risk for osteoarthritis increases with age. Most people will start getting symptoms by age 65.

  •  Being overweight is a risk factor since extra weight puts additional pressure on your knees and hips which will hasten wear and tear and bring it on sooner.
  • Treatment includes being active. As counter intuitive as it may seem if you’re in pain, getting regular physical exercise is CRUCIAL. Exercise helps keep your joints flexible and can help you maintain balance.
  • Research shows that physical activity not only decreases pain but it also improves function and can delay disability.

 

WEARABLE SENSORS FOR OSTEOARTHRITIS THERAPY (Source: Medical News Bulletin)

Research published in the Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation describes a new tool helping doctors and clinicians predict how patients might respond to physical therapy.

  • Wearable sensors, attached to a patient’s back, thigh, shank, or foot, were used to collect data
  • Patients then underwent what researchers call a “gait analysis
  • The patients then completed a six-week hip strengthening exercise that targeted their hip and core.
  • At the end of the study, researchers collated data from all the sensor placements and found an 81.7% accuracy rate. Out of all the sensor placements, the thigh was the most predictive of improvement while the back was the worst.

Scientists believe the use of the sensor system could be a critical tool for clinicians and patients alike. By allowing doctors to predict how patients might respond to physiotherapy, patients can expect faster health improvements and fewer surgeries.

The study was led by Dr. Dylan Kobsar, at the University of Calgary.

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