Arthritis causes pain and swelling in various joints of the body, such as knees and thighs’ joints. There are many types of arthritis, but the most common is osteoarthritis (a degenerative joint disease). It develops with age.
The devolutionary changes brought by such arthritis usually occur slowly and over many years. Absence appropriate soft movement and, conversely, overuse of the joints (‘the Parasite and the Chumps’ syndrome’) apply over the years abrasive forces to the joints, which gradually would develop osteoarthritis as a result. Improving the joints’ mobility is a natural way used in order to reduce the burden on them.
The Healthiest and Most Effective Treatment
Studies have demonstrated that people can and should exercise when they suffer from osteoarthritis. In fact, exercise is considered the most effective, non-pharmacological treatment to reduce pain and improve movement in such patients. The problem is that fitness training of individuals afflicted by painful drills usually amplifies their pain, at least in the first stage, which will make it difficult for them to exercise on regular basis.
The Vicious Cycle
No one really wants to hurt themselves. Consequently, softly exercising according to the Softness Method, performed without stretching, exertion or pain (and if there is already pain present, then without any additional pain), can help break this vicious cycle of pain, which forms a desire to avoid movement in order to avoid pain, thus leading to more pain. The first stage goal is to improve the joints’ range of motion and to achieving, in time, continuous and relaxed movement. Later you can add walks or gentle aerobic activity, serving in lieu of such exercises.
Improving the range of one’s movement reduces strain and wear and tear of sore joints; it also improves blood circulation, the metabolic activity and nourishment of the joints and cartilage and produces harmonious movement throughout the body.
Rest While Suffering from an Inflammatory Condition
In general, inflammation thrives in a state of rest. Therefore, gentle and soft movement which is devoid of pain (or does not add pain when it is already present) may improve the sufferer’s condition. Inflammation is characterized among others by the formation of stiffness, especially after and because of rest (e.g., prolonged sitting, sleep). Therefore, gentle and soft movement may release it or reduce the symptoms of it.
It is important to remember that stiffness by its very nature impairs ease of movement, increases load and wear and tear, produces pain, mars posture, physical balance and the quality of sleep
The Effect of Continuous Practice
Many studies have been conducted on the subject of finding out what is the effect of exercise on those who suffer from osteoarthritis. A study was conducted in 2013 on a group of 70-year-old individuals who suffered from osteoarthritis. In the study, subjects were asked to practice Feldenkrais (which, along with physiotherapy, is the basis of the Softness Method I have developed) classes twice a week for six months, at the end of which they reported marked improvements in walking, ease of movement and a significant reduction of pain.
It is gratifying to know that even two years after the study, a large percentage of the subjects continued to use the skills they have acquired. They reported higher levels of functioning and lower levels of pain.
You can find more information is the abstract of this research: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24078825
If, without stretching or pain, effortlessly, one can improve fitness, posture, flexibility and ease of movement, even decrease and eliminate pain along the way, what are we waiting for? For a peek at the Softness, the Strength of Physiotherapy and Feldenkrais Combined program, designed for individuals who are suffering serious pain and who want to nurture their body, even for those suffering from osteoarthritis, click here.