by Andrew Gorecki, Physical Therapist
Pain is a sign. It is a sign that says, “Hey, hold up, there’s something wrong here.”
It is a sign that you have tissue damage.
“Arthritis” literally means, “joint inflammation.”
When you feel pain, there are three things you can do:
“A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses.” – Hippocrates
Walking is by far the single best exercise for long term neck and back health. People who walk 30 minutes or more 6 days a week, enjoy many benefits:
Q: How does walking lead to a healthier spine?
A: Every time you take a step, the spine goes through a small, up and down oscillation (think of an accordion going in and out). The space between the bones in your back does not have a blood supply. So it relies on the up and down movement with walking, jogging or running for nutrients… and for better health.
Swimming and biking have been shown to have similar effects.
“Walking is man’s best medicine.” – Hippocrates
Arthritis, and more specifically osteoarthritis (where pain is in one or more specific joints), usually results from weakness and instability of muscles which control the joint.
15 years ago, the big fad was to do stretches to help arthritis. Recent research on arthritis of the hip, knee, neck and lower back demonstrates that exercises which improve strength are the most effective at reducing joint pain and instability.
“What’s the difference between stretching and strengthening?”
Stretching exercises are usually held for 15 seconds or longer. Think yoga.
Strengthening exercises usually involve repetitions. Think calisthenics (squats, push-ups) or resistance with bands or weights.
“All parts of the body which have a function, if used in moderation and exercised in labors in which each is accustomed, become thereby healthy, well developed and age more slowly, but if unused they become liable to disease, defective in growth and age quickly.” -Hippocrates
Successful Physical Therapy treatment for neck and back arthritis involves three things:
The key is that per recent survey, only 10% of all therapists in the United States do the specific type of therapy which is shown in research to be the best at long term relief for arthritis in the neck and back.
So how do you find the best hands-on PT in your area?
When I answer this for people all over the world on my YouTube Channel, this is what I recommend:
“When you call in to schedule an appointment with your physical therapist (or physiotherapist if in another country), ask if they do a ‘grade 5 lumbo pelvic mobilization’. The receptionist will likely stutter and ask the PT. If the PT says no or hesitates, keep looking.”
You want a physical therapist who is using the latest techniques proven in the research to be the best for you.
OK, the guy who said the above, I never heard of before.
It was Hippocrates who said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”
Here are four fantastic books on how what we eat effects our health (one is by a nutritionist, one a family doctor in New Jersey who has been on Dr. Oz, one a doctor at the Cleveland clinic, one a doctor at Cornell):
This may be the most controversial, but medications, injections, and surgery frequently cause long term damage. This is especially true when they are given when not needed.
Here is why:
In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, What the Dog Saw, he refers to a little coal mining town in the Poconos where arthritis and heart disease were extremely rare in the town. What was the cause of this?
Genetics? No way! Most were Italian…
Occupation? No again…
Researchers and doctors concluded the reason for the almost non-existent rates of arthritis was because of the excellent family and neighbor relations most townspeople had. The community was tight knit. It was known as a super friendly place with good relationships.
Better relationships = less stress = better mental state = healthier joints and bodies.
DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
Superior Physical Therapy does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions or other information that may be mentioned on this website. Reliance on any information appearing on this website is solely at your own risk.