Arthritis, Bursitis, and other Chronic Conditions
The ABCs of a Healthy Back and Hip for Grandma
By Debra L. Karplus, MS
The joy of holding that new grandchild, walking around with him in your arms as he falls asleep, or the pleasure of having his toddler sister bouncing on your lap while you sing familiar songs. But, ouch, your back or hip is constantly aching. You’ve looked online and finally visited your physician who confirmed that you had arthritis or, its ugly cousin, bursitis. Discouraged, you wonder if this is how life will be for the duration.
Every back pain sufferer should explore the effects of ergonomics.
Start to improve your back and hip health by evaluating and maximizing your position when standing, sitting, and lying. When lifting anything, always be sure to bend at the knees. You walk or maybe you do some sort of regular exercise such as tennis or jogging. Be sure you have appropriate well-fitting shoes with adequate arch support. The money you save by purchasing cheap shoes will be spent on medical care for your back; this is an area where spending the extra money is an excellent investment in good health. Visit a shop where an experienced professional will measure your feet and watch you walk to help you select the style and size of shoes specifically for you.
Approximately one-third of your life is spent on your mattress. If it’s older than seven years, it may be time to replace it. Remove the sheets and mattress pad and carefully look at it from the side view. Is it saggy? For six hundred to one thousand dollars, you can purchase a new mattress and foundation, including delivery and set up and removal of the old, with a ten year warranty. It may be time to go mattress shopping.
Next time you are sitting on a chair or sofa, stop for a moment and check your posture. If you’re a shorter-that-average person, it’s likely that your back never fits against the back of your seat. Try putting a pillow behind you to reduce the strain on your lower back.
Alternative remedies can alleviate symptoms of arthritis and bursitis.
Many sufferers of arthritis and bursitis insist that stretching exercises and specifically those in various forms of yoga have nearly cured them of many of their daily aches and pains. Locate a yoga class in your area and try it out. Often there are free classes for first-timers before you commit to a yearly membership or buy a class punch card.
The “itis” in arthritis, bursitis and numerous other ailments and diseases means “inflammation of”. If you look online or in books of alternative remedies, you’ll find many claims of spices you know, specifically ginger and also turmeric (an ingredient in curry) to be helpful in reducing inflammation. Next time you’re at the grocery, head to the spice section and buy a container of turmeric or ginger, or better yet, some fresh ginger root, and experiment with their uses in your kitchen. You may feel some subtle improvements in your health, particularly on cool, damp weather days.
Also simple to try at home is moist heat. A warm bath can do wonders for your achy joints; or for about ten dollars at your pharmacy, you can get a pack that goes in your microwave for about a minute and works as a type of heating pad. Amazingly, it’ll maintain its heat for about an hour.
A plethora of professionals can relieve your pain.
Acupuncture, chiropractic, and physical therapy are available nearly everywhere. They use modalities to relieve your pain. If all else fails, get a referral from your physician.
Life with your grandchildren will be much more enjoyable when you are pain-free. Get a medical diagnosis first. Then try some simple remedies on your own to give your grandchildren your best you.