Hope you are having a Pil-easant Week!
I would like to touch upon a topic that is becoming a worldwide concern yet I feel that people lack the understanding on addressing this important condition which is why I chose to write about it.
Just like the Title says, the topic is “Arthritis” – which in simple terms is known as joint disease. There are several types of Arthritis and can attack anyone at any age; however, the condition is mostly common amongst women who are older.
Symptoms of Arthritis include (but not limited to):
- Joint Pains / Chronic Pains
- Reduced Movement or Range of Motion;
- Crooked Finger Joints;
- Difficulty in Walking / Climbing Stairs;
- Difficulty in managing daily activities / Limited Mobility.
The condition severity differs from person to person, i.e.,
- the pain can be mild or severe;
- the pain can come and go;
- the pain can stay for a short period of time or for years;
There are different types of Arthritis such as:
Degenerative Arthritis; – This is the most common form, whereby, the cartilage (which is the natural fluid between the bones) wears off causing the bones to rub against each other and this leads to pain.
Causes: Family history, Obesity, Historical Injury…etc.
Inflammatory Arthritis; This is when the immune system is attacked due to unrestrained inflammation in the body which harms the joints and may affect other internal organs such as the eyes, lungs, heart, kidneys…etc.
Causes: Genetics, Environmental Exposures, Smoking…etc.
Types: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis
Infectious Arthritis; This is when a certain virus, bacteria or fungus attacks the joints and initiate extreme levels of inflammation. The pain can become chronic if not treated with proper care or medication.
Causes: Salmonella, Shigella, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Hepatitis C…etc.
Types: Septic Arthritis
Metabolic Arthritis; This is when Uric Acid levels in the blood are very high that it results in the formation of crystals in between the joints, tissues and tendons. The built up of Uric Acid results in needle-type of pain in the joints and can become chronic if not taken care of.
Causes: High Levels of Uric Acid, Excessive Consumption of Meat, Seafood, Beer, Overweight…etc.
Arthritis is a very deep topic, so I will not go further into various details. If the symptoms are not very severe, medication along with a healthy exercise routine as well as diet is important. The point is to maintain body activeness whilst taking rest and listening to your body at the same time.
How Can Pilates Help?
- Pilates exercises involve controlled movements in the form of stretching, strengthening and lengthening of the muscles. Over time, the body builds flexibility and endurance towards the effects of Arthritis;
- Pilates exercises creates further lubrication of the joints which enhances the range of motion. Movement of the joints become smoother due to less friction and therefore, pain in the joints are reduced;
- Pilates machines and equipment (ex: Reformer, Cadillac, Barrel, Flexbands, Pilates rings) modify the exercises and positions according to the patient’s joints positions and limitations. Overtime, patients become aware of their body’s progress based on movement capabilities;
- Pilates exercises done consistently and correctly helps the patient to lose the excess weight that could be one of the causes of Inflammatory or Metabolic Arthritis;
- Pilates involves teaching correct and controlled breathing; this helps the individual to feel good and be able to face the condition with endurance and power!
The key is to ensure that Pilates exercises are done with Precision, Skill, Care to achieve utmost results rather than doing a repetition of exercises. A great amount of concentration is required by the patient to balance the breathing as well as doing the exercises in the correct form. In any case, consulting with a Dr. is a must before practicing Pilates or any sport for a patient with this pathology.
Lots of Love, Patricia.