Tai Chi for Arthritis Relief
Gentle movements of the ancient Chinese exercise tai chi are one of many alternatives to help elderly people find pain relief.
More Alternatives for Arthritis Pain continued...
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA): This procedure can also
reduce pain. An electrical current produced by a radio wave is used to heat up
a small area of nerve tissue, thereby decreasing pain signals from that
specific area. RFA can be used to help patients with chronic (long-lasting)
low-back and neck pain and pain related to the degeneration of joints from
arthritis, as well as some forms of cancer-related pain. The degree of pain
relief varies, depending on the cause and location of the pain. Pain relief
from RFA can last from six to 12 months and in some cases, relief can last for
years. More than 70% of patients treated with RFA experience pain relief.
Acupressure: This technique is similar to acupuncture, but
it uses fingertip pressure rather than needles. Acupuncture actually evolved
from acupressure. The pressure of fingertips on tender areas can help relieve
pain by dispersing lactic acid that builds up in target areas. It is a safe
technique that you can teach yourself.
Chiropractic: A chiropractor treats diseases by
manipulating the spine and other body structures, based on the belief that many
diseases are caused by pressure, especially of the vertebrae, on nerves. Many
people believe very strongly in this therapy because they do get pain relief
from the manipulations. Check the credentials of anyone administering this
Massage Therapy: Massage is an ancient form of pain
management and stress relief. Our lives today tend to be stress-filled, and
massage is one way to help us relax our muscles and let our bodies be
refreshed. As you read this you can probably identify areas of stress in your
body. Are your shoulders tense? Is your neck stiff? Are you clenching your
teeth? All this tension really aggravates the pain of arthritis. Massage is a
way to help us relax and allow the blood to flow naturally through our
Reflexology: This treatment is based on the concept that
the muscles and organs of the body are affected by specific areas of the feet.
When pressure is applied to these areas of the soles of the feet, other
locations of the body relax.
Flotation Therapy: Floating in a pool filled with Epsom
salts in a room with restricted light and sound is relaxing and therapeutic.
The combination of relaxation, weightlessness, and the Epsom salts has been
documented to relieve pain partly by stimulating endorphin production.
Flotation tanks are used in clinics to treat persons with chronic pain, to
reduce anxiety, and to treat addictive behaviors like cigarette smoking.
Heat Treatment: Perhaps the oldest known treatment for
arthritis is simply a hot bath. People have been going to resorts with hot
mineral springs for centuries. Heat can be found in a hot bath, hot pack, or a
heating pad. Another method of heat application is hot paraffin. Paraffin baths
are simply heated containers filled with melted paraffin and wintergreen oil.
Beauty salons use them as a hand treatment, but for arthritis sufferers these
baths are a way to get deep heat to the small joints in the hands or feet.
After dipping the hand a dozen times to coat it with hot paraffin, you wrap it
with plastic, cover it with a towel, and leave it until it is cool. The
paraffin baths can be found at medical supply firms.