Arthritic pain can flare up in your back or shoulders. If you have arthritis in your back, you may be tempted not to exercise, even though it is very important to encourage a range of movement so that your back does not completely stiffen and cease up. Painful symptoms may be keeping you immobile.
Many people have found that acupuncture helps to deal with arthritic back pain. Acupuncture, as you probably know, is an ancient Chinese treatment involving the insertion of needles into specific points on your body.
The advantage of trying acupuncture for an arthritic condition is that, unlike painkillers, acupuncture treatments can be adapted to your specific condition. Depending on what is causing your back pain, how severe it is, and how long you have had it, acupuncture can attempt to realign the imbalances that have led to inflammation in the bones of your spine or shoulders.
Acupuncture can stimulate the nervous system to release natural neuron chemicals. These chemicals, like serotonin, endorphins and cortisol, return your body to normal balance and reduce pain and inflammation. In one clinical trial, 80 patients with confirmed cases of osteoarthritis of the knee were given acupuncture. Based on results, researchers concluded that acupuncture could be an effective treatment for knee osteoarthritis.
Acupuncture treatments are not painful — the needles used are very thin and pass easily and effortlessly into the surface of the skin.
You can combine acupuncture treatments with specific exercises and stretches that help loosen up your back. Alternate some of these stretches with half-hour rest periods where your back is immobile. Lie flat on the floor if you can and put a pillow under your knees for support. You should try to do the exercises regularly — doing them once won’t help much. Set aside a specific time each day and give yourself the time and attention you need to complete them. You can even do them twice a day to keep your back loosened up.
Once some of your back pain goes away, you can start to incorporate other forms of exercise back into your life. Biking, walking and swimming are all great ways to keep limber, strong and healthy. Manage your weight by eating a healthy, balanced diet. Extra weight puts a definite strain on the spine and back muscles. Vitamin C, vitamin E, and calcium could all help improve muscle and bone strength. Consider taking supplements while you are doing your exercise routine.