January 13, 2012

Is this the most cost effective treatment for arthritis ever?

One of my most controversial recommendations is for arthritis sufferers. That’s because I tell my osteoarthritis patients to exercise. Why would that be controversial? Because it flies in the face of medicine, which for years told those with degenerating joints to take it easy. I’ve seen exercise work wonders for my patients, so I know it works. And, years ago, a study showed that even mild exercise can help you sustain your mobility. Now two new studies confirm that exercise can significantly reduce arthritis pain.

In this study, researchers used leptin-obese mice. Leptin is a hormone that helps regulate appetite. Without it, the mice eat more, which causes their obesity. And obesity is a major factor for osteoarthritis. It increases clusters of biochemical markers that are common to osteoarthritis.
These measurable markers include fat tissues, inflammation, and glucose intolerance. As these go up in humans, so does arthritis pain.

Researchers allowed one group of obese mice to exercise freely. They ran an average of 3.5 miles every night on a wheel, and ate enough to prevent weight loss. The control group did not exercise. After four weeks, the average weight of the two groups remained the same. However, the exercise group had less arthritic symptoms than did the control group. The fat tissues, inflammation, and glucose intolerance all came down. We don’t know if the pain levels came down, as mice can’t tell us if they’re in pain. But when these markers come down in humans, pain levels come down as well.

And another similar study in humans confirms this. In this study, from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, researchers looked at 250 participants ages 60 and older. All of the participants had osteoarthritis of the knee, but could still perform normal activities.

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The researchers divided the participants into three groups. According to the Associate Press, “One walked for 40 minutes three times a week. Another spent the same amount of time on weight training – two sets of 12 repetitions of nine exercises, most of them for the legs. The third did no exercise and served as a comparison group.”

The results? “After 18 months, 53% of the non-exercise group reported they had lost some or all ability to transfer from a bed to a chair, bathe, use the toilet or dress. In comparison, about 37% of exercisers did, and the difference between walking and weight training was so slight that researchers considered the benefits alike.”

This study didn’t mention pain specifically, as it focused only on mobility. But pain governs mobility. When arthritis sufferers can’t move, it’s because of pain. So this study confirms that exercise will reduce pain levels.

I’ve noticed in my patients a significant difference in health among overweight people who exercise and those who don’t. Exercise can overcome a lot of the bad effects of a poor diet. And here we see that exercise alone, without any change in diet or weight, can reduce the pain and physical damage of arthritis.

Exercise is free. So if you suffer from osteoarthritis, don’t take it easy. Get moving. You don’t have to run a half-marathon every day. Gardening, walking, riding a bike, anything can help.

If pain keeps you from exercising, supplements can help. Advanced Joint Formula can help reduce your pain and make it much easier for you to get moving. The combination of supplements and exercise could help you stay mobile and pain-free (or at least greatly reduced pain) for years to come.

Ref: http://newsok.com/oklahoma-researcher-finds-exercise-alone-can-lessen-pain-from-form-of-arthritis/article/3607785#ixzz1ZDrFIiDA; Archives of Internal Medicine, October 22, 2001; “Exercise Can Reduce Arthritis Risk,” Associated Press, October 29, 2001.

Soundview Communication, Inc.

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