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Living With Osteoarthritis is a Pain in the Neck :() ...and Knee

[It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.~Aristotle Onassis]

[Roxanne lives with OA issues from prior injuries during her years as a gymnast]

Osteoarthritis(OA) or Degenerative Joint Disease chronic joint condition. It can effect most any joint in the body and is quite common in occurrence in the knees, hips, neck, lower back, joints in the fingers thumbs and big toes. Ouch! I have OA in my neck [resulting from a car accident years ago] that resulted in Neck Spurs which are bony projections which develop alone the edges of bones, they often form in the joints; and in my knee[ it's whats termed Osgood Schlatter disease named after Robert Bayley Osgood who was an American orthopedic surgeon and Carl B Schlatter as Swiss surgeon, I just like facts like that :() ]. It's a inflammation of the large [patellar ligament] right below the knee. A familiar characteristic is a large bump that is often painful.

Normally in our joints they are covered with cartilage that's rubber- like. It creates a smooth space for the joint to move on and serves as a cushion between the bones. OA is the result of the breakdown of the cartilage which results in swelling, pain and difficulty moving the joints. Eventually the the bones themselves may break down and develop spurs. At it's worse most or all of the cartilage wears away leaving you with bone rubbing against bone which damages the joints. If you've read some of my past blog posts you know how important reducing inflammation is and how I point to this topic often in helping to control it by what we put into our body and other natural health methods.

Life with OA is often challenging because there is so often a low grade ache that goes along with most types of arthritis. I feel better [ Definitely ] when I'm eating a diet low, very low in sugars and grains [ with the exception of Qunioa & Millet which are actually a seed], this is my personal

result, I am not anti-grain and do eat them occasionally [I have a love affair with any and all kinds of rice! ], and high in veggies, turmeric, ginger and cold water fish such as canned, or fresh Wild Mackerel, Sardines, Kippers better known as Herring and sardines. Fish such as these are masters in kicking inflammation's butt! Sardines for example are one of the most concentrated sources of Omega-3 in both EPA and DHA both [inflammation fighters!], with the extra boost of being high in protein and vitamin B12, a vitamin so many of us are lacking. They are the 'Superbowl' in the fish world! In a later post I'll have some super yummy recipes for these cold water treats! I always keep a variety of canned (or Tinned) fish around for easy meals, and snacks. One of the benefits of 'tinned' fish is that they are budget friendly ( I get most my canned fish affordably from Trader Joe's), they have a shelf life of about a year are so easy to prepare.

[There are Yoga sessions that cater to various conditions, this one is for the neck]

[Roxanne is committed to engaging in proper stretches to sustain her neck health!]

As I discussed in a former post about Tai Chi and Yoga, and simple Stretching for asthma, I have found these types of arts helpful in keeping limber joints that tend to stiffen up in opposition to what I desire them to do! Both of these practices are proving to reduce pain, improve function of arthritic joints. I have yet to indulge in Tai Chi but as of this week ( 02/06) I'm beginning my foray into this art! Yoga however, does contain some poses that may strain or damage those with joint issues so please check with your doc to make sure you're not hurting yourself.

I myself, don't do Many of the poses on a dvd or class because I have damage to my elbows (Tennis Elbow) and wrists from a fall on stairs a few years ago. Yikes!! Never worry about trying to live up to someone else's abilities, do what's benefits your body! I've been to occupational therapy so I know what Not to do during yoga and other similar practices. Tai Chi contains mostly gentle movements and with a few modifications depending on your health issues this can easily and effectively be practiced as well.

There are often other factors that can influence OA, depending on where it occurs in the body [ with the exception of diet because that effects the whole body]. Some of these factors include Texting [Most of us are guilty of this one!], but it's murder for arthritic hands and fingers, especially kids, because young and still developing bones and tendons weren't designed for this kind of activity!

If you are a 'problem' texter you may want to look into doing some hand stretching or yoga for wrists and hands, it could save your hand life!

Ladies, you won't like this one, but high heel shoes could put those knees at risk for future OA or if you already live with this condition could make it far worse. Saving those fabulous high heels for special occasions may just save your knees! :{}

Exercise could be a factor for OA, that is High Impact exercise. High impact workouts put a lot of stress and strain on the joints, ligaments, tendons and bones, wearing away that much needed cartilage. Low impact exercise can be just as effective for the whole body and much friendlier to your bones.

Genetics are a factor for OA and one that we cannot control but effectively manage.

Obesity, is a big factor for OA. Extra body weight puts stress on weight-bearing joints and fat tissues create proteins that could contribute to inflammation around and in the joints. Many of these factors are inter connected and can be aided through diet, movement and changes made in daily living.

Bone deformities are malformed joints and cartilage that one is born with and it increases the risk of OA.

Certain jobs/occupations can contribute to OA, particularly ones that create added stress to the joints through heavy lifting, carrying, and repetitive motions. [Well, that probably includes all of us LOL! ]

Aging increases the OA risks as well. Yep it's just one more goody to look out for and to deal with as we are blessed to be participants of father time! :()

Joint Injuries, form accidents( like myself) sports and from participation in hobby activities like crafting (me again since childhood) that involve repetitive tasking leave us victims of OA. Even of the injury happened years ago, OA can begin to rear it's ugly head. Women too, are more likely to develop OA.

Even though I live with with this condition throughout various parts of my body, it serves to teach me patience, and perseverance. It also reminds me when I'm veering too far off the right path! It let's me know the weather conditions :() and reminds me of my personal limitations. As my journey continues I live and continue learning how to adjust the conditions in my life to best assist my health. I often stumble, and fall down, at times I rebel and become frustrated, but I never give up and I don't want you to either! Together we'll journey through our health, and spiritual related life issues and continue to lift one another up!

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.

~2 Chronicles 15:7

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