“Motion is lotion” … a common phrase I heard daily from one of the docs I used to work with who treated spine, shoulder, hip and knee joint problems. He was, or should I say, is right. One does not have to see middle age or beyond to start experiencing the aches of arthritis or some other joint discomfort. Overuse of a joint from repetitive motion or an injury to a joint, allows for arthritis to take up permanent residency in the affected area. And once old Arthur moves in, you can’t get rid of him. He becomes a part of the family for life.
Arthritis is probably one affliction that I can safely say about 60-70% of people will experience at some point in their lifetime. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis which is caused by the wear and tear on the joints and the aging process. Although, not everyone who develops osteoarthritis will exhibit symptoms.
Now, when you hear ‘motion is lotion’, what do you think you need to do? Yep, move! Osteoarthritis causes pain, stiffness and swelling. Participating in joint-friendly activity can improve arthritis pain and function of the joint. Activities that are low impact, such as swimming, walking, biking, or chair exercises help with improving the motion of the joints affected.
For those rough days, when it is just a chore to roll out of bed, OTC anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) or pain relievers sometimes are a must to just get the body moving. But, once the pain relievers of your choice, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, kick in, take a stroll, do a little light gardening, find a chair exercise class, don those swimming trunks, or dust off the two-wheeler and get to pedaling. Sitting around only will stiffen up the joints and make movement more uncomfortable. Motion will help with lubricating the joints, thus motion is lotion.
Oh, and forget it if there is rain in the forecast. Your joints will give you a shout out way ahead of the meteorologist’s prediction of precipitation. You will most likely have one joint that is the best forecaster you know. It won’t take much of a change in the barometer, before you are able to detect the oncoming rain. Oh, it may be a joint you injured some time ago, it may be one that you overused in your daily job or one that just seems so much more sensitive to the pressure changes. Either way, a good 36 hours before the skies open, your meteorological joint will broadcast it to you. Once the rains come, the pain will settle down until the next rain event.
My daughter tells me all this joint pain prior to a rain event is hullabaloo…. I informed her, she need not discount this too hard, for one day she will likely experience forecasting the weather herself. If there is anyone reading this who does not know what I am talking about, I am jealous and good for you! I hope you never have to experience “Arthur” and his wicked, unforgiving pain he brings when he moves in. I have a left shoulder that can call out a barometer change 24-36 hours in advance of the storm. It has been that way for about 7 years. I did water aerobics for 2 years which greatly improved the arthritic pain in the shoulder, so at least now the pain flare is about 30% of what it used to be, but it is still very accurate in predicting rain.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to get educated about arthritis, see a doctor for your joint pain, because only a provider can diagnose you with osteoarthritis or if your problem is another form of arthritis or condition, and get moving. Arthritic symptoms are also increased by obesity, a leading co-morbidity in the development of arthritis. Keeping weight manageable, improves arthritic symptoms. Although we can’t fight genetics, another contributor to the occurrence of arthritis, we can minimize the symptoms associated with it, by getting educated on the disorder. Some great reference sites are: cdc.gov and arthritis.org
So, until next time we meet, remember that motion is lotion, so keep the joints moving.
In peace and joy,