Exercise and massage are part of an arthritis treatment plan

Arthritis can take the joy out of routine daily tasks.

Opening a pill bottle brings the promise of relief from pain for many people. But for 41 percent of the 46 million Americans diagnosed with arthritis, everyday activities?like opening their arthritis medication? can be very difficult. Is it any wonder, then, that millions seek alternative ways to enhance their doctor-prescribed drug treatment?

Nearly a quarter of all adult Americans have doctor-diagnosed arthritis, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The Centers for Disease Control report that up to 25 percent of osteoarthritis patients can?t perform major daily activities.

Fingers and hands are particularly susceptible to pain and inflammation that can cause difficulty in gripping, pinching and grasping?motions needed to perform simple, everyday tasks. Non-medicinal treatments?from supplements to specially designed gloves?can help improve pain relief and quality of life for many arthritis sufferers.

?Evaluate all alternative treatments with a critical eye and follow the advice of your doctor,? cautions Aurelia Koby, president of IMAK, producers of aids for treating joint and muscle pain. ?Not all alternative treatments are as effective as others.?

Consumers can make intelligent choices about alternative arthritis treatments with a few facts at their fingertips:

Use it or lose it

?Mild to moderate exercise is an important part of most arthritis treatment plans,? Koby said. ?Exercise can help improve flexibility and reduce pain in the long term. For arthritis sufferers, it truly is a case of ?use it or lose it.?

Exercise can help keep joints moving, strengthen muscles connected to joints, preserve bone health, control weight that greatly impacts arthritis pain and improve your overall health and fitness, according to www.Arthritis.org, the Web site of the not-for-profit Arthritis Foundation.

Be sure your doctor or physical therapist reviews and advises you on any exercise plan before you start one. Eastern exercise traditions such as yoga and tai chi, which emphasize flexibility and offer low-impact workouts, can help arthritis sufferers, many experts believe.

Real alternative treatments

Massage is an age-old treatment that has proven therapeutic for a wide range of ailments, including arthritis.

Both self- and professional massage can work well. If you choose to have a professional massage, make sure the therapist is experienced in working with arthritis patients.

Acupuncture and acupressure have become widely accepted pain-relief therapies. The World Health Organization views acupuncture as a valid, useful treatment for a number of ailments, including chronic pain. As always, consult your physician when considering acupuncture as a treatment. Be sure the therapist you choose has experience working with arthritis patients.

Supports and aids that apply pressure can be helpful in alleviating arthritis pain and swelling. Arthritis Gloves, by IMAK, use mild compression to provide pain relief, decrease joint swelling, generate warmth and improve circulation.

The Arthritis Gloves, designed by an orthopedic surgeon, are made to be worn during daily activities. Made of cotton Lycra, the gloves have open fingertips to maximize the pressure to your fingers while allowing freedom to touch, feel and grip.

Visit www.IMAKproducts.com to learn more about the gloves.

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