Rheumatism - what is it?
What are the symptoms of rheumatism?
‘I’ve got a touch of rheumatism’ is a common expression, especially amongst the older generation. However the symptoms of rheumatism do not only affect older people. For many, it is a catch-all phrase for symptoms of joint or muscle pain ranging from a mild ache in the foot, to knee pain caused by physical over-exertion, to a more long-term joint or muscle pain or fibromyalgia. Despite trying hard to live a natural lifestyle, these things do catch up with you.
So what is rheumatism?
The word rheumatism is derived from the Greek word for ‘flow’ or ‘stream’. When first used, it described the symptom of ‘intense flowing pain’ affecting the joints, tendons and muscles.
Thankfully, most suffering from rheumatism don’t quite experience symptoms in this way. Rheumatism no longer has a defined meaning though it is sometimes described as a collection of symptoms comprising joint pain and limitation of movement, as well as structural degeneration of elements in the musculoskeletal system.
There are about 100 disorders that fall under the heading of ‘rheumatic complaints’. They nearly all involve inflammation and therefore, pain features prominently as a symptom.
The pain experienced usually affects the joints – from the smallest in the foot to the larger joints in the hip and shoulders. Sometimes however, rheumatism symptoms can affect only the muscles. In all cases, those suffering from rheumatism long for pain relief.
How can diet help with the symptoms of rheumatism?
If you suffer from rheumatism, you will probably have looked around and found quite a lot of information on how to use a more natural diet to help with natural pain relief for your rheumatism symptoms.
Diet for rheumatism symptoms
Why does the mere mention of a healthy diet make even strong men shiver? For rheumatism pains, just a few simple changes can make all the difference to your symptoms. There is more than enough in a healthy larder to satisfy the heartiest appetite – It is just a matter of making different choices. Improved digestion and increased amounts of friendly bowel flora can reduce acidity and so help flexibility.
If you suffer from rheumatism symptoms, you will benefit by eating:
More: Oily fish such as herring, mackerel, salmon, tuna or use fish oil supplements.
Why: These foods contain oils that have a positive effect on pain and inflammation in soft tissue.
More: Sardines, Green leafy vegetables, oats, dried fruits such as figs, pumpkin, kidney beans and sunflower seeds.
Why: These foods are rich in magnesium helping ensure proper calcium absorption. Green vegetables also contain potassium which makes the body less acidic.
More: Pineapple, papaya, mango, guava.
Why: These foods contain digestive enzymes reducing acidity.
Why: This original Vogel superfood encourages a healthy digestive tract and supports your good bacteria. When good bacteria in your gut flourish, your digestion, immune system and many other parts of your body work better.
Better posture for rheumatism symptoms
These tips are taken from ‘Life without Arthritis’ by Jan de Vries.
Correct body posture is important even when you are sitting down and can be a good natural remedy for your rheumatism symptoms. To ensure that good posture is maintained at all times, try the following advice:
- When driving, pull the seat forward and bend your knees. Ensure that the knees are higher than the hips. Sit up straight and place your hands high up on the steering wheel.
- Make sure your bed has a good firm mattress.
- Walking is excellent exercise, but make sure that your body is evenly balanced when walking.
- When sitting at rest, position one foot higher than the other.
- When bending to pick something up, always bend at the knees (rather than to fold at the waist).
- When lifting, make sure that your back remains straight and always lift by bending the knees, keeping them together. Never lift more than you can comfortably manage.
- Try to carry the same weight in each hand when shopping or travelling.
- Massage, reflexology or aromatherapy can bring relief as can steam baths, saunas and jacuzzis.
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