Hot and cold treatments will not prevent rheumatism flare-ups, but they can reduce pain and inflammation.
Doctors and physical therapists often recommend hot and cold therapy to relieve joint pain or stiffness from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and increase mobility. Together, these methods of temporarily relieving RA pain are called “thermotherapy.”
Although there is little evidence that heat therapy is medically beneficial, a study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews on Heat and Cold Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis concluded that superficial moist heat and cryotherapy (cold packs or baths ) can be used as palliative or supportive. therapy.
However, hot and cold treatments do not prevent rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups. The use of heat or cold can be helpful, soothing and calming. However, exercise, joint protection and other forms of education, and a protective splint may be more beneficial.
What heat therapy can do is reduce pain and inflammation, at least a little. Soaking in hot water or applying a warm compress is one of the oldest, cheapest, and safest forms of complementary therapy.
Warm care for rheumatoid arthritis
For someone with an inflammatory disease like RA, applying heat may seem counterintuitive. But because heat reduces muscle tension and stimulates blood circulation, many patients find that applying something warm, even if it’s just to warm clothes in the dryer before dressing, or lie down with an electric blanket before getting up in the morning. tomorrow is just easy on the joints. Heat can be effective because it helps relax muscles.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, when you heat a painful joint, the heat widens the blood vessels, allowing more blood, oxygen, and nutrients to reach the tissues.
Although there are no recent studies on rheumatoid arthritis, researchers conducted a study of 35 people with chronic, nonspecific neck pain, which was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in August 2020. They found that those who received heat The therapy with a salt packet for 30 minutes twice a day for five days (in addition to performing a neck stabilization exercise) improved stiffness more than pain, according to a group of controls.
Since heat can promote inflammation, it should be avoided during an active inflammatory phase, when joint temperatures are high.
Cold treatment for rheumatoid arthritis
If your joints are inflamed, it makes sense that something cold could ease the inflammation and therefore the pain. The main benefits of cold therapy are the reduction of inflammation, swelling, and pain, as well as the temporary relief of joint pain caused by a flare-up of arthritis. Cold therapy is most effective during an acute attack. Cold therapy is helpful in lowering joint temperature, reducing pain, and decreasing inflammation. Like heat therapy, cold therapy comes in many forms.
A simple method to cool joints is to take a cold bath in a bathtub. Don’t let the water get so cold that it gives you the chills. Cold packs that are placed directly on a sore joint range from common items, frozen pea bags, or gel packs found in drugstores, to complete chiller systems, cooling pads, and devices tailored to certain parts of the body, such as knees and back. But if the cold is not pleasant or you can’t stand it, stop using it.
Other people who should avoid or limit cold therapy include people with Raynaud’s syndrome, a condition in which the small blood vessels in the fingers or toes constrict when exposed to cold. If you have this syndrome, you probably shouldn’t use cold therapy on affected body parts.
Always consult your doctor or physical therapist before trying hot or cold therapy for rheumatoid arthritis.
5 Tips for Using Heat Therapy for Rheumatism
Use safe heat sources that do not allow the temperature to rise, including hot towels, hot tubs, showers or baths, hot water bottles, microwave heating pads, and electric heating pads.
To avoid burns, do not use heat for excessive periods of time (follow manufacturer’s instructions).
When using heating pads or hot water bottles, first place a towel or cloth on your skin to avoid direct contact with the heat source.
Check your skin frequently for redness when you apply heat and remove the heat source if redness appears.
5 Tips for Using Cold Therapy for RA
For cold therapy, use a bag of frozen peas, wrap ice in a thin towel, or use commercially available cold gel packs.
Avoid applying ice or cold packs directly to the skin, use a towel or cloth between the cold device and the skin.
To prevent frostbite, do not apply cold for more than 15 minutes at a time.
Allow your skin to return to its normal temperature and color before using the cold again.
Don’t alternate hot and cold without taking a break. Wait a few hours between two sessions before moving on to the other.
If you use any of these hot or cold methods and they don’t provide relief, or seem to make your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms worse, talk to your doctor.
The 9 little-known benefits of touch on human health
Touch is a fundamental part of humanity, but it is often taken for granted in our daily lives. But the world of skin science shows that this powerful sense can do more than make us feel good; it can also improve physical and psychological health. From stroking to massage, researchers have explored the potential therapeutic benefits of touch, whether it’s relieving pain, promoting relaxation, or restoring happiness. In this article, we’ll look at how touch affects us emotionally and physiologically, exploring its many potential healing powers.
Touch has been shown to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
When the body is affected, hormones such as oxytocin, endorphins, and serotonin are released, promoting feelings of well-being and lowering cortisol levels. It can have a calming effect on the mind and body, allowing a person to feel more content and relaxed. Research has also shown that touch can help improve the mood of people with depression by helping to reduce anxiety. In some cases, simply holding another person’s hand can be enough to significantly lift your spirits.
Another benefit of touch is its ability to relieve physical pain.
Massage therapy has been used for centuries as an effective tool to relieve various types of pain, including chronic muscle tension, headaches, and arthritis-related joint pain. Additionally, research has indicated that even light brush strokes on the skin can help activate areas of the brain associated with relieving the perception of pain and discomfort associated with conditions such as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.
Touch helps improve sleep quality by giving the body a sense of security and comfort.
A bedtime massage can release endorphins that induce feelings of relaxation and calmness before falling asleep. Additionally, studies have shown that people who are hugged or hugged while sleeping tend to enter deeper states of restful sleep more quickly than those who have not received any form of physical contact before bed.
Touch promotes the development of the immune system in children.
Touch also plays an important role in immune system health by stimulating white blood cell activity in children who received regular hugs from their parents over a long period of time, compared to those who received no hugs during that same period. period. This indicates that regular physical contact can actually be beneficial in strengthening a person’s natural defenses against illnesses such as colds or flu viruses!
Touch strengthens immunity in both adults and children.
Along the same lines, research suggests that the social-emotional support provided by touch (for example, hugging) increases levels of immunoglobulins—antibodies produced by your immune system—that help protect against infections and illnesses caused by incoming bacteria or viruses. to our body. through mucous membranes such as the nose or mouth! An increase in these immunoglobulins means your body is better equipped to fight off any potential disease it may encounter!
Touch supports the healthy growth of babies.
Studies have indicated that babies who are touched often do better than those who have had minimal physical contact. This is likely because touch helps stimulate neurological connections between neurons in their brain and gives them a sense of comfort in the presence of a caregiver or loved one. Plus, touching babies often promotes the bond between parent, caregiver, loved one, and baby, which is important for long-term emotional health throughout life!
Touch improves cardiovascular health.
The researchers suggest that human contact may have positive effects on cardiovascular health. For example, it can lower blood pressure levels in patients with hypertension, as massage helps release feel-good hormones such as oxytocin, which stimulates heart rate variability (allowing our hearts to beat faster). at different speeds). Which leads to an overall healthier balance between our resting or sleeping heart rate and the exercise or activation of other muscles in our body!
Touch decreases anxiety disorders.
Research has shown that getting regular hugs helps reduce anxiety-related symptoms. These include racing thoughts (medically known as ‘rumination’), feelings of panic and worry about things beyond our control (medically known as ‘catastrophizing’), irritability due to intense emotional reactions, and even physical symptoms such as increased heart palpitations due to activation of the sympathetic nervous system! All of these elements combined demonstrate the power of hugging therapy in treating psychological problems related primarily, but not exclusively, to anxiety disorders!
Touch increases cognitive functioning in older adults.
Finally, recent findings also indicate that regular physical contact helps boost cognitive functioning in older adults. This is likely due to improved blood flow to the neurological pathways responsible for transporting vital nutrients required for brain development. In addition to higher levels of dopamine, known as the “pleasure hormone”, which helps you stay focused for longer. This underscores how essential regular physical contact is to maintain healthy cognitive functioning, especially in aging populations!
here are 14 types of easy cardio exercises
When most people think of cardiovascular exercise (cardio), the first activities that come to mind are running, biking, or swimming. Yes, these are great ways to get your heart rate up, but not everyone enjoys them. Cardio should be a key part of your healthy lifestyle. Fortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
If you want to incorporate more cardio into your exercise routine, don’t be intimidated by the experienced marathon runners you see in your neighborhood. Heart-healthy workouts don’t have to mean spending hours on the treadmill. There are many fun and creative ways to do cardio while having fun.
Why do you need cardio in the first place?
Cardio is defined as any type of exercise that increases your heart rate and keeps it at a high level for an extended period of time. Your respiratory system begins to work harder as you begin to breathe faster and deeper. Your blood vessels expand to bring more oxygen to your muscles, and your body releases natural pain relievers (endorphins).
The physical and mental benefits of this type of exercise seem endless.
Control your weight: There is a lot of scientific evidence that 150 to 150 minutes of moderate intensity cardio a week will help you maintain your weight over time.
Prevent Heart Disease: Research has shown that increasing your heart rate through regular cardiovascular exercises helps prevent heart disease.
Mood Enhancement: It probably won’t surprise you, but research supports the role cardiovascular exercise plays in improving your mood and increasing your happiness. Cardio increases the production of those feel-good painkillers called endorphins.
You will live longer: People who do regular cardio exercises live longer.
14 Fun Cardio Exercise Options
Think outside the box and try something new with these fun cardio options. The key to any successful training program is finding an activity that you enjoy. Once you find an exercise you love, you’ll have so much fun that you’ll have to remember that you’re also improving your health.
Chances are you haven’t jump rope since fourth grade recess. If so, get yourself a jump rope today! This form of cardio can be done almost anywhere. Put on your favorite playlist and jump to the beat. By slipping the jump rope into your backpack, suitcase, or purse, you can get in your 150 minutes of exercise per week as soon as you have some free time.
Whether you think you have two left feet or not, dancing is a great way to blow off steam while getting some physical exercise. You may think dancing is limited to Zumba classes, but what’s stopping you from dancing in your bedroom? Turn up the music volume and dance like crazy.
3. Organized sports
You may not consider yourself a “jock,” but there are tons of adult sports leagues out there that are full of people just like you, people who want to have fun and stay healthy. Sign up for soccer, basketball, or any other sport that interests you. Running around a field or court is guaranteed to get your heart rate up. Look for non-competitive sports leagues in your municipality. You might even make a new friend while you’re there!
4. Walking briskly
You don’t have to look like one of those walkers to experience the benefits of this type of cardio. Get outside (or stay on the treadmill if the weather is bad) and pick up the pace.
This low-impact form of cardio is a great way to get your heart rate up while protecting your joints. If you’re not confident in your swimming abilities, grab a board and swim a few lengths. This will not only work your legs, but also your abs.
We can’t all be Rocky Balboa, but everyone can use boxing to stay healthy. 30 minutes of boxing can help you burn around 400 calories.
7. Take a trampoline
If you have a huge, bouncy trampoline in your backyard, great. Jumping and playing is not only good for your health, it’s also fun! If you do not have a huge trampoline, do not deprive yourself of this possibility. You can get a compact trampoline to keep in your apartment. Putting on your favorite songs and running or jumping in the same place can be just as effective.
8. The bike
There are many ways to incorporate this type of cardio into your day. Replace your car with a bike on your next grocery shopping trip. Replace the treadmill with an exercise bike the next time you visit the gym. Take a bite of the action and try the indoor cycling studio you’ve been looking for for six months, or buy a training bike so you can ride your road bike right in your home or garage.
Do you like the outdoors? Hiking can be the perfect way to improve your heart health. Being active outdoors will not only increase your cardiovascular capacity, but also your emotional well-being.
Do you think rowing is for those who want pumped up biceps? Think again! Incorporating the rowing machine into your gym routine can give you an extra cardiovascular boost, while also strengthening your abdominal and back muscles. If you have never tried it, challenge yourself.
11. Hula Hoop
Sure, you probably haven’t since the last kids’ birthday party you went to, but why not? By swinging, you’ll increase your heart rate and improve your core strength. And don’t worry, they come in adult sizes.
You may be wondering if walking counts as cardiovascular exercise. Clear ! This is a great starting point for people who have never exercised before. Even a 10-minute walk can put you on the path to better heart health. Experienced people also benefit from it.
13. Bungee jumping
If you haven’t since high school gym class, you’re missing out! This no-equipment activity can get your heart rate up in no time. Plus, it’s easy to do, wherever you are. Start skipping first thing in the morning, when you need a break from your desk, or while you’re waiting for your dinner to finish cooking.
Climbing stairs is a fantastic way to get your heart pumping and your body sweating. Find a park with a long flight of stairs, or just a stairway in a nearby building. Any escalation will do.
There is no denying that cardiovascular exercise is a key part of a long and healthy life. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to make cardio a regular routine. Just remember that if you keep an open mind and get creative, there are plenty of ways to get your heart pumping. You don’t have to feel confined to the treadmill.
The most important part of any fitness program is finding what appeals to you. You’ll be much more likely to stick with a program if you really like it. So experiment, try new things, and find ways to break a sweat.
try this specific full workout
For many people, squats are a staple exercise for building strong glutes. Squats are a great functional movement, which means they can make everyday movements like bending over and lifting easier. Plus, they’re a great way to build lower-body muscle and strength. That being said, many people find that squats target the quadriceps (front of the thighs) more than the glutes. To remedy this, it’s important to understand form and range of motion, as well as variations that can help you target your glutes more effectively. This article tells you everything you need to know about squats for glute strengthening and offers you four exercises you can try.
What muscles do traditional squats work?
Squats are a great all-around lower body exercise because of the variety of muscles used. The main muscles used during a squat are the quadriceps, gluteals (primarily gluteus maximus), hamstrings, calves, abdominal muscles, and spinal erectors. The degree to which the quadriceps are used compared to the glutes is highly dependent on position, anatomy, movement pattern, and range of motion. For example, if you bring your knees forward during a squat, the movement is dominated by your quads. On the other hand, rocking the hips back during a deep squat makes the movement more glute-dominated.
How to promote gluteal muscle activation
As we mentioned earlier, glute activation during a squat is highly dependent on your posture, movement pattern, range of motion, and anatomy. Although a traditional squat activates your glutes to a certain degree, you can make small changes to target them even more.
Each person will have a slightly different squat depending on their anatomy and what is comfortable for them. Getting into a standard stance (feet just shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly out) rotates your hips outward and allows you to squat deeper for better glute activation. You may also benefit from a wider stance (commonly known as the “sumo” stance), which keeps your hips in external rotation and allows you to lift heavier loads. The position of the feet can also vary, but generally they should be between the two extremes of facing forward and facing out at around 45 degrees. Ideally, your feet should be symmetrical.
The depth of your squats largely depends on your body’s range of motion (flexibility, previous injuries, etc.) and your anatomy (length of your legs in relation to your torso). For better glute activation, try squatting until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. If you can go deep without compromising your form or feeling discomfort, then you can achieve even greater glute activation.
When you squat, you want to rock your hips back instead of pushing your knees forward, which works your quads instead of your glutes. To do this, push your butt back as you lower yourself, as if you were sitting in a chair, making sure your hip crease is lower than your knees at the bottom of the squat. This will allow you to get a greater range of motion and activate your glutes.
Also pay attention to the position of your knees. As you descend and ascend, be careful that your knees do not sink inward (known as knee valgus). Instead, try to push your knees out slightly, which targets your glutes and reduces the chance of knee pain.
Contract your glutes
If you’re still having trouble feeling your glutes, try squeezing them when you rise from a squat, which can help increase glute activation. However, be careful not to push your pelvis forward or overextend your hips at the top of the squat, which would compromise your form.
4 glute squats
If you’re looking to add some variety to your squat routine, here are four great squat variations to try.
1. The standing squat
To get familiar with the squat and get into good form, you can start by perfecting the standing squat to sit down, also known as the bench press.
What you need: A box or chair that is knee-high or slightly lower.
1 Stand with your feet slightly shoulder-width apart and with your back to the box or chair. Point your toes out at 45 degrees or less.
2 Slowly move your hips, push your butt back, and bend your knees to lower yourself until your butt touches the box (avoid sitting down completely).
3 Push through your heels and squeeze your buttocks to return to a standing position. This corresponds to one repetition.
4 Perform 2 or 3 series of 12 to 15 repetitions.
Focus on slow movements to learn proper form. Once you can perform this movement with ease, move on to more advanced squats.
Tip: If you don’t have a chair but have access to a low bench (lower than knee height), straddle the bench and perform the same movement.
2. Resistance band squat
Using a resistance band can help you externally rotate your hips to further activate your glutes and prevent your knees from sinking. If you find this too difficult, remove the resistance band until you can easily perform a bodyweight squat.
What you need: a loop-shaped resistance band.
1 Place a loop resistance band above your knees. Stand with your feet slightly shoulder-width apart, toes pointing slightly out, and hands on hips or in front of you.
2 Rotate your hips and bring your butt back into a sitting position by bending your knees.
3 Continue lowering until your thighs are parallel to the floor or lower. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds.
4 Slowly come back up to the starting position by pushing through your heels and squeezing your buttocks together. This corresponds to one repetition.
5 Perform 2 or 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.
3. Sumo squats
The sumo squat is excellent for working the glutes. A wider stance keeps the hips in external rotation to promote more glute activation.
1 Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly out, and hands outstretched in front of you.
2 Push your butt back, rock your hips, and bend your knees as you squat down. Your knees should move out to the sides with control.
3 Continue descending as low as you can without feeling uncomfortable.
4 Return to standing position by pushing heels in and squeezing buttocks to extend knees and hips with control. Continue to push your knees out through the entire movement until you return to the starting position. This represents 1 repetition.
5 Perform 2 or 3 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.
Tip: Once you’ve perfected your form, you can introduce more load/resistance with a loop resistance band, dumbbell, or barbell.
4. Cup Leg Curl
The goblet squat is a fun and effective move that can help keep your knees from collapsing.
What you need: a dumbbell.
1 Stand with your feet slightly shoulder-width apart. Hold the head of a dumbbell with both hands at chest level, keeping your elbows tucked in.
2 Squat down by rotating your hips, pushing your butt back, and pushing your knees out. During this movement, keep the dumbbell tight against your chest and keep your elbows between your knees as you lower. This will prevent your knees from sinking.
3 Return to standing position by drawing your knees out, pushing through your heels, and squeezing your buttocks. This corresponds to one repetition.
4 Perform 2 or 3 series of 8 to 12 repetitions.
Tip: Keep the weight close to your body and your elbows tucked in throughout the movement.
Tips for doing squats for the glutes
Here are some general tips to help you perfect your squat, activate your glutes more, and avoid injury.
1 Push through your heels. This helps you maintain good balance and put more stress on your glutes.
2 Pay attention to your buttocks. The mind-body connection can help you focus on using your glutes to better control the movement of the squat.
3 Keep your torso straight. Avoid leaning forward, slouching, or arching your back. Instead, maintain a neutral spine by working your core.
4 Maintain a neutral pelvic tilt. Avoid contracting your pelvis during the lowering of a squat, which can cause lower back injury.
5 Align your knees with your toes. When you bend your knees, keep them in line with your toes instead of pushing them in.
6 Look ahead. Avoid looking down, which can put undue pressure on your neck.
7 Prioritize good form. Before introducing a higher load/volume, make sure you can safely perform a correct squat. If your form is compromised, decrease the weight you use.
8 Start with a warm-up. Doing light glute activation exercises before doing squats can help to “wake up” your glutes.
For best results, take your time and focus on proper form before moving on to more difficult squat variations.
Squats are a great lower body exercise that can help build strong glutes and legs. To maximize your glute gains during a squat, make sure your feet are at least shoulder-width apart, toes are pointed out, and you squat as low as possible out of the way. By practicing proper form, you can ensure that you effectively target your glutes and avoid injury. Once you’re comfortable with your squat, try adding weight or variations.
If you haven’t already added squats to your exercise routine, you’ll definitely want to give them a try.
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