ARTHRITIS: Relief Beyond Drugs by Rachel Carr

ARTHRITIS: Relief Beyond Drugs

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A safe, well-designed exercise program for arthritis sufferers--based on the Arthritis Foundation's current recommendation of ""balanced proportions of rest and exercise"" (not complete rest) as ""the best possible solution to relieve pain and increase flexibility in the joints."" Carr developed the program from experience with yoga, which helped her overcome severe disablement from osteoarthritis. She includes some brief, routine background material (e.g., on diet--eat ""wholesome food that includes essential nutrients""), but concentrates on the benefits of exercise--to preserve joint mobility, to restore circulation, keep weight down, promote sound sleep, fight depression and anxiety, and help the body excrete less calcium and thus maintain sturdy bone-support structures. Her program begins with deep breathing exercises (for the relief of tension, as well as their physiological benefits), and also provides some instruction on meditation techniques. The exercises for the rest of the body are divided into sections on spine, abdomen, and buttocks; hips, legs, and feet; shoulders, arms, neck, chest, and hands. Most of these can be done sitting, too, if standing is impracticable or uncomfortable. Of special benefit is a program of passive exercises for those too restricted in movement to exercise alone (anyone can learn to assist). Finally, Carr advises brisk walking for overall fitness and gives instructions on how to begin. Less chatty and more adaptable to varying degrees of disability than Buster Crabbe's Arthritis Exercise Book (1980) and a valuable supplement to The Arthritis Book (1979), by Engleman and Silverman, which covers everything but exercise.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1981
Publisher: Harper & Row