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Gail’s Story: Overcoming Arthritis and Regaining Freedom

A NOTE FROM MY MOM

I started experiencing knee, back, and hip pain when I was around 35. I figured it was just from being so active. I played softball, waitressed, and had two young children. 

As the pain led to stiffness, swollen knees, and joints, I decided it was time to see a doctor about this issue. The orthopedic doctor put me on Celebrex and it helped somewhat, but it did not fix the problem entirely. The pain and swelling continued over the years until I ended up with surgery for a frozen shoulder. 

Finally, I went to see a rheumatologist and was diagnosed with arthritis. I was told that it was very important to exercise along with taking medication. Over the course of three years, I tried methotrexate, Leflunamide, Hydroxychloriquine, Embrel, Humera, and finally Rinvoq. Even with the medications, I still had to have my knee drained twice. I also tried to exercise like I used to at the gym, but it only seemed to inflame my joints. I became very depressed and frustrated because it felt like fighting a losing battle. I was at my wit’s end and was tired of taking all the medication and risking my health, especially with the outbreak of COVID-19, so I knew it was time to try something new. 

That is when I started Tristan’s Yoga Prehab™. His Knee and Hip Reset for Pain + Stiffness course along with Restore Your Core have given me back my life. I am able to do the things I want to do without the pain and inflammation I experienced from normal gym exercise.  My flexibility and strength returned and I now have the proper tools to use to combat any knee, hip, or back issue before it can become a problem.  

I remember looking at the cost of his courses and wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend that much money on something I had never tried – would it work? But, I read the reviews and calculated just how much I had spent on a gym membership, doctor bills, therapy, and medications and realized the cost of his program was a drop in the bucket compared to these expenses. Not to mention the 2 years of pain I suffered from the frozen shoulder. I started with the Knee Reset and fell in love with the way I started feeling and healing. I was hooked and the more courses I purchased, the more my body and life started to return. The way he has developed these programs and the information he provides has truly made a difference in my life.

I can get down on the ground and play with my granddaughter or climb the steps to her playhouse. I have energy again and most importantly, I have “me” back. At 58 years old I am more active than I was in my forties. 

Thank you Tristan for sharing your passion for yoga and knowledge of Physical Therapy with all of us in these courses so that we can take back our health and wellness!

 

 

**Struggling with arthritis? I formulated a gentle, progressive course exactly for you! Try CHAIR YOGA FOR JOINT HEALING today!

Top 3 Tips for Relief from Arthritis Pain: No medication needed!

I’ve got a quick story for you, about a client who suffered from arthritis. She had been feeling achy, chronically stiff, and had pain in her joints that was starting to radiate through her limbs. Ouch. When she was diagnosed – she was shocked, thinking “I’m 23 years old – how is this even possible?” Well, with autoimmune arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), your immune system attacks the lining of your joints – at any age! 

She looked for alternatives because she didn’t want to be on arthritis medication for the rest of her life. And I don’t blame her! Some of these intense anti-inflammatory medications used for osteoarthritis treatment and RA can be really hard on your vital organs — even causing prolonged nausea, headaches, fatigue, and brain fog. Many RA medications also drastically reduce your immune system placing you at higher risk for infection, drug-related cancers, and in rare cases even death. No thanks!

The good news is that there is an alternative to medication! One important thing to note about joint pain is that typically the more you move, the better you will feel. I know, I know – it sounds counterintuitive. But, think of it like this. The motion involved in moving your joints actually creates lubrication between your joints, making it easier and much less painful to move. Remember, motion is lotion…for your joints! 

This client worked through progressive yoga and physical therapy-based mobility exercises with me, and quickly experienced amazing results – as long as she keeps up with her mobility work she experiences no more chronic pain and has yet to go on arthritis medication! HUGE WIN! 

Here were the three most important things I shared with her…which I will now share with you!

#1 If you have any form of arthritis, especially osteoarthritis, it is so important to stay mobile. Even the most gentle movements will go such a long way to increase your mobility and level of comfort. Yoga-based mobility is great for this, because you can work your whole body and isolate certain joints that need more TLC. 

However, with Rheumatoid Arthritis, specifically during times of flare up, it is advised that you avoid intense stretching and exercising as this may be more detrimental to your joints and create more damage than good.  It’s not to say don’t move at all, rather modify your intensity and be gentle on your body as you move through your day or attempt a light mobility practice during a flare up.  Once it resolves, you can continue your regular strength and mobility practices.

#2 Practicing balance poses and core strengthening with mobility work or gentle yoga practice will improve your flexibility and balance. This will increase your long term strength and endurance, which will in turn support your joints and overall stability for a lifetime. 

#3 One of the most common things I would see as a Physical Therapist Assistant were people who experienced gradual muscle deterioration, aka “sarcopenia” – because getting moving again with arthritis was causing them too much pain. So, in addition to rebuilding muscle strength and endurance, you also want to ensure that you keep up with your strength and mobility work! This requires just a few minutes of daily movement – if you don’t use it, you lose it! So be sure that you stay consistent! As I always say — CONSISTENCY IS KEY! 

Arthritic pain and stiffness can be present at any age, whether it is simple osteoarthritis from “wear and tear” and the aging process, or Rheumatoid arthritis which is a systemic inflammatory disease process that attacks your joints.  

Your body is unique and so will be your journey if you have arthritis.  Not every person requires medication, though some may eventually or intermittently from time to time.  However, EVERY BODY can benefit from healthy mobility practices, yoga, whole body strengthening and balance training to protect your joints.

With arthritis you do want to make sure you work progressively – start simple and gentle and go from there. Need some help with this? Not sure where to start? Check out Chair Yoga for Joint Healing, which is the perfect “done-for-you” place to start! 

If you need ongoing support, get on board with the Yoga Prehab™ Membership – for just 0.60 cents per day, you’ll get the very best at-home Physical Therapy-based healing guidance, easy-to-follow yoga mobility programs, and more!

Happy Grooving Starts With A Healthy Gut

Last year, researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center published evidence that bacteria in the gut – primarily governed by diet – could be the key factor behind osteoarthritis. Once again, scientific inquiry and academic findings reveal that everything in the body is connected

Ayurvedic practice and eastern medicine have long held this position – that every interaction, function, symptom in the human body is a part of the whole body. You can’t simply segment out certain things. This is why so many people and practitioners are now turning to holistic approaches to treat and heal conditions, symptoms, and issues that flare up and affect overall health and well being. 

As it turns out, the activity in your gut can impact how comfortably active you are able to be. Essentially, the presence of probiotics may decrease inflammation and inflammatory responses throughout your entire body. With less inflammation, your joints are better protected, your muscles are less achy, and you feel less of those annoying and uncomfortable aches and pains. 

The prolonged inflammation that can be caused by a lack of a healthy gut and functional digestive system may be the culprit for early-onset osteoarthritis, chronic arthritis, and other forms of joint pain. 

The classic “American diet” of fast-food, non-complex carbs, loads of corn byproducts, high sugar, and over-processed foods do not support the maintenance of healthy probiotics in the gut! The digestive system suffers and causes a greater degree of inflammation – even in joints and muscles. 

Arthritis – technically an autoimmune disease – may include symptoms such as cartilage deterioration due to the lack of supportive probiotics in the gut. Having probiotics in your gut will strengthen your immune system and decrease inflammation in your body. 

Michael Zuscik, Ph.D., associate professor of Orthopaedics in the Center for Musculoskeletal Research, led the study at URMC and reminds us that, “Cartilage acts as both a cushion and a lubricant, supporting friction-free joint movements. When you lose that, it’s bone on bone, rock on rock. It’s the end of the line and you have to replace the whole joint. Preventing that from happening is what we, as osteoarthritis researchers, strive to do – to keep that cartilage.”

The last thing you want to do is have surgery to repair such joint issues, so getting ahead of the game and incorporating probiotics may make a huge difference. Surgery is expensive, involves time-consuming recovery, and a lot of time spent in physical therapy. You can hopefully avoid that by taking preventative and pre-habilitative steps now to ensure that your gut health and joint health are prioritized. 

Looking for some more gut knowledge and wellness tips & tricks? Yoga Prehab™ by Tristan Gatto integrates Physical Therapy-Based Yoga, Body-Saving Solutions, and HIIT into a powerful and proven method to get your body tight and right while protecting your joints and increasing your flexibility!