"Not Your Mother's Arthritis"

15 March 2017, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

"Not Your Mother's Arthritis"...

The words jumped off of my computer screen at me. Admittedly, I was intrigued. Not my mother's arthritis?, I thought. What does that even MEAN?

As I read the article, the meaning became more and more clear. The author was insinuating that arthritis is typically a condition that "old people" get. However, they were quick to point out, the "age-of-attack" is becoming younger and younger.

According to the article:

About 54.4 million American adults have had a doctor diagnose them with painful joint inflammation and stiffness, according to the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vital Signs Report. That breaks down to about one in four adults in the nation.
"This is not your mother's arthritis," Acting CDC Director Anne Schuchat said. "Contrary to popular opinion, it is not an old person's disease."
Aging baby boomers aren't the only ones who have it. The majority of current cases of arthritis -- 32.2 million -- are in people under age 65. Women have it more than men, and the number is particularly acute for diabetics, heart patients and those struggling with obesity. About 49.3% of people with heart disease have arthritis, 47.1% of diabetics and 30.6% of people who are obese.
So just to review, 54 million Americans are suffering from arthritis, and 32 million of those are under the age of 65. That equates to roughly one out of every 10 Americans that is suffering from arthritis. In addition to that, nearly half of all people who suffer from heart disease and diabetes have arthritis, and nearly one-third of obese Americans have arthritis. Is there a common link between these groups? I believe, yes!
I'll touch on heart disease, diabetes, and obesity in a minute, but I first have to ask, what do we really know about arthritis? Let's start with what we have been told. I would venture to say that the vast majority (if not all) of those diagnosed with arthritis have been told that it's part of the natural, normal aging process, and there's nothing that can really be done about it short of medication to help ease the inflammation and pain.
Sound familiar?
However, I don't believe arthritis has anything to do with age. I think it has everything to do with your compromised posture and lack of motion! You see, what we really know about arthritis is that it can only survive in an acidic environment, meaning one that is void of oxygen. If you're familiar with your body's pH system (the internal balancing system of the body), then you know that pH-neutral is 7 on a 0-14 scale. The lower you are on the pH scale, the more acidic your body is. The higher you are on the pH scale, the more alkaline your body is. Ideally, we would fall right in the middle around 7 (I'm actually ok with folks being on the alkaline side of the scale). However, most of us are chronically acidic. The reason? What we put in our bodies. Many of us pump our bodies full of processed food, sugar, alcohol, nicotine, low-fat foods, no-fat foods, sodas, the list goes on and on. Very seldom do the things going into our bodies actually contain oxygen. By and large, the foods we eat and the drinks we consume were never living, breathing organisms. The result is an acidic body; one that is screaming for oxygen, is inflamed, and is breaking down quickly.
Another way to describe an acidic body is one that is running "hot and fast." Think of your car battery, for example, which is an acidic battery. You want your car to run immediately upon turning the key. You want it to warm you quickly in the winter and cool you quickly in the summer. By design, that battery is intended to run hot! However, that means there's also a chance for that battery to burn out fast. Yes, it's 'hot and fast," but that comes at a price when your battery dies quicker than you would like it to. Similarly, an acidic body will burn out "hot and fast."
Now think about a AA or AAA alkaline battery in your television remote. That battery is a "cool and slow" battery. You want that battery to run at a nice, even pace, and last for a long time. You want it to stay "cool" and burn out "slow." An alkaline body, just like the battery, will do that exact same thing. It will last a long time and use its energy wisely and efficiently.
If you're wondering why your body is burning "hot and fast" and, therefore, burning out, pay attention. Heart disease, diabetes (Type II, not Type I), and obesity are all considered to be "lifestyle" conditions. Bad eating habits and lack of exercise are two major contributors to poor health, and the body will burn out if it is continually deprived of good food and exercise. It's just a matter of time. The more acidic the body, the "hotter" it runs. The lifestyle that consists of processed food and no movement isn't going to last. It's not meant to last.
Now, connect the dots with me. Is it any surprise that those with the lifestyle conditions mentioned in the article also have arthritis? To me it makes perfect sense. Their bodies are acidic, which means their pH is off, which means they're lacking oxygen, which means they aren't moving properly. How do we get a system in that condition functioning properly again? We correct the posture, fuel the body, and get moving!
I believe the 54 million Americans suffering from arthritis don't have anything inherently "wrong" with them. I believe they are suffering from poor eating habits and lack of exercise, combined with a compromised posture. In short, there is an incredible overall lack oxygen in their system, simply because they aren't moving enough, aren't moving functionally when they do move, and they aren't fueling their bodies properly. If their bodies were pH neutral or even slightly alkaline, that would mean they have more oxygen in their system due to moving more often, moving more efficiently, and putting proper food into their body. Posture plays a huge role in the overall landscape of health. The better aligned someone is, the better chance their body has to accept the nutrients they are taking in and disperse them to the right places at the right time. 
So if you have a lifestyle condition and/or arthritis, you have to understand that those aren't "death sentences." They also aren't due to your "old" age, no matter how young you actually are. Instead, think of them as conditions, and remember that conditions are changeable. Get your posture where it needs to be, get your body closer to pH-neutral/alkaline, get moving again, and get your body oxygenated like it's designed to be! Personally, I can't wait to see what changes!

QUESTION: What do you believe about your arthritis diagnosis?

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can follow Pete on Twitter, and you can follow me there as well. You can also follow me on Instagram, too! Let's connect!

Limit the Bad, Increase the Good

17 August 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

This week's post is written by Elliott Williams, a therapist in our Del Mar Headquarters. Be sure to follow him on Twitter!

Isn’t it funny that we’re always looking at what products our kids use? We pay special attention to what the ingredients are in their toothpaste, or what "extra" stuff is in their baby food. Are there any harmful products in the baby wash? Is there anything on this label that I shouldn't be putting in my child's body?

Yet at some point we stop caring as much, at least about ourselves. Many of us don't worry about what's in our food, or what we are putting in and on our body. If there are certain things that make us feel good, physically, nutritionally or otherwise, why would we stop doing them? Or on the other hand, if we continue to feel badly doing certain things, why would we continue to do them?

Most clients are coming in to our clinics looking at us to be the "expert" that they have been in search for after trying everything for their pain. Many have been to the best doctors and technicians in their area. I know that prior to walking through the clinic doors for my first appointment, I had done the exact same thing. I was looking to everyone else to "fix" me, when all along, the person staring back at me in the mirror was the only one who could do that. I should have been trusting and believing in myself, in my body, from the beginning. And the best part about that is, that I am no different than you. I have a different, height, weight and build for sure, but underneath I am the same person. I have the same bone structure, the same amount of muscles, joints and internal systems. This isn’t an article of how I did it and now you can, this is a story about how we need to take responsibility and when we do, GREAT things will come. Remember, your body knows best, you hold all the answers to your questions, internally and externally. It’s just time to get some help translating the signals that your body is sending you.

Egoscue is that translator, not only helping you understand what your body is telling you, but helping you understand what to do about it. We aren't the "expert" on your body...you are. We simply help interpret the signals your body is sending you. We help you bring balance back to the entire system. Everybody needs a little help here and there, everyone needs some direction, it is up to us, the individual to then stay the course and follow the direction that is given.

I am a Postural Therapist, and can tell you that we don't need to continually diet or be an extremist about what goes in or on our body, but to find moderation. Limit the bad things and increase the good things. And, drink more water than anything else you consume. It's a simple equation, really. You’ll find that inflammation will decrease, you will start to give your body the opportunity it craves to heal, to feel better, that I am sure of. Most importantly, MOVE your body. Muscles move bones, and bones make up the structure that hold all other systems in your body. Therefore if the muscles are not asked to move, the structure is compromised and everything internally is compromised as well.

Doing these things will also help setup the next wave, the next generation, taking them from a largely sedentary state to empowered and motivated. They'll be motivated to maintain health, motivated to inspire their generation. Let's all take a little more care for ourselves, and as Pete always says, with some fire, “DO YOUR MENU!”

QUESTION: What do you do that's good for you?

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can follow Pete on Twitter, and you can follow me there as well.