Walking as Exercise for People with Osteoarthritis

A leader in the field of orthopedic regenerative medicine, Dr. Alimorad Farshchian has performed over 40,000 procedures and serves as the medical director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine in Miami. In addition to surgery, Dr. Alimorad Farshchian also advises patients with osteoarthritis on alternative approaches to overcoming pain, such as gentle exercise.

For many people with osteoarthritis, following an exercise program is challenging, especially when symptoms flare up and interfere with comfortable movement. However, starting a gentle exercise program, such as walking, can help a person feel better in the long run.

Starting a walking program does not mean that the person needs to commit to walking a certain distance every day. Individuals should modify their approach based on how their bodies respond and only walk as far as they feel comfortable. Over time, walking becomes easier, especially as the person develops stronger muscles and the symptoms of arthritis improve.

In addition, walking regularly helps provide the physical activity a person with osteoarthritis may need in order to maintain a healthy weight. Keeping excess weight off keeps pressure off the joints and provides relief from symptoms.

Effects of Osteoarthritis on the Joints

Dr. Alimorad Farshchian holds almost 15 years of experience in joint anatomy, disease, and treatment. As medical director of The Center for Regenerative Medicine in Miami, Florida, Dr. Alimorad Farshchian has used cell therapy to treat numerous patients with arthritis.

Osteoarthritis, commonly referred to by patients simply as “arthritis,” involves the breakdown of the cartilage that protects the joints. When this happens, the cartilage flakes away and settles in the nearby synovial fluid, thus causing the synovial membrane to become inflamed, leaving the joints without their normal protection. In response, the joint thickens and becomes misshapen, while tendons thicken in an attempt to protect the joint.

These structural changes lead to a limited range of motion or loss of motion in the affected joint. Patients also frequently experience pain caused by both the abnormal functioning of the joint and associated inflammation. The inflammation itself frequently manifests as swelling, redness, and a feeling of heat. Patients with arthritis are also more susceptible to traumatic injury of the joints and a wearing away of the bone surfaces.

Dietary Approaches to Managing Arthritis Symptoms

As the medical director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine in Miami, Florida, Dr. Alimorad Farshchian helps people with joint and mobility problems enjoy greater quality of life. Among the problems that Dr. Alimorad Farshchian regularly treats is rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis can greatly affect a person’s ability to live a normal, active life. It limits mobility and can cause a person to experience discomfort when performing everyday activities. Fortunately, there are nonpharmaceutical ways to help manage arthritis symptoms. While not proven in controlled trials, one approach is to eat a diet designed to reduce inflammation.

One such diet is the Mediterranean diet. This is a diet that emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and “good” fats, such as olive oil. Many foods in this type of diet are rich in antioxidants, which can help prevent inflammation. Additionally, olive oil has been shown to reduce levels of chemicals associated with inflammation.

A gluten-free diet might also help some people with rheumatoid arthritis. A common symptom of gluten sensitivity is joint inflammation. For some individuals, cutting back on foods that contain gluten might help with their symptoms. Individuals should consult with a doctor, however, before starting a new diet plan.

Anatomy and Physiology of the Shoulder Joint

As medical director of The Center for Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Alimorad Farshchian treats many injuries and diseases of the shoulder. Dr. Alimorad Farshchian focuses on using cell therapy to treat the cartilage and other connective tissues.

A complex ball-and socket joint, the shoulder actually incorporates the movements of two interrelated joint structures. The first, the glenohumeral joint, functions where the humerus, or upper arm bone, meets the glenoid fossa of the scapula. This shallow joint depends on the rotator cuff muscles to support function and guard against dislocation. A ring of cartilage increases the joint’s flexibility, while area muscles, cartilage, and ligaments strengthen the joint itself.

The shoulder also receives much of its flexibility from the acromioclavicular (AC) joint, which is located where the clavicle’s lateral end meets a bony projection of the scapula. This projection, known as the acromion, connects with the clavicle to make a gliding joint that improves overall shoulder flexibility. The complexity of the shoulder as a whole makes it the most flexible joint in the human body, although the many delicate structures involved also make it vulnerable to dislocation. This frequently results from violent motions of the arm and can lead to surgery or permanent damage.

Structural Makeup of Cartilage

Dr. Alimorad Farshchian, medical director at the Center for Regenerative Medicine in Florida, has treated many patients suffering from osteoarthritis and other forms of cartilage damage. Dr. Alimorad Farshchian uses cell therapy to help these patients regenerate new and healthy cartilage.

As a connective tissue, cartilage plays a key role in the body’s structural composition. It is firm, dense, and sturdy yet soft and flexible as compared to bone. Its complex microstructure sends out specialized chondrocyte cells, which rest in a gel-like matrix of collagen, elastin, and protoglycan. The specific nature of this matrix and its properties depend on the location and function of the cartilage.

Hyaline cartilage is located near weight-bearing joints. Flexible, strong, and able to distribute weight, it is also difficult to regrow if damaged. The cartilage that lies on the surface of the bone is a specialized kind of hyaline cartilage known as articular cartilage, which consists of four layers to protect the underlying structure and facilitate movement.

Inside the knee, in the pubic symphysis, and between the vertebrae lies a tougher and less flexible cartilage. Much more flexible is elastic cartilage, which provides support to the external ear as well as the epiglottis and larynx. All cartilage is free of blood vessels and thus depends on diffusion to draw nutrients, which means that when damaged it can take significant time to heal.

Center for Regenerative Medicine Promotes Health Benefits of Tai Chi

A leader in the orthopedic community, Dr. Alimorad Farshchian is an author, television host, and medical director of The Center for Regenerative Medicine in Miami, Florida. Since 2000, he has completed over 40,000 nonsurgical orthopedic procedures aimed at relieving arthritic pain and helping patients resume their active lifestyles. Among the joint pain treatment and management techniques employed by Dr. Alimorad Farshchian is the practice of a form of Tai Chi called Chi Ga.

Dr. Farshchian has led several Chi Ga classes along the scenic shores of Miami Beach. Chi Ga specifically addresses the discomfort experienced by those with arthritis. Medical professionals have long recommended Tai Chi exercises to help relieve joint pain and discomfort, and studies have proven their ability to increase the circulation of blood to the joints.

An ancient Chinese tradition originally developed as a form of self defense, Tai Chi promotes health of both mind and body through the practice of slow, synchronized movements and deep breathing. Its peaceful, flowing postures can serve to increase flexibility while relieving stress and promoting inner serenity via the flow of “qi,” which according to Chinese philosophy is a life energy vital to mental health and peace. Additionally, Tai Chi can help individuals improve their balance, and may play a role in preventing falls in the elderly as well as those with balance disorders.

The Regenerative Properties of Cell Therapy

For more than 15 years, Dr. Alimorad Farshchian has led the delivery of nonsurgical orthopedic care as medical director of The Center for Regenerative Medicine. In overseeing the Miami, Florida, orthopedic medical center, Dr. Alimorad Farshchian and his team have carried out more than 20,000 procedures, harnessing cell therapy to alleviate pain for patients suffering from arthritis, tendonitis, torn ligaments, and a variety of muscular and skeletal conditions.

Autologous cell therapy refers to a procedure in which patients’ own cells, tissues, or growth factors are injected back into their bodies for regenerative purposes. The process involves separating cells from blood, and due to the great quantity of blood involved, and large financial cost required, this form of treatment was previously only available in hospitals. However, technological advancements have made it possible for medical professionals to facilitate cell therapy using only 30-50cc of blood. Physicians can now complete this process in an office setting and can harvest the necessary cells in approximately 20 minutes.

Cell therapy requires blood containing large quantities of platelets and growth factors. When injected into the site of an injury or arthritic pain, the cells attract Mesenchymal stem cells and release critical proteins such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF1), insulin-like growth factor (ILGF), and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), which aid healing by spurring the development of new tissue. In this way, cell therapy can accelerate the body’s normal healing process to relieve arthritic pain of the knee, shoulder, elbow, spine, hip, ankle, and wrist.