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Exercise and Meditation for Joint Pain and Stiffness

Posted on May 05, 2021
Medically reviewed by
Iris Navarro-Millán, M.D.
Medically reviewed by
Ashira Blazer, M.D.

“The worst exercise is the one that is not done.”

Dr. Iris Navarro-Millán shared this important insight during MyHealthTeam’s live Q&A event on May 4, 2021, where members of the spondylitis and arthritis communities had a chance to learn how guided stretching and meditation practices can help alleviate joint pain, stiffness, and stress.

Rheumatologists Dr. Ashira Blazer and Dr. Iris Navarro-Millán answered members’ questions about how to manage stiffness in the fingers and wrists, how often people with arthritis should exercise, and whether any particular supplements are helpful in preventing inflammation. In addition, Dr. Navarro-Millán demonstrated several exercises for people with arthritis, and Dr. Blazer led the attendees through a meditation session.

Here are some of the things Dr. Navarro-Millán and Dr. Blazer discussed during the live Q&A:

  • Why and how stress management can help reduce flares
  • What you can do to improve your quality of life when you’re dealing with chronic pain
  • Whether any particular diets can help reduce inflammation
  • The best solutions for dealing with brain fog
  • Which specific exercises can help alleviate joint stiffness

Check out the video to see the entire one-hour event, and register to be notified about future upcoming live Q&A sessions on MySpondylitisTeam.

Disclaimer: The information, including but not limited to, information from presenters, text, graphics, images, and other material shared during this event is for informational purposes only. The information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you heard during this event.

Speakers:

Dr. Iris Navarro-Millán is an assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. She is a rheumatologist with expertise in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). She has a Master of Science in public health with a focus on outcomes research. Her research program focuses on clinical outcomes of people with rheumatoid arthritis and implementation science, with a focus on using peer coaches. Peer coaches are individuals with RA who are trained to coach others with RA on concepts related to self-care and cardiovascular disease. Dr. Navarro-Millán is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Rheumatology Research Foundation to conduct research using peer coaches as the main tool to implement behavioral interventions.

Dr. Ashira Blazer is an assistant professor in the New York University School of Medicine Division of Rheumatology. Her interests involve studying the biologic and genetic determinants of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) severity in patients of African ancestry. Her current translational research project focuses on polymorphisms in the Apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) gene. APOL1, a major contributor to excess renal and cardiovascular risk in the African diaspora, is responsive to inflammatory signals and may be of heightened consequence in chronic inflammatory disease sufferers such as SLE patients. She has forged multiple international collaborations with rheumatology programs in West Africa, and through this work has preliminarily shown that APOL1 variant carriers with SLE experience internal organ scarring faster than other patients, particularly in the kidneys and cardiovascular systems. This, unfortunately, ultimately leads to mortality.

Unsatisfied with the clinical associations alone, Dr. Blazer is studying the mechanisms underpinning genetic phenomena through cultivating novel primary cell culture models. She has shown that metabolic disturbances in both endothelial and inflammatory cells render the candidate tissues vulnerable to chronic inflammatory stress. By studying the interplay between chronic inflammation, cellular function, and APOL1 gene expression, Dr. Blazer aims to provide personalized treatment options to the most vulnerable patients.

Heather Lapidus Glassner has over two decades of experience in market research. She has been with MyHealthTeam for five years, conducting social listening and quantitative survey research. Her focus is to raise awareness of life with chronic conditions, including MS, lupus, Parkinson’s, COPD, Crohn’s and colitis, migraine, and psoriasis. Heather's work has been presented at Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis (CMSC) and the International Congress on Systempic Lupus Erythematosus.

All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.
Iris Navarro-Millán, M.D. is an assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Learn more about her here.
Ashira Blazer, M.D. is an assistant professor in the New York University School of Medicine Division of Rheumatology. Learn more about her here.

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