Friday, April 12, 2013

Pleurisy: Reducing the Pain, Inflammation and Swelling with Natural Therapies like Lymphatic Drainage Therapy

Managing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is crucial in managing this often debilitating and physically limiting disease.
Many of my clients who suffer from RA can often develop pleurisy a common pulmonary condition that can often mirror the symptoms of a heart attack, anxiety/panic attack and severe indigestion pains.

Pleurisy is an inflammation of the thin layers of tissue (pleura) covering the lungs and chest wall.The outer layer of the pleura lines the inside of the chest wall, and the inner layer covers the lungs. The tiny space between the two layers is called the pleural cavity. This cavity normally contains a small amount of lubricating fluid that allows the two layers to slide over each other when you breathe.

When the pleura becomes inflamed, the layers rub together, causing chest pain.  This is known as pleuritic pain. 

Pleurisy can cause sharp shooting pains in the chest, especially when breathing deeply or coughing. Pleurisy caused by rheumatoid arthritis will usually subside when the RA flare-up passes but this often requires outside resources like medications and anti-inflammatory therapy like Lymphatic Drainage Therapy.

Pleurisy comes with other RA related conditions like:

Rheumatoid Nodules
According to the Arthritis Foundation, about 25% of people with joint pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis also get rheumatoid nodules, which are small lumps on or near the affected joint. In some people, these lumps can also form in the lung tissue. Most people don't know they have a rheumatoid nodule in their lungs until one shows up on a chest x-ray. Depending on where the lump is located, it can cause some pain or shortness of breath.
When rheumatoid arthritis affects connective lung tissue, it can cause scarring that reduces your lung function. This can lead to shortness of breath or pain when trying to breath deeply. Scarring in deep lung tissue is called pulmonary fibrosis.

There are ways to minimize the scarring and to reduce both the swelling and inflammation the results with this fibrosis.

I've had clients who have come into my office short of breath and wearing bra expanders who have walked out after our 60min session who drop 4-8 inches in their bras.  It's been an amazing therapy for removing the fluid inflammation and reduces instantly the pain these clients experience. 

The Lymphatic Therapy is great for breaking up and moving out the inflammation within the pleura layer and it can also help break up the scar tissue that develops. 

If you suffer from Pleurisy there are options to relieve your pain that don't involve steroids. 
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