Saturday, March 16, 2013

How to Detect and Be Treated For Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are many types of arthritis, but the one we most commonly think of is rheumatoid arthritis. White blood cells usually spend their days attacking bacteria and fighting off viruses, but with this type of arthritis, the white blood cells move from the bloodstream (where they belong) into the membranes surrounding your joints.

As a result, there is an inflammation and the release of proteins. Over months or years, the membrane thickens and the released proteins cause damage to neighboring cartilage, ligaments, bones and tendons. Joints can become disfigured, knocked out of alignment or even destroyed.

Signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may include: joint pain, joint swelling and joints that are tender to the touch. Whether you have red puffy hands, firm bumps of tissue beneath the skin on your arms, or morning stiffness that lasts at least thirty minutes, you may have some level of the disease.

Often, sufferers feel tired, lose weight and sense changes in wrists, hands, ankles and feet at first. In later stages, the elbows, shoulders, knees, hips and the jaw and neck can also be affected. Signs and symptoms of pain may flare up and then alternate with periods of relative remission.

Your doctor will perform a physical exam to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis. He or she will ask you about signs and symptoms, then usually perform a blood test to check for an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, which will reveal an inflammatory process in the body.

Other blood tests check for the rheumatoid factor and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies, which cause joint damage. Additionally, by using a needle, a joint fluid analysis can pinpoint the disease and help rule out other disorders that mimic the symptoms of arthritis. Once diagnosed, X-rays can help track the progression of the disease in your joints.

Surgery options for people with rheumatoid arthritis include total joint replacement (arthroplasty), tendon repair, or removal of the joint lining (synovectomy). These procedures can help restore joint mobility, correct deformities and reduce pain. Additionally, pain management is key to preventing long term joint damage.

Arthritis sufferers should perform low impact exercises regularly, such as swimming, for example. They should eat healthy diets with lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Devices that can assist you with daily tasks, such as gripping tools, non-skid mats, canes and other products, can reduce stress on the body.

Hot packs, heating pads and hot baths have also been known to reduce arthritis pain. Lastly, keeping a positive attitude and relaxing are some of the best techniques to practice.

Treatment For a Dog With Canine Arthritis

Many older dogs fall victim to arthritis, the same as older humans. This can be due to many things such as breed, age, lack of use of the limbs, weight and birth defects. Treating your dog at home seems like the easiest treatment, but without your veterinarian, you are unable to obtain the medications that are essential to the dogs' overall joint health.

Administer the recommended dosage of aspirin made for dogs. This can be found at local pet stores, vet offices, and superstores in the pet sections. Dogs under 10 pounds are given one tablet, dogs 11 to 20 pounds get 2 tablets and so forth. Always follow the directions on your specific package for dosing instructions.

Contact your vet and ask for a prescription of steroids and painkillers. This helps to bring down the inflammation in the joints, and helps your dog to sleep so the healing can begin. Methocarbomol and prednisone are the recommended drugs to enable the dog to sleep and relax. Administer the medications as prescribed; this is imperative to keeping your dog healthy. If you find that the medication is not working as it should, ask for another prescription called Rimadyl. This is specifically for arthritis, and can be the key to your animal getting back to a normal life.

Prepare a soft bed for your pet, as the sleeping area must be cushioned to keep the joints from flexing while sleeping. Dogs have some of the same characteristics as humans when it comes to sleeping. If we are uncomfortable while asleep, we move until we are comfortable. They will do the same thing as well. So use an extra blanket, or possibly a padded foam bed for your pet to sleep on.

5 Rheumatoid Arthritis Early Symptoms You Should Know

This article explains a few things about Rheumatoid Arthritis Early Symptoms, and if you're interested, then this is worth reading, because you can never tell what you don't know.

There are a lot of people out there feeling early arthritis symptoms and don't realize it. It is a disease that gradually builds up and before you know it, you start to feel pain and discomfort and are seeing your doctor for medication. Any medication you take does not address the cause of arthritis and will not improve your condition. Now it is time to take a look at the rheumatoid arthritis early symptoms. This disease shows up in various ways. Some of the first symptoms include:

1) knees cracking when you stand up
2) general pain or swelling around joints that lasts for more than two weeks
3) that pain in your joints increases as you move
4) you may notice increased stiffness in your joints when you wake up in the morning
5) your joints may appear red and feel warm to the touch.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterized by intense inflammation in the joints, caused by various substances. The inflammation gradually destroys the cartilage and bone around the joints, causing pain, deformities and limited movement, and other symptoms like tiredness, due to the anemia that causes the disease. Rheumatoid arthritis is not hereditary or contagious, but recent studies show that the presence of some genes that regulate the immune system may be related to greater susceptibility to the development of the problem. It said, you have to keep alert about the early symptoms.

For doctors, the biggest challenge is the delay in diagnosing the disease, but the search for optimal therapy, because the disease requiring continuous treatment. It is extremely important that you look for a rheumatologist to painful joints of the hands accompanied by morning stiffness lasts more than 4 weeks. You have to pay attention to the first signs of the existence of AR stated above, because sometimes this picture is often confused with the common rheumatism, which delays the correct diagnosis and early initiation of therapy. The specialist also warns that the number of people affected by the disease should increase significantly in coming years with the aging population.

Although rheumatoid arthritis has no cure, the effectiveness of new treatments have worked to better control the disease.

So, watch the symptoms.

The first signs are unexplained fatigue, prolonged stiffness of the joints of the hands in the morning, and swelling and redness of joints affected.

In general, the patient feels as if he were "rusty" in the morning, and stiffness can last more than an hour. Other joints may be affected as well, such as feet, ankles, knees, hips, neck, shoulders and elbows. Other organs can be affected as the blood vessels, skin, lungs and heart.

Early diagnosis is the key to proper treatment and the rheumatologist is the specialist best suited to assess the problem. The delay in diagnosing correctly, is often associated with lack of knowledge of the disease by physicians of other specialties that are not used to treat RA. When in doubt, it is important to consult a rheumatologist.

What Causes Arthritis and the Risk Factors of Arthritis

Arthritis is an intensely agonizing condition that has effects on many of us all around the world. It causes joint redness, which in several cases is a source of agony that is virtually insufferable. Though arthritis can be managed, there's no real cure for this condition yet.

There are lots of risk factors that make one at the mercy of arthritis. Though doctors have known about these dangers for many years, many patients are not conscious of them. By becoming conscious of yhe risks of arthritis, you can take the required cares to avoid being forced to suffer because of this unpleasant condition.

Medical professionals have identified four main risk factors of arthritis which they have reckoned to be non-modifiable. This implies that it is not possible to modify them. The four factors that can't be modified are gender, age, ethnicity, and genetics.

Gender is one of the commonest, but astonishing risk factors of arthritis. It's a famous fact that more women than men are influenced by arthritis. In addition, ladies are likely to notice the effects of a selection of forms of arthritis. Though men are not fully immune, arthritis is way more ordinarily seen in women.

Age is an arthritis risk factor that comes as barely a surprise to the general public. The chance of developing arthritis increases with age. This is particularly true for osteoarthritis. Customarily arthritis risk increases seriously after the age of forty

Ethnicity is another non-modifiable risk factor of arthritis. Though this risk is comparatively minor, professionals have still seen some correlations between ethnicity and the development of arthritis. The fourth risk factor is genetics. Certain inherited genes have been shown to extend arthritis risk. More research must be finished to establish how ethnicity and genetics are related to arthritis.

You know that there are some risk factors of arthritis that can't be modified, without regard for what you do. However, there are more risk factors that you can change to ward off the development of arthritis. One such risk factor is obesity. Excess weight can increase the danger of developing arthritis in the knees, hips, and hands. Weight is particularly a risk factor for ladies. Even a mere ten pounds can raise your possibility of developing arthritis.

Two other non-modifiable risk factors are joint damage and infection. Any sort of injury or infection that has effects on the joints has the capability to trigger redness. Occupation also becomes a risk factor, because work-related stress can frequently lead to arthritis.

Knowing the chance factors of arthritis will make sure that you are thinking about methods to stop the commencement of this condition before it essentially occurs. Though certain non-modifiable risk factors can't be modified, other risk factors can be modified to put the chances of being touched by arthritis in your favor.

Arthritis Treatment For Dogs - Treatment For Your Dogs Arthritis

Arthritis in dogs is very common in dogs, with around 20% of the US population of our furry friends suffering from the affliction. It is not a nice condition for an owner to have too witness in their pet, due to the drastic effect it can have on your dogs mobility and overall mental and physical health.

Thankfully because arthritis is common in dogs arthritis treatment for dogs is also common and widespread and I will list some of the most effective treatments below.

Heat Treatments - Just like humans, when dogs who are suffering from arthritis are exposed to the cold this can aggravate the condition and cause more pain. But the reverse is applicable if you apply heat. This can be a very effective arthritis treatment for dogs, helping to sooth the pain and irritation. There are plenty of dog hot water bottles that you can invest in for this purpose.

Dog Massage - One of the side effects that your dog will experience if arthritis strikes them is a seizing up and stiffening of their joints. This can make is very painful for them to move and explains why many dogs become lazy and subdued when suffering from arthritis. So a good massage to loosen up your dogs joints can function as an excellent remedy for your dogs arthritis. A word of warning though, if you do have this done, get it done by a professional.

Joint Lubricants - This is by far one of the most effective ways to combat arthritis and act as a treatment for your dogs arthritis. There are supplements out there at the moment which include the compound CM8. This compound promotes joint lubricant production, and joint cartilage regeneration, which a lack and irritation of are two of the main reasons why arthritis occurs in the first place, so if you can solve these problems you have more or less won the battle.

So in conclusion if you use a combination of these methods above, you should notice a drastic effect in your dogs health, especially if you feed your dogs the necessary supplements to target and repair to joint problems associated with dog arthritis.

Top 6 Arthritis Symptoms

Your shoulder is bothering you and someone mentions arthritis. Scared, you turn to the internet in hopes of finding out the "real" symptoms of arthritis Arthritis symptoms can be hard to detect because we normally don't listen to our bodies. Other people say "I think I'm starting to get arthritis, my knees are killing me after a long day at work".

The most common arthritis symptoms are persistent pain in one or more joints. Most people will overlook these arthritis symptoms and just tell themselves it's overuse. Other folks will head straight to the doctors office to find out for sure.

What category do you belong too?

Education is a key ingredient in helping you determine if you indeed have arthritis or simply arthritis symptoms. Below are the most common arthritis symptoms and later we will briefly explain each one in great detail.

6 most common arthritis symptoms

* constant joint pain in several places

* redness, swelling and stiffness

* specific pain in specific spot

* decrease in range of motion (flexibility)

* your joints start to deform

* always feeling tired, extreme fatique and weakness

Please remember, arthritis symptoms are usually associated with a joint. Don't get it confused with muscles that surround the joint. A great example of this would be your back. Oftentimes the muscles that run top to bottom, are the ones that cause the pain, not the vertebrae.

* constant joint pain in several places is a warning sign and should be investigated quickly. Age is not a factor in arthritis because we have a friend who's daughter is fighting arthritis at the tender age of 13. Like her father, she has specific pain in certain joints and has a difficult time playing sports. With the help of some awesome doctors at Children's hospital in Seattle, she is able to play a lot more than last year.

* redness, swelling and stiffness are usually noticed in your hands and feet. This is a great indicator of arthritis and one that can be seem easily with the eye. Spouses are excellent at recognization of this because they know you so well and see you everyday.

* point tenderness usually makes you jump when someone touches this area. Again, don't confuse this with muscles because your joints are surrounded by muscle tissue. Sometimes the way you walk, will trigger this arthritis pain and sometimes it's simply contact with an object that creates that burning feeling.

* decrease in range of motion (flexibility) is a normal process as we age. However, rapid loss of flexibility is not normal. Only you can detect the decrease in your range of motion and it is something you should (stretching) do daily to help all aspects of your body. A great self checker is trying to keep your legs straight and touch your toes. Go ahead and give it a try, how far can you make it?

* your joints start to deform. Not much needs to be said about this, YOU will know if this happens. If you are a spouse please understand the person who is watching their body start to deform, is feeling lousy. They believe their body is failing them and could go into a mild case of depression. So be careful and help them understand what is going on.

* always feeling tired, extreme fatique and weakness. This is a tougher one to detect because there are so many variables. Things like sickness, overwork or a couple of days working in the yard the first day of spring can make detection nearly impossible. What you should look for are these signs away from activity. Usually after a few days of recovery the body will heal itself, but in the case of arthritis it continues.

I sincerely hope these 6 arthritis symptoms are not a part of you. If they are, don't panic because there is a ton of help. I personally believe in healing yourself from the inside out, which includes 3 solid meals containing a lot of vegetables and fruits, lots of liquid and supplementation. Water will also make your kidneys very happy and hopefully you've never had kidney stones, they hurt.

If you are considering supplementing be sure to get our free report on the top 7 arthritis treatment ingredients that is known to help reduce arthritis.

Best Wishes for a pain free day.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Arthritis Treatment: Is There Data About Effectiveness Of Stem Cells For Osteoarthritis Treatment?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. It is a disease that affects articular cartilage.

Cartilage is a complex tissue that consists of a matrix substance made up of water, collagen, and proteoglycans (proteins mixed with sugars). In addition, cells, called chondrocytes, sit inside the matrix and are responsible for manufacturing the matrix.

The development of OA is a complicated process that is hastened by genetic factors, trauma, and aging.

The exact sequence of events that leads to OA is still a subject of conjecture. However, because it is the most common form of arthritis and affects so many people (approximately 20 million Americans), it is the subject of intense investigation.

Unfortunately, the treatment of OA, to date, is poor. It consists primarily of symptomatic relief.

Anti-inflammatory medicines, ice, injections of cortisone and viscosupplements (lubricants), physical therapy, and eventually joint replacement are the current forms of treatment.

The ideal treatment for OA should, of course, include pain relief. But also, slowing down the rate of cartilage loss or even reversing it by building new cartilage should be a major goal. And so is avoidance of joint replacement surgery.

That is why the use of autologous stem cells (a patient's own stem cells) has garnered so much interest. Here are the results of a patient who underwent an autologous stem cell procedure for OA of the knee at our center last year...

- Started having considerable pain in my right knee in January 2010

- Diagnosed with irreversible arthritis of my right knee in October 2010 by both Rochester (Michigan) Knee and University of Michigan Orthopedists

- Knee stem cell procedure on December 10, 2010 performed at the Arthritis Treatment Center

- 3 months recovery and physical therapy

- Bay Shore Marathon May 2011

- Solstice 10 miler in June 2011

- Peterborough 70.3 July 2011

- WAM 300 mile /3 day bike tour July 2011

- Crim 10 miler August 2011

- Ironman Wisconsin Sept 2011

- Completed the Marine Corp Marathon October 2011

While these results aren't meant to show the typical outcome, many of the active "Boomers" who have undergone this procedure at our center have done well and been able to return to a high level of activity.

Our results involving the first 22 patients with OA of the knee, which is what we specialize in, are reported here.

(Wei N, Beard S, Delauter S, Bitner C, Gillis R, Rau L, Miller C, Clark T. Guided Mesenchymal Stem Cell Layering Technique for Treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Knee. J Applied Res. 2011; 11: 44-48)

Who knows...someday... joint replacement surgery may be a thing of the past.

Benefits of Green and Matcha Tea Against Arthritis - This Tea May Prevent and Cure Your Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis takes place when the immune system attacks itself, affecting the joints (and other body areas) and creating inflammation, pain, swelling and bone/joint degeneration.

The 'miracle' drink benefits. Besides great anti-oxidant effects, matcha - which can be dissolved in warm or cold milk/soy/almond milk with honey (or your choice of natural sweetener) after being whisked to a perfect blend - may be able to help you prevent arthritis or minimize its symptoms. If this is true, this may explain why my constant intake of matcha powder may have, despite being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis very young, played a part in the fact that I don't suffer from any symptoms.

Summary of the Results. Recent studies revealed that the mice who were given matcha over a period of time were showing only minor symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis and they all surfaced with significant delays compared to the mice who were given plain water. Further examination of the animals' joint tissue revealed that those who took matcha showed a much lower disease penetration than those who had been given plain water, who showed massive 'penetration' of the disease.

Geographical Occurrence to confirm the positive impact of matcha on Arthritis. Countries such as Japan, China and India seem to have a much lower incidence of Rheumatoid Arthritis; basically, it is not as widespread as in other areas (such as North America, Canada or even Europe). Since these 'healthier' regions (and their inhabitants) regard matcha as therapeutic and consume it regularly, it could safely be assumed that matcha's benefits against Rheumatoid Arthritis are real and larger than we thought. At the same time, those 'healthier' regions consume much less red meat and follow a more 'naturopathic' approach to health, which could also be significant in the prevention and treatment of chronic degenerative diseases such as Arthritis.

On a footnote, I now buy all my green tea and matcha tea OUTSIDE of Japan, since European controls (which are stricter than in other continents) have recently found 'excessive radioactive materials' in green tea ingredients coming from Japan. You can read about this on Japan Times online.

Osteoarthritis Treatment With Homeopathy

In simplest terms, osteoarthritis is nothing but failure of joint pattern. It is certainly a degenerative joint disease, characterized by degeneration of articular cartilage and proliferation of new bone, cartilage, and connective tissue at the same time. Often secondary inflammatory changes are observed in the synovium.
Sadly the incidence of osteoarthritis seems to be on rise according to global surveys. The age onset of OA is reducing drastically over the period of last few years. Now the incidence is stated to start at the age of 30 years and by the age of 65, more than 80% people have degenerative changes in their joints. Older women are peculiarly affected more and certain geological variations are found too.
Causative and Risk Factors of Osteoarthirits-
(1) The primary etiology of OA is termed as idiopathic where no known cause can be determined.
(2) Secondary OA results due to some or the other systemic or local factors as below-
- intra-articular fracture
- trauma of any type
- occupational (elbows in pneumatic drill operators)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Gout
- Tabes dorsalis
- Diabetes mellitus
- Peripheral nerve lesions
- Metabolic diseases like Wilson's disease
- Hip dysplasia
- Paget's disease etc
(3) Sedentary habits, improper diet habits, sports injuries, absolute lack of exercise or overt exercise regimes, etc can be called as some of the modifiable risk factors of OA
Signs and Symptoms of OA-

  1. In most cases, joints of spine, hands, knees, and hips are involved

  2. At least initially, only one or a few joints are affected

  3. Knee and hand involvement is peculiar

  4. Characteristically the first few joints to be involved are distal and proximal interphalangeal joints, carpo-metacarpal joints of thumb, etc.

  5. Gradual onset of symptoms

  6. Intermittent pain and aching in joints typically is aggravated by movement of that joint and is better by resting it

  7. With the advancement of the disease process, limited movement of joints is noticed. Initially this restriction of movement is attributed to pain and spasm of muscles but later capsular fibrosis, osteophyte formation, and remodeling of bone set in.

  8. After minor sprains or twists, there are usually effusions into the joints when crepitus may be felt or even heard.

  9. Associated muscular wasting is noted, because of which there is loss of muscle control over the joint, resulting in recurrent injury.

  10. Due to hyperaemia of subchondral bone, there is usually nocturnal aching in bones

  11. Deformities like Heberden's or Bouchard's node formation, and finally osteoarthritis deformans may set in.
How Homeopathy Can Help in the Patients of Osteoarthritis?
Homeopathy is not a magic. It is a full-proof science and art of applying the nature's principle while treating any disease with the natural drug substances aptly potentized to extract their curative properties. Therefore homeopathic principle is the most important one to be considered while treating any disease condition or the patient (more aptly).
The most important thing to remember while treating a case of OA homeopathically is that "Pay ample attention to characteristic symptoms of the disease and not to the common ones!"
It happens many times that a homeopath puts a common symptom of the disease as his priority while choosing the drug and as can be well judged, it leads to failure. Also paying good attention to the mental picture of the patient prior to catching the disease, during the disease process, and while on regime is one of the topmost priority while treating OA. You will observe that the "mind" is the organ that gives you good hint for appropriate remedial diagnosis in osteoarthritis patient.
Here we are listing top 10 remedies that may be of use during acute treatment phase of chronic osteoarthritis. Remember again that there is no alternative to constitutional therapy to be formulated individually for every patient, to help him find relief on all planes, while reducing his OA successfully.
Homeopathic Remedies for OA-
(1)Calcarea fluor-
- Indurated feeling of joints with stiffness
- Stony hardness of joints
- Nodal swelling in fingers that are hard on palpation
- Chronic synovitis and bursitis affecting hip and knee joint
- Sluggish temperament
- Coldness about wrists and ankles
- May be associated with varicose veins
- Pain usually begins on left side
- Worse in cold wet weather and while beginning to move
- Acute attack of pain in joint usually sets after a sprain
- Stiff, rheumatic diathesis
- Rheumatism usually beginning in upper extremities
- Diagonal pains
- Soreness and stiffness in joints of neck extending to shoulders
- Old-maid's OA of knee
- Red spot on the affected joint
- Associated with restlessness of hands and feet and profuse sweats on hands
- Bursitis with cold moist limbs
- Incessant talking
- Worse by change in temperature, movement, night
- Better in open air
- Bruised sore aching in all bones
- Nodal osteoarthritis
- Paralytic rigidity of joints
- Weak paretic feeling in the mornings in hip, small of back, lower limbs etc
- Deep felt pains in long bones
- Osteoporotic changes in bones in elderly women with frequent bone fractures attributed to brittleness of bones
- Affections of wrists and ankles
- Feeling of heat on skin face etc
- Sometimes burning neuralgic pains about the joints
- Worse by over-exertion, sprains, cold wind
- Better by motion, lying on back and warmth
- Right-sided complaints
- Slowly advancing osteoarthritis
- Stitching pains in joints
- Irritable constitutions
- Inflammatory joint diseases affecting knee, shoulder, hips, etc
- Associated with absolute constipation, no desire
- Dry heat aggravates all complaints including joint pathology
- Congestive synovitis
- Worse by motion, stooping, exertion, morning
- Better by rest, cool open air, bandaging, damp days, lying on painful part
- Acute inflammation of joints
- Marked redness and heat over the affected joint
- Congestive constrictive pain in joints
- Excessive restlessness with incessant talking
- Joint pains with spasms of muscles
- OA starting at young age
- Worse by heat, checked sweats, pressure, touch, movement
- Better by light covering, rest in bed
(6)Rhus tox-
- Paretic weakness in and around joints
- Recurrent sensation of dislocation of joints
- Sore, bruised or stiff pains about joints
- Swelling in joints with burning pains
- Principally left side is affected or the pain goes from left to right
- OA set after recurrent sprain of a joint or after overexertion
- Paralytic pains in elbows and knees
- Legs feel as if made of wood
- Wakes up with pain in limbs
- Edematous swelling of limbs
- Worse by wet, cold, beginning motion, rest, sprains, etc
- Better by continued motion, wrapping the joint, rubbing, and fomentation
- Fibrous tissues are affected
- Small joints of hands are principally affected, also those of forearm and lower limbs
- Extreme sensitivity to windy stormy and wet weather
- Rapidly changing pains, zigzag variety
- Descending pains
- Confused stupid feeling prevails
- Affections of wrists
- Worse before storms, rough windy weather, night, rest
- Better by heat, in sun, motion, wrapping up
- Venous constitutions
- Swollen joints with dull aching
- Associated with numbness of extremities
- Acute periostitis
- Pains down the limbs alternate sides, with heaviness of legs
- Sticking pains in tibia with heaviness and cold sweat on legs
- Associated with foul foot sweat
- Chilly patient, yet averse to heat in any form
- Associated with digestive disturbances
- Worse by warmth, rest, beginning motion, evening, lying down, in bed
- Better by moving about slowly, cold, open air, after a good cry
(9)Ledum pal-
- Affection of small joints
- Tendons, ankles affected
- Left-sided affection of joints
- Ascending type of arthritis
- Purple, swollen (puffy) joints
- Shifting tearing pains
- Cold and edematous joints
- Gout
- OA resulting from recurrent sprains, especially of ankle joint
- Pain associated with coldness of joints
- Profuse night sweats
- Worse by injury, motion, night
- Better by cool air, cold bathing
(10)Actea spicata-
- Affection of small joints, especially wrist and finger joints
- Tingling pains with numbness and weakness
- Paralytic weakness in all joints
- OA set in old age, in people with debilitated states
- Swollen joints that cannot be moved
- Deformed joints
- Extremely sensitive joints to cold in any form
- Worse by cold, slight exertion, night, and touch
Auxiliary Line of Treatment-
In any case of osteoarthritis, one must suggest certain exercise regimen for early recovery. Rather, any regime without it is of no use in the long run. Also it is stressed that unless the pain is lessened, one should not exert the affected joint beyond certain limits. Therefore, seeking professional advice before you embark on any exercise regime is must!

Remicade: Doctor, I Have Rheumatoid Arthritis and I Want to Know More About Remicade

TNF alpha is a protein that is produced during the inflammatory response. It both starts as well as perpetuates inflammation. Increased levels of TNF are found in several inflammatory conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Drugs that block tumor necrosis factor (TNF) have been found to be particularly effective for the treatment of these serious types of inflammatory arthritis.

Infliximab (Remicade) is a monoclonal chimeric antibody (part human, part mouse) directed against TNF alpha.

Infliximab is approved for use alone or combined with methotrexate for treating moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. It also is approved for the treatment of active psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.

Infliximab is administered intravenously. The recommended dose for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is 3 mg/kg as a single dose. The initial dose should be followed by additional 3 mg/kg doses two and six weeks after the first dose. The maintenance dose depends on the patient's response. It can be increased to a maximum of 10 mg/kg every 4 weeks.

The most common side effects of infliximab are upper respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, cough, rash, back pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, weakness and fever. Infusion reactions, which are sometimes severe, may occur.

Side effects such as blood pressure changes, chest pain, shortness of breath, rash, itching, fever and chills may occur during or shortly after administration. These reactions could possibly be due to an allergy to the drug. They are more common among patients who develop antibodies to infliximab and are less likely to occur in patients who are taking drugs that suppress the immune system, such as methotrexate. Infliximab should be discontinued if serious reactions occur.

Serious infections have been reported with other drugs that block TNF- alpha, and infections have been reported during treatment with infliximab. Therefore, infliximab should not be used in patients with serious infections. Infliximab should be discontinued if a serious infection develops during treatment.

Before starting infliximab, persons should have tuberculosis skin testing, because of reports of reactivation of tuberculosis in patients taking infliximab.

There have been rare cases of serious liver injury in people taking infliximab. Screening for hepatitis B may be a good idea.

Infliximab should not be used in patients with congestive heart failure or other significant heart disease.

Approximately half of infliximab-treated patients in clinical trials developed a positive ANA during the trial compared with approximately one-fifth of placebo-treated patients. Anti-dsDNA antibodies were newly detected in approximately one-fifth of infliximab-treated patients compared with 0% of placebo-treated patients. Reports of lupus and lupus-like syndromes, however, remain uncommon.

Decreased white and red blood cell and decreased platelet counts have been reported with infliximab. Vasculitis (inflammation of arteries) also has been reported.

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis, particularly patients with very active disease and/or chronic exposure to immunosuppressive therapies, may be at a higher risk (up to several fold) than the general population for the development of lymphoma. It is not known whether anti-TNF therapy raises this level of risk.

Infliximab should not be used in combination with anakinra (Kineret).

Will Herbs Benefit Arthritis Discomfort?

Should you suffer discomfort via arthritis, this post presents helpful pointers regarding Graviola health supplements. It is packaged in capsule shape along with natural powder as well as liquid.

Whilst science has yet to create all of us relief from joint disease, there are various styles of various treatments which often can deliver arthritis pain reduction. Although one particular person will benefit through magnet treatments and the other might even see reduction as a result of acupuncture, Graviola supplements tend to be demonstrating themselves to generally be the innovator of the group in relation to arthritis pain aid.

Lots of arthritis people have added a dietary supplement of Graviola extract to their diet plans and are confirming it has the ability to bring about arthritis pain relief of pain. In consequence, much study is being undertaken about how herbal supplements can benefit patients with arthritis. Graviola extract has been shown to cut down redness and to slow down the continuing development of joint destruction in arthritis clients.

Lots Claim that this natural health supplement should help combat cancer cells. This particular organic nutritional supplement performs extremely well as a recouping agent, setting up healthful cells to be better. It can assist our body to endure other cancer remedies for example chemotherapy and radiation.

There were three or more particular investigation organizations who have separated important chemical substances within the plant seeds and leaves which may have demonstrated important anti-tumorous as well as anti-cancerous actions towards varied different kinds of cancer cells that have published eight scientific studies for their results.

The majority of dietary supplements can be found in liquid, powdered as well as tablet type. Many people go ahead and take capsule method of the herbal nutritional supplement for arthritis pain aid. Capsules tend to be simple and tasteless. On top of that they are quite low-priced. Specific nutritional supplements can be found in extended aid or even time release type. This is often ideal for the person that is trying to possess supplements within their system during the course of the day with regard to arthritis pain comfort.

Your best bet is to focus on Graviola dietary supplements. Everybody who has arthritis is motivated to be hands-on in order to find the arthritis pain relief cure, which runs best for him or her. If they do deliver arthritis pain relief for you personally, you are going to be joining the list of many other arthritis patients who're benefiting each day from natural supplements.You will be aware in a few weeks if they are doing the job in your case. If they really do not perform, you actually are no worse off in comparison with at the time you began.

An awesome place for arthritis information is the Arthritis Foundation which you'll go to at: There's also many Web sites you can go to that will make you stay current on all of the most up-to-date news and arthritis information. You may also take a quiz to find out exactly what well being your joints are in. Through these numerous methods of info, you can study about all of the various forms of arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation is full of arthritis facts, as well as drug treatments, alternative treatment plans, possible arthritis pain remedies, and the way to comprehend your lab tests, and even more.

Your very best supply of arthritis info ought to always be your medical professional. A medical expert contains the experience and knowledge to reply to the questions you have, therefore don't think twice to question. It is exactly what she or he is generally there for. Quite a few subjects do not want to occupy their doctor's time frame along with steer clear of asking them questions with regard to concern with appearing unreasonable or unaware. Any smart medical professional will persuade one to seek advice and he or she will certainly do all they can to help keep you up to date with many of the most current arthritis details.

Health Articles - Alternative Arthritis Treatment Options

Think you're too young to get arthritis? Age doesn't matter; one of the most popular misconceptions about arthritis is that it's an old person's disease. Think it only affects the opposite sex? Arthritis is not gender-specific. In fact, arthritis -- a disease characterized by pain, stiffness and sometimes swelling in or around joints -- can affect people of any gender and any age, from young children to the elderly.

Although there are over 100 types of arthritis (such as gout, fibromyalgia and lupus), osteoarthritis is the most common. It's a condition in which there is a breakdown of the plastic-like cartilage on the end of bone joints in the hands, hips, knees and back. Without that protective cushion, bones rub against bones, which ultimately results in pain, swelling and even deformity. The pain and disability caused by arthritis can prevent you from performing everyday activities, and the accompanying fatigue and stress make you vulnerable to other illness.

Unfortunately, no treatment has yet been found that will successfully cure arthritis. Instead, treatment is aimed at reducing pain and discomfort and preventing further disability. Many people turn to alternative remedies to provide relief of symptoms. Here are several of them:

Traditional Chinese medicine Acupuncture has practiced for more than 2500 years, and has been scientifically proven to alleviate pain. According to practitioners, pain and illness result when the energy flow in your body is disrupted. Insertion of acupuncture needles is intended to stimulate points along the energy channels, which balances the flow and restores health.

Acupressure is a technique that is similar to acupuncture but it involves the use of fingertip pressure rather than needles. The practitioner presses on the tender areas to disperse the build-up of lactic acid, which then helps relieve pain.

Flotation therapy Flotation tanks are sometimes used to treat the pain of arthritis. Patients float in a pool filled with Epsom salts. Epsom salts have been documented to relieve pain, in part, by stimulating production of endorphins (the "feel good" substances produced in the brain).

Heat treatment/cold treatment Heat treatment -- in the form of a hot bath, hot pack, or a heating pad -- is one of the oldest known treatments for arthritis. This therapy sends soothing heat to the small joints in the hands or feet. Cold, wet compresses or ice packs applied to the painful area are often more effective than heat for soothing sharp, intense pain. Just remember not to use cold treatment for more than 20 minutes at a time -- excessive cold can damage the skin.

There also are many other alternative arthritis treatments that have been proven to give people relief. As with any health treatment, though, be critical when trying an alternative therapy. Arthritis is characterized by periods of flare-ups and remissions, and particular therapies may be more or less effective on any given day -- just remember not to expect a "cure." Arthritis is a lifelong process, but alternative therapies can help you regain control of your life.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

How to Deal With Arthritis - Tips and Simple Things That Might Help

The pain of arthritis can indeed affect the quality of your life and in fact, can disrupt your normal day to day activities and tasks. If you have been diagnosed with this disease and you want to learn how to deal with arthritis and manage the pain that comes with it, read on for some tips that you might find useful.

Arthritis involves the inflammation of the joints, as such, those who suffer from any form of arthritis go through pain in the joints and that can also make your daily tasks a little difficult to manage. In fact, many of those who suffer from arthritis may not be able to use their hands or feet if they are suffering from arthritis because of the pain.

Aside from the pain of arthritis, you may also experience fever, weight loss and the feeling of tiredness often. You may also find it difficult to move the affected joints because of the pain. Of course, aside from enduring these pain and discomfort, you can however find some tips to help you on how to deal with arthritis and all the pain that comes with it. Here are a few that you might find useful.

- Get a good diagnosis. Of course, one very important thing that you have to do before trying and attempting to do something is to make sure that you are correctly diagnosed. Never make your own guessing game when it comes to health problems as this may later cause more problems. Keep in mind that there are a number of types of arthritis and by getting a correct diagnosis, you will eventually help yourself in getting the right treatment a well.

- Pay close attention to your symptoms and seek for early treatment. Jot it down if you can. Of course, that will help a lot in making correct diagnosis for your situation. The earlier you can get treatment, the better is your chances of totally getting rid of the pain and discomfort of this disease as well.

- Make extra efforts to protect your joints. When you have arthritis, you would normally experience pain in your joints, thus make sure that you protect your joints in any way. If you are overweight, then you might want to aim for a healthier weight as too much weight can also put pressure to your joints and may worsen your arthritis as well.

- Maintain and practice good posture. This will help a lot in easing up the pain that you experience in your joints. It will also lessen the stress on your joints and ease up the pain and discomfort in those parts. As simple as having the right posture can indeed help a lot in learning how to deal with arthritis and avoid it as well.

- Avoid high-heeled shoes if you are a woman. Of course, if you value your health, then you may want to opt for footwear that will not worsen the pain of arthritis.

- Get enough sleep. This will also help you manage pain that comes with arthritis and of course, will help you get energized. With good rest and sleep, you can also help reduce the swelling and inflammation of your joints brought about by the disease.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful condition characterized by inflammation in the joints. It can also affect organs and tissues; however, most discomfort is felt in the joints. Although it is not debilitating for everyone, it can become very serious. If you suspect you may have rheumatoid arthritis, see your doctor, who can test you for the disease and prescribe treatment.

Symptoms include varying degrees of pain in the joints. One of the classic symptoms is that whatever is happening on one side of the body will also be occurring on the other side. Therefore, if you notice swelling, pain, or tenderness in one joint on the left side of your body and in the same joint on the right side of your body, you may be suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

You may notice these same symptoms in more than one joint or area of your body. Although you can have arthritis without having rheumatoid, sometimes, it is difficult to tell which form you are suffering from without seeing a doctor. Your doctor can test you for this by doing a blood test and listening to your symptoms. Blood tests are not always conclusive proof that you do or do not have this type of arthritis so it is important to track your symptoms and discuss them with your doctor.

Rheumatoid arthritis is usually worse in the mornings and you may feel stiff for several hours. In severe cases, the eyes and lungs can be affected as well. If you have difficulty seeing or have trouble breathing, seek medical attention right away.

Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are over one hundred different forms of arthritis, though most people are familiar with only a few of them. One of the most commonly heard terms is rheumatoid arthritis, which is an inflammatory disease that affects joints and causes them to become crooked and appear as if fingers are growing almost sideways. This type of arthritis affects over two million Americans every year.

While it's unknown exactly what causes rheumatoid arthritis, it is known that the condition damages the synovial tissue that connects bones and joints in the hands, feet, and anywhere else in the body where bending is allowed. With this condition, the synovial tissue, or membrane, losses its smooth surface and texture and begins to develop extra tissue that is called pannus. This formation causes an excess of enzymes that will eventually destroy surrounding cartilage, bone and other soft tissues associated with joints, and the result is painful.

Inflamed areas, especially in tendons, can cause shortening, and if tendons rupture, joint strength and stability is severely impaired. While in most cases, rheumatoid arthritis strikes older people, it is also found in those as young as twenty years old. Most cases of this type of arthritis develop between the ages of 20 and 45, though that's just the norm. In many scenarios, the condition runs in families, suggesting a strong genetic link.

Since many different types of arthritis mirror signs and symptoms, it's important to write down your symptoms, their duration, and the course of the symptoms as far as length of time you've been feeling them, in order to help your doctor determine which form of arthritis you may be suffering from. Most people don't realize they have developed rheumatoid arthritis because it starts off feeling like a flu bug.

However, eventually, multiple joints are affected, usually on one side of the body. The most common areas of attack are joints in the fingers, at the base of the fingers, wrist, elbows and knees. Ankle joints and bone joints of the feet may also be affected.

Many people who hit their forties feel morning stiffness that eases as the day progresses, but most types of arthritis also starts off that way. One of the best ways to distinguish normal aging and stiff joints from rheumatoid arthritis is experiencing warmth in the joint area.

Another indication that arthritis may be present is the appearance of reddened and swollen joints that feel tender and painful when touched. Flare-ups may last for several days, or several weeks, and may often grow worse in winter months.

Determining the course of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis depends on many different factors, such as symptoms and the stage of development of the disease. Taking an active part in the treatment of symptoms is one of the best things you can do if diagnosed with this type of arthritis.

Exercise and joint strengthening exercise throughout your life will help keep many forms of arthritis at bay, and mediations and other treatments may ease pain and swelling associated with rheumatoid arthritis. However, it's important for people to follow the course of action prescribed by a rheumatologist for optimum benefits.

Vet Supplies - What Is Osteoarthritis and What Can I Do For My Pet?

Osteoarthritis affects over 20 million people in the United States alone. But we're not the only ones at risk! Our pets can also develop this crippling form of arthritis. Below I will answer a few questions about it and what you can do to help your pet.

So, what exactly is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of joint disease in both humans and pets. It's a type of arthritis that is caused by the breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage in the joints. Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis, becomes more and more frequent with age, affecting the hands (or in this case paws), feet, spine, and the large weight-bearing joints such as the hips and knees. The resulting stiffness, swelling, pain, and loss of mobility can seriously degrade your pet's quality of life. Treatment is usually given in the form of an anti-inflammatory to help ease the individual's discomfort.

What causes Osteoarthritis?

Most cases have no clear known cause. These cases are referred to as "Primary Osteoarthritis." In the event that the cause is known, the condition is referred to as "Secondary Osteoarthritis."

Primary Osteoarthritis is usually related to aging. With age, the protein make up of cartilage degenerates resulting in arthritis. Repetitive use of the joints over years also irritates and inflames the cartilage causing pain and swelling. So those dogs who loved to play fetch for hours when they were younger may very well be paying for it now! As this progresses, the cartilage continues to degenerate and in advanced cases, there can be total cartilage loss in the joint. This causes friction between the bones leading to pain and limitation of joint mobility. Cartilage loss occurs only in the most advanced cases; however it usually calls for surgery. While surgery is the less desirable treatment, in the event the condition has become unmanageable, surgery can greatly improve the quality of life.

Secondary Osteoarthritis is caused by another disease or condition. Some of the conditions that lead to this include obesity, repeated trauma or surgery to the joint, gout and diabetes. Obesity leads to osteoarthritis by increasing the stress on the cartilage. Next to aging, obesity is the most common and powerful risk factor. It's important to keep your pet lean and fit to help them fight the onset of osteoarthritis! Hormone disturbances such as diabetes and growth hormone disorders are also heavily associated with early cartilage wear; making it another common risk factor.

This all sounds bad, what can I do for my pet?

Well, it might be time to move your cat's litter box up from the basement and your dog's water dish in from the garage. Osteoarthritis can make movement very painful, so be kind to your pet- move their essential items to an area that is easily accessible to them. It may also be time to trade in that door mat they sleep on for a nice comfy pet bed!

Now, outside of a few household changes, your pet will also need treatment to help ease their pain and the progression of the cartilage breakdown. Typically, treatment comes in the form of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, usually referred to NSAID's for short. NSAID's are widely used and are proved effective in reducing clinical signs and discomfort from osteoarthritis. A very effective treatment for dogs is Cosequin DS Chewable Tablets. These tablets are well tolerated by dogs and are proven to help with the pain and discomfort from osteoarthritis. Available in a variety of flavored tablets, they provide the nutrients the body uses to replenish cartilage. These pills are all natural and developed for long term use.

Arthritis Compression Gloves For Joint Pain

There are many people around the world that are suffering from the disease that we know as arthritis. There are many people looking for a cure for this disease, only to waste a lot of money, time and patience looking for something that does not exist. If you shift your focus from looking for a cure, to looking for ways to relieve the pain, then you will find you are much more successful and you will be able to significantly reduce the pain that you are feeling. There are many different solutions for you, and one of them is arthritis compression gloves. What Is Arthritis?

Before understanding how arthritis gloves can help you to reduce your pain, you should understand the disease that you are dealing with. There are two forms of arthritis that are very common. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of the cartilage in between the bones. The cartilage is the shock absorber of the joint and without it there is a lot of friction when doing even simple tasks. The other form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis. This is an autoimmune disease and it involves the swelling of joints. You see them become very large, red and painful. It is also a very debilitating disease.

How Can Arthritis Gloves Help?

Arthritis gloves are a popular choice of pain relief for people suffering from arthritis in their hands. You can lose a lot of dexterity when you have arthritis in your hands. Even very simple tasks become painful. Arthritis gloves are great because they exert compression on the hands, which will keep them warmer. There are also other types of gloves like infrared gloves, these ones give of infrared rays and heat up the hands. The compression and the heat means that the hands are warmer and there is less friction in the joint, which means that there is a lot less pain in the hands. They are a very effective treatment and you will be able to reduce your pain significantly. There are also rheumatoid arthritis gloves that will help reduce the pain. They work differently from normal style gloves because the disease is different, but they too will bring dexterity back into your fingers and quality back into your life.

Are There Any Side Effects?

There are absolutely no side effects from using arthritis gloves to help your pain. They are very effective, safe and a cheap option. You should add it to your pain management plan if you suffer from arthritis in the hands.

What Is Osteoarthritis? - Definition and Symptoms

Osteoarthritis is a major cause of disability of the musculoskeletal system and progressively and chronically causes pain and loss of joint function, reduce, sometimes dramatically, the quality of life of patients and their ability to work.

Definition and symptoms of osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is basically a syndrome of joint pain and dysfunction caused by joint degeneration, and globally affects more patients than any other joint disease. Primarily characterized by degeneration of articular cartilage, the presence of intraarticular inflammation with synovitis and changes in subchondral bone and periarticular tissues.

Articular cartilage acts like a cushion, absorbing mechanical loads and facilitating movement of friction in the joints, allowing bones to glide over others, giving rise to joint movement. The articular cartilage injury causes loss of natural lubrication, causing the friction of the articular surfaces of bones and formation of bone spurs or osteophytes. In some cases, fragments of cartilage may break off and remain floating inside the joint, causing irritation joint inflammation and further structural damage.

From the pathological point of view of osteoarthritis is characterized by degeneration of articular cartilage, with loss of extracellular matrix, fibrillation and fissure formation, up to the complete loss of the articular surface. Also affect other tissues of the joint, including subchondral bone, ligaments, joint capsule, synovial membrane and periarticular muscles.

In the beginning, osteoarthritis may arise after a history of trauma in the joint, or joint infection secondary to a chronic inflammatory joint disease or simply a primary osteoarthritis as a result of age and degeneration associated with the use of the joints for a long number of years, often associated with overweight and / or the presence of angular deformities, especially at the knee joint.

The main symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain, stiffness and swelling of the joints. The affected joint usually has limited mobility, and sensitivity may also exist in the area, and associated skeletal deformities (often these deformities are the initial cause of osteoarthritis). Sometimes the joint can cause cracking, which is called crepitus. In turn, when the joint is badly affected, there may be secondary and progressive deformities.

Epidemiology of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is rare in people under 40 years but becomes more common with age. In particular most people over 65 years show radiographic signs of osteoarthritis in at least one or more joints. Overall, it is the most common cause of disability in older adults. Although the level of degradation is very different for each individual, causes symptoms in 60% of men and 70% of women aged over 65. The estimates calculate that more than 8 million people in the UK and some 20 million Americans have osteoarthritis clinically symptomatic, and they have pain intensity greater than 2.5 on a visual analog scale (VAS) from 0 to 10, and / or loss of function of the knee. The forecasts estimate that by 2030 20% of the adult population in Western Europe and North America have developed osteoarthritis, with an assessment on the scale of Kellgren-Lawrence greater than or equal to 2, since it has been found patients with this assessment (≥ 2) have an increased risk of disease progression. Despite being rare below 40 years its incidence in young people is increasing. In the United States, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, together, affect 46 million people. The health costs generated by this disease amounted to 128,000 million in 2003, rivaling even the health costs of ischemic heart disease, which emphasizes the urgent need for new and more effective treatments for joint injury.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Osteoarthritis Vs Rheumatoid Arthritis

Your doctor just diagnosed the pain in your knees as arthritis and prescribed some over-the-counter pain relievers, cold compresses, and rest. After leaving the office, several questions may come to mind.

  • What does this diagnosis mean?

  • Is the arthritis just temporary, or is it going to be chronic?

  • How will it impact your life going forward?

  • Will you still be able to jog, ride your bicycle, or continue gardening?

  • Will you have to give up your job and go on disability?

The word arthritis means "acute or chronic inflammation of a joint" according to, and can be accompanied by pain or changes in the joint. But this simple definition does not tell the entire story. There are many types of arthritis-type illnesses, and further diagnosis by your doctor may be necessary to establish an effective treatment plan. The purpose of this article is to give you some basic information on two types of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is an illness that is characterized by cartilage wearing away in a joint. It is quite common and usually diagnosed in the older members of the population. The person can have osteoarthritis in a single joint (such as a knee or elbow) or multiple joints (such as the finger joints in a hand). As the osteoarthritis progresses, the joint may not fit together correctly and develop bone spurs, thereby causing the person pain when they use the joint. If pain is in the knee or hip joints, the person may have difficulty walking or when they use the stairs. If the arm or shoulder joint is affected, there may be difficulty getting dressed or other routine activities.

Rheumatoid arthritis (also called RA) is less common, but it also causes pain and inflammation of a joint. The cause is not worn out cartilage. It is caused by a change in the immune system that causes the person's body to attack the tissue lining the joint, which is called synovium. The attacks cause a fluid build up in the joint space and produces pain. The joints are usually affected in pairs, meaning that it could be in two knees or ankles at the same time. RA is a chronic illness, and may come and go over time. Many people feel fatigued when the illness is active, and experience flu-like symptoms. Over time the person can have damage to the joints and, in very rare, severe cases, damage to internal organs.

There are many web sites that have a great deal of information on these two types of arthritis. Two good sites are the Arthritis Foundation at and WebMD at Check out these sites out to become more informed on arthritis, and work with your doctor to set up an effective treatment. It is the best way to preserve your joints and continue leading a good life.

Athletes, Injuries, and Liquid Glucosamine for Joint Pain

The explosion of sports activities in the United States continues. Athletes at the high school, collegiate, professional, or weekend warrior level are put at risk for joint injury. Recovery in our youth is fast, and returning to our favorite sport usually requires a little rest and a few weeks to recover. The problem is these injuries can have lifelong effects, many of which lead to osteoarthritis to the damaged joint.

As cartilage ages or injured, its' ability to act as a cushion and lubricant to our joint is compromised. The cartilage can no longer protect the joint properly. Knees especially take a pounding and eventually, enough cartilage wears away causing bone on bone contact and the onset of osteoarthritis joint pain.

Today, more and more athletes are adding glucosamine with chondroitin to their daily intake of vitamins and other health supplements. Serious athletes at a more competitive level, put in long hours of joint pounding practice, and use a glucosamine chondroitin combination to give their joints the nutrition they need to help prevent deterioration of healthy cartilage. Healthy, pain free joints let them train longer.

All of us have seen retired football players (Mike Ditka) from the NFL limping around. The physical punishment their bodies have endured is beyond comprehension. But these same types of injuries can occur in anyone, and damaged joint cartilage is a recipe for arthritis. Cartilage breaking down is a natural occurrence, whether from aging or genetics. Injury to a knee, ankle, or shoulder joint can damage the soft tissue know as cartilage and speed up the process of osteoarthritis.

Recommendations are for athletes to take 1500 milligrams of glucosamine with chondroitin daily. Both substances are naturally occurring in our bodies, but sometimes our body can stop producing the necessary levels need to maintain healthy cartilage. Studies have shown that the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin act as an anti-inflammatory, while supplying nutrients necessary for cartilage regeneration. While there are drugs available that do the same thing, they are anything but natural. Common prescriptions for inflamed joints are NSAIDs. (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) NSAID's like Celebrex, come with a long list of potential side effects. One NSAID was recently pulled from the market due to the devastating effects it was having on some consumers.

Recent studies have shown that glucosamine has the same effects on reducing moderate to severe joint pain as Celecoxib (Celebrex). That's quite a statement. Glucosamine chondroitin products have virtually no side effects. They contain no pain medication or ant-inflammatory drugs, only naturally occurring substances. Synflex 1500 Liquid Glucosamine contains these essential ingredients, but continues the formula with several anti-inflammation supplements including White Willow Bark that has been used since the 5th century BC, when Hippocrates noted and recommended its use for pain and inflammation.

Many athletes have begun using Synflex 1500 to improve their joint health. In fact, Olympic Biathlete Tim Burke found that at the age of 20 he was suffering from the onset of arthritis and needed to find pain relief continue with his training. Trying many different brands of glucosamine, Tim found that Synflex controlled his arthritis pain enabling him to continue with his training and competitions.

Whether competitive in sports or enjoying retired life, if arthritis joint pain has you sidelined, Synflex 1500 Liquid Glucosamine can get you back in the game and control the joint pain you've been enduring.

How Joint Injections Help Athletes

Joint injections are common procedures in medicine where medications are injected into the joint space. This procedure is uncommon in younger athletes, due to their normal and healthy joint functions. However, this is one of the most reliable methods of managing degenerative arthritis or osteoarthritis in many older athletes.

Benefits of joint injections

The procedure is given to treat inflammatory joint issues such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, tendonitis, psoriatic arthritis, bursitis and sometimes osteoarthritis. Corticosteroids are used for this medical procedure because of its anti-inflammatory capability as well as its ability to slow down the build-up of cells which causes the inflammation in the joint space. If present, joint fluid will be aspirated or removed prior to joint injection. This also eases the pain and swelling of the join and helps in the diagnosis of joint pathology.

While corticosteroids may successfully relieve osteoarthritis, the mode of action as to whether this will aggravate or alleviate the issue is unclear. In many knee-joint injection procedures, Hyanluronic acid, a viscous lubricating substance, is commonly used to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee.

What Comprises Joint Injection Medications

The anti-inflammatory medication corticosteroid is mostly utilized in this procedure. Cortisone is a kind of steroid that it naturally produced by the body and released when you are under stress. Injectable cortisone is synthetically produced and it's a close derivative of the natural cortisone. Unlike natural cortisone, corticosteroids are injected to specific inflamed areas instead of being released into the bloodstream. This synthetic cortisone is also more potent and provides relief for a long period of time.

Apart from synthetic cortisone, a lubricant such as hyaluronic acid injections works to lessen the inflammation and lubricate the affected joint. It helps the joint lining to produce substances to feed the joint cartilage. This actually helps in early arthritis can is effective up to 6 months. Patients are given joint injections once a week for the next three to five weeks and this process maybe repeated after six months if needed.

Which joints are injected?

The most commonly injected joints are the ankle, knee, shoulders, elbows, wrists as well as the small joints of the hands and feet. You may need an x-ray called fluoroscopy to guide hip-joint injections.

Unlike oral steroids which are mostly abused and misused by athletes, joint injections using corticosteroids can lessen healing time and help lessen pain and inflammation. This procedure is mainly used to treat inflammation of the joints in sports injuries and aging athletes with their arthritis. Despite its many benefits, injection and these steroids also have corresponding side effects depending on the amount and location of the joint injection as well as the condition of the patient.

Arthritis - Coping With Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) is the most common type of childhood arthritis. It causes joint inflammation for at least six weeks in children 16 years old or younger. Doctors believe that JRA is an autoimmune disorder meaning the body's immune system attacks its own cells and tissues. It is not known why this happens, but both heredity and environment seem to play a role. In most cases, symptoms of JRA may fade after several months or years.

A virus or bacterium may cause the development of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in children with certain genetic profiles. These genetic profiles are detected in some children with JRA and are considered genetic markers. However, not all children with the markers develop JRA, and children without the markers can develop the condition.

Children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis should live life as normally as possible by attending school and participating in extra-curricular and family activities. To foster a healthy transition to adulthood, adolescents with JRA should be allowed to enjoy independent activities, such as taking a part-time job and learning to drive. Provide your child with opportunities to interact with other children who also have arthritis in or near your community. Ask your rheumatologist about summer camps and other available group activities.

Treatment of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis focuses on physical activity to maintain full joint movement and strength, preventing damage and controlling pain. Continued physical activity will help prevent loss of function. Therapists may construct splints to prevent joint contractures or deformity, and work with school-based therapists to address issues at school.

Parents should be familiar with Federal Act 504, which may provide children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis special accommodations at school. Families with children with JRA may be eligible for assistance through state agencies or services such as vocational rehabilitation. They may also benefit from information and activities available through the American Juvenile Arthritis Organization.

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Symptoms and Treatment

Arthritis is a common term for an illness that covers a broad spectrum that comprises more than one hundred illnesses. The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common, while rheumatoid arthritis is the second most common. Rheumatoid arthritis, however, is the most severe form of arthritis.

What are the Symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis?

How do you know which type of arthritis you have? There are certain symptoms present for different types of arthritis:

  • Paleness

  • Appetite loss

  • Low-grade fever

  • Range of motion is limited

  • Numbness or Tingling Sensations

  • Redness of skin

  • Inflammation of skin

  • Hand and foot deformities

  • Swollen glands

  • Nodules under the skin - round and painless

  • Pleurisy - inflammation of the lungs

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms can vary - and can include any of the above symptoms or all of the above symptoms. Different symptoms may be apparent at different stages of the disease. Consulting a physician with a list of your known symptoms can help you discover if rheumatoid arthritis is the type of arthritis you have. Active and Inactive Rheumatoid arthritis is a form of arthritis that can occur in stages. Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms can be active or inactive. When the symptoms are inactive, the patient is in remission - and can have long periods of time with no symptoms present. Signs of a flare-up can include:

  • Fatigue

  • Aches in muscles and joints

  • Stiffness in joints

  • Low-grade fever can be present

  • Appetite loss

  • Joints can become red, swollen, painful, and tender

During a flare-up of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, your daily routine can become severely limited. Things that you take for granted, like opening doors, opening jars, and sometimes, even walking, become too painful. At times like these, it is important that you understand that it is okay to let others help you. Remission can occur at any time - there is no rhyme or reason. The symptoms can disappear at any time - and they can begin again at any time. Sometimes, the remission may last a few days and others times, it may last a few months. Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

As with any medical illness, you should consult your physician for diagnosis. Once you have shared your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms with your physician, he/she may suggest tests - including blood tests and x-rays of your joints. Your physician uses the results of these tests, along with your symptoms in order to make a diagnosis.

Once a diagnosis has been made, you should discuss your choices with your physician. There is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis - but many people have effectively managed to control rheumatoid arthritis symptoms by eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly. It is very important to maintain your overall health - physically and mentally - in order to manage rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. One very important thing to remember is that even if your rheumatoid arthritis is in remission and you have not shown any symptoms for months, it is important to maintain your healthy way of life. You should maintain your exercise routine in order to keep the muscles around your joints strong so that when your joints need to rely a little more on the muscles, the muscles will be able to carry the load.

Before you use medicine to treat your rheumatoid arthritis, you should educate yourself as much as possible. Learn all you can about the possible side effects, how the medication interacts with other drugs and foods, and how the medication will affect your daily life. For some people, controlling rheumatoid arthritis symptoms with medication may be the answer. Others may choose not to take the risks associated with the medications available for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

For those who choose not to take that risk, there are many natural treatments that help to control rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. There are many herbal remedies that can be ingested to help ease the symptoms - and many herbal remedies that can be used as massaging oils and liniments to help ease the pain and inflammation of the joints. Many home remedies have been effective for people for years - the key is to find the one that will work for you.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Variety of Natural Arthritis Remedies

Are you suffering from arthritis? Did you know that there are natural ingredients that can cure arthritis that are right in your supermarket? It's true. A couple of proposed natural treatments for arthritis have been proven to be successful over the years. The most common and widely used natural remedy for arthritis is the use of heat and cold to treat the disease. Applying heat to a joint can provide significant relief and you can use electric blankets and even hot packs. Taking a bath can also play a significant role. Cold can also be used as a natural remedy for arthritis in that by wrapping an ice cube in a piece of cloth and pressing it on the joint will relieve pain.

Another most effective natural cure for arthritis is by mixing dilute garlic, lavender, sage, rosemary, thyme or juniper oils in the proportion of one part to ten of olive oil and applying the oil combination on the painful joints can lead to immediate relief and curing of arthritis. Another simple treatment for this illness is the use of hot vinegar, which can also be applied on the joint as it helps reduce the pain and swelling around the joint. Using 1 to 2 teaspoons of cod liver oil is likewise known as an effective way to lessen the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. Adding alfalfa seeds to your tea and drinking it up to 3 to 4 cups daily will also reduce inflammation on your joints.

The most attractive feature of these natural arthritis remedies is that they are safe and have not been shown to cause the same adverse reactions as the pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory drugs. Below are some of the more well-known natural remedies for arthritis:

  • Glucosamine & Chondroitin
    These compounds are naturally found in the body and can aid in promoting joint health and repair.

  • MSM
    A naturally occurring sulfur compound that reduces swelling much like other arthritis medications

  • Manganese
    An important antioxidant nutrient that is useful in treating rheumatoid arthritis

  • Niacinamide
    This is also known as Vitamin B3. It helps maintain the integrity of cells and tissues, slowing the progression of arthritis.

  • Turmeric and ginger extract
    Both are anti-inflammatory herbal extracts that are effective in curing rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.

The Home Treatment Programme, which was developed by Charles de Coti-Marsh over 60 years ago, offers a natural method of managing your arthritis and relief from the associated pain. This program presents three essential components; namely: diet, supplementation and postural management.

Weight loss can be considered one of the natural cures for arthritis, as the joints affected get relief when there is less weight and stress placed upon them daily. There might be natural cures for arthritis that meet with the body's needs for healing. Again, be sure and check with a doctor before taking large doses of any supplement or when using a program with prescription arthritic drugs.

Does Running Cause Arthritis?

Is it a foregone conclusion, that if you run for years, you will have arthritis? Many of my patients are concerned that the aches and pains that are inevitable from distance running are actually harbingers for the future aches and pains of arthritis. This fear is even strong enough to get older runners to quit and start a lower impact exercise regimen like swimming and cycling. Is this a reasonable fear? Yes and No! Running by itself does not cause arthritis; improper biomechanics coupled with the rigors of running can cause arthritis.

Consider the stress of running on the joints for a minute. The foot hits the ground and the bones and joints experience force up to six times the runner's body weight at impact. The joints are being asked to move and glide efficiently and smoothly while enduring this stress. In the event of a misstep or stumble, the joints need to continue to be stable to maintain their perfect alignment.

Osteoarthritis, a.k.a. "wear and tear arthritis", is what runner's dread. This is degeneration of the articular cartilage which absorbs shock, distributes stress and allows the joints to glide smoothly. The ability to run pain free depends on the health and integrity of this cartilage as we age. In osteoarthritis, the surface of the cartilage becomes roughened, fissured and even starts to shred into small fragments. These fragments "float" around the joint and cause more damage. The bone tries to protect itself by producing small bony prominences called osteophytes which actually in the end make the joint damage and pain worse.

Any kind of sports participation can increase the incidence of osteoarthritis due to increased twisting forces, high impact, muscle weakness or over-development and joint instability which causes abnormal peak pressures and greater stress in certain areas of cartilage which can lead to osteoarthritis. Nevertheless, for normal joints , there is no scientific evidence that simply the action of running, even over a long period of time, causes permanent joint damage or even a predisposition for osteoarthritis.

What is the risk of osteoarthritis in runners? Many studies of long-term runners show no increased incidence of osteoarthritis in these competitive runners. Some studies did show more evidence of osteophytes, but no correlation with joint pain or instability. Confusing the issue for many runners are the numerous incidents of misdiagnosis of repetitive stress injuries like patella-femoral syndrome as arthritis. This is reversible and caused by abnormal tracking of the kneecap, which is treated with physical therapy and orthotics.

Joints are in fact strengthened by activity and damaged by inactivity. Studies have shown that the articular cartilage actually thins and becomes more fragile with inactivity, therefore increasing the risk of arthritis. Joints adapt to the stress of exercise and become stronger and more able to endure the long term stress of running. Remember the doctor saying to increase slowly? This is why. Ligaments and muscles, which support the joints, are strengthened and reinforced by the stresses of the running activity, improving joint mechanics, if the joints are properly aligned.

Here is the truth about foot biomechanics. Proper biomechanics during the strengthening process is essential for joint health. Improper biomechanics can increase the stress on the joints in an abnormal fashion and actually increase the incidence of osteoarthritis and hasten joint damage.

Bottom line? Running does not increase the incidence of osteoarthritis unless the lower extremity biomechanics are faulty. In fact, almost 75% of Americans over the age of 65 experience some symptoms of osteoarthritis. This is not increased in runners. In fact, running may actually help with the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

The benefits associated with long distance running profoundly overshadow the risk of osteoarthritis. In runners, orthotic devices to correct their biomechanics early in their training may actually decrease the stress associated with increased osteoarthritis. If you have joint symptoms, see a sports medicine podiatrist today and have your gait realigned. Your joints will thank you. Remember, your feet are meant to carry you for a lifetime. Don't let the fear of osteoarthritis rob you of the joy of a lifetime of distance running!

General Information About Osteoarthritis

Common Characteristics of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is one of the most common ailments associated with getting older, and it is therefore most common in those parts of the world where people live the longest. More than 15 million Americans receive medical attention for osteoarthritis each year, and more than twice that many are affected by it to some degree. However, it rarely results in serious disability.

Osteoarthritis is essentially a "wear-and-tear" disorder. In typical cases, symptoms appear after the age of 50, and usually in the large joints that bear the most weight--the hips, knees, shoulders and spine.

Pain and stiffness are at their most uncomfortable upon arising in the morning and are likely to be intensified during damp, cold weather. (This does not mean, however, that symptoms are likely to disappear in a warm, dry climate.) Redness and swelling of the affected joints may also occur. Joints, particularly in the fingers, may become permanently gnarled by osteoarthritis, but this almost never interferes with their function. Painless bony bumps, known as Heberden's nodes, may also appear symmetrically on the fingers of both hands or on toe joints as well.

Causes of Osteoarthritis

When a person is young and spry, the joints between the bones swing freely like efficient, well-oiled hinges. Stresses and strains are absorbed by the cartilage pads that provide cushioning and lubrication at the ends of the bones where they constantly come together as the parts of the body make their coordinated movements.

Over the years, these protective layers become eroded, lubricating fluids diminish and the result is a sensation often described as "creaking" at the joints. In addition to a decrease in smoothness of function, small growths, or spurs, may develop on the bones in the area of the joints. These are 10 times more prevalent among women than among men and are likely to aggravate an already uncomfortable condition.

Signs and Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

Since the weight-bearing joints are the ones most commonly affected, stiffness and discomfort in the knees and hips are likeliest to occur first, especially in the overweight person or in someone whose life style involves long stretches of standing or walking. A visit to the doctor for diagnosis normally includes close inspection of painful areas as well as X-ray examination of the joints in question. (when X-ray pictures are taken for diagnosis of some other condition in younger patients, they usually reveal the beginnings of cartilage erosion in the weight-bearing joints at a stage that does not yet produce associated symptoms.) Other than X-rays and visual examination, there are no other diagnostic tests for osteoarthritis.

Treatment of Osteoarthritis

Where overweight exists as a contributing factor, efforts should be made to lose the extra pounds and keep them off. Application of warm, moist heat, slow and gentle massage of the affected joints and a reduction (not a total cessation) of normal activities are ways in which patients can help themselves when there is an intensification of discomfort. Where pressure on the weight-bearing joints can be diminished through postural adjustments, special exercises may be recommended.

Drug Therapy

Although inflammation is not one of the initial symptoms of osteoarthritis, as the joint degeneration progresses, swelling, redness and other signs of inflammation may occur. When this happens, anti-inflammatory drug therapy may be recommended.

Aspirin. Patients who can tolerate high doses of aspirin may be treated with this drug alone. However, patients on anti-inflammatory aspirin therapy, which may involve taking 16 or more tablets a day, should be aware of possible side effects, among which the most common are ringing in the ears, heartburn and other gastrointestinal upsets. To minimize gastrointestinal complications, the aspirin should be scheduled after meals. Acetaminophen, in smaller dosages, may be recommended as an alternative to aspirin.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents. These are relatively new drugs that relieve the pain and joint inflammation of osteoarthritis. It is the physician's role to match the patient with the particular drug that will be most suitable and effective without adverse effects. Sometimes drugs are used in combination, but whatever the procedure, supervision by the doctor is usually indicated if maximum benefit is to be achieved.

Steroids. In those few cases where other measures fail, steroid drugs (cortisone) may be injected into the damaged joint for temporary relief. However, long-term treatment with steroids is not recommended for osteoarthritis.


When an older person suffers such severe osteoarthritis that most normal activity becomes impossible, surgical replacement of the affected joints may be considered. Hip replacement, in which the entire hip joint or head of the femur is replaced, is the most common operation of this type. The replacement joint is made of plastic and metal parts and is held in place by special plastic cements. The artificial joints allow the previously immobilized patient to be relieved of crippling pain, and most activities can be resumed following physical therapy and regaining of muscle function.

More recent joint replacements include the knee--a joint that is more complicated than the hip and, consequently, poses more engineering problems in replacing. However, the newer artificial knee joints are providing good results, both in terms of pain relief and restoration of function.

Traumatic Arthritis

Closely related to osteoarthritis, traumatic arthritis is usually the result of excessive joint use combined with injury. It is commonly seen in athletes. Rest will usually resolve the problem, although in some instances, drugs or surgery may be required, particularly in the case of athletes who need to quickly regain the use of the injured joints.

Summing Up

For millions of people, osteoarthritis is an inevitable condition of aging. Most cases can be handled by rest and common sense. Anti-inflammatory drugs--both non-prescription painkillers such as aspirin or acetaminophen, or prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents--may be used during flare-ups.

Osteoarthritis rarely turns into a crippling disease, but as newer and more effective drugs are available for reducing aches and pains to a minimum, there is little reason for allowing this particular cause of physical discomfort to be a dominating factor in determining one's life style in advancing years.

Frankincense Proves a Natural Arthritis and Gout Medication

An age old substance could offer new hope for sufferers of inflammatory arthritis and the more common osteoarthritis. That substance is frankincense, a resin derived from the hardy Boswellia tree. Frankincense has been traded for over 5000 years, and is best known for its aroma. It is commonly used in incense and perfumes.

Frankincense is also widely used in various religious rites, and was said to be among the gifts presented to baby Jesus by the biblical Magi, or wise men, along with gold and myrrh (a similar reddish resin). Frankincense is still burned in the Roman Catholic Church.

Frankincense has also long been valued for its medicinal properties. The resin is edible, and is used in Asian traditional medicine to aid digestion and promote healthy skin. Frankincense has also been used in Ayurvedic (traditional Indian) medicine for hundreds of years, and is called dhoop. Dhoop is used for treating arthritis, healing wounds, strengthening the female hormonal system and combating germs and mosquitoes.

Scientists have been investigating frankincense as a treatment for chronic inflammatory conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, asthma, cancer, and rheumatoid and osteoarthritis In 2008, researchers from John Hopkins University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem reported that frankincense smoke was a psychoactive drug that relieved depression and anxiety in mice.

In another 2008 study at the University of California, 70 osteoarthritis patients taking a frankincense extract showed a significant improvement in their condition in less than seven days, with no major adverse effects. The extract was a proprietary product developed by Laila Nutraceuticals.

Recently, scientists from Cardiff University in Wales, noting that frankincense was a traditional herbal remedy for arthritis in the local Somali community, began to research it in the lab. Their research focused on whether and how extracts of frankincense could help reduce arthritic inflammation and reduce pain.

They were able to demonstrate that an extract of a rare frankincense species, Boswellia frereana, inhibited the production of key inflammatory molecules, helping to prevent the painful breakdown of cartilage that is characteristic of arthritis and gouty arthritis.

"What our research has managed to achieve is to use innovative chemical extraction techniques to determine the active ingredient in frankincense," explained Dr. Ahmed Ali, "Having done this, we are now able to further characterize the chemical entity and compare its success against other anti-inflammatory drugs used for treating the condition."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), arthritis is the most common form of disability in the US, impacting nearly 21 million adults. Arthritis can be classified as either inflammatory or non-inflammatory. Inflammatory arthritis is characterized by the presence of inflammatory white blood cells in the joint fluid.

Gout is an inflammatory form of arthritis, as is rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a non-inflammatory form of the disease. Both forms are incurable, but can be managed with lifestyle changes and arthritis or gout medications.

The Difference Between Arthritis and Rheumatism

'Rheumatism' is a traditional and non-specific term used in the East and West to refer to a variety of conditions affecting the bones, joints, skin, heart, kidneys, lungs. This term is rapidly falling out of favour in the West today because modern medical science has discovered that most of these conditions have different aetiologies (causes) requiring very different treatments.

You can say that it's a word mainly used in Chinese (& traditional) societies; it's also used by a minority of Westerners into homeopathic and alternative medicine. The only common characteristics among these conditions are: 1) they cause long-term chronic pain, and 2) they are very difficult to treat.

'Arthritis' is a broad term refers to inflammation of the joints, but doesn't say anything about the cause. Includes conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, infective arthritis, gouty arthritis, etc.

Generally, I'd divide arthritis into 2 big groups:

1) Osteoarthritis (OA)

This is primarily a 'wear and tear' condition affecting older people. Arises from overuse (e.g. marathon runners), previous injuries (football players), overweight, heredity. A lot of older Asian women get OA of the knees while the Americans and Europeans get it in the hips. The pain is more mechanical than inflammatory. So you get pain in the later part of the day after a lot of walking and climbing stairs.

Because it's mainly a mechanical problem, treatment with painkillers is only a temporary solution. Long-term lifestyle changes are more important - reduce weight, mobility and muscle-strengthening exercises, reduce all kinds of weight-bearing activities (walking, jumping, running, carrying heavy objects). In severe cases, surgery may be warranted.

2) Inflammatory ('Rheumatic') Arthritis

This group comprises the various types of arthritis which are mainly inflammatory , not mechanical, in nature. They usually result from an auto-immune condition, which causes the body's immune system to go haywire and attack the joints and other parts of the body. E.g. rheumatoid arthritis (RA), SLE (skin, kidneys, joints, brain), psoriasis (skin, joints), ankylosing spondylitis (back, heart), gout (joints, skin, kidneys), rheumatic heart disease/fever (joints, heart, skin). All these conditions require different forms of treatment.

I'll talk a bit about RA, the commonest condition in this group. Unlike OA, RA can occur at any age and is usually hereditary (we now have a test for the RA factor in the blood). Pain is usually in the early morning, worse when it's cold, and gets better with activity and use. That means an RA sufferer suffers from morning stiffness and pain, but gets better in the afternoon when it's warmer and when he has moved around a bit.

Treatment, unlike OA, is mainly through drugs - painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs like steroids, cytotoxic drugs like sulfasalazine and MTX. In Asia, treatment is mainly through accupuncture, medicated plasters and ointments. With the vast arsenals of drugs and non-drugs alternative treatments available today, RA can be controlled very well and the sufferer can actually lead a very active life. Many OA sufferers on the other hand may eventually require surgery since we don't have very effective drugs for OA.

What Sort Of Pet Arthritis Treatment Does Your Pet Need?

If you live with a pet, you know that creature like the back of your hand. You will know if he or she is having any pain or discomfort. Our pets count on us to take care of them. We may know they are not well but if they have arthritis, here are a few symptoms to help you in case you need to get your pet some pet arthritis treatment:

  • Soreness when you touch them

  • Problems when they get up from a resting position

  • Limping

  • Hesitancy to jump, walk up or down stairs, walk or climb

  • Generally walking slower

  • Shying away from you if they think you are going to touch them

  • Change in their personality, even if this is a minor change

Larger dogs often suffer from hip arthritis or arthritis in their hind legs. This can be the case with cats too. Like us this usually happens when they get older and are not so sprightely as they were when they were young. This is why you might think it's a general slowing down and not a disease. However, observe your pet for several days and if they have one or more of the above issues, go to your veterinarian to get them checked out.

Like arthritis in humans, pet arthritis does not have a cure yet. However, we can do a lot to help with the pain and inconvenience your pet is going through:

  • Get your pet diagnosed by a veterinarian

  • Let your veterinarian give you all the advice he or she can offer and consider the treatment plan

  • Don't let up on exercise. Dogs, particularly still need to go for their walks, even if at a slower pace.

  • If your pet is overweight, get him on a diet. Overweight means more pressure on those joints.

  • Check with friends to see if their pets have had similar problems and what they did about it.

  • Research online so you get a good picture of how to help with pet arthritis treatment.

  • Research glucosamine, especially in liquid form

As you can see, there are many things you can do to help your pet. Glucosamine is known to help pets and in liquid form is easy to administer. It is also important to make your pet feel as comfortable as possible. Make sure he or she is warm and kept away from cold spots and drafts. Check out his or her pet bed and/or blanket. Maybe they are wearing thin and need replacing.

Keep observing your pet. They often are subtly telling us what is best for them. If your pet starts lying down in an unusual place, then check it out. Maybe it is sunnier than his or her old one. Pay attention and let them guide you.