Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pain Relief for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis. In the United States alone, it affects about seven million individuals, most of them women. People of all ages can get this disease, but it usually manifests itself when one reaches his or her middle age. As with most other forms of arthritis, such as gout, osteoarthritis, and psoriatic arthritis, the rheumatoid version can cause extreme pain, limiting one's mobility and adversely affecting the patient's quality of life. Naturally, the issue of pain relief is a welcome topic for arthritis sufferers.

Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by swelling and pain, and can affect the joints in the ankle, knee, foot, hand, and wrist. It has also been known to affect the spine as well. There is still some mystery as to what causes this disease, but science has been investigating the hormonal, environmental, and genetic factors that contribute to the condition's occurrence. What is known is that somehow, something goes haywire within the body's immune system and instead of protecting itself, it turns and attacks the joints -- hence its classification as an autoimmune disease.

The 19th-century French artist Pierre-August Renoir and comedienne Lucille Ball are only two of other famous people who have been victims of this disease. Like other patients, they most probably suffered from symptoms such as inflammation of a joint (which feels hot or tender to the touch), possibly fever and loss of weight, and a decline in the level of energy. But most of all, one's waking moments are characterized by unremitting pain, the most common symptom. That's why pain relief is not only desired but essential if one is to at least able to go on functioning in the most optimal way possible.

There are several pain killers prescribed by doctors for rheumatoid patients. Probably the most common medication is something called NSAIDs, the acronym for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. NSAIDs do not inhibit the progress of the disease, but they do a lot to reduce swelling and the associated pain. However, some NSAIDs, such as COX-2 inhibitors, have come under fire from the public because of significant side effects that they can cause, including kidney and heart problems. Corticosteroid drugs taken orally are prescribed in cases where the pain and inflammation are very severe; but again, there are potentially serious side effects associated with them, so they should not be taken without your physician's approval.

Because of the growing concern over side effects, many patients are turning to natural and alternative therapies to manage their symptoms. Natural treatment regimens for rheumatoid arthritis abound; involving substances ranging from gold to herbs to marine products. For instance, dandelion capsules and celery seeds are reputed to reduce uric acid levels in the body, and this is good because excessively high uric acid levels can exacerbate symptoms. Herbs like dong quai, boswellia, and sarsaparilla have anti-inflammatory properties which reduce swelling. There is also growing evidence that dietary supplements containing chondroitin and glucosamine are beneficial for arthritis sufferers -- but many medical experts caution their use for in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, saying they are only to be used by those suffering from osteoarthritis. Other natural therapeutic methods used to treat the disease include acupuncture, massage, and hydrotherapy.

Medical experts cannot emphasize strongly enough the importance of a healthy diet for those suffering from the disease. Studies show that patients usually do not have healthy eating habits, and that this disease occurs very rarely in cultures that do not thrive on fast food and other fatty foods. A diet based on whole foods, vegetables, fruits, and certain types of seafood is recommended; one that is rich in sugar, refined carbohydrates, saturated fat, and sugar is not. Surprisingly, some foods that are healthy can actually aggravate arthritic pain in some patients; these include dairy and wheat products, and vegetables like tomatoes and eggplants.

Exercise is another important factor in creating the foundation for arthritis management. Physical therapists will generally recommend exercises that are "joint-friendly," such as walking, riding a stationary bicycle, swimming and other water activities. Moving an affected joint in its full range of motion is recommended, as long as you keep the movement smooth to avoid inflicting pain. Exercise is good, but it should not be overdone because it will worsen the pain, not relieve it.

There is no cure as yet for rheumatoid arthritis. But with the right diet, exercise, and treatment, a large measure of pain relief can be achieved. It is a manageable condition that should not prevent a person from living a good-quality life and continue to function as a contributing member to society.

Helpful Habits In Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis

Even though you may suffer with rheumatoid arthritis pain, doesn't mean it has to have complete domination over the rest of your life. Even if you've endured this monster for years, there's a good chance that you can have some effective control by learning all you can about managing and controlling what happens in your body in relation to your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Many have received lasting results and relief just by following a few helpful guidelines.

Be Practical

Do everything practical that you possibly can to alleviate your joint pain. If your doctor has prescribed a particular medicine for you to take, take it. Use heat pads or cold packs at the first sign of trouble. Get off your feet. Elevate your legs. Get some rest.

Prioritize Your Activites

Cut down on some of your scheduled activities for the day if your joints are swollen or giving you problems. Only do what's necessary and then get off your feet. If the swelling is more painful than usual don't attempt to do anything at all except to rest and maybe call your doctor if you think it's serious enough to call for it.

Exercise With Caution

Exercise as much as you can because it's good for the joints. Exercise acts like lubrication to the joints but don't over do it if your joints become painful. The exercise will actually begin to help alleviate the pain at some point but you must use caution and listen to your body's signal to stop. In time you will be able to do more.


Get as much rest as you possibly can. Your joints need the rest whether you feel like you need it or not. This is especially so during flare ups or even if you have just minor swelling and pain. And while you're resting be sure to move around a bit every so often, stretching the legs and especially readjusting them so as not to leave them in a bent position for too long. A prolonged bent positioning of your joints can damage the surrounding tissues and will in time curtail the mobility of those already painful joints. You are experiencing enough pain and limited mobility as it is so pay attention to those bent knees while you're resting day or night.

Allergy Watch

Pay particular attention to any allergies that you might have. There used to be a time when doctors thought it was pure nonsense or just plain folklore to suggest that allergies could trigger an arthritis flare-up. Today leading specialists acknowledge that in regard to arthritis symptoms, what you eat can either make your life easier or miserable. Studies have shown that certain foods can either cause or precipitate inflammation in the joints while other food substances can control inflammation, which is in essence like squelching the arthritis symptoms. Although these studies have their own individual results, you have to watch what seems to trigger inflammation and the accompanying flare-ups in your own case. What triggers a flare-up for you may not be a problem for your best friend. An excellent way to begin paying attention to your own allergy triggers is to go on a fast. You will get immediate relief just from the fast. You can also go on just a limited food fast in which you limit yourself to a few foods everyday for say a few days to a week. Then begin paying attention and recording how you feel as you start to eat additional foods.

Don't let the rheumatoid arthritis control you. Take back control by paying attention to your body's signals.

Arthritis Pain Between Your Shoulder Blades? - 8 Possible Reasons and Treatment

Arthritis is a strange disease in that one minute it's present in the lower part of your back, and then next your shoulder blades can ache uncontrollably and nothing you seem to take will fix the pain.

Back arthritis is particularly guilty of this random flare up and if you're suffering from some sort of arthritic condition from the top to the bottom of your spine, then this can be excruciating.

However, if you feel this disease is present in your shoulder blades then you may be mistaken as there are a few alternative theories:

1. Fibromyalgia:

This could be what's causing the discomfort as it occurs commonly in this region of the back.

Fibromyalgia is brought on by stress, sleep problems, headaches and fatigue and may last for awhile, but it's not permanent and the symptoms are very similar to various forms of arthritis.

2. Osteoporosis:

It could also just be simply that the curvature of the back has deformed, forcing the muscles to pull and stretch and this kind of behavior may be linked to osteoporosis, the depletion of minerals in the bone.

3. Problem with Lungs:

While the lungs sit at the front of the chest, the back of the lungs can have affect the upper back if there's some sort of ailment present.

4. Gallbladder problems:

Pain is felt from gallbladder inflammation not just in the upper right abdomen but also it can radiate to the back and up and under the shoulder blades.

5. Metastatic bone cancer:

More seriously it could be metastatic bone cancer which is when cancer forms in one of the organs and then quickly spreads to the bones.

This type of cancer is life threatening.

6. Hip Bursitis:

The bursa is a small sack of fluid sat between the tendon and the bone to prevent friction. When this becomes inflamed then this could also place pressure on the shoulder blades and the upper back.

7. DDD Arthritis:

Degenerative disc disease could also be causing the pain in this region. Doctors are unsure as to what causes DDD but essentially the symptoms can effect the upper back as a result of the discs between the cartilage in the vertebrae slowly deteriorating.

8. Bad posture:

It could just be down to years of bad body posture which can cause one to stoop in later life, and when the back tries to stretch flat out to it's original shape, such as when we lie flat on our backs, the shoulder blades can feel quite tense and compressed.

Rather than use dangerous NSAID's to provide pain relief, try some of the latest FDA registered homoeopathic supplements to reduce inflammation, relieve joint pain and build bone density:

Ingredients include:

  • Omega 3, 6 and 9 proteins.

  • Vitamin D in 800mg capsules.

  • Real natural anti-inflammatory compounds like Reishi, Capsaicin, Tongkat ali, Vitamin C, Ginger, White Willow Bark.

  • Glucosamine Complex, Chondroitin Sulfate and MSM.

What You Should Know About Spasticity and Muscle Spasms

A. Problem Specifics

Spasticity is the state of increased tone of a muscle and an increase in the deep tendon reflexes. For example, with spasticity of the legs (spastic paraplegia), there is an increase in tone of the leg muscles so they feel tight and rigid and the "knee-jerk" reflex is exaggerated. It does not occur immediately following a spinal cord injury. When an injury occurs to the spinal cord, the body goes into spinal shock that may last several weeks. During this time, changes take place to the nerve cells that control muscle activity. This affliction is most common in patients with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and other auto-immune diseases such as Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Following a spinal cord injury, the nerve cells below the level of injury become disconnected from the brain at this level. This is due to scar tissue that forms in the structure of the damaged area of the spinal cord thus blocking messages from below this level of injury from reaching the brain.

B. Causes and Symptoms

Once spinal shock wears off, the natural reflex that is present in everyone re-appears. Spasticity is an exaggeration of the normal reflexes that occur when the body is stimulated. In an able-bodied person, a stimulus to the skin is sensed and a sensory signal is sent to the reflex arch where it travels to the brain via the spinal cord. The brain then assesses the stimulant and if the stimulant is thought not to be dangerous, a signal that is inhibitory is sent along the spinal cord canceling the reflex from moving the muscle. In a person with a spinal cord injury (or given someone with MS), this inhibitory signal is blocked by the structural damage in the spinal cord and thus, the natural reflex is allowed to continue resulting in a contraction of the muscle. This is how spasticity is born.

Muscle spasms and/or spasticity occur in a person with a spinal cord injury any time the body is stimulated below the level of injury. This is usually noticeable when a muscle is stretched or there is a painful stimulant at this level. Because of the injury to the spinal cord, these sensations can trigger the reflex resulting in the muscle to contract or spasm.

Almost anything can trigger spasticity. However, there are specific conditions that can make it more of a problem. An infection of the kidneys or bladder will often cause spasticity to increase a great deal. A skin breakdown will also increase spasms. In a person who does not perform regular range-of-motion exercises, the muscles and joints become less flexible and almost any minor stimulation can cause severe spasticity.

C. What To Do About Spasticity and/or Muscle Spasms

Some spasticity may always be present. The best way to manage or reduce excessive spasms is to perform a daily range-of-motion exercise program. Avoiding situations such as bladder infections, skin breakdowns or injuries to the feet and legs will also reduce spasticity. There are three primary medications used to treat spasticity - Baclofen, Valium, and Dantrium. All have some side effects and do not completely eliminate the problem.

Another treatment of severe spasticity is the implantation of a Baclofen pump. The pump delivers a pro-grammable amount of Baclofen directly to the fluid surrounding the spinal cord. The drug then inhibits the reflex signal in the reflex arch of the cord stopping stimulation of the muscle to spasm.

Because the drug is delivered directly to the spinal cord, a very small amount can be used in comparison to a large amount that may have to be taken orally. Once a Baclofen pump is implanted, oral anti-spasmodic drugs are usually stopped.

D. Cautions with Solutions

Surprisingly, there are some benefits to spasticity. It can serve as a warning mechanism to identify pain or problems in areas where there is no sensation. Many people know when a urinary tract infection is present by the increase in muscle spasms. Spasticity also helps to maintain muscle size and bone strength. It does not replace walking but it does help to preventing osteoporosis, to a minor degree. Spasticity helps maintain circulation in the legs and can be used to improve certain functional activities such as performing transfers or walking with braces. For these reasons, treatment is usually started only when spasticity interferes with sleep or limits an individual's functional capacity.

A surgical procedure called "radio-frequency rhizotomy" is sometimes indicated in the treatment of severe spasticity in which spinal nerves are cut in order to relieve pain or high blood pressure. Spasticity targets and destroys the damaged nerves that do not receive "Gamma-Amino-Butyric-Acid (GABA)", the core of the problem for people with MS, spastic cerebral-palsy and other related maladies. In this case where the nerves which, due to not receiving GABA and are, therefore, generating unusual electrical activity, are cut with the remaining nerves and nerve routes carrying the correct messages, as they were and fully intact.

This is best done in the younger years before bone and joint deformities take place before the pull of spas-ticity. However, it can, as well, still be performed safely and effectively on adults. This is a permanent pro-cedure that addresses the spasticity at its "neuromuscular" root; i.e., in the central nervous system that contains the misfiring nerves that cause the spasticity of those certain muscles in the first place. After this type of procedure, assuming no complications, the person's spasticity is usually completely eliminated, revealing the "real" strength (or lack, thereof) of the muscles underneath.

Because the muscles may have been depending on the spasticity to function, there is almost always extreme weakness after such a "rhizotomy-procedure". The result requires the patient to work very hard to strength-en the now-weak muscles with intensive physical therapy and to learn new habits of movement and daily tasks in a "new" a body without the spasticity. Rhizotomy's result is fundamentally, not like orthopedic surgical procedures where any release in spasticity is essentially rewarding but temporary.

There is a support group forum, designed for families, users and potential users of the Baclofen pump, to control spasticity. They are called the Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy Discussion Board Forum.

The Synchro-Med pump is an implantable, programmable, battery-powered device that stores and delivers medication according to instructions received from the programmer. The primary differences between the pump-models are the size of the reservoir and the presence of a side-catheter access port. They are reached at - The SynchroMed Pump.

The CODMAN 3000 Infusion Pump is a cost-effective therapy for those patients that fail conventional medical treatment. This elegantly simple device features an inexhaustible power supply and does not require frequent replacements associated with battery-powered pumps. Codman is part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies reached at

Arthritis - Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Arthritis is a term that is used to describe the inflammation of a joint. Some of the characteristics of arthritis are pain, swelling, redness and warmth within the joints. Rheumatic arthritis is a type of chronic arthritis that affects both sides of the body such as wrists, hands or knees. It is the second most common form of arthritis and it can affect people at any age. Typically though, it's onset is around the middle years say between 30 and 50 years of age.


The exact cause of this condition is not yet known, but according to research, it is thought to be caused by three factors which are environmental, hormonal, and genetical. Research has shown that certain genes which are connected to the immune system are linked with rheumatoid arthritis. It is believed that something (stress, hormonal changes, or a viral infection) does trigger rheumatoid arthritis in people that has the genetic tendency to develop the condition. There is another school of thought that suggests that smoking may also be a root cause of this condition.


There are a number of symptoms which can sometimes be very unpredictable as can come and go. Some of the most common symptoms include Fatigue, Pain and Swelling of the joints, Stiffness of the joints (which occurs mostly in the mornings and after sitting for long periods of time), and The presence of bumps and nodules under the skin. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect people in different ways. For some, it develops and progresses rapidly. While for others, it develops for a limited period of time and then lapses into a remission stage which can last for months or even years. It can also develop gradually over several years before it becomes really unbearable for the sufferer.


Managing rheumatoid arthritis can be achieved with a balance of medication, exercises and rest. Although it is easier said than done, especially since the symptoms can sometimes come and go and there can occasionally be severe bouts of Flare-ups (When the inflammation of the joints becomes more painful and active, and the swelling and stiffness gets worse), it is still advised to stick to the treatment routine that was devised by your medical team so as to keep the condition under check. The treatment of this condition depend on several factors including medical history, age, severity, and the overall state of health of the sufferer. The medications used to relieve the symptoms include: Anti-inflammatory painkillers, Nacotic pain relievers, and Topical (creams and lotions) pain relievers. Extreme or severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis are treated with very strong medications called Disease-Modifying Anti-rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs), and or surgery - to correct damage done to the joints.

Arthritis Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Arthritis is a condition that primarily affects the soft tissue or cartilage between the bones in joints. Arthritis is literally an inflammation of the joint and can cause pain, stiffness and loss of mobility and the three most common areas afflicted are knees, hips and hands. This condition is something grows slowly worse over a long period time.

Arthritic Diseases
There are several different diseases or disorders that are impact by join inflammation including; rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, gout, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis.

Natural Alternatives for Relief from Joint Pain
While western medicine will indicate it is difficult to know what causes Arthritis - holistic practitioners and practitioners of eastern medicine will tell you it all boils down to an imbalance in the kinds of foods that one is eating. Many people who suffer with joint inflammation benefit greatly by embracing a more alkaline diet - focusing on more live - green leafy vegetables. A typical America diet tends to be very acidic and acid is a major contributor to problems in the body. There are various schools of thought on whether it is acid that is causing the pain involved with arthritis or if it is rather the affect of the colonization of bacteria and pathogens that may congregate and live in the joints of the body. One such believer in this philosophy is Jim Humble creator of the Miracle Mineral Solution a solution that has helped cure over 75,000 people in Africa from Malaria. Go to YouTube and watch the videos on MMS or Miracle Mineral Solution. This all natural solution costs less than $20 and is good for a about a year. This solution will literally kill off bad pathogens living in the body while causing no harm what so ever to the body. There have been numerous testimonials about how MMS has helped people challenges of this kind. As with any of the advice I give - this is not medical advice I am just informing you of a non-pharmaceutical alternatives for you to explore and decide for yourself.

Another option to creating an alkaline environment for the body in which to thrive is to embrace super greens. These are green drinks that are literally packed with tons of various green alkalizing foods that you mix with water and drink. They are super alkaline and people notice dramatic results within a relatively short period of time. You will find when you first start taking them they will be repulsive to you and the more repulsive the taste the more toxic your body. This is because you body is reacting to the alkalinity of the drink - you will find over time the drink becomes more and more palletable. There are several good drinks on the market including Berry Green and Green Vibrance which are available in health food stores and IsaGreens available at Find a green drink that best suits you and then embrace it into your lifestyle it is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body.

Difference Between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis is a common ailment people experience as they age. All Arthritis conditions affect the joints of the body in some form, with almost all those afflicted with the disease reporting pain. The most common form of Arthritis is Osteoarthritis, with a similar form being Rheumatoid Arthritis. Despite being subgroups of Arthritis, there are key differences between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is also known as Degenerative Arthritis, in that joints and connecting bone degrade, leading to a loss of cartilage for bone support. The hands, feet, and spine are the areas most commonly affected. Those who are obese, elderly, suffer from joint stress, or muscle weakness are at greater risk for the disease. Treatments for this disease include lifestyle changes such as exercise and weight loss which are commonly recommended.

The other common form of Arthritis is called Rheumatoid Arthritis. Unlike Osteoarthritis, RA is an inflammatory response that is chronic. Joints are similarly affected as in Osteoarthritis, however, the membrane that lines the joints are what become inflamed instead. Small joint areas such as the hands and feet are affected most commonly. Unlike Osteoarthritis, this form of Arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. The body's immune system actually attacks normal tissue in the body. Treatments includes anti-inflammatory drugs, pain relieving drugs, and drugs that prevent future joint degradation.

Despite affecting similar areas of the body, Osteoarthritis and RA are two very different conditions. Osteoarthritis will affect those with demographic risk factors, while Rheumatoid Arthritis can attack anyone, as it is an autoimmune disorder.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Try A Natural Diet For Arthritis Pain Relief

I got rid of my arthritis and arthritis pain forever by eating a natural living food diet. I found relief from my arthritis pain, naturally, and you can do it too.

Arthritis concentrates in one or several joints where deterioration occurs. To get the arthritis pain relief you're seeking it's helpful to understand how arthritis works. The first step when looking for solutions to an arthritis pain problem is to understand how arthritis works.

The combination of the collagen meshwork and high water content tightly bound by proteoglycans creates a resilient, slippery pad in the joint, which resists the compression between bones during muscle movement. Collagen is the main protein found in all connective tissues in the body, including the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The ability to make repairs to cartilage becomes limited as cartilage cells age.

Most experts now believe that osteoarthritis results from a genetic susceptibility that causes a biologic response to injuries to the joint, which leads to progressive deterioration of cartilage. Genetic factors are thought to be involved in about 50% of osteoarthritis cases in the hands and hips and a somewhat lower percentage of cases in the knee. An inflammatory response causes cytokines, to gather in injured areas and cause inflammation and damage to body tissue and cells; it's known to play a role in rheumatoid arthritis and other muscle and joint problems associated with autoimmune diseases.

Try massaging your fingers or other affected joints with coconut oil twice a day. Some foods and beverages to avoid that are inflammatory are: caffeine, salt, sugar, meat, dairy products, additives, soft drinks, white flour, white rice, alcoholic beverages, fast food, processed vegetable oils, refined, packaged and processed food. Studies done on antioxidant vitamins question the value of these supplements; it's clearly better to consume these antioxidants in living foods because they may also need to work with other nutrients present in the foods to work properly.

If you really want to get rid of your arthritis pain forever it may take a radical change in your diet and an ongoing commitment. Make smoothies with fruit only using a base of two bananas, adding a cup of frozen or fresh blueberries and mango chunks or substitute any other fruit and add an energy boost of two tablespoons of coconut oil; add one or two leaves of kale for another highly nutritional boost -- no one will ever know. Making a ginger tea, by adding a thin slice or two of fresh gingerroot to hot water, is helpful to many people I know.

Try avoiding the eight most allergic foods, wheat being the most allergenic; they are wheat, corn, eggs, milk, peanuts, fish, shellfish and some nuts, not all. One natural treatment method involves avoiding all inflammatory foods, that is, foods that are not alive.

I know quite a few people who are drinking tart cherry juice to relieve their arthritis pain; but is has to be the tart kind though. Some of the supplements commonly used for relieving arthritis pain, but I don't know if any of these work, are: glucosamine, chondroitin, bromelain, grapeseed extract, omega-3 and omega-6, cod liver oil, manganese ascorbate, MSM, boron, niacinamide, pantothenic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E.

To be on the safe side always seek your doctor's advice before starting or changing your exercise program. A good exercise routine is the key to beating arthritis and relieving arthritis pain. If you have pain and swelling in your fingers, try squeezing Thera-putty made for this purpose or exercising with two Chinese chime balls called Taiji balls. Even the lightest exercise can go a long way to maintaining your joint mobility and overall health.

Your body has 147 different joints that are in motion every day of your life. Exercise your affected joints every day, to keep them flexible. Stretching and warming up the joints should always be the first step in your exercise routine to make your joints more flexible, just be careful you don't do further damage-proceed slowly..

Be aware that the use of NSAIDs or Cox-2 inhibitors do not halt the progress of osteoarthritis and may even hasten the onset.

Once you become more informed about arthritis you'll be able to plan an arthritis treatment program, natural or conventional or a combination of both. For conventional treatment of arthritis - if you do choose to take drugs or medications, be very careful and read the labels thoroughly.

Following these suggestions can help you get back in the swing of things fast and allow you to spend your days enjoying life once more. Arthritis pain relief is the ultimate goal - understanding arthritis is a good way to get there. Begin your treatment program with a diet change, exercise and weight loss plan to see incredible results and fast pain relief.

Arthritis Pain Lessened Through Bioenergy Therapy

84 Year Old Male

An 84-year-old male was recently treated for arthritis in his right hand. The knuckles in his thumb, all the way back to the joint near his wrist, were swollen to twice the size of his other hand. The entire area was discolored. It was so painful that he couldn't open his hand and had no use of his thumb. He had experienced the arthritis for many years. In the past, he had sought medical treatment for the pain. He received painful injections of cortisone into the joint of his hand which gave only temporary relief. When asked to evaluate the pain on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the worst pain, he placed his pain level at a 10.

Pain Level

One of the first things a bioenergy therapist will ask when dealing with pain, is to find out from the client about the pain level. While this client had a pain level of 10, it's not uncommon to find someone who complains strongly about pain, rating the level at 5 to 6. The therapist needs to understand as much as possible about the client's experience.

Energy Work

Next, this man learned how the therapy worked:

  • His hand would be treated energetically 4 days in a row.

  • This would be followed by a full week of NO therapy.

  • The process involved only the use of light touch (energy).

  • He could possibly feel tingling sensations, warmth, heaviness, pressure or nothing while undergoing the therapy.

  • He would need to allow his hand to heal by not over-using it when it felt better.

An analogy would be drinking lots of water and resting in bed when you have a cold. If you don't, it takes longer to get well.

Initial Therapy

After the initial treatment, this man looked incredulous. He honestly couldn't believe it. He insisted that he wasn't kidding and that his hand didn't hurt near as much as it had prior to the therapy. He sat moving his hand, making a fist and opening his thumb in disbelief.

He truly thought after sleeping through the night, he would awaken with the same pain. But, the following morning, the swelling was less, the discoloration slightly less, and he could still partially use his hand.

Following the Four Days

The swelling was minimal, the discoloration much less, the pain almost gone, and the use of his hand was greatly improved. It was still not the same as the other hand. He reported that he decided that his hand would always hurt a little. That he couldn't expect it to be like the other hand.


Many people entering therapy are afraid to set any expectations. Those suffering with arthritis have generally had the pain for a long time. They also normally have limited use of particular joints and they've grown to expect a worsening condition.

Laying on of hands is not magic. It takes time for the person's body to heal to whatever degree it is able to heal. And, everyone's body is different. Many people with arthritis need multiple 4-day sessions to continue making progress.

Healing By Distance

In the case cited above, this man needed additional treatment by distance during a second 4-day session. As he received bioenergy therapy by distance, he reported feeling a pulling on his thumb and it began to ache. This often happens when working with pain. The pain may seem to intensify while working on the area energetically or after the therapy is completed. However, following the aching, many times the pain will lessen to a 1 or 0 on the pain scale.

Follow Up

This man's first question was if he could return to playing golf. It was imperative that he give his body a chance to heal as fully as possible after receiving the energy. Waiting a couple of weeks before hitting a golf ball was not a long time. If some pain returned at that point, he was to wait another couple of weeks before trying again.

It's important to understand this distinction: this man may always have arthritis, but he doesn't need to suffer the symptoms of arthritis. Just as an AIDS patient may always test positive for AIDS, but no longer suffer the symptoms of the long held disease.

Our Internal Wisdom

Our bodies are wise. They know when they've healed enough to begin a new activity. When a person experiences long-term arthritis pain, it's difficult for them to believe that anything can make a difference. Once they do begin to feel better, they want to hurry and begin doing everything that has been limited in the past. It's like they want to make up for lost time!

The secret is to listen to your body's wisdom.

Signs, Symptoms, And Treatment Of Nail Psoriasis

Nail psoriasis may affect the nail plate, bed (the tissue under the nail), the matrix (the tissue from which the nail grows), the folds, cuticle, and the bones at the end of the fingers. Signs of nail psoriasis vary according to the part of the fingernail affected and the nature of the deformity.

It is rare that a person develops psoriasis only on the finger or toenails and nowhere else on the body. There are 4 general types of nail psoriasis; these changes may occur alone or simultaneously.

They include:

  1. Pitting: A deeply pitted nail caused by the deficiencies in growth due to psoriasis in the nail matrix, characterized by loss of parakeratotic cells from surface of nail plate.

  2. Discoloration of the bed (yellow or yellowish pink) resembling drops of oil under the plate, referred to as an "oil drop" or "salmon patch" caused by psoriasis in the nail bed.

  3. The appearance of a white area separating and lifting from the nail plate, caused by pockets of air where the bed is lifting from the nail bed. This is referred onycholysis, and may be accompanied by inflamed skin around the cuticle.

  4. Crumbling and total loss of the nail due to psoriasis causing weakening of the nail matrix.

Psoriasis of the finger and toenails can resemble other conditions such as chronic fungal infection or inflammation of the nail bed.

Nail Psoriasis Treatments and Preventative measures:

The best treatment for nail psoriasis is proper care of you nails. At this time there is no cure for this disease.

Your goal will be to improve the appearance and the function of your nail. You can do this by keeping your nails trimmed, clean, and filed. If you have fungal infection your doctor will prescribe an OTC (over the counter) anti-fungal medication such as: miconazole (MONISTAT) and clotrimazole (LOTRIMIN, MYCELEX).

Soaking your nails in sea salt bath will moisturize and help thickening nails is also a best practice. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes to not encourage rubbing or irritation.

There are natural ways to treat and cure your psoriasis from the comfort of your home. Preventative maintenance, changing your life style and treating naturally is the real way to take care of and prevent all of the terrible symptoms and debilitating aspects of the psoriasis disease.

Remember this not a skin disease it is an autoimmune disease and you have to cure it from the inside out. Do you really want just a treatment for nail psoriasis or would you rather have you whole body 'Psoriasis Free for Life'?

Arthritis Treatment: Gout - Disease of Kings or Just a Very Common Type of Arthritis

Gout, at one time, was designated the "disease of kings" and was associated with a lifestyle consisting of power, a high station in life, and wealth. In today's world though, that is no longer the case.

As a result of several demographic factors including longer life span, the obesity epidemic, and other conditions often associated with gout including hyperlipidemia (elevated cholesterol and triglycerides), diabetes, and hypertension, gout is recognized as being an extremely common condition. In fact, gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in men past the age of 40.

Gout affects roughly 8 million Americans making it more common than other forms of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

In addition to hypertension, diabetes, and elevated lipids, gout patients are often affected by diseases affecting the cardiovascular system as well as the kidneys.
The role of increased alcohol consumption also cannot be ignored.

Gout is caused by the deposition of monosodium urate crystals (uric acid). This happens because the body is unable to get rid of this compound via the kidneys at a fast enough rate to keep pace with production of monosodium urate that arises as a result of the metabolism of purines, a constituent found in many foods.

The first sign of a potential gouty problem is termed "asymptomatic hyperuricemia." This means that a patient has an elevated blood uric acid level but no symptoms. There is still debate as to when and if to treat this condition.

The next episode is usually an attack of acute gout. While these attacks can be managed symptomatically, acute gout is usually a prelude to another attack of acute gout. The period between acute gout attacks is called the "intercritical period."

During this time monosodium urate deposits accumulate in joints and other organs such as the kidneys.

These crystals cause a chronic low grade inflammation that leads to joint and organ damage.

If gout is not treated at this juncture, it evolves into "chronic gouty arthritis" with attendant joint destruction, pain, and loss of function.

While much has been written about diet in gout, the fact of the matter is that gout is a metabolic disorder that needs to be treated with medication. Dietary manipulation may reduce uric acid levels only by about 1mg/dl.

Because laboratory ranges are based on "normal populations", the trend has been to see normal levels that are much higher than the past. The fact is all gout patients need to have their serum uric acid kept below 6mg/dl.

How To Live a Happy, Healthy, Pain-Free Life With Rheumatoid Arthritis

I was never a really healthy kid. From the time I was 13 years old in 1983, I had been in and out of the hospital many times with various health problems. I knew more doctors and nurses by first name than I knew kids my own age!

Doctors diagnosed me as enemic, and put me on iron suppliments. They thought at one time that I had Rheumatic Fever. I didn't even know what that was at 13 years old.

I started having joint inflammation off and on when I was fourteen, and this continued until I was seventeen. I had been tested for Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of fifteen, but the test came back negative.

Finally, when I was seventeen years old, I was tested again, and the test came back positive for RA. I was immediately started on NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

In 1987, doctors didn't know that they needed to be aggressive from the get-go with drug therapy in order to stop this terrible disease. As a result of that, I suffered tremendously. I would end up having 12 surgeries to replace or repair joints!

I took the NSAIDs until I was eighteen, and was finally started on gold injections. Finally, when I was twenty years old, I was started on Methotrexate and Prednisone.

It wasn't until I was twenty-nine years old that I was started on REALLY aggressive drugs as soon as they were made available. That year, 1999, I was started on Enbrel shots. Finally, in 2003, I was started on Remicade infusions.

I am making it all sound simple, but there is was more that has happened to me in the last 20 years since I was diagnosed. I have been through alcoholism, severe depression, psychiatry, counseling, tons of dangerous medications, physical therapy, and lots more.

Just in the last year or two alone, I have learned how to live a happy, healthy, pain-free life with Rheumatoid Arthritis, and I can show you how to do the same.

Caring For Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

Rheumatoid arthritis defies race, ethnic groups and age. This form of arthritis can affect people of all ages including children and young adults. However, the occurrence of rheumatoid arthritis is more frequently seen in older individuals despite the fact that this disease often begins in middle age people.

People affected with chronic illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis often experience anxiety, depression, worthlessness and the feeling of being helpless. People with rheumatoid arthritis may experience difficulty in doing their normal activities. Others may even find limited job opportunities because of physical deformity. Family life may be altered and some patients may find it difficult to attend to the responsibilities they hold in their family. Moreover, the cost of both medical and surgical treatment for this type of disease is often extensive. This can hurl the patient into further emotional and financial dilemma.

It is important that people with rheumatoid arthritis be given proper emotional and physical care to be able to function back normally if possible. Experts suggest some helpful tips to aid a rheumatoid arthritis patient ease some of the burden the illness has brought them.

1. Hot showers or baths, either in the morning or at bedtime, are beneficial for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Hot showers can considerably reduce the need for pain medications.

2. It is important that patients should adapt a well balanced diet. However, patients should be made well aware that even special diets will not cure rheumatoid arthritis. Weight should be well controlled, since any extra pounds will pose added burden to the affected joints.

3. Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis should not cease to do their basic daily activities. They should be advised to perform simple activities like feeding themselves or dressing or combing their hair. Enough time should be given to them to perform and finish each task calmly. Provide them items that will make their task easier like providing them packed foods in easy to open packaging or easy to grip glasses or light cups and unpackaged silverware. When dressing up, dressing aids can be very helpful. These include a long-handled shoehorn, "reacher", zipper-pull, elastic shoelaces and buttonhook. Household items should also be made friendly to rheumatoid arthritis patients - including easy to open drawers, handrails and grab bars. All these will help patients perform daily activities easier.

4. It should be made known to the patient how and when to take his medications. His doctor or nurse should be able to inform the patient about possible complications or side effects, if there are any, accompanying his medications.

5. A competent medical practitioner or nurse should teach a rheumatoid arthritis patient how to stand, walk and sit correctly. It will be beneficial for patients with rheumatoid arthritis to use chairs with high seats and armrests. These will enable him to get up more easily with his knees higher than his hips. Elevated toilet seats will also be helpful.

6. Patients should learn how to rest every few minutes within an hour's activity. He should learn to alternate sitting and standing tasks. Adequate sleep is also important and should be done in the proper sleeping position. A nurse can teach the patient how to adopt a proper sleeping posture.

Finally, proper emotional support should be provided. It should be well kept in mind that patients with chronic disease like rheumatoid arthritis can be easily depressed, discouraged and irritable. Patients should be encouraged to freely talk about their fears or anxieties concerning their situation.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Arthritis Treatment: Important Information About Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a common form of soft tissue rheumatism that affects anywhere from six to 12 million Americans. That's roughly 2-4 per cent of the population.

While FM affects members of both genders, ninety percent of FM suffers are female.

Symptoms of the affliction include chronic widespread pain, generalized tenderness, chronic fatigue, and non-restorative sleep (a patient will wake up feeling as if they haven't slept). In addition other symptoms such as headache, blurred or double vision, short term memory deficit, ringing in the ears, swallowing difficulty, chest pains, shortness of breath, numbness and tingling in the arms or legs, irritable bowel and irritable bladder can also occur.

Symptoms often wax and wane and the unpredictability of symptoms makes it extremely difficult to perform simple activities of daily living such as taking care of household chores or working.

While the exact cause of the condition is unknown, it is felt that central nervous system neurotransmitters- chemical reactions in the brain- may play a role. Changes in the ascending and descending nerve pathways that govern the ability to perceive pain are almost certainly involved.

The diagnosis of fibromyalgia is made by taking a careful history and doing an equally detailed physical examination. Generally speaking, the diagnosis of the malady is one of exclusion meaning it is important to make sure a patient doesn't have another condition that can mimic fibromyalgia. Examples include hypothyroidism, Lyme disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, polymyalgia rheumatic, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Unfortunately, there is no definitive objective marker for the disease. Diagnostic criteria formulated by the American College of Rheumatology include the presence of widespread pain lasting more than three months and the presence of pain in eleven of eighteen tender points in all four quadrants of the body.

Laboratory tests can help exclude other conditions that can look like FM. Patients with the condition are often seen by a number of different physicians in many specialties before the diagnosis is made. In fact, estimates have been made suggesting it takes an average of five years before a patient with fibromyalgia gets diagnosed.

More disturbing is that according to recent statistics, more than 70 per cent of people with FM have not been diagnosed.

The condition is treatable and involves the triad of medications that have neuro-modulating effects, low impact aerobic exercise, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Some people have suggested that diet may also play a role in that certain foods may trigger flares in susceptible people.

Osteoarthritis Causes, Symptoms and Remedies That You Ought to Know

Osteoarthritis is not related with single disease but it is the result of variety of disorders. Finally it results in structural and functional failure of one or more joints. This condition includes the pain in entire joint, nearby muscles, underlying bone, ligament and joint lining. In osteoarthritis there is an advance loss of cartilage. Initially the cartilage tries to repair itself. It is related with degenerative joint disease which typically affects joints in the knees, hand, hip, feet, and spine. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis.

There are varieties of causes of arthritis. Some of its important risk factors are -

1. Women: Women get often affected by the problem of osteoarthritis in comparison to men.
2. Older age: Usually osteoarthritis affects the people of older age.
3. Obesity: Risk of osteoarthritis increases with the increase in weight. So, obese person are at more risk in developing the problem of osteoarthritis.
4. Joint injuries: Sometimes due to sports injury and repetitive stress, due to some occupation also it results into the problem of osteoarthritis.

Usually the symptoms of osteoarthritis begin gradually, but over the period the condition worsen. Though there are varieties of symptoms of osteoarthritis but some of its main symptoms -

1. Aching or stiffness.
2. Growth of bones on the margins of joints.
3. Occurring intermittently.
4. Pain worsens during activity and the condition improves in the rest condition.
5. When the joint is moved, it causes a great sensation.

Usually, osteoarthritis is diagnosed after proper physical examination and also the results of an x-rays. Sometimes the doctor finds a need to take a sample of synovial fluid from the joint. On the basis of proper diagnosis, the person suffering from the problem of osteoarthritis may go for treatment.

Though there is no permanent cure for osteoarthritis but proper treatment can reduce pain and also help in improving flexibility, joint movement, and quality of life. Some of the options for treatment include:

Modifications in lifestyle and also non drug approaches like weight loss, exercise and physical therapy.

Some pain reliever medications like corticosteroid injections, acetaminophen and hyaluronic acid injections.

For severe conditions of osteoarthritis, surgery is the last option. In this condition, none of the treatments show any improvement. So at last the person suffering from the problem of osteoarthritis has to go for joint surgery with the advice of the doctor.

Proper exercise, yoga, diet etc also works in reducing the pain of the patient suffering from osteoarthritis.

What Other Diseases Masquerade as Rheumatoid Arthritis? Part 2 - The Infectious Group

While rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis, the diagnosis is not always easy to make. The reason is that there are more than 100 different kinds of arthritis. Most of them involve inflammation. When a patient goes to a rheumatologist to get a diagnosis, there is a process of elimination in order to arrive at the proper diagnosis. This process of elimination is called "differential diagnosis."

Differential diagnosis can be a difficult undertaking because so many forms of arthritis, particularly inflammatory forms of arthritis look alike. Generally it is helpful to divide the differential diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis into two groups. The first group are the non-infectious diseases to consider and the second group are the infection-related conditions.

In part 1 of this article, I discussed the non-infectious causes of arthritis that need to be considered when assessing a patient with possible rheumatoid arthritis. In this article I will discuss those types of arthritis that are directly or indirectly due to infections.

Many infections can present with arthritis due to either direct inoculation of a joint (either from the outside or from a bloodstream infection) or due to autoimmune reactions. In many instances, infections lead to acute single joint arthritis; however, in some cases, chronic single or multiple joint arthritis can be present.

Missed infections can lead to significant complications; therefore, it is important to have a high index of suspicion for infection in any patient presenting with acute or chronic arthritis.

Here are some examples:

Gonococcal arthritis is an infection due to the organism that causes gonorrhea (N. gonorrhea). It usually affects a single joint (in 90% to 95% of cases). Symptoms include:

o Joint pain that migrates (jumps around) for 1 to 4 days;

o Pain in the hands/wrists due to inflammation of tendons;

o Sometimes a single joint can be inflamed;

o Fevers;

o Skin rash;

o Burning on urination;

o Lower abdominal pain.

The diagnosis of gonorrhea is made by taking the history and by culture or DNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of areas of possible infection, including the throat, genitals, and anus. Since the organism that causes gonorrhea is difficult to grow, it can often be missed on culture. Gonococcal arthritis can usually be distinguished from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by clinical presentation, blood tests, and cultures.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection due to the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. It presents with a skin rash, swollen joints and flu-like symptoms, caused by the bite of an infected tick. Symptoms may include:

o A skin rash, often resembling a bulls-eye; the rash may be more widespread, though;

o Fever;

o Headache;

o Muscle pain;

o Stiff neck;

o Numbness and tingling

o Bell's palsy

o Swelling of knees and other large joints.

The diagnosis of Lyme disease is typically made by blood tests. Standardization of Lyme tests has improved greatly in the last few years. If chronic single joint arthritis develops, joint fluid analysis or joint tissue biopsy may be necessary for diagnosis. Lyme arthritis can usually be distinguished from RA by clinical presentation and blood testing.

Acute rheumatic fever (ARF) is an inflammatory disease that may develop after an infection with Streptococcus, the bacteria that causes strep throat and scarlet fever. The disease can affect the heart, joints, skin, and brain. Symptoms include:

o Fever;

o Arthritis (mainly affecting the knees, elbows, ankles, and wrists);

o Skin rash and skin nodules;

o A peculiar movement disorder, called Sydenham's chorea;

o Epistaxis (nosebleeds);

o Heart problems;

o Abdominal pain;

ARF is diagnosed by history, physical exam, and blood testing for antibodies against streptococcus. ARF and RA can have similar clinical features including arthritis and nodules. But, ARF can usually be distinguished from RA. For instance, rash and migratory arthritis (arthritis that moves from joint to joint) are unusual in RA. Blood tests are also useful for making the distinction.

Bacterial endocarditis (BE) happesn when bacteria from the skin, mouth or intestines enter the bloodstream and infect the heart valves and heart lining. Symptoms include fever, chills, and other flu-like symptoms as well as unexplained weight loss and weakness. Diagnosis is made by blood cultures and ultrasound imaging of heart valves. Rheumatoid factor can be elevated in endocarditis, so it is not useful for distinguishing BE from RA.

Arthritis may be a symptom of many viral illnesses. The duration is usually short. Clinical features in adults include:

Joint symptoms occur in up to 60%. Joint pains are more common than true joint inflammation. The joint pains usually don't last long. They are symmetric, and affect small joints of the hands, wrists, knees, and ankle joints. Morning stiffness and swelling can be present. A rash may be present

The most common cause of viral arthritis is probably Parvovirus B19.

Diagnosis of viral arthritis is usually made by blood testing.

RF testing is not helpful in distinguishing between hepatitis C infection and RA because RF levels can be elevated in patients with hepatitis C. However, in these situations, testing for anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) can be useful since these antibodies are not significantly elevated in hepatitis C infections.

Different Arthritis Symptoms

The arthritis is the disease of joints. Due to arthritis, your joints will not move quickly and give pain on each movement. The whole body depends on the joints, so that is the big problem because when you will not able to move easily then that will disturb your routine and makes you lazy. The arthritis causes due to different reasons. That can happen due to injury, due to some medical problem, due to infection and also with the age that will happen. If you are not too old or you are at initial stage then you can cure yourself from that problem. The old people too take treatments for getting relief from that problem but only if they start their treatment as soon as possible and in proper manners. You have to identify it by arthritis symptoms for getting treatment at the initial level.

The first main arthritis symptom is that you feel pain in your joints. Some people feel pain when they move but there are also many people who feel all the time even they move or not. Due to pain they can not participate in the daily activities and you can not be happy all the time. The other symptom is that you will not move quickly. When you want to move, then you feel pain in your joints and will not perform any activity. When you not bear weight on your joints then how will you walk? Some times when you try to move, you clearly listen the voice like two bones interacted.

The other arthritis symptom is that the body of those people start to thin especially from the area near to joints. While on the other hand some people have swelling on their joints. Some have redness on their joints. And some also feel that their joints are warm. In few cases that is also seen that people feel erection on their joints and can bend their parts near to joints. There are different arthritis symptoms, because the whole body is attached with each other with those joints and the whole body performance depends on those joints.

The other arthritis symptoms are: the fever attack on those people when they face joint problem. And they will be in low fever all the time and feel pain in their all body. Some people start losing their weight when they caught in that problem and that is dangerous because the food which they eat consumes there. Due to this, you body requirements will not fulfill. So, when you fall into that problem then you have to take the fruits in more quantity and must drink lot of milk. Some times, you also feel fatigue, and feel weak. That will also create problems in the other main parts of your body which are main parts of your body. And on those parts, you life is running. Due to this, your heart, lung or kidney also affect by this and will not perform well. The main functions of the body depend on those three factors and when they will not work well and you will go closer to death day by day.

Best Treatment For Arthritis

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States. It can occur at any age, and literally means pain within a joint. Arthritis is an umbrella term for a range of conditions which cause pain and swelling of the joints. Arthritis is a condition that occurs in various joints in the body, especially in the knees, hips and spine. It can affect any joint, but the shoulder is affected infrequently. When arthritis occurs the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones making up the joint breaks down and often flakes off into the joint. The joint becomes swollen and stiff and the lining tissue of the joint (the synovium) becomes overgrown. Frequently, spurs will develop around the margins of the joint and can, sometimes, break off inside.

These conditions occur as a result of damage or wear and tear on the body and are more prevalent over time. The body is a superb piece of machinery which works very well on a daily basis but like any machine, is prone to niggles and complications over time. One of these problems is arthritis.

The pain can vary from mild to very severe, depending upon many factors, including the severity of the disease, the type of arthritis. The condition may occur spontaneously or as a late result of previous trauma, such as fracture or dislocation. It also may occur as a result of an inflammatory disease such as rheumatoid arthritis.

What causes arthritis and how do you know if you have it?

Although it is thought that the sufferer's genetics play an important role in the development of this disease, unfortunately, the exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis has not yet been identified; what is known is that when it occurs, the body's immune system suddenly turns against itself destroying the tissues found in and around the joints. This is why the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can include extreme pain at the joints (this normally occurs in pairs, for example - both elbows, both knees, etc.).

Arthritis is on the increase, and the statistics show that this figure is growing fast. Therefore an understanding of what arthritis is and what the signs are is important, so that sufferers can get an early diagnosis and implement relevant lifestyle changes before the symptoms become too serious.

If you have a joint which becomes stiff, feels heavy and fatigues easily, then arthritis may be present. If you are unlucky and the doctor informs you that you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, the news can be quite devastating. However, understanding this disease is one way that you could come to terms with it, so that you know what to expect and can work out a plan of action to control it in the best manner you can.

Arthritis also called rheumatoid arthritis, shouldn't be confused with the term "rheumatism", which has taken on the meaning of any aches or pains related to aging, or weather. Some studies have demonstrated a link between arthritis and certain weather conditions with low barometric pressure and high humidity. There is a theory that low pressure systems, usually associated with damp or rainy conditions, could cause joints to swell. The swelling causes stiffness of the joints, as well as pain. High humidity may have an effect through other mechanisms.

We know that arthritis symptoms can be worse when the muscles around the joint aren't strong or supple enough. Cold weather stiffens muscles, so this may also worsen arthritis symptoms. Each person is different in how weather can affect them. Some people say they can predict rain based on their arthritis, and others say that they feel worse during or after a storm. This simply shows that the correlation between weather and arthritis is poorly understood.

So What Is The Best Treatment For Arthritis?

Although there is no cure for arthritis; there are treatment options available. Many advocate the benefits of natural, chemical and drug free treatments to ease pain.

All About Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is termed as a chronic disease. It is common among most people across the globe. The disease is usually characterized via inflammation of the skin and joints. The inflammation of the skin is medically termed as psoriasis and inflammation of the joints is known as arthritis.

This disease is very common among people between the ages of 40 and 60. Both males and females are affected equally by this disease. It is believed that the skin disease or psoriasis occur separately from the joint pain or the arthritis.

Psoriatic arthritis can be referred to as a systemic rheumatic disease that has the potential to result in the body tissue inflammation. It may also affect other parts of the body such as the heart, eyes, kidneys and lungs.

This type of arthritis usually share several features with the arthritis of other types including reactive arthritis, arthritis related to Crohn's disease, ankylosing spondylitis and arthritis related to ulcerative colitis.

Almost all these conditions may result in inflammation in the spine as well as other joints. The inflammation can also occur in the eyes, mouth, skin and several other organs.

A) Causes of this type of arthritis

There are several causes associated to this type of arthritis. However, the exact cause of this disease is unknown. It is believed that a blend of several genetic and immune factors in conjunction with several environmental factors is responsible for the occurrence of this disease. Patients suffering from this disease may suffer from inflammation of the skin. Certain genes such as HLA-B27 are responsible for the occurrence of this disease.

Several other genes have also been found responsible for this disease. Medical experts feel that some changes occurring in the immune system may play a significant role in developing psoriatic arthritis. Exposure to infection and changes in the environment are also responsible for this disease to occur.

B) Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis

If you want to treat a disease, it is extremely important to know about it at an early stage. This is the best way to rush for medical help and get the best of treatment available.

When it comes to psoriatic arthritis, a patient tends to experience inflammation of the skin as the primary symptoms. Of course, there are other symptoms such as inflammation of the joints, pain in the joints, swelling, and the skin getting hot and red. In some cases, inflammation of the joint in the fingers or toes can result in the swelling of the entire digit.

This results in the appearance of a sausage. Stiffness in the joints is the most common symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. This condition may also result in inflammation of the spine and even the sacrum. This finally results in stiffness and pain in the lower back, neck, buttocks and upper back.

C) Treatments

The condition can be treated with a combination of anti-inflammatory medicines or NSAIDs and exercises. In progressive cases, more powerful medication such as corticosteroids, methotrexate and antimalarial medicines are prescribed. Early diagnosis is the best treatment.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Arthritis Treatment: Arthritis Is a Major Reason for Lack of Exercise - And What to Do About It!

It's no surprise that people with arthritis don't exercise as much as they should. New information in a study from the Communicable Diseases Center in Atlanta show that persons who have arthritis are more likely to be physically inactive than those who don't have arthritis.

This is a shame because exercise is a key ingredient for the total management of arthritis.

A large portion (25% to 47%) of inactive adults in every state are adults with arthritis, the study found. In a typical state, about one-third of the inactive adults reported having arthritis.

Also, in a more surprising revelation, the number of adults who perform no leisure-time physical activity is 25% to 84% higher in those who have arthritis compared with those who don't.

While it is true that people with arthritis have barriers to being physically active, such as fear of increasing pain or worsening their symptoms, these worries are usually unfounded. Another worry is lack of equipment. Exercise doesn't always require fancy machines.

There are many exercise regimens that people with arthritis can manage. And exercise definitely is indicated to help reduce the impact of arthritis on a person's activities of daily living. Also, in patients with other co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and such, exercise can help with those diseases as well.

Some pointers for people with arthritis to consider when starting an exercise program:

Discuss the issue with your rheumatologist. Advice regarding low impact types of exercise can be rewarding. Activities such as swimming, walking, cycling, an elliptical trainer, cross country skiing, and so on can be a good start.

The goal should be to engage in exercise a minimum of 30 minutes 5 days a week. Start slowly and build up to that amount. Avoid the temptation to just jump into an exercise routine and push too hard.

Always warm up and cool down and stretch before and after exercising.

All exercise programs should incorporate cardio, resistance (weight-training), and stretching. Think of exercise as being a three-legged stool.

By mixing it up, exercise can be enjoyable and not become a dull chore. Consider non-conventional activities such as yoga, a great way to stretch. Some people find t'ai chi also to be a good way to stretch.

Once you make exercise a habit- just like brushing your teeth- then it becomes much more easy to adhere to.

Another hint: exercise with a buddy. That will help with motivation.

Medical Treatment For Arthritis

Medications aimed and alleviating arthritis symptoms and treating arthritis' debilitating effects and deterioration processes are being continuously developed.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It may involve damage to the joints in the knees, hip and wrists. Although usually diagnosed in the elderly, people as young as 25 can develop osteoarthritis in any joint.

There is no cure for this disease and medical treatments may provide relief of symptoms and improvement in quality of life. This disease takes its toll on physical functioning leading to disability and handicap while more and more the patient is dependent on others to walk and climb stairs.

For effectively reducing pain and inflammation in the affected joints the conventional medical treatment is with Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs known as NSAIDs. These drugs are not steroids however patients should be warned that long term treatment with these medications has been found to cause serious side effects as internal bleeding, hypertension (high blood pressure), congestive heart failure (heart attack) and damage to the kidneys.

Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis are chronic joint diseases. Medications for treating these more severe types of arthritis are aimed at stopping, preventing, and even reversing bone and cartilage changes occurring as the disease worsens.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an example of a destructive arthritis. This progressive disease causes swelling of the joints. A continuing process of inflammatory attacks on the bones membrane causes bone erosion often leading to irreversible joint damage. This inflammatory condition can lead to considerable disability and severe degrees of joint pain. The severity of this structural bone damage can be predicted according to the severity of the inflammation, the number of swollen joints, or the duration of morning stiffness. Bone and cartilage damage is rapid and dynamic after disease onset. In most patients this structural bone damage occurs within the first year of the disease. Therefore the key to effective treatment begins with early diagnosis.

To treat this process, by effectively controlling the inflammation and reversing the structural damage to the bones, a specific medicine was developed. These are known as conventional Disease-Modifying Anti-rheumatic Drugs or DMARDs.

Ankylosing spondylitis another chronic joint disease involves inflammation in the sacroiliac joints and the spine. As the disease progresses the patient suffers from ongoing back pain stiffness. Medical treatments for Ankylosing spondylitis are physiotherapy and medication as Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs).

Psoriatic arthritis patients in addition to the inflammatory arthritis process also suffer from psoriasis on their skin. In most cases they first suffered from psoriasis which later worsened to psoriatic arthritis however in some patients the psoriasis symptoms occurred after the development of the arthritis disease. In addition to joint inflammation and psoriasis on their skin these patients often also have changes in their nails as pitting or ridging. This disease also leads to severe damage to the joints and handicap overtime.

The latest medications developed for treating these three chronic joint diseases Rheumatoid arthritis, Psoriatic arthritis and Ankylosing spondylitis are called Tumor Necrosis Factor α blockers (TNF α blockers). These are biologically specific therapies which have essentially revolutionized the treatment of inflammatory arthritis diseases by effectively controlling disease symptoms and progression.

Depending on the case the patient can be treated with TNF α blockers alone or in what as known as combination therapy together with Disease-Modifying Anti-rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs). Although TNF α blockers are very effective in treating the disease especially if the treatment begins in the early stages of the disease, this treatment often causes side effects as the development of serious infections requiring hospitalization.

Nurse's Best Arthritis Pain Relief Tips And Treatments

I found relief from my arthritis pain, naturally, and you can do it too. A few years ago I accidentally discovered how to rid one's self of arthritis pain, naturally.

Arthritis concentrates in one or several joints where deterioration occurs. The pain in arthritis can be moderate to severe. As a result of arthritis, the bone beneath the cartilage undergoes changes that lead to bony overgrowth and the tissue that lines the joint can become inflamed, the ligaments can loosen, and the associated muscles can weaken.

The combination of the collagen meshwork and high water content tightly bound by proteoglycans, creates a resilient, slippery pad in the joint, which resists the compression between bones during muscle movement. Cartilage is one of the few tissues that does not have its own blood supply. Damaged joints cause pain and sufferers are constantly looking for ways to relieve the pain.

Possible causes of arthritis include lesser known: bleeding disorders, like hemophilia, that causes bleeding to occur in the joint; disorders such as avascular necrosis, that block the blood supply closest to the joint; and conditions like hemochromatosis, that causes iron build-up in the joints.

Injuries sometimes can be the start in the arthritic disease process; osteoarthritis can develop years later even after a single traumatic injury to a joint or near a joint. It's generally thought that inflammation plays a minor role in osteoarthritis and is more likely to be a result, not a cause, of arthritis.

Gluten may be a culprit in arthritic diseases including fibromyalgia; avoid wheat, barley, rye, spelt, triticale, kamut and oats (although not a gluten grain it gets contaminated at the wheat mills. Natural treatment for arthritis is usually a better choice because it's non-invasive to the body. Nutrition experts say it takes a combination of supplements, that no one supplement can relieve arthritis pain, build cartilage, etc.

Making a ginger tea, by adding a thin slice or two of fresh gingerroot to hot water, is helpful to many people I know.

Make smoothies with fruit only using a base of two bananas, adding a cup of frozen or fresh blueberries and mango chunks or substitute any other fruit and add an energy boost of two tablespoons of coconut oil; add one or two leaves of kale for another highly nutritional boost -- no one will ever know.

Many have told me that going off dairy products and gluten containing foods relieved their arthritis pain entirely.

Some people swear by morning drinks of raw apple cider vinegar and honey for arthritis pain relief. If you're not already doing so, make a big effort to watch your diet.

Some people swear by glucosamine and/or chondroitin and others say it didn't help at all. One natural approach is to consume foods that are known to help relieve arthritis pain or prevent arthritis.

To be on the safe side always seek your doctor's advice before starting or changing your exercise program. Even the lightest exercise can go a long way to maintaining your joint mobility and overall health. There are a number of exercises which can benefit arthritis sufferers regardless of how much restriction of movement there is. Exercise is good for joints affected by osteoarthritis.

Your body has 147 different joints that are in motion every day of your life. Exercise in a heated pool; it will help reduce the pressure on your joints and the heat will help you loosen those joints. Important exercises for arthritis are range-of-motion exercises, isometrics, and some weight bearing exercises.

If you're planning to take any of the non-prescription NSAIDS for arthritis, make sure you understand what bad effects they can have on the stomach, liver and/or kidneys and discuss this with your doctor. Be aware that the use of NSAIDs or Cox-2 inhibitors do not halt the progress of osteoarthritis and may even hasten the onset.

Let your doctor and pharmacist know about any other drugs, herbs or other supplements you're taking, to ward off any adverse drug reactions that might occur from the combining of different drugs or supplements.

Changing your diet to predominately fruits and raw veggies, like I did, can turn your arthritis pain around almost overnight. Arthritis pain relief is the ultimate goal - understanding arthritis is a good way to get there. Knowing more about arthritis and how it works will ultimately help contribute to your relief of arthritis pain.

Feline Arthritis Symptoms - Help For Cat Hip and Joint Pain

Feline arthritis symptoms like limping up stairs or refusing to jump up on the couch without your help are painful to accept. Knowing that you cat hurts is something you want to fix. Here's some tips on how to help him.

Arthritis is not a friendly disease and it's one of the more common ones that hit middle to older aged cats. Feline arthritis symptoms develop in many of the same places humans deal with the disease, which is wherever there are joints - elbows, knees and hips.

There isn't a cure for arthritis in cats. You can, however do a lot to help your buddy live comfortably, even pain-free for the rest of its life. But the faster the symptoms are noticed, the sooner the arthritis can be treated.

This is why it's important to be aware of your cat and know its regular routine. The speed with which you're able to pick up on feline arthritis symptoms will only help you in the long run. While some of the signs are more gradual and can be the cause of something else, it's good to get them checked out or at least mentioned when your cat has its regular veterinarian visit.

One symptom that may be noticed before others is limited motion. When a cat has developed painful joints, he might suddenly start doing things a little differently. For one, he might totally avoid the stairs or start taking short hops so there's less stress on its joints. He will most likely move slower than normal, or it won't be as quick to jump up to its scratching post or favorite place to watch the activity of the day.

Limping might become more noticeable on a gradual level, unless you know your pet well enough to notice every detail. It will be worse in the morning or right after the cat has been napping. The limp will decrease as the day goes on, as activity helps stiff joints. It is sometimes more noticeable during cold and damp weather.

The other feline arthritis symptoms tend to relate to moods. It's probably because of the cat's inability to do the many things it was accustomed to. A cat's mood will normally change if it isn't feeling well or it's in pain. This means if a cat is struggling with arthritis, it's not uncommon for it to become depressed or irritable. It may also not want to be touched, because the brushing or petting hurts it.

If nothing is done about your cat's arthritis, then your cat is only going to become more and more lethargic and moody. He's going to sleep more than normal. There may even be an appetite decrease because depression has set in or because it isn't moving around as much. The reason is everything is painful and every movement hurts.

Get Your Arthritis-Diet Right to Help Fight Your Arthritis Symptoms

It's a well-known fact that there is no cure for arthritis. Professionals in the field of medicine often advise arthritis sufferers to control their diets as it is thought the diet arthritis sufferers choose to eat can have a significant impact on the symptoms that they suffer throughout their life. The quantity of food the individual consumes can also have a major impact on their arthritis symptoms. Doctors advise their patients to control what they eat so as not to carry excessive weight that will put pressure on their joints, which as we know are the main areas that feel the pain and swelling symptoms of arthritis.

Watch Out for certain food types to help control your Arthritis Diet

When somebody finds out that they have arthritis medical advisers will often inform them that their diet can play a major part in controlling their symptoms. Individual foods we eat acts as allergens and when you consume too much food and put on weight by eating too much starchy food, soft drinks, red meats etc... this can have a negative impact on your body and cause your arthritis symptoms to flare-up. So it is advised to avoid these types of food or at least have them on rare occasions. One thing to note for arthritis sufferers is that they shouldn't take antacids because this will neutralise the body's natural acid levels and cause low calcium absorption.

Choose the right foods for your Arthritis Diet

Controlling your diet can really help control your arthritis symptoms. There is no particular food that can stop the symptoms completely, but you can alleviate the pain and suffering by controlling your food intake and avoid specific foods that are not beneficial. When we look at the foods that we want to consume to help arthritis symptoms, make sure you eat plenty of vegetables and fruits that are high in vitamins E and C. Also, select whole-grain wheat's or brown rice as a replacement for starchy potatoes.

It is important that we consume enough calcium in our diets as calcium has been identified as one of the specific elements that can really help to alleviate arthritis symptoms. Hi calcium content foods include items such as oysters, nuts, beans and vegetables. These also provide good levels of magnesium which helps your body absorb calcium.

As with many other health issues, controlling your diet nearly always has a positive effect on you well-being because the food we is absorbed in our bodies and it is this food that gives our bodies the energy, vitamins and minerals that we need to carry out enjoyable and active lives. So if you are having trouble with your arthritis consider modifying your diet to control the types of food you consume to help alleviate your arthritis symptoms.

What Is Psoriatic Arthritis And How Will It Affect Me?

Approximately one million men and women of all ages in the US are living with Psoriatic Arthritis. This lifelong condition can cause deterioration, pain, and stiffness in one's joints. Regardless of age, anyone with psoriasis and joint pain can have also known as PA.

PA is most common in the neck, back, knees, ankles, fingers and toes. Almost 90% of those diagnosed with PA first notice symptoms in their nails. Their fingernails and toenails will pull away from the nail beds and often develop pitting, form rough ridges, and even appear discolored such as a yellowish-orange color. It is not uncommon for pain and stiffness in the joints of hands and feet to appear as early indicators of psoriatic arthritis.

The severity of PA can vary. It can be mild effecting one finger or toe, or in contrast can be so severe that it is considered disabling. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, approximately 20% of psoriatic arthritis patients have more than five totally damaged joints that significantly impair the quality of life, both professionally and personally.

If left untreated, joint degeneration can develop quickly and is irreversible. More than 50% of people living with psoriatic arthritis have some limitations and more than 60% lose time from work. If you or someone you know has a family history of psoriasis and experiences stiffness and swelling of joints, take control by making an appointment to see the doctor or dermatologist.

If left untreated destruction of joints occurs, making it painful, if not impossible to perform daily activities such as walking or even brushing your teeth. However, early treatment and proper diagnosis can prevent awful joint pain from progressing into deformities and disability.

If you or someone you know has a history of psoriasis and experiences joint discomfort, consult a dermatologist immediately. Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic condition effecting people of all ages. PA can begin as mildly uncomfortable and become devastatingly disabling if it persists untreated. For most people, appropriate diagnosis and treatment will relieve pain, protect the joints, and maintain mobility.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Rheumatoid Arthritis Tips For Living

There are tons of rheumatoid arthritis tips out there, but which ones really work?

Is it possible to maintain your quality of life after a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis?

Can you still complete your favorite hobbies and necessary tasks with rheumatoid arthritis?

Consider the answers to the questions in addition to the following rheumatoid arthritis tips:

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a particularly painful inflammatory disease that can also limit mobility by producing stiff, swollen joints.

Considered an autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis can be painful and may potentially create a problem in your life.

However, if you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, there is hope available. There are many medications on the market that are capable of controlling the symptoms of this autoimmune disease.

Furthermore, there are many non-medical tips that will allow you to control your disease without any extra medications.

Tips For Controlling Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, know that this is not a sentence for the rest of your life.

Although this medical condition can be quite serious, proper treatment will allow you to continue on with your daily activities and beloved hobbies.

You may want to invest in certain items that will allow you to complete certain tasks with assistance, you can enjoy living.

If you have problems performing certain tasks (including opening jars and holding certain cooking utensils), consider purchasing special tools that will allow you to be able to perform the task a great deal easier.

Watching your diet is a huge way to help your condition of rheumatoid arthritis

Quite often, having any additional weight can make your condition a great deal worse, as more weight and pressure is placed on your joint.

If you are interested in increasing your mobility, you may need to look into healthier eating practices.

Many individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis found that they can control many of the symptoms by altering their diet to exclude certain foods.

Although studies are still being performed, many individuals have found excluding gluten wheat from their diet has made a huge difference in their condition.

Another way to control your condition is to routinely exercise . Many doctors will recommend that you begin a work out regimen and will be able to assist you with performing the correct exercises.

Although you should certainly not overdo any of the prescribed exercises, having a work out regimen in place will allow you to routinely use your joints.

When your joints are not used, they are more likely to become sore and stiff.

Your joints are much like hinges on a door. When a door is not properly used, the hinges are more likely to open slowly and require a great deal of strength to properly move.

One widely recommended work out routine for individuals with rheumatoid arthritis is water exercises. These exercises take place in a pool, which is incredibly easy on the joints.

Since water has no impact, you do not have to jar your body and joints as if you were working out on terra firma.

A Guide to Osteoarthritis

The pain of joint damage is often unbearable for most people. One of the most common afflictions for this part of the body is osteoarthritis. More people suffer from this than any other type of arthritis, because it entails the gradual deterioration of an individual's joints. While there is no cure for this condition, there are many things you can do to reduce the damage that is being done. Making healthy lifestyle choices is one of the best ways people suffering from osteoarthritis can continue to live a normal life free from excess pain. It is an unfortunate condition that can come about for various reasons, but treatment options are available.

Osteoarthritis: Causes, symptoms and treatment

• Joint deterioration that occurs naturally over time

• Often affects commonly used joints

• Symptoms include joint pain, stiffness and loss of flexibility/mobility

• Medication and joint relief efforts can minimize the wear and tear

In contrast to other forms of arthritis, osteoarthritis is not caused suddenly. It is a condition that everyone experiences; the only difference is the rate at which it happens. Over time, the cartilage that is located between our joints wears thin. There comes a point in the deterioration process where joint pain can be felt. This is due to the lack of cushion that the cartilage is meant to provide.

The most common symptoms people experience when the cartilage has been worn is acute pain in the region. This pain can be a dull, aching sensation, but it can also be sharp and severe depending on its extent. The trouble areas tend to be the hands, knees and elbows. Although every joint is subject to osteoarthritis, these tend to be used more on a daily basis and thus are subject to quicker deterioration.

In addition to pain, a joint that has less cartilage can be more difficult to move. You may experience a stiffening sensation. In some instances, particularly for joints that have deteriorated to a substantial degree, a complete loss of mobility can occur. The cartilage acts as a lubricant; when it is no longer present, a joint loses the ability to move.

Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are treatment options you can take to reduce the rate of deterioration. Performing exercise on a regular basis can help strengthen your joints. You can also minimize the wear and tear on them by refraining from excess strain. Joint pain can be very discomforting; your doctor will be able to prescribe you with medication to alleviate these symptoms.

Mum's Knitting - A Natural Arthritis Treatment Story

Arthritis can cause such a lot of discomfort in so many ways when you get older. It was one thing when mum started to lose her sight a bit as she got older; she still managed to knit things for all her grandchildren, and could do most of it from a good memory. However once arthritis started to cause her the discomfort that it typically does, her knitting needles became something which caused her pain and not pleasure.

Mum has knitted things since she was younger than me. She knitted my school jumpers and I always had some striped something or other from socks to scarves from remnants! Her hands have always been nimble. Arthritis is strange because it makes your fingers painful but they can also swell and become stiff. It is very frustrating to watch somebody try to accomplish something that used to be so easy.

That is when we starting trying some remedies to see if we could help her. I am the one in the family that is more inclined to try natural treatments so I looked into some of the remedies available. There are all different types of arthritis but two of the main ones are rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Not knowing which one mum had, as there is also another type which appears more with age which is degenerative arthritis, we thought we would try something which has helped many people with the symptoms, so I bought her some omega 3 fish oil. Most people do not get enough of this type of oil in their diet anyway so it was worth a try. Sure enough, it has helped her immensely.

Now? Well she is no longer with us, but I know that she managed to knit right up until she couldn't sit up. The good part was, her quality of life was helped by a natural arthritis treatment. Who would have thought that a natural arthritis treatment using an oil supplement could bring somebody so much more pleasure and quality of life by relieving some of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis? I didn't, but now I endorse the use of natural products to all the people I care about who suffer from arthritis.

Weather Related Joint Pain and What to Do About It

Arthritis patients are most likely to experience stiffness and soreness when the seasons change. Barometric pressure has a lot to do with the pain. Many patients that do have a type of arthritis move to places with higher barometric pressure to relieve joint pain! Lower barometric pressure often increases pain and discomfort in the joints.

Most patients start experiencing increased pain or discomfort in certain areas of their body when a storm is near. This interesting phenomenon occurs because the pressure changes and influences the fluid in the joints. A sharp pain the back or ankles or knees can lead someone to predict a big storm.

For individuals that have no existing joint problems, suddenly cold temperatures can spike muscle pain. Many people frequently feel this in the knees or ankles during cold weather. Storms or intense weather changes can also trigger odd and otherwise unexplainable body pains.

Treatment Options for Weather Related Joint Pain

- Choose to avoid areas where weather changes dramatically.
- Take a pain reliever if you experience the above symptoms.
- Wear knee braces if necessary to avoid debilitating knee muscle pain.
- See a doctor if the pains continue and you are not currently diagnosed with arthritis.

What Causes Arthritis Joint Pain?

Arthritis muscle pain can be caused by hundreds of different things. There are even over 100 types of arthritis that millions are diagnosed with each year. While it isn't life threatening it can make living life normally difficult, especially in severe cases of arthritis.

- Genetics
- Age
- Weight
- Lifestyle and diet
- High intensity sports that are done at a young age for many consecutive years
- Illness or infections in the body, including STD's
- Previous injuries
- Working in a hazardous environment or location
- Weather, including extreme weather conditions where you live
- Other medical conditions
- Certain medications seem to trigger arthritis
- Inflammation
- Unknown causes that are a complete mystery to doctors

What to Do If You Experience Joint Pain

If you experience muscle pain when the weather changes, be sure to relax and just take a pain reliever. That is the best way to go about treating something that doesn't occur too often. If you experience joint pain more than a few times a year then you may have a more serious problem. Screening for arthritis is your best bet to ensure that you are healthy. Untreated arthritis can cause severe degeneration of the joints and make doing simple things very difficult. There are a number of medications and treatments designed to help with arthritis symptoms.

Easy Exercise for Arthritis

Osteoarthritis affects 21 million Americans and is caused when cartilage is damaged by injury, overuse, obesity, or muscle weakness. We are all at risk; over half the population age 65 and older has some form of diagnosed arthritis. Whether you want to manage symptoms or are working on prevention, you can take steps to nourish your joints and help them last longer.

Smooth movement is the best thing for your joints. Let me explain why. Arthritis occurs when cartilage, the protective covering on the ends of bones, is damaged. Its major function is to absorb and release synovial fluid, which cushions the impact so bones don't bear the brunt of movement. Cartilage does not receive direct blood flow, so it depends on movement to circulate fluids. As a matter of fact, cartilage will atrophy and degenerate unless used regularly.

Typical exercise does not address the needs of joints and many times makes things worse. Excessive loading of the joints (for example, pounding on a treadmill) damages cartilage and that can lead to osteoarthritis. Also, most exercise focuses on arms and legs and does not include the spine or hands.

There are many joints in the body to nourish, over 100 in the spine and more than 20 in each hand. Look around you at the gym. Do you see smooth movement in the spine and hands? I suspect that most people are creating stiffness instead.

The Arthritis Foundation has created several exercise programs designed specifically to increase mobility without undue strain. The Aquatics Program includes gentle exercises in warm water that are designed to increase flexibility and strength. Tai Chi from the Arthritis Foundation(R) includes 12 movements, six basic and six advanced, which improve agility and relaxation. For more information, visit

Another option is therapeutic yoga, which gently brings movement to the body in a low-pressure, high-awareness environment. You can search for a therapeutic yoga instructor near you at The International Association of Yoga Therapists, Most people think of ultra-flexible, touch your toes to the back of your head moves as yoga. However, yoga has expanded to encompass a broad range of abilities. Therapeutic yoga can be done in a class setting with extra attention from the instructor or in private sessions where the teacher creates a program specifically for your body.

Undulation can be used as a specific exercise, especially for those whose activity is limited by pain, or incorporated into every day activities, which is good for everyone. Undulations are small and mild and focus on one simple movement at a time. Believe it or not, you can lubricate your spine simply by swaying back in forth as you sit as long as you move within your pain-free range. Octopus is an undulation that soothes the joints in the hands. You can learn more about Undulations at

A bit of proactive exercise now will make it easier for you to move in the future. Remember: smooth movement is better than jarring movement for your joints. Take care to include your spine and hands in your workouts. A new form of exercise may be just what you need to reduce your chances of developing arthritis.