Saturday, May 18, 2013

Velvet Antler For Arthritis - Does it Really Work?

For several centuries and in various cultures throughout the world, the use of Velvet Antler persists as an extremely popular natural healing method. In some countries - notably Japan, China, Korea, and Russia - It is widely used for its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to improve the immune system.

What is Velvet Antler?

Velvet antler is literally a type of antler that is collected only once per year from a particular elk that inhabits various farms in different parts of the world. Once annually, the male elk sheds a set of antlers. During springtime, the velvet is regularly gathered by elk breeders which are then later sent to appropriate laboratories.

Note that annual antler shedding is a natural phenomenon, and there is no need to worry that animals are harmed in the process. In fact, the procedure has been approved by animal rights activists all over the world. Because it is produced yearly in various farms, it makes for a great renewable resource for arthritic patients.

Treatment For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Velvet Antler has been proven to be particularly effective in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, a condition characterized by the weakening of the immune system which gradually leads to inflammation and other related problems.

Scientific studies have documented the presence of fatty acids, collagen, trace mineral, amino acids, and functional proteins in Velvet Antler. In combination, these essential elements provide a powerful remedy for rheumatoid arthritis as well as a number of other diseases. To date, very few prescription drugs actually cure rheumatoid arthritis without giving rise to some severe side effects and related complications. This is why Velvet Antler, with its natural curative properties, is a generally popular option.

Treatment For Osteoarthritis

In addition to curing rheumatoid arthritis, Velvet Antler has also been known to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis. It's chemical components, namely Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids, glycosamino glycans, calcium, and various others, have been scientifically proven to reduce inflammation within the human body.

In particular, Velvet Antler contains an abundance of Chrondoitin, a chemical that strengthens the proteoglycan molecules which support the cartilage of animals and humans alike. Because of this, it can be used to effectively restore joint function among osteoarthritis patients.

Medical Research and Scientific Studies

In addition to the various user testimonies attesting to the efficiency of Velvet Antler, scientific research continues to uncover more benefits of the product. In fact, recent studies indicate that the full potential of the product has yet to be harnessed.

To date, various experimentations are currently being done to develop a new medicine based on Velvet Antler with the primary aim of healing both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, but without the harmful and potentially life-threatening side effects of currently available medications.

There are now a number of pharmaceutically available products that are based on Velvet Antler. Users of such products claim that these are indeed effective in relieving inflammation and joint pain. More importantly, these users have not detected any side effects such as heart palpitation, severe mood swings, and others.

Studies on the Efficacy of Glucosamine For Arthritis

A lot of people, especially those aged 45 and up, are or will be afflicted with arthritis, a condition involving degenerating joints. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative joint disease. In this condition, the cartilage found within the joints has broken down and worn away, leaving bones with little or no cushion whatsoever to rub against each other. This results in pain (sometimes very severe and debilitating) every time the person moves. Over the years, a lot of treatments and remedies have been used for arthritis. However, the most effective substance found to alleviate the pain and stop cartilage degeneration is glucosamine.

The action of glucosamine on affected joints is found to be different compared to other types of medications prescribed for arthritis, such as COX-2 inhibitors and several types of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs commonly referred to as NSAIDS. There are numerous studies on the effects of glucosamine on arthritis sufferers as well the extent of its efficacy in treating this condition. The latest study done in the United States in 2006, reported some interesting findings. Bolstering glucosamine claims were the statistics showing glucosamine when taken in conjunction with chondroitin provided a higher percentage of pain relief (compared to Celebrex) to those suffering moderate to severe arthritis pain.

Even though both medications are effective in reducing arthritic pain, glucosamine has little or no side effects. Patients do not experience nausea and upset stomach, conditions which are commonly reported as adverse reactions to NSAIDS (Celebrex). With better tolerance, more and more people stick to their medication regimen using glucosamine. Furthermore, people who use glucosamine for arthritis found that its effects last longer compared to other medications, reducing dosing requirements. A high quality liquid glucosamine requires only a single dose a day.

Apart from its anti-inflammatory actions, several studies have also demonstrated its efficacy on different kinds of arthritis experienced in different parts of the body. Those who experience pain on their knees report longer period of pain relief as well as increased mobility. Glucosamine is also found to be safe for osteoarthritis of the spine and on other joints of the body, such as in fingers and hips. There are also reports on the delayed progression of the disease, since glucosamine is considered a building block for cartilage growth. This is particular pronounced on those suffering from knee osteoarthritis and have been taking this substance for more than a year.

In addition, glucosamine has been found to have protective properties in preventing further degeneration of cartilage and joints. Several studies have also been done to demonstrate this unique property and its benefits for those who have just been diagnosed with one type of arthritis. This means that patients will not expect their condition to worsen to the point of being debilitating, hampering their movements and reducing their overall quality of life.

Using Fatty Acids For Reducing Arthritis Joint Pain

Joint pain as experienced in arthritis occurs in both men and women. Osteoarthritis is the most common arthritis, but there are other types of arthritis:

* rheumatoid arthritis

* arthritis from lupus

* gout

* psoriatic arthritis

* reiter's disease

* infective arthritis

As you age, the constant movement of the joints creates wear and tear. Toxic wastes that circulate in the blood, dead cells, uric acid, inorganic acids and liquid can accumulate in the various joints and cause inflammation and pain.

Continual inflammation can cause damage to the joints. In some cases, the cartilage that coats the bone ends, wears down and joints then rub bone to bone causing extreme pain. There are several conditions and lifestyles that contribute to arthritis:

* Obesity

* Diabetes

* Heredity

* Poor nutrition

* Poor digestion

* Lack of water

* Allergies

* Repetitive use of fingers, hands, legs or arms

* Body injuries - sports or accidents.

Arthritis is a difficult disease to treat because there is usually more than one cause. Just working on one cause may not help enough to give pain relief. But it always helps to know the many things the contribute to arthritis so that different nutritional and lifestyles changes can be made.

The use of omega-3 is known to provide anti-inflammatory benefits. In my other fatty acid articles, I point out that the breakdown of omega-3 eventually produce prostaglandins. It is the prostaglandins that provide the anti-inflammatory relief.

So by using the omega-3, GLA, and EPA/DHA or Fish Oil supplements, you can get some pain and inflammation relief from arthritis. This will prevent some damage from occurring in your joints. It is recommended that you use a good dose of,

* Borage oil

* Primrose oil

* NKO oil

* Fish oil

* Flax seed oil

Using these oils spread across the day provides the benefit of feeling reduce joint stiffness and pain in the morning. One additional benefit of using these oils is the coating protection that GLA has in your stomach lining.

The standard treatment for arthritis is the use of NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors. These, however, have undesirable side effects such as attacking the stomach lining. Thousands of deaths and visits to the emergency are associated with the use of NSAIDs. You can benefit greatly if you use NSAIDs by adding fatty acid oils to your diet.

By using fatty acid oils your can reduce arthritis pain and protect your stomach lining from acid attack.

Seniors Knee Pain - You Can Stop Arthritis Joint Pain Without Taking Those Dangerous NSAID Drugs

As seniors, we may find that the "Golden Years" might not be quite as golden as we expected. One of the most common problems affecting seniors is osteoarthritis-a wearing away of joint cartilage. Osteoarthritis is found in over 75% of the senior population and we are the most vulnerable group.

Sometimes, injury can cause this problem, but it's most likely to be a wear and tear type of condition, that only gets worse if not treated. Over many years, we just use our joints a lot and the protective cartilage that we need, keeps wearing down.

As we continue to lose cartilage, the pain only gets worse. If it gets to where there is no cartilage left, then the only options available are painful joint replacement surgery, or more years of limited mobility.

What other treatment options do we have? Usually, most doctors offer a NSAID type of drug to help with pain control- and they can do that. However, they only work on the symptoms, but not the cause. So, while you may think this is beneficial, your vital cartilage keeps disappearing and you're getting close to your last options.

If you're not familiar with the NSAID type of drugs, they are heavily advertised, as they bring in huge profits for the pharmaceutical companies who manufacture them. The next time you see one of their ads, pay particular attention to all the deadly side effects they have. Some, such as potential internal bleeding, fatal heart attack or stroke, are just a few. They can also even speed up your joint deterioration. Think about all that for a minute. Is that "treatment" something you want to risk?

Fortunately, there is a much better way to deal with osteoarthritis. You can experience knee joint regeneration when you use a good natural supplement. You can stop the pain and begin to bring back the cartilage you need, without the use of any NSAID drugs

You're getting a real treatment, instead of a band aid approach that only stops the pain. And, you don't have to fear any negative side effects, as you would with the prescription drugs. A natural treatment has no side effects at all and will not interact with any medications you may now be taking. Get the knee relief you need.

In addition to the natural approach, try to work in some low impact exercise such as walking and also take another look at your diet. Walking can help build muscle around the joint and help provide additional support.

Your diet is important too. If it's like the typical Western diet, some simple changes can make a big difference, not only in how you feel, but improving your general health as well. Also, if you have any extra pounds to lose, diet and exercise can help there too.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment - Non-Dairy Sources of Probiotics Supplements

Rheumatoid Arthritis is not inevitable, no matter the particulars of your family history or genetics. Some people have genetics that make them more susceptible, but something must still trigger the disease process. Likewise, it is usually possible, even after the rheumatoid arthritis has been triggered, to "untrigger" it by reversing its underlying causes.

One underlying causes of rheumatoid arthritis is a disruption of healthy gut bacteria. This can happen because of any number of stressors: taking antibiotics, losing a job, losing a loved one, having a loved one seriously ill or injured, divorce, your home going into foreclosure, surgery, taking a board exam, traveling in a third world country, getting some other illness, working long hours without enough rest and more. Even joyful events like the birth or a child, a job promotion or, moving to a new house can cause stress that can trigger RA.

This is because for most people stress has a strong impact on the gut. Once gut flora gets out of balance it can stay that way for years and years, until something helps it to rebalance itself.

This rebalancing of gut flora is one way to help "untrigger" rheumatoid arthritis.

One way to do this is by reintroducing healthy bacteria everyday through your diet.

Most people know about the benefits of eating live culture yogurt because of the healthy bacteria it contains. Most people don't realize the almost infinite number of other sources of probiotics. Many can be made in your own kitchen without much effort and easily incorporated into your everyday diet.

If you can eat dairy, it is easy to get probiotics through yogurt, kefir, and the many commercial probiotics supplements grown on a dairy base.

If you can't eat dairy, you may not realize how easy it is to still get enough probiotics.

Here is partial list of the many non-dairy probiotics-containing foods you can eat and drink:

  1. Commercially available cultured coconut milk

  2. Homemade cultured coconut milk, soymilk, rice milk or fruit juice made using kefir grains

  3. Unpasteurized sauerkraut

  4. Unpasteurized kim chee

  5. Sour pickles

  6. Other vegetable ferments, such as sour beets, sour turnips, fermented radishes, etc.

  7. "Potato cheese" - cooked potato fermented with brine from live sauerkraut culture

  8. Brine from ferments used as a digestive tonic and Soup Stock

  9. Fermented chutney

  10. Miso

  11. Miso Pickles

  12. Tempeh-soy

  13. Ferments made from other beans such as pinto beans, kidney beans, navy beans, etc.

  14. Rejuvenac-made from sprouted grain

  15. Kombucha-a tea fermented with a special kombucha culture

  16. Porridge-fermented overnight before cooking to increase digestibility

These probiotics-containing foods start with either an already established culture which you can buy or someone can gift you (yogurt, kefir, miso, tempeh and other bean ferments and kombutcha) or capture wild bacteria from the air (sauerkraut, kim chee, sour pickles, other vegetable ferments, brines, rejuvenac and porridge.)

The Relationship Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Your Immune System

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is when our immune system turns on the body that hosts it and systematically tries to destroy it by attacking healthy body tissue such as the joints (rheumatoid arthritis), muscles (fibromyalgia), pancreas (type 1 diabetes) or nerves (multiple sclerosis).

Think of the immune system as a huge army of white blood cells ready to defend our body against attack by outside invaders such as germs, bacteria, viruses and parasites (also known as antigens) It does this by producing antibodies which fight against these external parasites. Rheumatoid Arthritis is caused by our immune system mistakenly identifying our joints as external parasites (antigens), causing it to attack and destroy the tissues that line bone joints and cartilage. This as we know causes pain and inflammation. So why does this happen?

It's because our immune system is compromised. Our modern lifestyle puts more and more stress on our immune system. Drugs, infections, smoking, hormone inbalances, lack of exercise and stress all play a role, whereas our diets do nothing to help. No wonder our immunity is struggling to cope!

A healthy immune system is vital for a healthy and vigorous life. More and more these days we are hearing of the increase of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, guillain-barre syndrome and type 1 diabetes. If medical science has taken such great strides in the research and discovery of breakthrough knowledge and medicines, why do we seem to be getter sicker and sicker by the year?

Well conventional medicine focus more on treating the symptoms rheumatoid arthritis, than focusing on the prevention and possible cure of this debilitating disease. The side effects of medical drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis can be quite severe. Is there any way out? Alternative medicine and natural cures for arthritis can help cure rheumatoid arthritis at the source.

Of course there are many options in alternative medicine for alleviating pain, but the main aim is to deal with the cause of arthritis which in most cases is a weak immune system. So what's the best thing we can do to strengthen our immune systems?

Get sufficient sleep - There's nothing more draining on the immune system than a sleep deprived body. Everyone has different sleep needs, make sure you're getting enough sleep time for you.

Improve your diet - This is one of the best ways to give your immunity a boost! We can use up a lot of energy just digesting the foods we eat. Eat plenty of fresh foods and cut down on junk and processed foods.

Take a supplement - Mainstream medicine is fond of telling us that food alone can give us all the nutrients we need. Well it probably could if we knew what to eat and in what quantities.

Added to the fact that we're not all nutrition experts, our soils are depleted of natural nutrients owing to over-cultivation, chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Our food is sometimes stored for months in cold storage, allowing nutrients to leak out. Just take a supplement!

Get plenty of exercise - You knew I was going to say that, didn't you? Exercise increases oxygen into the bloodstream, releases endorphins, the "feel-good" hormones and helps to build the muscles that support your joints.

This has been a very brief venture into the ways to boost our immune health to help prevent or alleviate autoummune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. The spin-offs are fewer diseases like cold and flu and more energy to do the things we enjoy.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Arthritis Treatment: What Are the Different Types of Stem Cells and What Is Their Function?

One of the most exciting areas in medicine now involves the potential use of stem cells to treat degenerative disease such as arthritis.

This article will discuss the various types of stem cells and what they are used for.

The stem cell (SC) that occurs in the earliest phase of life is called the embryonic SC. This type of SC is omnipotent or pluripotent, depending on how you want to look at it. Basically, at this stage, the SC can become any type of tissue. While attractive, embryonic SCs have proven to be an elusive research tool.

Ethical concerns have limited their use and there is also the risk of malignancy since these cells have unlimited differentiating potential.

As the organism matures, other types of SCs develop. These SCs do not have the ability to differentiate like embryonic SCs. These have what are called multipotent powers. They can be coaxed into becoming specific types of tissue or organ systems but cannot become any type of tissue. In other words, their potential is restricted to certain categories. They pretty much are limited to make cell types of the tissue that they come from.

An example might be an adult liver-derived SC. This could make more liver tissue but could not make a blood cell. A nerve derived SC could become a brain cell but probably not kidney tissue.

Current clinical applications of adult SCs are typically tissue specific. Examples would be blood-derived SCs for the treatment of blood disorders or following chemotherapy, skin SCs to help with skin grafting, and eye-derived SCs to treat diseases of the cornea.

Adult SCs are primarily responsible for tissue repair. They replace dead or dying cells and are attracted to areas of injury.

The bone marrow is a large repository of adult SCs. These cells are often referred to as "mesenchymal SCs." What is exciting about this reservoir of SCs is that are capable of becoming connective tissue. This property is valuable in the treatment of disorders such as tendon and ligament damage as well as with arthritis.

Another type of SC is the fetal SC. Since a fetus has matured well beyond the embryonic stage, the SCs from a fetus behave like an "adult" SC in that they are tissue specific.

SCs are found in abundance in the umbilical cord at birth. These umbilical cord blood SCs are often used to treat diseases of the blood and also are used to help patients regenerate blood cells destroyed by chemotherapy.

Japanese researchers reported a fantastic breakthrough in 2006. They were able to take adult mouse skin cells and by using four viruses to transport material from one nucleus to another, created a cell that worked like an embryonic SC. In other words, they took an adult cell and made it into a cell that behaved for all true purposes like an embryonic SC. This type of cell is called an induced pluripotential SC. Over the years, it's become evident that induced pluripotential SCs don't behave exactly like embryonic SCs.

However, they have proven useful for research purposes. Using these SCs, scientists will be able to study diseases and test new drugs more efficiently. They are not yet ready to be used in a human clinical setting.

Why You Need a Blood Test For Rheumatoid Arthritis

There is a wealth of information available out there about rheumatoid arthritis and you can start you search online or go through medical books. You can find all sorts of helpful information about how this ailment is treated and even find alternative treatments. You can even go as far as diagnosing yourself to check if you are showing the symptoms of RA. But it's always safe to check for accuracy and validity which is why getting a blood test for rheumatoid arthritis is necessary.

Getting Tested

There are different kinds of blood tests for RA and the results can give you information that can be very useful for diagnostic evaluation and especially recommendations on how it can be treated. What the blood test does is that it finds the disease in your system and affirms if you do in fact have rheumatoid arthritis. Through these blood tests you can get an accurate diagnosis because having these tests are crucial indicators to find out about a patient's condition.

Blood Test Types

The are four different types of blood tests performed for those who want to know the source of their symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Here are some helpful descriptions of each of them.

The first type of blood test is called Erythrocite Sedimentation Rate or ESR which determines how much inflammation you have in your body. This test is performed by letting the blood flow downwards and the rate at which it falls determines the inflammation. The faster blood flows down, the higher the inflammation. The healthier you are the slower your blood falls. Using this type of test pinpoints where in your body is the inflammation. This test is not only limited to determine rheumatoid arthritis but it helps in all types of diagnosis.

C-Reactive Protein is the second type of blood test to check for rheumatoid arthritis. This test is almost similar to ESR in that it can be a helpful diagnostic tool and detects irritation in your body.

The next test is called Rheumatoid Factor test which is effective 70%- 90% of the time for rheumatoid arthritis patients. The only big issue about this test is that it only detects rheumatoid arthritis on the severe level.

The last test is Plasma Velocity which is fast replacing the ESR method. The best feature of this test is that it uses fewer variables that can affect the result. This means it is more accurate because it gives a closer look on the blood plasma protein content.

The Importance of Blood Testing

A physician will perform more than one type of blood test to their patient in order to get a clearer diagnosis. These tests have been proven effective and necessary for rheumatoid arthritis patients. It has been a standard procedure being done in most hospitals and laboratories as a helpful aid for doctors to determine the source of a patient's symptoms.

Before going through a blood test or any kind of procedure is to get some information on how to prepare for it. It is the duty of every medical technician to give you specific instructions on preparing yourself for a blood test for rheumatoid arthritis and it is your job to follow them precisely for your own benefit.

Osteoarthritis Symptoms - What Are the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis?

Arthritis is a term that have originated from the combination of the Greek words "arthro-", which means joint, and "itis-", which means inflammation. In plural term, arthritis is arthrides. Arthritis is defined as a group of conditions which include injury to the joints of the body. It is considered as the primary cause of disability among people over 55 years of age.

There are many types arthritis. According to experts, there have been over 100 types of the ailment and this number is continuously growing. The different forms of the illness also have different inherent causes. The most typical form of the disorder is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis or OA , is characterized as a degenerative joint disease. OA is medically believed to be a result of infection in the joints, trauma to the joints and age. Recent advancements in the medical field strongly suggest that abnormal anatomy could also contribute to the early development of OA.

The Symptoms
Osteoarthritis is the most typical form of arthritis. It is typically associated to old age. The disease is usually caused by the basic wear and tear occurring on the joints as well as straining happening to a joint or joints. Symptoms for arthritis that are typical to OA will be different from person to person. OA is also claimed to be a progressive diseases, one that gets worse through time.

For some people, the condition may result in an incapacitating state, however for some people there have been very few symptoms for arthritis. Pain is the most basic symptom of OA. It is typically brought about by doing bodily activities, although pain is still felt even when the body is at rest. Other symptoms for arthritis typical for OA include body growths experienced at the joints and abnormal angulations, snapping of the joints, loss of movement and stiffness and swelling experienced in the joints.

The symptoms of arthritis in the knee brought about by OA include changes in the actual appearance of the knee. Some people affected by this ailment may become knock-kneed or bow-legged. If the affected joint is not moved regularly, the tendency is that it will grow weaker and sometimes, it may also shrink. OA on the hip may bring about pains to the affected person which may cause one to limp. Pains are also experienced to the areas around the groin or inner thigh. In cases of OA in the hip, the affected leg may also look shorter. Affected persons may have a hard time putting on their shoes and tying the laces.

Persons who are affected by OA in the fingers will be experiencing breakdown of their cartilage. This will eventually cause bone spurs in the joints. The spurs which are found in the end joints of the fingers are referred to as Herberden's nodes. These are commonly experienced in most women and sometimes, even as early as 40 years of age. Bouchard nodes on the other hand are spurs which are found in the middle joints of the fingers.

Causes of Water Retention - 10 Common Reasons For Swelling of the Body

Water retention is a common health problem that greatly affects the day to day activities of the sufferers. Water retention - medically referred to as edema - is the accumulation of excess fluid that leaks into the body tissues. The leakage will lead to swelling in all over the body (generalized swelling) or more localized swelling, such as swelling in legs, feet and ankles or fluid retention in abdominal, the face, hands, arms, and around the lungs.

Although there are many different conditions and diseases associated with the term water retention or edema, there are several more prominent causes of water retention. And here is some of them:

1. Arthritis
Arthritis, which means "joint inflammation", is described as an inflammation of one or more joints that involves the mechanical failure of cartilage resulting in joint pain, swelling, and limited movement. It can affect any joints in the body from hip, heel, spine, shoulder, knee to the big toe.

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis but the three most common types are: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Different types of arthritis show different symptoms. Common symptoms of arthritis include: persistent joint pain, fever, tenderness, joint swelling, stiffness, redness, joint malformation, inflexibility of joint and unexplained weight loss.

2. Kidney disorders
Certain form of kidney disorders such as kidney failure and glomerular disease will lead to swelling throughout the body as well as localized swelling in the abdominal, ankle, feet and leg swelling. This occurs because the kidneys have lost its normal functions including to efficiently removing salt and water out of the body. This will in turn cause the body to retain fluid and over time, get accumulated in the body tissues.

3. Chronic lung disease
Chronic lung disease is a general term of persistent lung disorders that damage the function of the lungs. Severe chronic lung disease will cause water retention in the body include fluid retention in lungs (pulmonary edema), ascites, neck, face, ankle and feet swelling. Chronic lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), smoke inhalation injury, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), lung cancer, mesothelioma, etc. may lead to pulmonary edema, abdominal edema / ascites, fluid retention in the neck and face, swelling in the ankles and feet.

4. Cirrhosis of the liver
Cirrhosis of the liver usually causes abdominal fluid retention. It also causes low protein albumin synthesis by the liver and results in legs and abdominal fluid retention.

5. Congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy disease and heart valve disease
Congestive heart failure obstructs the normal circulation of the blood and often leads to water retention. Two most common causes of water retention in congestive heart failure patient are: (1) the blood flow to the heart backups and leaks into the lung and vein; (2) the kidney retain fluid due to the insufficient amount of blood flow. Both cardiomyopathy and heart valve disease are a variety of heart disease and lead to heart failure.

6. Excess sodium intake
In people who are more sensitive to sodium, excess sodium intake will raise the blood pressure and lead to water retention especially in the lower extremities such as swelling in the ankles and feet.

7. Gravity
Standing or sitting too long in one position because of occupation necessity or after long trips may cause fluid retention in legs. This is usually worsened in high temperatures.

8. Pregnancy
In some cases, the developing uterus in pregnant women may press the vena cava leading to fluid retention in the legs. Hormone imbalances and increased amount of blood flow also responsible for water retention during pregnancy. The most affected areas of swelling during pregnancy are in the lower extremities especially the ankles and feet.

9. Side effects of certain medication
Certain medication such as anabolic steroid, calcium channel blockers, levitra, methadone, etc. may affect the normal functions of the body and lead to swelling particularly in the legs, feet and ankles.

10. Venous Insufficiency
Venous insufficiency is a disturbance of the blood flow in the leg veins because of the damage of the veins itself or the valves causing the fluid to backup and leak into the surrounding tissues. This disorder is one of the most common causes of water retention in legs.

Look over the list of water retention causes and decide if you are indeed experiencing one or more. Remember, many diseases take years to appear after the symptom does. Thus, you should speak to your doctor if you have any questions regarding water retention in any parts of your body. Your doctor is the one who can tell you just what exactly the cause of your swelling and what treatment options will work best for you.

Diet Suited For People With Arthritis

Millions of people who suffer from arthritis must take necessary precautions so the disease would not progress. Usually, arthritis starts from small areas of the body such as hands, ankles, knees, wrists and eventually spread to larger areas such as arms, shoulders, back, hips and neck. To prevent this from happening, some lifestyle changes are necessary for people with arthritis. This includes modification of one's diet so it can result to weight loss that lessens the load on the joints.

For a start, people with arthritis should minimize consuming red meat such as beef and pork since these meat products can elevate uric acid and thereby lead to gout. Also, consuming meat products can make you gain weight is not advisable for people suffering from arthritis. However, falling into fad diets such as fasting and vegetarian diets are extreme measures which should be not be the diet for people with arthritis. Some studies made as compiled by reputable website's about arthritis diets suggests the following:

Avoid eating food that has high purine content. This promotes inflammation so that's why the following should be avoided: meat organs, mussels, yeast, herring, sardines and sweetbreads. The misconception that peanuts, beans, mushrooms and cauliflowers have high purines should be avoided since they are not bad for people with arthritis or gout. Cola products like soft drinks must be avoided at all costs since they have high phosphoric acid that depletes calcium needed for the repair of bones. Intake of coffee and other high caffeine beverages must also be minimized.

Food that have high omega- 3 fatty acids are helpful in preventing inflammation among people that have rheumatoid arthritis. Fish oil in salmon, mackerel and tuna contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acid. On the contrary, food with omega 6 fatty acids should be avoided like vegetable oil. Also, recent studies assert that food cooked in high temperatures contribute to inflammation. The best way to counteract this is by taking pure olive oil which acts like ibuprofen according to Dr. Beauchamp of Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. Besides, olive oil contains omega 3 oil which is good for over-all health.

Diet for arthritis need not be severe or overly restrictive. The key is to have a healthy balance of the food group and avoid those that trigger inflammation. Diet for people with arthritis can also be properly advised by a doctor or nutritionist.

Differential Diagnosis of Gout - What Causes The Joint Pain?

The differential diagnosis of patients presenting with joint pain is extensive, ranging from mild sprain, joint dislocation, trauma, malignancy, infection, and some life-threatening autoimmune diseases.

Joint pains that caused by physical activities are very obvious and easy to be diagnosed. Examples of this kind of injury are sprained ankle, joint separation, ligament sprain, torn cartilage and torn cartilage. Usually, this kind of pain is immediate and the patient can vividly remember the physical activity that causes the pain at the joint. These kinds of traumatic condition can happen to people of all ages.

Other causes of joint paint that usually affect people of older age are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the result of mechanical degradation of the joints due the years or wear and tear. It usually happens to those who were physically active during their younger years, such as sportsman or those who work in hard labour jobs.

One the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis is form of autoimmune disease where the abnormal immune system attacks the tissues around the joints and causes inflammation and pain. The actual cause of rheumatoid arthritis is still unknown, some say it is because of viral or bacterial infections, some say it is because of genetically inherited abnormalities. Extensive researches are still taking place around the world to find out the answer to this mysterious illness that affects a huge number of elderly population.

Although these 2 types of arthritis have very different causes, but they share certain similar symptoms that make them easy to be ruled out in the differential diagnosis of gout. Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis usually develop the pain over a long period of time and they usually affect joints of both sides of the body such as in the feet, hands. These kinds of arthritis usually attack multiple joints at the same time and the pain develops gradually.

Another more common cause of joint pain in the modern day is gouty arthritis which is more commonly known as gout. Gout attack is a type of inflammation that is caused by the formation of urate crystals inside a particular joint due to long term exposure to hyperuricemia. Many times, gout is mistaken as one of the above mention arthritis conditions, especially when the patient get the gout attack for the very first time.

Differential diagnosis of gout is very straight forward and easy, here are some of the unique properties of gout that differentiate it from other causes of joint inflammation.

  • Suddenly occurrence of intense pain

  • The attack starts in the middle of the night when the victim is sleeping

  • It usually attack one side of the joints

  • 90% of the gout attacks happen at big toe

  • If blood test is conducted, it usually shows a high blood serum uric acid level that is beyond healthy range

Although Gout is easy to be diagnosed, but it is not easy to get rid this awful devil. Those gout drugs and pain killers can only temporarily control the gouty inflammation, none of them can remove the root cause of gout, which is the urate crystal.

It is commonly known among the gout patients that gout pain is the worst and most unbearable pain in their life. Instead of wasting your money on those expensive tests involved in the differential diagnosis of gout, you should spend some time to understand the actual cause of gout and remove the root once and for all.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Diet and Arthritis

Arthritis does not have a permanent cure and the pain and swelling can be managed and controlled to a large extent through natural remedies for arthritis. Yoga, reiki, herbs and the most important of all which is the diet of the patient has been found to very effective in the control and spread of arthritis. Juices from fresh vegetables preferably green leafy. Carrot and beet root juice have scientific proof to back their claims as natural arthritis cure. A normal human body accumulates a lot of toxic waste over a period of years due to wrong dietary habits. This along with a sedentary life style leads to lot of ailments. Certain acids are also present in the human body to break down the food we eat but bad lifestyle habits lets this acid accumulate and all this could led to arthritis. Natural arthritis treatment is not just desirable but also safe.

繚 Raw juices when taken causes alkaline reaction, which help, dislodge the deposits along joints due to which pain and swelling occurs.

繚 Pineapple juice, which has bromelain, reduces the inflammation caused by arthritis. Other fruits whose fresh juices have been found to be effective as a natural cure for arthritis are apples, apricots, bananas, citrus fruits and melons.

繚 Potato juice mixed with water and taken in equal proportions first thing in the morning has also been found to be excellent in the control of spread of arthritis. Unpeeled potato is recommended for this purpose.

繚 A very effective anti-inflammatory food is garlic. It can be taken in its raw form or in the form of a capsule. Patients are advised to take at least one clove daily preferably first thing in the morning. The analgesic properties of garlic are excellent natural cure for arthritis.

繚 Alfalfa seed tea has been found to excellent natural supplement. The tea must be consumed at least seven to eight times daily in moderate quantities.

繚 Vitamin A & D have also been found to be quite effective in the natural treatment of arthritis. The person affected with arthritis must include foods, which are rich in these two vitamins in order to build the immune system.

Diet, which is high on calories and very rich food, must be avoided. Foods with rich carbohydrate content needs to be avoided, Fresh fruits and vegetables must be included in the diet plan. Food and exercise, which will help keep the weight under control, is strongly recommended.

Exercise and Psoriasis: 3 Reasons Exercising Helps Psoriasis

Dust off your old gym membership card, pull on those boxing gloves, or sign up for a booty-shaking Zumba class. Why? Because exercise has been shown to help psoriasis! Exercising regularly not only promotes a healthier lifestyle, but can also lead to healthier glowing skin. How?

1.) Exercise is a STRESS-BUSTER

We all know that those sudden psoriatic flare-ups go hand-in-hand with that looming work-deadline or hectic exam period. Exercising is a great way of relieving stress - this is a well-proven fact! Working out can be a terrific outlet for all of life's little headaches. Beat that punching bag, slam-dunk that B-Ball, or focus on beating the clock - they're all fun distractions. Exercises such as Yoga and Tai-Chi can also put you in a very focused and Zen-like state, taking you miles away from that dreaded deadline. Even better, take whatever the activity is outside - the fresh air and change of scenery will help un-jumble and calm your mind.

If exercise can reduce stress, it only makes sense that it can also help psoriasis. The correlation between high stress levels and psoriasis is well evidenced. Studies have found that stress lowers the body's natural defence mechanisms and compromises our immune system; this is when psoriasis most often decides to pounce! For example, Dr. Paul Yamauchi, a Medical Director at the Skin Care Centre of Santa Monica explains, 'Stress may trigger psoriasis to flare for the first time, or even worsen for those who already have psoriasis.'

Exercise can also help combat low self-esteem and depression, which is often brought on by this irritating and sometimes very visible auto-immune disease. Lifting those weights will not only raise your confidence because you look like 'The Rock' or 'Arni', but because it lowers the stress hormone cortisol and increases feel-good endorphins. If weights aren't your thing, join an aerobics class and see how you mood lifts sky-high!

By reaching a more relaxed and confident state of mind via exercise, you will not only improve your day-to-day quality of life but help keep your psoriasis outbreaks at bay.

2.) Exercise Makes You LOSE WEIGHT

Losing that extra layer of fat by working up a sweat can really help psoriasis. Firstly, by eliminating those extra rolls, you can reduce all of that sweating, chafing, and rubbing - all of which does nothing to help already sore and irritated skin.

Secondly, losing weight can also help reduce the internal inflammation present in psoriatic patches. This inflammation is believed to be similar to the constant, low-level inflammation found in fat-cells. If weight loss can help combat our fat cells, than surely it can also help combat our inflamed plaques. It has also been found that people with psoriasis are more likely to suffer from diabetes and heart disease. As a result, keeping fit can help reduce your risk to a variety of health problems.

Begin a daily or weekly exercise routine, and you'll be well on your way to losing those unwanted layers.

3.) Exercise Works Those Joints - PSORIATIC ARTHRITIS!

Another major plus of regular exercise is that it can help preserve the joints often affected by psoriatic arthritis. Exercise not only helps relieve the pressure on weak joints through weight loss, but promotes healthier muscles and maintains joint mobility and flexibility.

Two forms of exercises are particularly useful: Strengthening and Range-of-Motion.

Strengthening exercises focus on building up and strengthening the muscles around susceptible or affected joints, so to better support it. The director of the Women's Orthopaedic and Joint Disease Centre in Boston stresses that strength training can 'help protect knees and ankles, take force off of the joints, and also help prevent soft-tissue injuries...' Moreover, '... regular movements also helps to supply the cartilage in the joints with blood.' Time to invest in some light weights!

Range-of-Motion exercises focus on bettering movement and flexibility, especially around stiff joints. Untie, flex and stretch them with low-impact activities such as tai-chi, yoga or an aquatic exercise session.

Now that you know about exercise and psoriasis, its time to put Eye of the Tiger on repeat and box psoriasis into submission with a bit of cardio. Look out for our future psoriasis exercising guide, which will focus on answering questions such as "How do you deal with psoriasis in the gym" and "What types of exercise are best for psoriasis?"

Can an Old Drug Reduce the Incidence of Heart Attack in Gout Patients?

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis due to the deposition of monosodium urate crystals. The underlying problem is a metabolic abnormality that leads to an imbalance between uric acid production and uric acid excretion. Uric acid is a byproduct of the metabolism of purines, a constituent of many foods. Ordinarily, uric acid is excreted via the kidneys. In gout, the excretion rate can't keep up with the production rate. Uric acid then deposits out in various tissues including joints and the kidneys.

It is common knowledge that gout is associated with other medical problems including obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and elevated blood lipids. It is also a known cause of increased susceptibility to heart attacks.

It is also a well-supported theory that atherosclerosis ("hardening of the arteries") is an inflammatory process. Lipids within an atherosclerotic plaque attract whiter blood cells. These white blood cells secrete cytokines, protein messengers that recruit other white blood cells and other molecules. Destructive enzymes eventually lead to rupture of the plaque with the formation of a clot, blockage of a coronary artery, and a subsequent heart attack.

A blood test, the C reactive protein, is a marker of inflammation and is often elevated in patients with active atherosclerotic heart disease.

The treatment of an acute attack of gout usually revolves around the use of one of three different types of medications: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, colchicine, and steroids.

A recent study showed that colchicine, a good anti-inflammatory agent, appeared to protect against heart attack. How this accomplishes the task is still unknown. Whether it is through an anti-inflammatory effect, stabilization of clot formation, or whatever, is still unknown.

What is known is that classic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should probably be used sparingly in gout because of the increased risk of cardiovascular events such as stroke and heart attack associated with these drugs.

And steroids are also problematic since they tend to drive up levels of blood sugar and blood lipids.

Colchicine can be used in relatively low doses to prevent gout attacks. And in fact, when used as prophylaxis along with a uric acid lowering therapy program, it appears to be well tolerated and reasonably safe.

What is clear is that with the burgeoning incidence of gout in the United States, better strategies at managing this condition will be needed. This will require both better uric acid-lowering therapies as well as more effective treatments for acute attacks. And any new therapy will have to be safe as well as being effective. Colchicine may be a "forgotten drug" but it appears to be ready to begin a new role.

Must See Facts On Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis happens because there is a problem with the autoimmune system. It affects the joints causing inflammation to the tissues in and around the joints.

You see, we all have antibodies in our body, they are there to protect our bodies from foreign invaders. But when there is a problem, these are upset like with an autoimmune problem, they start to attack the it's own tissues.

The joints of the body are where two bones are joined with ligaments and muscles so that the joint can move. In Rheumatoid Arthritis, these joints are stiffened due to the inflammation that it causes.

Did you know there are more than 100 forms of arthritis, well there is. And they all cause ongoing pain for the sufferers to millions of people everyday. It is a very debilitating affecting joints of the body.

There is no known cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis, it requires a combined approach to handle this disease. Things like, medical, social and emotional. There's support groups around that will help you and advise you on what you can do to control your affliction.

It's a good idea that all concerned be educated about this disease, the main focus is to try and stop the pain, as this can become very acute. The prevention of disformaties should be seriously looked at, as this is the result of what will happen if left unchecked.

To get some relief from this awful disease you'll need to try and reduce the inflammation and get those stiff joints working again. There are various ways to do this, there is physical and physio, drug therapy and some even aspire to the natural therapies treatments.

Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Agents.

What these do is help reduce the sever inflammation in the affected area's, thus reducing the pain and improving mobility.

In pregnant women the oboe treatment because none of these drugs have been proven safe to use during pregnancy. So you should consult your doctor if you're suffering arthritis and your pregnant.

All DMARD therapy should be stopped in women planning to conceive and in pregnant and lactating women. Evidence of the risks of these agents to the fetus either exists or cannot be ruled out. Methotrexate, because of evidence of potential teratogencity should be stopped in men and women planning conception (see above).

7 Important Facts About Rheumatoid Arthritis

1 - With Rheumatoid Arthritis, it is an inflammatory type and very debilitating. As mentioned above, it's an immune system abnormality which tends to attack the joints in the body.

2 - Sufferers of Rheumatoid Arthritis are known as seropositive or seronegative.

You might be asking how you can tell if you've got rheumatoid arthritis, well there's a simple blood test that can be done. To determine your situation and if you have it or not.

3 - You will also be able to tell too, because of the physical symptoms you are probably experiencing. Getting a proper examination by an expert is probably the best thing to do.

4 - So as you can see there are a number of diagnostic ways you can determine whether or not you've got this disease or not. There is imaging, the blood test and the physical examination.

As no two cases are the same, and each individual will have different ways of experiencing their pain, how the x-rays will show up so the expert will need to look at the overall picture of the patient. This is needed to gain a proper and accurate diagnosis.

5 - The onset of the pain can start very early in the peace, not long after the disease has started. Damage can occure within two years on the start of Rheumatoid Arthritis. So to start treating this condition it's essential to get this diagnoses as early as possible. As soon as this is done, the earliest the treatment can begin.

6 - With over 2.1 million American adults having Rheumatoid Arthritis, it's no wonder it's such an epidemic. It is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis but the other type is osteoarthritis affects 20 million Americans, this is lot of people. It usually affects people between the age of 30-50 years of age, but it's also been known to affect very young people as well.

7 - For those suffering Rheumatoid Arthritis, there is an increase of mortality when compared to the rest of the population. It has been suggested by the medical fraternity that people with Rheumatoid Arthritis and live 10-15 years less then their counterparts.

With the new class of arthritis treatment known as biologics, hopefully the situation may become a little better for those sufferers.

Arthritis Treatment: How Does Osteoarthritis Develop?

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis affecting almost 30 million Americans. It is a disease that affects articular cartilage, the tough cushiony material that caps the ends of long bones within a joint.

In addition to gradual loss of articular cartilage, there is thickening of the bone underlying the cartilage and growth of spurs, called osteophytes. Also, chronic inflammation of the synovium the lining of the joint also occurs.

Cartilage consists of a matrix that is made up of proteoglycans and collagen. Within this matrix is a second component, chondrocytes, which are cartilage cells.

While osteoarthritis is not absolutely due to aging, it is definitely associated with it. Over time, cartilage begins to develop small cracks, called "fissure." These are basically stress fractures of the cartilage. The development of fissures is accompanied by an alteration in matrix chemistry so that the strength and load bearing properties of cartilage start to wane. Essentially, the cartilage loses its water content, the physical properties of cartilage change, and fewer chondrocytes are present, and therefore less matrix is created.

The development of osteoarthritis is frequently broken up into three major phases. The first phase consists of edema or swelling of the matrix. Small cracks appear, and there is disorganization of the chondrocyte population. This happens because the chondrocytes no longer manufacture good quality matrix. The strength and elasticity of cartilage begins to fail. There is a pronounced imbalance between cartilage synthesis and cartilage degradation. This is caused by the chondrocyte behaving abnormally and manufacturing destructive enzymes called proteinases. These proteinases degrade matrix.

The second phase is characterized by extension of these fissures. They become deep cracks and the underlying bone also starts to crack.

The third phase is when cartilage pieces begin to flake and break off. Underlying bone is exposed and the bone develops cysts, and becomes harder- the term used is "sclerosis." Osteophytes- bony spurs- form.

In addition, the lining of the joint capsule, the synovium, becomes inflamed. The inflammation of the lining is due to small pieces of cartilage being gobbled up and recruiting inflammatory cells to help break down these pieces. The inflammatory cells cause the production of cytokines. These are protein messengers that promote inflammation.

Another feature that complicates the picture more is that with cartilage loss, there are biomechanical factors involved. Forces involved in cartilage compression, shearing, and other stresses cause further cartilage abnormalities.

So... there is a complex interaction involving multiple "players" that causes osteoarthritis.

Practical Prevention of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease caused by gradual wear and tear of joints. Though the exact cause of osteoarthritis is not determined but many factors may contribute to the development of this disease. They include age, sex, hereditary, nerve injury, muscle weakness, obesity or occupation. But there is something which you can do to diminish your risk of getting osteoarthritis.

Practical Prevention of Osteoarthritis:

Keep your weight down: Research suggests that obese people are at risk of osteoarthritis and that weight loss prevents or delays osteoarthritis from occurring. Obese people posses a significant risk of developing osteoarthritis by putting unnecessary strain on the joints. Study shows that people who loose 11 pounds cut their risk of osteoarthritis to half.

Get enough calcium and vitamins C and D: One of the best ways to avoid bone osteoarthritis is the proper intake of vitamins especially calcium and vitamin D. Calcium is the major component of bone, and is therefore crucial to maintain bone density whereas vitamin D helps in absorption of calcium.

Intake of sufficient amount of calcium in diet: Adult should have a daily intake of 1,000-1,500 mg per day through diet and this will reduce the chances of getting osteoarthritis.

Take precautions at work: Researchers have linked osteoarthritis with repetitive tasks and with jobs that involve kneeling or squatting, especially when lifting heavy objects.

Strengthen muscle and joints through exercise: Exercise can help reduce joint pain and stiffness. Light to moderate-intensity physical activity may prevent or delay the process of bone degeneration.

Avoids sports injury: Avoid sport injury by taking proper precaution while playing or doing exercise. Precautions that you should take while exercising include using proper equipment and protective gear; cross training or varying your activities; taking a break if something hurts or you feel tired; and getting prompt care for injuries.

High Tibial Osteotomy to Treat Osteoarthritis of the Knee

A High Tibial Osteotomy is a descriptive term used to describe an operation used to treat osteoarthritis of the knee. An osteotomy is the act of cutting a bone. 'High Tibial' details the location of this cut, the upper portion of the tibia or shin bone that forms the bottom half of the knee joint.

A high tibial osteotomy is used to treat unicompartmental osteoarthritis of the knee. This means that the arthritic wear is confined to one half of the knee - either the inside, or outside of the joint. When arthritis wears down one side of the articular cartilage covering the ends of the bones, angulation occurs. This results in a disproportionate amount of body weight being taken through the worn side. This in turn leads to an increased rate of wear and an acceleration of symptoms such as pain, stiffness and swelling.

A high tibial osteotomy looks to realign the knee to evenly share weight between both the inside and outside of the knee. This is achieved by cutting the bone then either taking a wedge of bone out, or adding a wedge of bone in.

This type of surgery has a long recovery period as the cut essentially fractures the main weight bearing bone of the lower leg. Even after surgically fixing the bone in its new position, it is unable to take any weight for a significant period of time. This has a major implication for work, lifestyle and everyday activities.

This operation is not suitable for everyone but can be a valuable tool for those too young for a total knee replacement.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Knee Problems Associated With Locking, Grinding, and Popping

Lock, Pop, grind and no it's not a dance move

Knee problems associated with locking, grinding, and popping

Since u are not a firecracker or a soda can you can be forgiven to think that popping sounds in the knee is an indication that something is wrong. The truth though is that popping sounds occurs naturally when movement occurs in the joints. A slight misalignment in the knee cap (Patella) or the movement of different ligaments across the joint can give a popping sound. If it is a case however where this sounds is accompanied by pain then one has reason for concern. Grinding and locking are better indicators of a physiological disorder in the knee, but the pain factor is also very important in these cases.


As stated earlier unless accompanied by pain then a popping sound is perfectly normal, however if there is pain then it is often an indication that the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) has been torn. ACL maybe torn in two pieces or there might just be a partial rip, the extent of damage will determine treatment implemented. If ACL is ripped apart then surgery followed by rehab will be necessary, however for partial tears one just need to stay away from physical activities for awhile as the injury will self heal. A popping sound in conjunction with pain may also be an indication of another condition known as Discoid Lateral Meniscus or "popping-knee syndrome". This occurs when there is an abnormal shaped meniscus in the knee joint. This can usually be treated by conservative methods such as stretching, however if pain persist arthroscopic surgery though optional might be required.


When cartilage degeneration occur the bones of the knee joint tends to grind together causing immense pain and producing a grinding sound. This is usually caused by rheumatoid arthritis which rarely occurs in individuals under 50. The degeneration caused by rheumatoid arthritis is irreversible. Patella tendonitis (runner's knee) can also cause degeneration of cartilage and thus the pain and grinding sound. Runner's knee is the most likely cause of the grinding sound in the knees of young individuals particularly athletes. Fortunately in this case the degeneration is reversible, as resting the knee and doing exercises that strengthen the quadriceps muscles will see the knee return to normal over time.


You may find yourself playing a game of basketball and suddenly being unable to flex a leg or you may be kneeling then find that you are unable to straighten your leg to get up; when this happens you are experiencing a phenomenon known as locking which can be quite painful. There are generally two type of locking, pseudo-locking and true locking. Pseudo locking is a reaction to pain and functions like a kill switch where the knee locks into position when tension in the area becomes excessive. True locking results from physiological problems in the knee, causing the knee become rigid, unable to bend or extend. True locking usually occurs when torn cartilage or bone fragment (resulting from a bone disorder known as Osteochondritis Dissecans) becomes jammed between joints surfaces restricting movement of the knee joint. When a muscle on the inside of the thigh becomes weak and fragile or the outer muscles tighten they can throw off alignment of the knee cap, which also lead to locking.

Locking can easily be corrected by resting as movement will eventually return to joints. In the case of true locking the problem can only be completely nullified by orthopaedic surgery to remove loose bone or cartilage.

Dog and Cat Osteoarthritis - What You Need To Know

Just like people, arthritis also affects our pets, sometimes because of a genetic predisposition, but there are other factors that increase the susceptibility to osteoarthritis.

25-30% of our canine and feline family members will show the effects of osteoarthritis, and up to 70% of dogs in specific breeds such as German Shepard, Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever. Dog arthritis comes with age and it mostly affects large size dogs.

If your dog or cat is overweight, it will accelerate the arthritic disease process and symptoms by placing additional pressure on joints. On average, obese dogs are likely to develop osteoarthritis three years earlier than lean dogs. If you can't feel the animal's ribs anymore, your dog is becoming overweight. Gentle exercise is helpful for any pet; swimming, if possible, is ideal.

Osteoarthritis in dogs and cats is caused by the deterioration of the cartilage surrounding the joint and progresses slowly over a long period of time. This condition can be brought on by an earlier injury or genetic disease such as hip dysphasia, more common in the large dog breeds. Very active and working dogs are involved with physically demanding activities which put repeated stress on their joints, making them more susceptible to osteoarthritis.

Restricting jumping activities is very important in preventing immediate and future cartilage and spinal disc damage. This is especially true with the smaller breeds and dogs with very long backs, such as Dachshunds and Basset Hounds. When a dog jumps down instead of using portable steps or a dog ramp, the impact pressure is absorbed into the front legs. The line of force is directed down the length of the spinal column, causing compression of the individual discs, inviting osteoarthritis risks as well as spinal cord damage.

Viral, fungal, and bacterial infections can contribute to the development of arthritis. Conditions include Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, carried and spread by ticks.

If you are interested in natural/holistic prevention and treatment there are good natural remedies and solutions available, designed to support healthy strong joints, muscles, tendons, cartilage and bones.

Orthopedic memory foam dog beds improve the quality of life for dogs and cats with hip or elbow dysplasia, arthritis and joint problems associated with large breeds and older pets, by reducing pressure on joints and other jutting body parts. These beds are firm enough to satisfy your dog's instinctual need to sleep on solid ground, while assisting healthy circulation. Traditional material is susceptible to sag. If possible, lifting the sleep area several inches to a foot off the ground will help in the dog's comfort.

A high quality glucosamine/chrondroitin sulfate supplement is a good defense and treatment for arthritis in dogs and cats. Glucosamine/chrondroitin sulfate stimulates the production of important proteins found in cartilage and proteoglycans, which are the water-holding molecules that cartilage is comprised of; helps reduce pain and, over time, rehabilitates damaged cartilage.

MSM (methysulfonylmethane): Another supplement to maintain healthy connective tissue that is a naturally occurring sulfur compound found in the cells of the body. It helps prevent arthritis in dogs and cats and can assist in reducing inflammation and swelling that accompany arthritis, disease and injuries.

Digestive enzymes and probiotics: Essential in aiding digestion and nutrient assimilation. They help avoid inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, allergies and degenerative conditions by maintaining a healthy gastrointestinal system in our dogs and cats.

Essential fatty acid supplements: Preferably with fish oil, will help reduce inflammation and aid in the treatment of joint problems and allergies.

High potency antioxidants: Inflammation of arthritic joints contributes to the oxidation activity of free radicals that are damaging to the cells of the body and can increase the risk of cancer.

Acupuncture: Dramatic improvement is possible for arthritic dogs and cats with regular treatments.

How Well Do Adult Stem Cells Work For Osteoarthritis of the Knee?

Current treatments for osteoarthritis of the knee (OAK) are inadequate. They provide symptom relief only and do not restore articular cartilage.

This is an excerpt from a presentation at the American College of Rheumatology meeting on an ultrasound-guided procedure using autologous mesenchymal stem cells, growth factors, and fat matrix (GMSCL).

The working hypothesis was: autologous stem cells from bone marrow can be stimulated to grow cartilage if provided with...

• A proper scaffold
• Autologous growth stimulating factors
• Limited weight-bearing

Our patient profile consisted of the following...

• 22 patients
• 36-64 years of age
• 16 men; 6 women
• BMI: 21-36.1
• Kellgren-Lawrence class:
o 6 grade 2
o 10 grade 3
o 6 grade 4

In preparation, patients were given the following instructions...

• No NSAIDS (oral and topical) for one month prior and one month post
• No fish oil for one month prior and one month post
• May continue prophylactic baby aspirin
• No intraarticular injections of any kind 1 month prior or during 1 year follow up.

Our procedure can be considered analogous to "Preparing a Garden"

• Sixty cc's marrow harvested posterior iliac crest (5 cc's stem cell concentrate~ 6 million stem cells)- "seeds"
• Sixty cc's peripheral blood for creation of platelet -rich plasma (5 cc's)- "fertilizer"
• Fifteen cc's fat from abdomen or flank- "soil"

Ultrasound guided fenestration was performed in all patients.

• Purpose: stimulate acute inflammatory response
• Joint capsule sites
- joint line
- adductor tubercle
- medial patellar facet

Regional treatment of fenestrated areas and joint was followed by direct ultrasound-guided instillation of...

• Stem cells
• Platelet-rich plasma
• Subcutaneous fat
• Calcium chloride/thrombin

Post-procedure, patients were given the following instructions...

• Non-weight-bearing for two weeks
• Limited weight-bearing with brace that unloads affected compartment for four to six weeks

A summary of our results is as follows...

Data Available

• 11 Patients at 6 months
• 10 Patients at 12 months

Treatment failures

• Four patients
• Defined as patients with no clinical improvement after three months

Two other "failures"

• One person died of an unrelated illness
• One person lived too far away to come back

Five patients haven't hit the six month mark


? 6 Months= -19.9


SEM= 5.67

? 12 Months= -7.9

SD= 9.97

SEM= 3.15

Patient VAS Pain

? 6 Months=-33.7

SD= 16.71

SEM= 5.57

? 12 Months= -25.2

SD= 25.94

SEM= 8.20

Patient Global Assessment

? 6 Months= -33.0

SD= 24.13

SEM= 8.05

? 12 Months= -33.1

SD= 19.04

SEM= 6.35

Patient 50 Foot Walk Pain

? 6 Months= -26.3

SD= 15.54

SEM= 4.91

? 12 Months= -16.7

SD= 12.05

SEM= 4.01

Physician Global Assessment

? 6 Months= -51.2

SD= 21.60

SEM= 6.83

? 12 Months= -53.0

SD= 24.15

SEM= 8.54

Placebo effect? Probably not...

Example of Celebrex vs placebo in OA trials

Mean composite WOMAC score (pain, stiffness, physical function) = -5.7 (-7.5 to -3.9)

[Bensen WG, Fiechtner JJ, McMillen JI, Zhao WW, Yu SS, Woods EM, et al. Treatment of osteoarthritis with celecoxib, a cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor: a randomized controlled trial.Mayo Clin Proc 1999;74: 1095-1105; Zhao SZ, McMillen JI, Markenson JA, Dedhiya SD, Zhao WW, Osterhaus JT, et al.Evaluation of the functional status aspects of health-related quality of life of patients with osteoarthritis treated with celecoxib. Pharmacotherapy 1999;19: 1269-1278].

Ultrasound measurement of patello-femoral cartilage thickness at 7 standardized points

• Knee flexed to 90 degrees
• Identical sites matched for accuracy
• Five measurements each point for reproducibility
• High and low dropped and the three middle averaged

Ultrasound measurement of patello-femoral cartilage thickness at 7 standardized points

• Mean improvement from baseline to 6 months (11 pts) - 0.4 mm
• Mean improvement from baseline to 12 months (10 pts) - 0.8 mm


While it is an uncontrolled study, GMSCL demonstrates some promise as a treatment for OAK. Further study is recommended

Psoriatic Arthritis Diet

This article will detail a psoriatic arthritis diet approach to management of the condition. After being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis I remember being given a 2 page handout about the medication the doctors wanted me to take to manage my condition. I remember the opening line of the handout saying something along the lines of 'we are not really sure of the mechanism behind how this drug helps psoriatic arthritis, but it does'. Then I remember looking at the list of potential side effects from the medication, it was nearly worse than the psoriatic arthritis itself. For goodness sakes, it recommended that I needed to have regular blood test to check my liver wasn't forming tumors.

I knew taking medicine was not an option. I figured my actions and lifestyle had resulted in my current state and that I could reverse that and get myself out of it. The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates once said 'let food be thy medicine'. I definitely acknowledge other factors in psoriatic arthritis, and these are addressed in other articles, but this article will deal with a psoriatic arthritis diet approach. Psoriatic arthritis is classified as an auto-immune disease; the body is hypersensitive and is destroying its own tissue. The cure cannot be to pump it full of toxic drugs and medications.

A basic way to start on a good psoriatic arthritis diet is simply consuming more live foods. This is just eating more fresh food. Food that has not come in a jar, packet, box, carton or packaged on the shelf. Just eat more fruit and vegetables. Things that have a long used by date, forget about them. An easy starting point is to start having salads with your meals. If the thought of that seems difficult, just add salad to your current meals, you don't have to take away anything. Even if you are eating junk at the moment, just eat it with a salad, simply wrap it in the salad. This will get some good nutrient dense food into your system and help you get the taste of real food. Over time you will crave fresh live food and junk food will be seen as the bland nutritionally empty food that it really is.

If you visit any herbalist, nutritionist or naturopath who is experienced at helping a wide range of problems and diseases, you will see that one of the most highly recommended starting points for a diet is the elimination of diary and wheat. This is particularly evident with the management of auto-immune type of problems like psoriatic arthritis. The reason why is because both wheat and diary are the most heavily processed and commercialized food groups today, and this has effective how our bodies cope with them. Also research is showing the actual molecules can cause a lot of issue with the stomach. Whatever the cause, the result is producing inflammation in the body. At first people may freak out a little, because it is possible that every meal of the day contains wheat and diary and you think you are left with nothing to eat. No doubt it is different and takes some getting used to but there are plenty of recipe books and products now available to make it easy for you.

Consuming good healthy protein is key to the psoriatic arthritis diet. Your main sources of protein are probably going to be beef, chicken or fish, so make sure they are clean and healthy. Make sure they are as natural as possible. All of them should be hormone and anti-biotic free. Your beef should be grass fed, like nature intended and not grain fed. If grain fed the meat loses its balance of essential fats. Chickens can also be grass fed and therefore their meat and eggs will be healthier. Do not buy farmed fish. Protein is the building blocks of the body and natural clean sources can make a big difference to the body.

This article is just a brief introduction into some starting concepts about a psoriatic arthritis diet. A cure for the disease is a strong word, but I feel it is a better solution than masking your symptoms with medication. The body has an innate wanting to be healthy, there may have been some roadblocks that got in the way, if you remove the roadblocks it will want to restore itself back to a health optimal state. Diet and nutrition may only be a small piece of the puzzle for some. For more information on the other pieces of the psoriatic arthritis puzzle that includes diet, nutritional supplements and stress reduction please check out my other articles.

Remedies for Osteoarthritis and Osteoporosis - How to Prevent and Reverse Them Naturally

Although both conditions have genetic undertones there are several factors which may contribute or even trigger this degenerative bone disease (osteoporosis takes place where the bone density decreases over time with the potential risks of easy fractures - this can occur with or without osteoarthritis). These are lack of exercise to strengthen muscle and joint structures, nutritional deficiencies, side effects of a number of drugs and, of course, the hormonal changes after the menopause in women. Ageing can affect both genders but osteoporosis occurs much more often in women than in men.

There are several things you can do besides traditional medicine to slow the progress of the disease and perhaps even reverse bone damage. In this section we'll see what homeopathic remedies can do against both conditions and then (second part of this page) what herbal remedies can do against this degenerative bone disease. Bone degeneration and (in the case of osteoarthritis) cartilage degeneration share some similarities, especially in a homeopathic sense. Before continuing, though, bear in mind that this type of alternative medicine works best when it tackles not only the whole cluster of symptoms but also the individual's history, personality, tendencies, preferences, dislikes, fears and so on.

The following is a generic guideline to help your body use minerals and nutrients more effectively to help your bones as well as prevent fractures and promote healing of the bone structure and joints in general.

Calcarea carbonica: a great salt tissue remedy, often useful to those who suffer from bone and joint degeneration but also from chronic tiredness, from anxiety (even if mild) and tend to feel overwhelmed (from work, from stressful or challenging situations and so on). These individuals are often flabby or overweight and their symptoms aggravate in cold and damp environments. Occasionally they may have not only back pain and swollen joints but also specific cravings for eggs and sweets.

Calcarea phosphorica: often indicated for individuals who suffer from bone and joint degeneration but also from sore, stiff, and generally weak bones and joints. They may feel pain in the neck, upper back and in the hips; extreme tiredness may be present and this does not change after exercise. Bone fractures take a long time to heal though some areas of the bones may present irregular calcium deposits (suggesting imbalance in the bone nutritional process and bone repair). The personality of those for whom calcarea phosphorica may be indicated tend to be generally dissatisfied about their life and tend to prefer travelling and change as an attempt to remedy their inner dissatisfaction.

Relieve Arthritis Pain With Honey and Cinnamon

Arthritis pain is nothing to joke about. It makes for miserable lives. While checking into natural remedies, I came across how to relieve arthritis pain with honey and cinnamon. I know it sounds a bit weird - but who cares if it works!

There are a couple of ways to take the honey and cinnamon - as a daily drink or as a tincture to put on painful and swollen joints.

For the drink: For your health, the best quality organic honey would be preferable as well as good quality cinnamon. It seems though there are many 'recipes' out there, so there seems to be no need to obsess about exact measurements. One cup of hot water with two spoons of honey in it and one small teaspoon of cinnamon. This can be taken once or twice during the day (i.e. in the morning and before bed). If this is too sweet, then reduce the honey to one teaspoon. Similarly if the cinnamon taste is too hard to take, then reduce it to half a teaspoon. It seems only important that honey and cinnamon are present in the mix. It really depends on what works for you.
For the tincture: Mix one part honey to two parts of lukewarm water and add a small teaspoon of cinnamon powder until it forms a paste. Massage this paste onto the itching/painful part of your body in a slow circular motion. Many people have found that their pain gets noticeably less within a matter of minutes.

Considering that there are a large number of people being helped every day by taking this concoction of honey and cinnamon to relieve their arthritis pain, I would imagine it's definitely worth a try. If it doesn't work right away (although many people do report an immediate effect), please try it out for a minimum of four weeks. There really is nothing to lose and everything to gain!

It seems that this combination is also helpful for the common cold, coughs and sinus infections, hair loss, bladder infections, stomach aches, high cholesterol and even toothache (where you put the tincture made with honey and cinnamon without any water on the aching tooth up to three times a day. This mixture taken daily also strengthens our immune system, protecting the body from harmful bacteria and viral attacks. Honey itself has various vitamins and iron in large amounts.

To summarize this is definitely something to include in your family's medicine cabinet - even though honey and cinnamon reside in the kitchen!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Arthritis Bracelets - Do They Work?

Many people who suffer from arthritis believe in using arthritis bracelets to relieve their pain. Based on age old wisdom these bracelets are thought to considerably ease the joint pain and inflammation suffered by arthritic patients. When traditional medicines and treatments have not been found to be effective, bracelets are often used as an alternative treatment. Many arthritis sufferers have found that they do work to lessen their pain considerably.

The Healing Metal

Arthritis bracelets are made of either metal or copper. The copper bracelets became popular as a treatment form in the 1970's. The copper in the bracelet is thought to be absorbed into the skin to aid in pain relief. Studies have shown that copper does actually make its way into the skin from these bracelets. This extra copper in a person's system is what lead to pain relief.

Copper is used by the body to carry calcium and aid in the building of bone mass. Some feel that copper also has analgesic potential. These two benefits are the reason for the popularity of using copper in making bracelets for arthritis sufferers.

Magnetic Healing

Magnets are also used in the manufacture of arthritis bracelets. Magnets produce magnetic fields that are felt to aid pain relief in several ways. The most studied use of magnets and pain relief focuses on the magnets ability to change the function of cells in the body. This change is felt to have anti-inflammatory potential.

Magnets may also have an effect on the ways cells grow and how long they live. The magnets are felt to rejuvenate the cells around the joints that have become inflamed. This ability to stimulate new cell growth is currently being studied in depth by many medical centers.

Magnets have also been shown to increase the flow of blood to the different parts of the body. When blood flow is increased oxygen and nutrients are better able to get to the places in the body they are needed. Blood naturally contains iron that is positively affected by the stimulation from the magnets.

Magnets send out very weak pulse signals. A magnetic bracelet sends these weak magnetic pulses throughout the body. The body, in turn, reads these pulses as pain relief signals. This is felt to work in a fashion similar to the use of ultrasound for pain relief. The magnetic pulses that result from wearing an arthritis bracelet appear to work best when the bracelet is worn near the afflicted site.

Magnets and Your Immune System

White blood cells help the body fight pain, infection, and inflammation and boost your immune system. Magnetic force may increase the production of these healing blood cells in a person's system. By wearing an arthritis bracelet a person can build up their defenses, their white blood cells against arthritic pain.

Studies are currently being conducted on the viability of arthritic bracelets. Evidence has been found to support both forms of bracelets, copper and magnetic. None of the studies have yet been wholly accepted by the FDA as of now but natural and homeopathic healers support the use of the arthritic bracelets for patients suffering from arthritis. Many doctors in the medical community also believe in the healing power of magnets and will discuss the use of these bracelets with their patients.

Arthritis Treatment: What Musculoskeletal Problems Can Be Treated With Platelet-Rich Plasma?

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an ultraconcentrate of blood that contains a large number of platelets, roughly four to seven times baseline amounts. For example, normal peripheral blood contains about six per cent platelets. A platelet-rich plasma specimen contains ninety-four per cent platelets.

Platelets are cells in the blood that are responsible for a number of tasks. First, they have factors that aid in forming a clot. Second, they have multiple growth and healing factors that help tissue injuries with recovery. Examples of these factors include platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and transforming growth factor (TGF). Healing occurs because platelet-derived growth factors stimulate the growth and multiplication of stem cells that aid in healing.

So where can PRP be used in a clinical setting? Fenton and colleagues have reported that in their hands they have been able to successfully treat a number of musculoskeletal problems including tendinopathies, ligament laxity and tears, osteoarthritis, cartilage injury, stress fractures, and non-unions. There are contraindications to the use of PRP. They are the use of anti-platelet and anti-inflammatory medication such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, warfarin, aspirin, as well as high dose fish oil.

Patients with anemia, low platelet counts, and clotting or bleeding disorders are also not good candidates. There is some evidence that cigarette smoking also has a negative effect on the effectiveness of PRP.

In the spine, the sacroiliac joints, facet joints, costotransverse (rib) joints, and spinal ligaments have been treated.

In the shoulder, rotator cuff injuries, glenohumeral ligament issues, as well as arthritis involving the acromioclavicular joint and glenohumeral joint have been treated.

Elbow disorders such as medial and lateral epicondylitis, ulnar collateral ligament strains, biceps tendon partial tears, and osteoarthritis have been treated with PRP.

Problems in the wrist and hand such as osteoarthritis, tendon problems, and ligament strains have also responded to PRP.

In the hip, hamstring tendinosis, gluteus medius tendinosis, as well as osteoarthritis have responded to PRP.

Knee issues that have responded to PRP treatment include: tendinosis of the patellar and quadriceps tendon, collateral ligament strains, meniscus tears, osteoarthritis, and bursitis.

Disorders in the ankle and foot that have successfully responded to PRP are: tendinosis in the Achilles, peroneal, and posterior tibial tendons, as well as plantar fasciitis, osteoarthritis, ligament tears.

So it is abundantly clear that in the right hands, PRP can be a useful adjunct to current treatment measures for musculoskeletal injuries. One caveat: PRP must be administered using tenotomy technique and ultrasound guidance by an experienced practitioner.

Doctor...I've Been Told I Have Spondyloarthopathy...Spinal Arthritis - What Is It?

Spondyloarthopathy is a long word referring to a group of autoimmune inflammatory forms of arthritis that may affect the spine. Examples of diseases that fall into this category include Ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis (Reiter's disease), juvenile spondyloarthropathy, and the arthritis associated with inflammatory bowel disease.

Factors these diseases have in common are:

o They affect the sacroiliac joints and the spine

o Other joints including the fingers and toes may become inflamed

o Increased family history of the disease

o Lack of rheumatoid factor

The HLA-B27 gene is markedly associated with this set of conditions. This is detected through blood testing.

The back pain associated with spondyloarthropathy has a few distinguishing features that separates it from mechanical back pain due to degenerative arthritis.

Inflammatory back pain cause extended morning stiffness- at least an hour or longer. The pain from inflammatory causes tends to come on after midnight and in the early morning. Exercise improves inflammatory back symptoms but makes mechanical back pain worse. The peak age of onset is usually 12-40 years for inflammatory spine disease and 20-65 years for mechanical.

One major distinguishing characteristic is the presence of enthesitis. This is inflammation where the tendons meet the bone.

Other areas that this type of arthritis may affect include the eyes (iritis), lungs (restrictive lung disease), heart (aortic valve disease, heart block), gut (inflammatory bowel), and skin (psoriasis).

Peculiar sausage shaped swelling of the fingers and toes can also occur. This is called dactylitis.

The inflammatory spondyloarthropathies are a progressive debilitating form of arthritis. The diagnosis must be established as early as possible so that aggressive treatment can be instituted. This group od disorders can be controlled and often may be put into sustained remission.

Tips in Managing The Two Most Common Types of Arthritis

Arthritis is usually identified with growing old. This is not entirely true as it does not only occur with the elderly but can also happen to the younger population. With this in mind, tips on its proper management is crucial to help yourself or others to alleviate the pain it causes.

But first you must know the difference between the two forms of Arthritis as they require different management techniques. Osteoarthritis is a disease that causes joint paint and stiffness due to the breakdown of cartilage. Cartilage is made up of firm but flexible tissue that is found at every end of the bones called joints to facilitate the smooth movement of bones and prevent them from rubbing against each other.

Rheumatoid Arthritis on the other hand is said to be a chronic autoimmune disease that causes swelling and deformity in joints. Usual joints that suffer from this disease are the hands and fingers, the knees, legs and shoulders. But further studies actually points this type of disease as possible causes to inflammation of blood vessels due to lack of proper circulated to affected areas, growth of rheumatoid nodules that are bumps just below the skin due to inflammation of joints, lung diseases, blood disorder, and the gradual weakening of the bones. Knowing these changes in the physical body can really sound painful and in fact it is.

Hot/cold compressions. One of the most common treatments for alleviating pain caused by arthritis is hot and cold compression applied to the aching joints. The decision to what compression to use is up to the instructions of the doctor or how the body can respond to it. Hot compression usually relaxes the muscles and dilate blood vessels making it more comfortable when stifled blood circulation and stiffness strikes joints. Cold compression does the opposite, being a temporary surface external analgesic to painful joints creating numbness and lessening the pain. The general rule is to prevent the compressions in directly touching the skin's surface and using a buffer (usually a towel) to avoid the direct contact between the skin and extreme heat or cold sources within fifteen minutes of application. This method is limited to people who have poor circulation, diabetes, or nerve disease.

Balance work and rest. Do not take on what you can do for the day. Stress can be an additional factor in your arthritis so schedule a balance between work and rest. You can still normally function in any activities that you had before you got Arthritis but you now have limits on frequency and work load. Protect your joints from unnecessary stress and use the right body mechanics in dealing with heavy tasks or loads. Bigger muscles in your legs and hips should be used in carrying heavy loads and walking using your leg muscles can lessen the impact on your knee joints.

Exercise and eat properly. Having Arthritis does not excuse you to forget about keeping yourself fit and healthy. A doctor of physical therapist can help you create a doable set of exercises that can help your joints in relieving pain. Also, watch out for your diet ingredients and lessen your take on acidic foods like processed foods, dairy products, fried foods and others.

Managing arthritis can be easy and simple without always going for medication and consultation upon the onset of pain. Following the tips above can help you deal with pain gracefully and more sensibly.

Arthritis Treatment: Tibiofemoral Osteoarthritis, Diagnosis and Treatment

The most common presentation of osteoarthritis of the knee (OAK) is involvement of the tibiofemoral joint, the space between the femur (upper leg bone) and the tibia (the larger of the two lower leg bones.)

These are the two surface areas that contain the largest amount of hyaline cartilage inside the knee.

As mentioned earlier, hyaline cartilage is the "harder" of the two type of cartilage within the knee. Hyaline cartilage caps the ends of the long bones inside the joint while fibrocartilage, a softer more pliable cartilage is represented by the medial and lateral menisci of the knee. These are semicircular piece of cartilage that give added protection to the hyaline cartilage when it comes to shock absorption, gliding, and rotation.

Symptoms of OAK typically consist of stiffness, swelling, buildup of joint fluid, and tenderness along the joint line. Over time the ability to bend and straighten the knee will be compromised as well. While one compartment, either the medial (inside) or lateral (outside) compartment of the knee may be affected more than the other, often both compartments are affected. This causes diffuse pain.

The diagnosis can be suspected clinically by history and physical examination. It can be confirmed by positive changes seen on standing knee x-rays. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is much more sensitive to changes of OAK which will consist of cartilage defects, bone edema (swelling), and fluid.

The typical treatment regimen is aimed at pain relief and maintenance of function.

If the patient is overweight, weight loss is a must. Regular exercise consisting of low impact aerobic exercise, resistance exercise, and stretching are components of a common-sense program for a patient with OAK.

Addition of non-steroidal-anti-inflammatory drugs taken either orally or given as a topical agent may also be used.

Removal of excessive joint fluid followed by Injections of glucocorticoids ("cortisone") are helpful for symptomatic relief. Glucocorticoids have a deleterious effect on articular cartilage and should be used sparingly, no more often than three times per year in a given joint.

The patient may also benefit from viscosupplement injections. These are substances consisting of hyaluronic acid which mimics the characteristics of normal joint fluid. These injections can also help provide symptomatic relief.

All injections need to be administered using ultrasound guidance to ensure accuracy.

Surgery is defined as being cartilage sparing or cartilage sacrificing. Cartilage sparing procedures involve osteotomy- removing a wedge of bone in order to line the knee joint straighter. This is used in young active adults to buy time. Cartilage sacrificing procedures refer top joint replacement. The trend recently has been for patients to get these operations done at a younger age. The downside is that these surgeries are associated with a small but real risk of severe complications including infection, blood clots, and death.

An option that is being proven to be an alternative is the use of autologous stem cells, a patient's own stem cells to help sustain and possibly regrow cartilage in an osteoarthritis knee.

(Wei N, et al. Guided Mesenchymal Stem Cell Layering Technique for Treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Knee. J Applied Res. 2011; 11: 44-48)

Remedies For Arthritis

Arthritis remedies are in high demand since this condition currently afflicts more than 70 million people in America. Natural Remedies for Arthritis are the best choice for your treatment. Natural arthritis remedies are gaining more and more popularity now a days since they are safe, and don't have any side effects as some pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory drugs have. Natural arthritis remedies are available on the shelves to provide some pain relief for sufferers. Most people are able to function with these remedies but cortisone shots as arthritis remedies are for others to ease their pain. Natural Arthritis Remedies are a better way to treat arthritis with fewer side effects. When finding out your options as far as remedies are concerned, it's always best to do your research.  Many supplements marketed as arthritis remedies are not backed by adequate science to determine whether or not they offer any relief. Below I have listed 7 of the best home remedies for suffers.

Home Remedies:

Home remedies for arthritis are a better idea than taking supplements.

#1: Eat Alfalfa or take alfalfa capsules.

#2: Take chondroitin sulfate 700 mg.

#3: Take Vitamin E to protect and improve joint mobility.

#4: Bog bean is an aquatic herb, very powerful herb special for rheumatoid arthritis and Osteoarthritis, anti-inflammatory. 

#5: Boswellia has anti-inflammatory effects similar to Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) (Advil, Aleve, Tylenol etc. 

#6: Ginger is the Killer of Arthritis pain, superior to any NASID, it can be applied directly on the affected area or taken orally ether way it relieves pain, inflammation, stiffness, bursitis, and tendonitis.

#7: MSM is rapidly establishing a reputation as a safe, natural effective solution for many types of pain and inflammatory conditions including: degenerative (wear-and-tear) arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic back pain, chronic headaches, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, tendonitis, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, TMJ, post-traumatic pain, inflammation and heartburn.

Drinking Juice for Arthritis Relief:

Juice of green leafy vegetable mixed with beet, carrot and celery is specific for arthritis. Juice enough potatoes to produce 4 ounces of raw potato juice. The first thing in the morning is to have fresh juice extracted from potatoes and diluted with water on 50:50 bases. Mix 1 tablespoon liquid pectin with a glass of Concord grape juice once a day. Two teaspoons of lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey mixed in a cup of warm water taken twice a day are good for curing arthritis. Add one tablespoon cod liver oil to the juice of one orange, whip and drink before going to bed at night.


Nutritional supplements: Boron, calcium, magnesium, glucosamine sulfate, omega-3 fatty acids, pantothenic acid, selenium, and Vitamin B complex are important nutritional supplements that play an important role in arthritis pain relief. If you are taking A and D supplements, check the dosages carefully. Please be sure to consult your physician or other qualified medical professional before taking any arthritis natural remedies or other supplements as an alternative to prescription of over-the-counter (OTC) arthritis medications. Be sure you are aware of all the possible side effects before you take supplements. Many arthritis patients take glucosamine and chondroitin for joint pain, but research has yielded mixed results about these supplements. A proper intake of ginger supplements help in getting rid of muscular and joint pains. When boron supplements were given to hospitalized arthritis patients, some 90 percent reported "complete remission" of symptoms. Some dietary supplements have documented benefits; the advantages of others are unproven and claims about those products may be false or misleading. In addition to lacking documented effectiveness, some dietary supplements may be harmful under some conditions.  For example, many herbal products and other "natural" supplements have real and powerful pharmacological effects that could cause adverse reactions in some consumers, or cause dangerous interactions with other medicines. One specific area which is attracting the interest of researchers is glucosamine chondroitin supplements. So I usually recommend using them as supplements. Combining treatments, such as taking joint supplements and attending hydrotherapy or acupuncture sessions, may have the greatest impact on your symptoms and on the pain relief.


Arthritis Remedies: There are many different Remedies which really can help relieve the symptoms of Arthritis. Remedies can also be found in the form of joint protections like knee supports and back belts. Arthritis remedies that are easily available do not always work as they are perceived. Many people do suffer badly from arthritis. Arthritis remedies that include a regimen of exercise are very effective in building bone mass and retaining more supple movement in the patient. It is always better to look for Home remedies for arthritis because they are safer for the body.