Saturday, June 1, 2013

Safe Natural Remedies For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an ailment that causes pain, stiffness, swelling and even a loss of function in the joints. Though it is known to affect any joint, it is mostly found in the wrist and fingers. Besides the joints, it can also affect different parts of the body, such as the eyes, lungs and mouth. Though not exclusive, the disease is prevalent among women and elderly. Most people that suffer from this potentially crippling disease are usually in the 25 to 55 age group range.

Until now, the exact causes of this form rheumatoid arthritis are not yet known. It is thought that genes and hormones play a crucial factor, since the human body's own immune system is the one responsible for attacking tissues and organs that ultimately lead to the occurrence of inflammation. Though there are currently no cures and medicines that can completely heal rheumatoid arthritis, there are many proven natural and safe remedies that can help relieve the pain of those who suffer from the disease.

Here are some of those remedies:

Consuming natural herbs is one way to combat the disease and reduce its agonizing symptoms. These include taking gamma linolenic acid, which can be found in evening primrose oil, black currant seed oil and borage oil. If taken regularly, the symptoms of the arthritis can be significantly reduced. Another herb that is known for its potency against the disease is the devil's claw. Native to South Africa, the herbs contain iridoid glycosides, which are known to improve the treatment of arthritis. For a short-term solution, taking dry ginger mixed with black pepper, salt and honey can provide some relief from pain.

However, one supplement that has been gaining popularity due to its potency is omega-3. Because inflammation is the primary cause of pain in people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, reducing the inflammation is essential. Omega 3 fatty acids contain natural anti-inflammatory properties that can significantly provide pain relief. Fish oil is highly rich in essential omega 3 and should therefore be included in your dietary supplements. Besides the beneficial role that these fatty acids play in reducing joint pain, they can also improve the overall health of your body, particularly your heart and brain.

Instead of relying on prescription medications that might not be effective and have potentially dangerous side-effects, perhaps it is time that you looked into natural remedies to help deal with your arthritis joint problems. If you would like to know more about the benefits of fish oil supplements to help relieve the debilitating effects of joint pain, check out my website. I have many simple tips and advice that is effective in preventing joint pain so you can get on with your life again.

Different Types of Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Rheumatoid arthritis is a serious autoimmune disorder that causes widespread inflammation in the body, primarily in the joints, but it can also affect organs and tissues. There is pain and swelling in the affected area that can sometimes lead to deformity in more serious cases. This incurable disease is often debilitating, so there are a number of treatments available to help people cope with the disease:?

  • DMARDs-Most patients who suffer with rheumatoid arthritis use drug treatment to manage the disease to help reduce the inflammation and discomfort. Disease anti-rheumatic drugs or DMARDs, are used to slow down the effects of joint damage on the bones and cartilage. This type of treatment has been available for several years and can sometimes prevent damage in the early phases of the disease and bring more advanced cases into stages of remission.

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs-There are a couple of drugs that are often used to help to reduce the inflammation in the joints, tissues and organs, which come in the form of steroid or non-steroid treatment. Steroids are a strong medication that is very effective in reducing painful inflammation. This type of drug must be carefully taken to reduce the possibility of serious side effects if it is not taken or prescribed. Non-steroid drugs are such things are NSAIDS that are prescribed in appropriate dosages to control the pain and reduce inflammation.

  • Biologics-This is a newer form of treatment that is composed of genetically engineered proteins from human genes that targets the parts of the immune system that cause inflammation. The medication is often prescribed when other treatment options have not helped to slow the progression of the disease. The medication is administered in the form of an injection or intravenous infusion, but must be carefully monitored by a specialist because it can cause other serious health conditions.?

  • Physical and Occupational Therapy-Some people choose to try exercises to reduce the pain and inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis. An exercise regiment can be used to strengthen weak, painful joints as well as help disabled patients to find ways to manage the painful symptoms. Occupational therapists can work with rheumatoid arthritis patients to give them the tools needed to carry out their everyday activities as best they can.

The different kinds of rheumatoid arthritis treatment give patients a number of options to choose from as they consult with their specialist. Every treatment option has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to weight the options as they pertain to each unique case. Although rheumatoid arthritis cannot be cured, it can be managed with an effective treatment.

Medical Marijuana and Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition that involves damage to the body joints. There are various kinds of arthritis and each one has a different cause. The most common kinds of arthritis include osteoarthritis which results from joint trauma, age or infection. In many studies, it is proven that medical marijuana is an effective cure for arthritis pain and also inflammation.

About 27 million Americans have osteoarthritis which can cause breakdown of the joint cartilage which results to inflammation and pain. An additional 1.3 million are living with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune that creates severe pain. Moreover, 300,000 children in the US have juvenile arthritis. Although many doctors will not recommend using medical cannabis for young children, older teens and adults could treat their arthritis with the hemp.

In a 2005 study, THC and cannabidiol were found to create notable improvements in quality of sleep, pain and reduces disease activity in those people with rheumatoid arthritis. Both compounds are among the cannabinoids that naturally occur in marijuana. During the year 2000, researches discovered that cannabidiol blocked the progression of arthritis effectively in animal trials. However, there is still the question of the legality of using medical marijuana but there already several states legalizing its use and regulating it through the use of a medical marijuana card.

Nevertheless, there are many people who claim that they actually feel relieved by smoking a regulated amount of marijuana. Some patients claim that it is a better alternative to the medications they often take such as pain relievers which could also have negative side effects, particularly in prolonged use. When you decide to use medical cannabis to relieve your arthritis symptoms, you should always consult your physician. Remember that your physician is the best person to decide whether marijuana is good to relieve the pain and inflammation due to your arthritis. In some states where marijuana is legal, they use medical marijuana card to monitor and regulate its use. The use of the card is restricted only to patients who have prescriptions and recommendations from their doctors to use medical marijuana to relieve the symptoms of their illnesses. Some states allow one to grow his or her own marijuana plant strictly for health reasons. Excessive growing and using of the plant is punishable and there is a danger of prosecution if discovered. There are still debates going on in many states whether medical marijuana should be legalized or not.

Chase Away Gouty Arthritis With A New Menu

If you have suffered from gout for what seems like an eternity, throw up your hands and raise a shout of joy because you no longer have to endure through any more of those almost impossible diets. It's a new day with new hope in a new menu. Recent brand new studies are putting old theories aside as results reveal that much of what was once believed was either good or bad for this form of arthritis is flawed with half-truths.

Some facts however about this painful type of arthritis still hold true. High concentrations of uric acid in ones blood has the potential of causing serious inflammation problems which equals pain for you. In fact you can pretty much count on it. Another fact that hasn't changed at all is the problem of obesity. The truth of the matter is that if a person is overweight it is almost certain to exacerbate gout symptoms due to the waste products that are broken down into uric acid. The overweight state is in itself a shortfall because most of the excess poundage is in the form of waste products such as purines that the body was unable to digest or get rid of. It is then forced to change it into uric acid. So all of these indigestible foods finally wind up as a putrid mass of uric acid. This uric acid is at the heart of this agonizing on again off again condition.

The old methods of trying to keep gout under control by exacting diets and abstinence from certain foods just didn't work. It was just too difficult for most people to stick with any diet program of this type. And it came at a high cost with little hope of an end in sight. Many of the diets required people to avoid many of the foods that they loved and in time, it became hard to stay focused and not lose sight of the desired goal. That goal often seemed absolutely unattainable. Soon even the supposed experts in the field had to agree that it wasn't working.

While working on diets for patients with diabetes and various types of heart disease who were resistant to insulin, scientists stumbled upon information they thought just might reveal itself to be of value to those suffering from gout as well. During testing, it appeared that those who were resistant to insulin also had an excess of uric acid in their bodies. They concluded that indications of high levels of uric acid could possibly be a major clue and possibly an early warning into other severe health conditions. Going forward with that tidbit of information lead them to conduct a study on patients suffering with gout. The patients, all men, were put on the same diet that they had created for their insulin resistant patients. They analyzed thirteen men during a four-month testing period. The results showed a whopping victory of not only an average weight lost of 17 pounds but an almost 19% landslide drop in uric acid levels too. Almost all of the test subjects experienced less gout attacks and probably best of all is the impressive good news that the majority was able to stay the course of the study and continue on the diet well into the next year.

The diet is surprisingly simple as experienced by the original test subjects. You are encouraged to consume no more than 1600 calories each day. 30 percent should be taken from protein, which is about 480 calories; 30 percent should come from fat and you need 40 percent (640 calories) to come from carbohydrates. There are no other additional restrictions about avoiding purine-rich foods etc.

Although there are no inflexible restrictions, you do want to keep in mind that being overweight can still hurt you. Be sensible and smart about your new freedom menu. If you find yourself hungry try spacing out your 1600 daily calorie allotment. Eat four small meals instead of one huge one. It'll lessen the load on your digestive system too.

When you crave fat, choose healthy fats over the saturated fats. Fill up on avocadoes, nuts, peanut butter and polyunsaturated oils like olive and canola.

Add fish to the menu. One thing that was a major change in the diets of the test subjects was the addition of fish to their diets at least four times a week. They ate a variety of fish, which amply satisfied the daily protein requirement.

Have a sweet tooth? Reach for the sugars your body really craves found in fresh fruits and vegetables instead of the lifeless snacks being offered. Enjoy your new freedom menu. It may be the best one you ever dined from.

Tea Time - A Guide to the Four Basic Types of Tea

A cup of tea can help you get your morning started or aid in relaxation after a long and stressful day. You can warm up on a cold winter day with a steaming mug of your favorite tea, or you can cool down on a summer afternoon with a tall, refreshing, glass of iced tea. Not only does it taste great hot or cold, but it can also help you stay healthy.

With a variety of tea that seem to come in ever color of the rainbow and every flavor possible, walking down the tea aisle at your local grocery store can be a perplexing event. The truth of the matter is that there are basically four groups of tea and most of your favorite will fall into those categories.

  • Black Tea: The process of making Black tea is a long process that eventually results in the oxidation and fermentation of the tea leaves. This fermentation process results the darkening of the tea leaves to a deep red or black color. Black Tea is one of the more common flavored teas. Under the umbrella of black teas are some common flavors such as Darjeeling and an assortment of breakfast teas.

    Benefits: It is believed that black tea can help digestion, improve cholesterol, and possibly reduce tooth decay. While there is caffeine in black tea it's not as potent your morning cup of coffee and can often give you that needed boost without the jitters.

  • Green Tea: Green tea is made from leaves that do not go through oxidization. They are picked and then steamed or pan fried to prevent any fermentation. Although it doesn't sound extremely appetizing this popular tea is often described as tasting earthy like grass. It has a light and refreshing flavor and depending on the type, can range from sweet to a little bitter.

    Benefits:Green tea is credited with helping your body fight off cancer, some types of arthritis, and high cholesterol. It also can be a great boost to your immune system.

  • Oolong Tea: Oolong Tea is less oxidized than black tea but does go through some oxidation unlike green tea. Most tea drinkers describe oolong as having a earthy/grass taste similar to Green tea, however it's slightly stronger.

    Benefits: While it's not yet proven, there is some research being done into the impact oolong tea has on weight control. Besides that, oolong tea is credited with aiding digesting and cleansing the body from the inside out.

  • White Tea: White tea can be thought of the unripe fruit of the tea world. Made from young or immature leaves that have yet to undergo oxidation, white tea is probably the most expensive and rarest form of tea. Although it recently has become more available in the United States, it was originally hard to find anywhere else besides China. White tea is often said to have a smooth sweet flavor.

    Benefits: The flavor alone isn't a reason why white tea is becoming so popular in the US. This tea is credited with being the healthiest form of tea because it's so close to its natural state. Some of the benefits of white tea come from the high amount of cancer fighting anti-oxidants as well as its ability to aid your immune system in fighting off bacteria and viruses.

How To Treat Arthritis Naturally Without Prescription Drugs

When you face the pain, stiffness and swelling of arthritis you want to find something that will help alleviate the problem. Your doctor may prescribe medications that will help with the inflammation and pain but these treatments often come with the potential for addiction and a list of possible side effects. This could easily leave you wanting to find other alternatives that do not carry the same risks. There are plenty of herbal and natural remedies that are used regularly for that very purpose. Knowing which ones to try comes down to locating the ones that resolve the problems you are trying to alleviate. You should also consult with your physician on any remedies that you choose to use so that you can be monitored.


The diet you consume can play a pivotal role in the effect your arthritis has on your body. One of the most obvious effects of a healthier diet is that you will be able to reduce any excess weight. This weight places unnecessary pressure on your bones and joints and increases the pain and other problems that you may feel. In addition to this benefit, some foods enhance the arthritis symptoms while others help to fight them. If you want to fight your arthritis you will want to consume a diet that is healthy and rich in omega 3 fatty acids. The more vitamins you take in the better off your body will be. Sugar, dairy and wheat only work to make arthritis worse and should be eliminated from your diet. You will begin to feel the effects of a healthy diet fairly quickly and as you lose weight you will notice many other benefits as well.


With exercise you are helping that goal of reducing your weight, but you will see more advantages to your body than simple weight loss. Regular exercise helps your body to relax and stay mobile. If you are mobile then your joints are consistently moving. This will help to prevent the stiffness that often accompanies arthritis. An active person will have less stiffness in their joints than one who is sedentary. Stiffness is one of the most difficult symptoms of arthritis because it causes you problems moving around. You may find yourself unable to do normal tasks that you once performed easily.

Castor Oil

Castor oil has been used for many things over the years and arthritis is among them. You can use the oil as a rub when your joints become sore and swollen. Simply rub the castor oil into the joints and you will feel the relief it provides. It is also a great oil to use for massaging joints to help prevent the soreness and stiffness that you often feel. Many people have found that castor oil provides relief almost instantly.


Taking in enough fluids is vital to your health for many reasons, but fluids have to be the right ones. The best fluid you can take in is water. It will work to release the built up toxins in your body and keep your organs functioning as they should. Water will keep you from suffering constipation problems as well. Another benefit of water is that it keeps the joints lubricated so that they move easier and more freely. You can even count on plenty of water to aid in your weight loss goals.


Ginger was discovered to relieve pain in arthritis many years ago by the Chinese. Like many supplements, ginger works well in both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Since pain is one of the most predominant symptoms of arthritis, ginger is a favored herb among many sufferers. Those who use it say that it can take as long as three weeks before the effects are noticed. Unlike prescription pain medications, a user does not have to be concerned with addiction to ginger and does not have to worry about side effects. It can cause a slight increase in blood pressure, but otherwise is considered safe among those who take it daily.


Not all herbal remedies have to come packaged in a supplement. You can take advantage of the celery you already have in your home. The benefit of celery is that it is known to be an anti-inflammatory. This means that if you consume it you will likely see a decrease in swelling. You can opt to eat the celery if you wish or you can make a celery tea and drink it. If you choose the tea you will need to drink as much as three cups a day when the pain is at its worst.


Cortisone is a popular medication used to treat arthritis, but it carries with is some side effects that you may not wish to contend with. If you opt to go with licorice you will not have to. Licorice offers the user the same effect they would get with cortisone without the side effects that they do not want. It helps alleviate pain when you consume the extract daily. You may notice a slight increase in blood pressure, but it carries no other serious side effects.

The most popular supplement for arthritis is glucosamine. This is a natural substance that is made in the body and helps to rebuild and repair the damaged cartilage. When your body ages you do not produce as much glucosamine. Because of this your body does not repair the cartilage as easily. You are left with deteriorating cartilage in your joints. Taking these supplements can help to rebuild the cartilage and alleviate the pain and swelling that comes with arthritis. People have been taking glucosamine for many years as a treatment for their arthritis because it attacks the cause of the problem and not the symptoms. It is often combined with chondroitin to receive the maximum effect. There are some minor side effects that may occur, with the worst being a reaction in those who are allergic to shellfish.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Psoriasis Arthritis Fruit Diet

This article talks about psoriasis arthritis fruit diet. According to a book on healing psoriasis, people who experience psoriatic arthritis symptoms should avoid the nightshade family that includes tomato, potato, peppers and eggplants.

Other diet that helps clearing psoriasis is high fruit and vegetable juice diet. If you experience a flare-up in psoriatic symptoms, according to Dr. Pagano's book, it is part of the healing process. However, according to one candida sufferer who happens to have psoriasis problem too, fruit and vegetable diet that she took gave her a flare-up-like symptoms which had gone worse and worse and it depressed her.

The main concern about a high fruit diet is that many people with candida have reactive hypoglycemia. Too much fruit can cause blood sugar to drop like a rock.

Also, most candida sufferers have problem with gas and too much fruit can make them very gassy as well.

Fruit is absolutely off limits on a candida diet. The only ones allowable in strict moderation are the berries and avocadoes as they are low in fructose. Someone made a post that candida only feeds on refined sugars, not natural ones (like the fructose found in fruit). This is wrong. All yeasts feed off of sugar of any type--it makes NO difference if it's a "natural" or "refined" sugar.

Avoid all simple sugars when on a candida diet--this includes fructose from fruit. I would even curtail intake of the starchier vegetables like winter squash, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and carrots. Parsnips and carrots, are very high on the Glycemic Index which means they cause spikes in your insulin levels, not a desirable thing with candida.

Osteoarthritis of the Knee - Does Osteoporosis Play a Role?

First, lets distinguish between the two.

Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disease that results in decreased bone density and an alteration in the bony architecture. It does not directly cause pain. A more simple definition would be " a bone disorder that results in decreased bone strength and an increased risk of fracture."

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease characterized by the loss of articular cartilage and results in pain, stiffness and decreased mobility.

Because both are common in the older age group, the two often get confused. Many times I have heard people blame their pain on osteoporosis when this is not the case.

The concerns with osteoporosis are the increased risk of future fracture, with osteoarthritis, it's pain, deformity, and loss of mobility.

There are of course many people unfortunate enough to have both of these common disease processes active at the one time. However, different diseases take different approaches to address them.

Osteoporosis needs to be treated with dietary changes, calcium and vitamin D supplements, and medication such as bisphosphonates - talk to your doctor about these.

Osteoarthritis needs to be addressed via a program of weight loss, exercise, analgesia and if required,surgery.

It is common sense to target both conditions simultaneously if required. As a general rule, osteoporosis treatment does not get in the way of arthritis treatments. Many good hospitals now include an osteoporosis risk profile questionnaire as part of their treatment of osteoarthritis.

Many people do not realize they have osteoporosis until they suffer a fracture - it creeps up silently.

Osteoarthritis is anything but silent with a gradual increase in symptoms,the primary one being pain.

These two separate diseases of the bone don't directly affect each other but commonly occur in tandem. A knowledge of both would be beneficial for the majority of patients.

How Severe Is Your Dog's Arthritis?

Dog arthritis is a complex disease. However, one aspect of the disease a dog owner should have a full grasp of is that this crippling disease does not just develop overnight. If one day you suddenly notice that your dog is experiencing some lameness, it does not mean that your dog may have suddenly developed arthritis. It takes years of wear and tear on your dog's joint cartilage before the disease's symptoms become noticeable. Also, your dog's instinct forces the animal to conceal any pain or discomfort it may be feeling in the joints for as long as possible. Thus, most owners are unaware that their dog has already developed arthritis and only notice the symptoms when their dog's joints have been significantly damaged. This is a situation dog owners should aim to avoid as dog arthritis is best treated in its early stages.

Since dog arthritis is a condition that develops over time, a grading system in terms of severity can be used. In human arthritis, a standardized grading system has been made. This grading system relies on x-rays and arthroscopies to assess the damage on the joints. Unfortunately, a grading system for dogs has yet to be formalized. The absence of a standard dog arthritis severity grading system is a problem that the veterinary world should address as soon as possible. Having a formal scale would make it easier for veterinarians around the world to formulate appropriate treatment plans that best addresses the specific needs of arthritic dogs at different stages of the disease.

In my veterinary practice, I have formulated my own dog arthritis severity grading system. Since this is a personal grading system that I use, I am very much open to discussion and suggestion.

In my dog arthritis grading system, I use four grades. Each grade corresponds to a different stage of cartilage and joint deterioration. Grade 1 is the mildest while Grade 4 is the most severe. With this system, I am able to create a more specific treatment plan that is most suitable to the corresponding grade of severity. Nevertheless, any treatment plan should have the threefold objective: (1) cartilage repair and protection, (2) inflammation management and (3) pain relief.

The following are the four severity grades I formulated:

繚 Grade 1 Arthritis. This is the first stage of dog arthritis; hence, damage to cartilage is quite minimal. The dog may experience some mild and intermittent lameness. Any pain or inflammation can be relieved with rest. Most likely you will not notice anything wrong with your dog as the animal will conceal any pain or discomfort felt in this early phase of the disease. X-rays and endoscopies will reveal a softening of the cartilage. However, there will be no signs osteophytes or bone spurs.

繚 Grade 2 Arthritis. The second stage of dog arthritis severity is marked by moderate lameness experienced most obviously after sleeping or resting. The lameness is still intermittent but manifests more frequently. Fortunately, the lameness eventually disappears as the joints "loosen up" after they "warm up" with use. X-rays and endoscopies reveal minimal cartilage loss but cracks in the cartilage are beginning to show. Early new bone growth (osteophytes), narrowing of joint spaces, and the development of scar tissue can also be detected. It is essential that your dog receives treatment by this stage of the disease as there is still a chance to reverse some of the damage done to the cartilage. Furthermore, surgery, painkillers, and anti-inflammatory drugs are not yet needed.

繚 Grade 3 Arthritis. This grade is described as moderate to severe stage of dog arthritis. In this stage, the dog will be experiencing chronic pain and inflammation. The dog will be having difficulties moving as lameness at this stage can be quite acute. Sadly, it becomes almost impossible to warm up or loosen the joints. X-rays and endoscopies will reveal bigger osteophytes or bone spurs and very thick fissures in the cartilage. It is important that the dog's arthritis avoids reaching this stage, as it is be very hard to restore the damaged joint cartilage of the animal. Also, prescription medication, which can in some cases cause side effects, must now be utilized to manage the symptoms of the disease. In addition, surgery becomes a possible treatment option.

繚 Grade 4 Arthritis. This stage is described as advanced dog arthritis. In this phase of the disease, there is extensive cartilage loss, and the bone underneath the cartilage (sub-chondral bone) as well as the nerves are already exposed. This results in "bone to bone" contact, which is very painful and results in a prolonged inflammatory reaction. Lameness is so severe in this grade that the dog may be immobilized. X-rays and endoscopies will reveal large osteophytes, extensive cartilage lose, "bone to bone" contact, and swollen, thickened joints. Sadly, when your dog's arthritis becomes this severe, saving your dog becomes an uphill battle. In this situation, the worst case scenario of euthanasia may be considered.

Best Treatments For Arthritis - Conventional Treatments For Arthritis Pain Relief

Arthritis, though may not be termed as a very serious illness is definitely a very difficult one for those suffering from severe forms of the disease. There has been a large amount of research done on arthritis and medical practitioners have suggested several treatments for the same. Before analyzing what are the best treatments for arthritis one must need to know what we are trying to achieve or what the objectives of a good arthritis treatment are.

The goals or aims of any arthritis treatment are to relieve pain or any kind of inflammation, to ensure that work life of the person is not affected, advancement in disease is reduced and one is able to be independent as well as have a good quality of life. Hence the best treatments of arthritis would be those which fulfill these goals to the fullest extent.

Some of the conventional treatments for arthritis pain relief are as follows:

Educating and supporting the patient, teaching the importance of joint protection, regular exercise and weight loss.

Some of the most familiar medications for arthritis over the years are Tylenol for pain relief and NSAID's like Advil, Ibuprofen, naproxen etc in case pain is intolerable. NSAID's are said to have adverse side effects like gastro intestinal problems and even headache and giddiness. The sad part is that though these drugs relieve pain temporarily they prevent the synthesis of collagen eventually accelerating the destruction of cartilage and causing more severe arthritis.

In case the patient is suffering from inflammations COX 2 inhibitors are used. In case of swollen joints the fluid is removed and a steroid injection is given.

In case you need to replace the joint it self then one may need to go for surgery.

Now medical practitioners are insisting on more natural methods of treating arthritis that have proved more effective than conventional methods. Firstly arthritis varies from person to person and needs to be treated individually. What worked for someone else may not work for you. A healthy balanced diet with plenty of calcium to strengthen the bones can work wonders. You may think of nutritional supplements like antioxidant nutrients that reduce the loss of cartilage and advancement of disease. A good dosage of glucose amine for at least two months will help an elderly person as the ability to produce this component of cartilage gradually deteriorates with aging. One may also ensure that they include Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, zinc copper and boron as all these contribute to cartilage regeneration and any deficiency causes damage.

Even exercises need to be person specific. Do not do exercises which will apply more stress on your joints or which will end up in more severe pain. Mild stretching, massage and heat application may help relieve stress to a certain extent. It is important to remember to consult your medical practitioner before taking any treatment. The other new treatment being introduced is herbal treatment. These treatments have proved to be more effective and have lesser side effects than other drugs in the long run. Whatever may be the severity of arthritis the best treatment is a positive mind, good exercising and a healthy balanced diet.

Arthritis Treatment: Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis With Corticosteroid Injections

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and affects more than 20 million Americans. It is a condition that adversely affects hyaline articular cartilage, the tough gristle that caps the ends of long bones.

Hyaline cartilage is made up of a matrix consisting of a combination of proteoglycans (complexes of proteins and sugars) and chondrocytes. Chondrocytes are cartilage cells that manufacture matrix under normal healthy circumstances. They are responsible for nourishing the matrix as well.

However, when OA develops, a distinct change in the joint environment occurs. Chondrocytes begin to elaborate destructive enzymes causing cracks in the cartilage. These are called "fibrillations."

One of the most common joints affected by osteoarthritis is the knee. This is not a surprise since OA preferentially attacks weight-bearing joints.

The treatment of OA of the knee is primarily symptomatic. Weight loss, exercise, physical therapy, assistive devices (such as canes and walkers), analgesics (pain-relieving medicines), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) which also reduce inflammation and pain, as well as thermal modalities such as heat and ice can all be employed.

But what happens when the patient doesn't respond to these?

The next step is injection therapy. There are two main forms of injection therapy used for OA of the knee. The first are corticosteroid injections. The other major type, hyaluronic acid injections will be discussed in another article.

Corticosteroid (another term used is glucocorticoid - I will use these terms interchangeably) or glucocorticoid injections are used to provide rapid short term relief from the pain and inflammation caused by OA of the knee. Corticosteroids - also known as "cortisone" reduce inflammation and theoretically reduce potential damage to the joint. They are administered in combination with a local anesthetic to help provide immediate relief of pain until the corticosteroid has a chance to "kick in." These injections are administered using sterile technique with a local anesthetic. It's critical that ultrasound guidance be used in order to ensure accuracy. If the corticosteroid isn't placed properly in the joint space, it will not provide optimal relief. They should not be administered more often than three times per year since there is evidence that corticosteroids given more often can damage cartilage.

While generally safe, corticosteroid injections can cause some minor side effects such as flushing of the face, elevation of blood sugar in patients with diabetes, skin atrophy at the site of injection, a flare of pain the evening of the steroid injection, and sometimes some local swelling. Infections are rare if proper technique is used.

Caution should be exercised when giving these injections to patients on anticoagulants such as warfarin. Corticosteroid injections provide short term benefit. The length of effectiveness can range anywhere from weeks to several months. On occasion, they will help for a longer period of time.

Spice Up Your Food and Beat Arthritis Pain Naturally

Herbs for arthritis can be an important part of your relief plan. Unlike medications that just deaden pain, many plants have compounds in them that repair the damage of an injury or degenerative disease and provide relief. Some act as natural muscle relaxants and others as anti-spasmodics or anti-inflammatories. With arthritis, a comfrey ointment may help repair damaged and degenerating bone and anti-inflammatory herbs like willow, devil's claw or meadosweet may help relieve pain. There are also cleansing herbs that can detoxify the joints, like yellow dock or celery seed. The Chinese have been using herbs for arthritis for centuries, and they are generally classified as warming or cooling, depending on their actions inside the body and what "evils" (like heat, cold, or damp) they are counteracting.

The Europeans have been studying herbs for arthritis and other chronic conditions for years. In fact, in the PDR (Physician's Desk Reference) for Herbal Medicines, many of the research on herbs and their effects are taking place in Germany. The Japanese are also doing a lot of research on native plants and fruits and publishing the results. There is much knowledge out there on plants that can help you. Here, I'll only discuss the top few that you can easily get in the United States (because that's where I'm located) and that have the best safety record.

Angelica - a good herb for arthritis that can be used topically in a compress, or added in a hot bath. It's a warming and stimulating herb, good for "cold" types of osteoarthritis (if you have circulation problems for example). It's available in tincture form (recommended) or you may purchase the dried leaves or root (not recommended).

To use, dilute the tincture in hot water and apply to a cloth to use as a compress. You may also dilute 10 drops of Angelica oil in 25 mL of almond or sunflower oil to use as massage oil for arthritic joints. For a bath, add 5 drops of the oil to the water in the tub.

Do NOT use Angelica during pregnancy.

Devil's Claw - is a potent anti-inflammatory and its action has been compared to that of cortisone. It's better for degenerative arthritis than for RA. This herb is best taken internally, but do NOT take it if you have stomach or duodenal ulcers, as it increases gastric juices production.
Devil's Claw is supplied in capsules. Take between 1-3 grams per day in divided doses during flare ups. Capsules normally contain between 400-600 mg each.

It can also be made into an infusion by using 1 teaspoon (about 4.5 grams) in 300 mL of boiling water. Steep this for 8 hours and strain. It can then be taken up to 3 times a day or used as a compress.

Bogbean - is a "cooling" herb, so it's good for flare ups with hot, aching joints. This herb is used primarily in Europe for loss of appetite and and stomach discomfort, but it is also known an aid for gout and swelling; so I'm listing it here in herbs for arthritis.

In tincture form, you can take up to 8 mL three times a day. You may also use it as an infusion. To make a tea, pour boiling water over 0.5 to 1 gram of the finely chopped dried herb, let steep for 5-10 minutes and then strain. You may drink 1/2 cup, unsweetened, before each meal.

White Willow - is rich in salicylates (the active ingredient in aspirin) so it is well known as an anti-inflammatory. It's useful during flare ups and for associated muscle pain. It's available in powder and tincture form.

Take up to 5 mL tincuture three times a day. It may also be combined with other herbs for arthritis like angelica or yellow dock. To make an infusion, put 2-3 grams of finely chopped or powdered herb in cold water, bring to a boil, then turn off heat and steep for 5 minutes. Strain. You may drink 1 cup 3-5 times daily.

Caution should be used if you're already taking NSAID's or other salicylates (like aspirin). Do not take if you are on anti-platelet medication or any medicine that prolongs the PT time. White willow should NEVER be given to children with flu like symptoms due to the association between salicylates and Reye's syndrome.

Cooking with herbs for arthritis relief

Herbs and spices can be easily integrated in your meals to help ease arthritis pain, too. This is a great, easy way to get the healing properties of these plants into you. Spices are full of antioxidants and phytochemicals and some have anti-inflammatory effects. Here are some herbs for arthritis you probably have in your kitchen cupboards and can start using right away.

Turmeric - this comes from the curcumin plant and helps inflammation. A study in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism showed turmeric slowed down cartilage destruction, blocked inflammation and reduced swelling.

Eat dishes made with curry several times a week or take in capsule form.

Ginger - This spice is used in traditional Chinese medicines and inhibits inflammation. It's especially good for people whose symptoms get worse in cold weather since it increases blood flow.

Ginger can be drunk as a tea daily or you can take it in supplement form. The root is good grated and used in soups and stocks or even added to juices (but use it sparingly).

Rosemary - This herb contains antioxidants that reduce inflammation and helps block pain.
You can use it in cooking as a dried or fresh herb or you can use essential oil in a bath or mixed with almond oil and massage it into your sore joints. Do NOT use rosemary during pregnancy.

Saffron - This herb is handpicked from crocus blossoms and is a powerful antioxidant. True saffron is expensive, but it doesn't take much in cooking to release it's scent and color.

Mix 1/2 teaspoon of saffron into boiling water and you can drink it as a tea. You can also mix saffron essential oil with some almond oil and rub it directly into your joints. It's also excellent when added to rice dishes and soups. You don't want to use more than 2 grams a day, though, as that might cause nausea.

Cayenne - Cayenne pepper is best known for the heat it adds to chilis and other spicy dishes. The active ingredient, capsaicin can block pain signals to the brain when used topically.

Use it as you would any pepper, but it doesn't take much to go from warm to burn your mouth hot, so be careful. It is sold in capsule form, but may cause nausea. Many over the counter pain relieving creams contain it, and you can use those on painful joints as directed.

If you make the switch to low glycemic eating (it's naturally anti-inflammatory) you may find that you'll want to use herbs and spices to flavor your food, especially if you've been eating a lot of processed foods. Boxed foods have salt and other food additives in them to make them taste good. If you eat a lot of these, your taste buds are used to the additives, and herbs and spices are a great way to boost flavor of natural, unprocessed, whole foods.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Arthritis Pain? Stop Eating Junk Food And Get Relief From Pain Naturally

After years of aggravating joint pain I finally found relief from my arthritis pain, naturally, and you can do it too. I got rid of my arthritis symptoms and arthritis pain forever by making one simple change in my lifestyle. I stopped eating all junk food.

Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease of the joint cartilage and bone. It's often thought to result from continuous "wear and tear" on a joint. There are other causes of arthritis such as congenital arthritis with congenital defects, trauma and metabolic disorders. And osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. When people refer to arthritis they usually mean osteoarthritis not rheumatoid arthritis, which can be detected by blood tests. Osteoarthritis cannot be diagnosed using blood tests. Arthritis is usually found in the joints of the fingers, feet, knees, hips, and spine.

The ability to make repairs to the cartilage becomes very limited as cartilage cells age. Damaged joints cause pain and arthritis sufferers are constantly looking for ways to relieve this pain. Our joints are uniquely designed to provide flexibility, support, stability, and protection.

Genetic factors are thought to be involved in about fifty percent of osteoarthritis cases in the hands and hips and a somewhat lower percentage of cases for the knee. An inflammatory response causes cytokines to gather in injured areas and cause inflammation and damage to body tissue and cells. It's known to play a role in a systemic form of arthritis - rheumatoid arthritis and other muscle and joint issues associated with autoimmune diseases. Genetic researchers report a higher incidence of osteoarthritis between parents and children and between siblings rather than between husbands and wives.

For part of a dietary approach try avoiding seven of the eight most allergic foods - wheat, which is the most allergenic of all, corn, eggs, milk, peanuts, fish and shellfish. If you really want to get rid of your arthritis pain forever it may take a big change in your diet and an ongoing commitment to it. So the first step in managing your arthritis is to change your diet. I think all health professionals would agree with this.

Try massaging your fingers or other affected joints with virgin coconut oil once or twice a day to help loosen them up and maintain flexibility. Nutrition experts say it takes a combination of supplements, not just one supplement to help relieve arthritis pain, build cartilage, etc. but studies done on antioxidant vitamins question their value as supplements. It's clearly better to consume these antioxidants in living plant foods because they may also need to work together with other nutrients present in the foods to work properly - called synergistic action.

One good natural treatment method involves avoiding all inflammatory foods. And dried Montmorency tart cherries and cherries and their juice seem to be helpful as a natural treatment for arthritis pain for many people.

Gluten may be just one of the culprits in arthritic diseases including fibromyalgia. So avoid wheat, barley, rye, spelt, triticale, kamut and oats (although it's not a gluten grain it gets contaminated with wheat during the milling process at the where it is usually milled). Many arthritis sufferers who've changed their diets significantly have noticed major or total improvement in their overall health.

Exercise all your non-affected and affected joints every day, to keep them flexible. Even if you don't think you can exercise, you can do some movements no matter how small so just keep moving as much as possible. Don't lie down when you can sit and don't sit when you can stand. Keep your feet moving. Use the Chinese Taiji health balls, the kind with the chimes, to strengthen the finger joints. To use them hold the two balls in on hand, move them in a clockwise circle with your fingers to rotate them, then try moving them counterclockwise and do this off and on throughout the day and at bedtime. If you do have pain and swelling in your fingers, you can try squeezing some Thera-putty, which is made for this purpose. It's available at your local health equipment supplier.

Try wearing pair of stretch gloves at night to help reduce the pain and swelling in your fingers if you have arthritic hands. A doctor I know said he has found sleeping in a sleeping bag on his bed has really helped him. If weight is an issue, try to using exercises that will help you with arthritis and in losing weight such as walking, even if just around the block a few times. And did I mention to make sure to keep moving?

Please be aware that the use of pain relievers like NSAIDs or COX-2 inhibitors do not halt the progress of osteoarthritis and may even hasten its onset. Only you know which arthritis treatment options are best for you. As for conventional treatment of arthritis - if you do choose to take drugs or arthritis medicines, be very careful, read the labels thoroughly and talk to your pharmacist about side effects and adverse reactions. Make sure you know the name of your medications and if they'll react with any other medications you're taking. Always know the name and dosage measurement of your drugs in case of an emergency situation.

So begin your treatment program with a diet change, exercise and weight loss plan to see the best results and pain relief fast. Your treatment plan should include an anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritis diet, lots of movement, exercise, and a positive mental outlook. Arthritis pain relief of your arthritis symptoms is the ultimate goal. Understanding arthritis and conventional and natural arthritis treatments and applying what will work for you is a good way to get there.

Understanding Cat Arthritis Symptoms - Caring For An Arthritic Cat

The increasing amount of cat owners feeding highly processed commercial cat food is reported by many veterinary experts to be a contributing factor in the increasing amount of cat arthritis happening in cats.

It is certainly not coincidence that owners who feed their cats homemade and raw food see lower occurrence of degenerative arthritis in their cats.

Today, although there are no concrete proof to show that commercial cat food contribute to arthritis development in cats, it is widely believe that they play a big part, From there, we understand that your cat's diet would play a major effect in preventing this stressful cat disease.

Apart from diet, overweight older cats are also more likely to develop arthritis because of the extra pressure they put on their joints causing the cartilage and bones to wear off faster. Naturally, a cat who enjoys a healthy diet and who exercise regularly will be less likely to suffer from the same condition.

The symptoms of arthritis in cats would be that he will find it difficult to walk around and run. Moving around stiffly, he will not make jumps that he use to make and will have difficulty in climbing up stairs. Showing signs of depression, your cat would hide away and appear listless and even bad tempered. Not allowing you to touch and stroke him in areas where he is painful, he might cry out if you touch him on a painful joint.

To diagnose arthritis in cats, veterinary will observe, use blood test and most importantly the x-ray examination. The X-ray will show joint degeneration in areas of worn, irregular bone position and possible distortion of the joint and see if the bone is causing pain and forcing the cat to stand in an awkward position to compensate for the discomfort.

Arthritis treatment will include medication to help your cat ease the pain on his joints, to aid the regeneration process of cartilage and bone, to build up the fluid within the capsular joints to provide a cushion for the joint itself. Your veterinary will prepare dose of glucosamine and chondroitin that are use for the same purpose in humans for your cat.

You can help your cat to recover by encouraging him to walk whenever possible to prevent the joints from stiffening further. You should try to create a warmer environment for him to rest. A warm water bottle place under his bed might do the trick. The warmth will help your cat to ease pain and loosen his muscles which might be tense because of the constant pain that he is suffering.

Recovery from arthritis is possible with the right treatment and care. Although a hundred percent recovery is not possible, your cat will still be able to enjoy a high quality of life.

What Foods Can I Eat If I Have Arthritis?

The link between food and arthritis has been difficult to prove because of the difficulty inherent in study design. However, observations made over the last several decades point to trends that may be important. Multiple studies have suggested that rheumatoid arthritis symptoms could be reproduced by the reintroduction of certain foods and ameliorated by excluding these foods from the diet.

More recently, rheumatoid arthritis has been shown to worsen when there is an excessive amount of Omega-3 fatty acids in the diet. Excessive ingestion of feedlot beef, refined cooking oils and margarines result in an increase of inflammatory symptoms. Some evidence has linked the consumption of saturated fats found in whole milk, cheese, as well as other animal products such as red meat and poultry to worsening RA symptoms. (O'Banion DR. J Holistic Med 1982; 4: 49-57)

An interesting connection has been proposed by some researchers that a food allergy to high saturated fat foods, meat, dairy, omega-6 fatty acids, and refined vegetable oils may be responsible for some rheumatoid arthritis flares (Hicklin JA, et al. Clin Allergy 1980; 10: 463-470.)

For centuries, nightshade foods such as potatoes, eggplant, and pepper have been claimed to aggravate arthritis. Firm data here, though, is not compelling. Study design has been a drawback. Doing a randomized double-blind study using foods is exceedingly difficult.

Small studies evaluating the effects of foods in rheumatoid arthritis sufferers have continued to make a case for food being a significant inciting factor in disease. Studies performed by researchers have demonstrated that partial fasting with avoidance of animal fat, refined sugar, citrus fruits, preservatives, coffee, tea, alcohol, salt, and strong spices which were associated with symptoms led to a reduction of symptoms.

Another study published by Beri et al showed that an elimination and rechallenge diet provided significant improvement in 71% of patients tested. (Beri, D, et al Ann Rheum Dis 1988; 47: 69-72)

In another study, Darlington evaluated 70 patients with rheumatoid arthritis. By eliminating foods deemed to provoke symptoms, he was able to eliminate symptoms as well as need for medications in 19% of patients. Darlington also identified foods such as grapefruit, cheese, malt, coffee, beef, eggs, rye, oats, milk, oranges, bacon, tomato, peanuts, cane sugar, butter, lamb, lemon, and soy as causative factors. (Darlington LG. Rheum Dis North Am 1991; 127: 273-285)

A recent study suggested that a diet high in vitamin D such as is found with salmon, tuna, shrimp, sunflower seeds, eggs, and vitamin-D fortified milk may prevent rheumatoid arthritis. (Merlino, LA et al. Arthritis Rheum 2004; 50: 72-77)

The upshot of these studies indicates that perhaps dietary manipulation should be considered as a possible therapeutic intervention. Elimination of all foods believed to be causing symptoms followed by single food reintroductions to determine which foods might be the culprits seems a reasonable course of action. Foods such as corn, wheat, cow's milk, pork, oranges, oats, rye, eggs, beef, coffee, malt, cheese, grapefruit, lemon, tomato, peanuts, and soy seem to be the most common offenders.

In our office we have found the Immunolab assay (Fort Lauderdale, FL) to be useful in excluding food allergies as a potentially important contributing factor to arthritis symptoms.

Ankle Arthritis

Arthritis can be one of the many parts of getting older that you could live without. Or perhaps you are a young person with rheumatoid arthritis and tired of being slowed down by your painful ankle and toe joints. Arthritis affects the joints, and often the muscles, ligaments and tendons around the joint. From the outside it can appear swollen and red, even warm to the touch. It makes activities that you used to love like jogging, walking, and just even getting out of bed a chore.

Arthritis in any part of the body can be very irritating. It slows you down and can keep you from doing the things you love the most. But when it's in the ankle it is especially irritating because it affects your mobility. Ankle arthritis is not very common, but it can be more common in individuals who have rheumatoid arthritis or old ankle injuries. A bad sprain in your youth could cause an arthritic flare up. Another common reason for painful ankle arthritis is gout. Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood stream. The uric acid is deposited in the joints, particularly in the foot and ankle. The joints become severely inflamed, causing great pain. Podiatrists deal with gouty arthritis on a regular basis and are able to prescribe medication to treat your gout as well as injecting the joint with cortisone if necessary and suggest dietary changes that might help alleviate your symptoms

However, often for painful ankle arthritis, the treatment solutions are not always as simple as taking a pill. Ankles are complex parts of the body and need special care. If your ankle arthritis is slowing you down, you should visit your podiatrist to discuss treatment options. Podiatrists frequently deal with arthritis in the foot and ankle and are well-trained to deal with your painful condition. They can provide orthotics or custom bracing that might bring some relief or offer a variety of surgeries to deal with your unique problem.

Sometimes a surgery such as an ankle fusion surgery will still allow you great mobility, but without the pain. Advances have even been made in using bone grafts to recreate the joint that arthritis has destroyed. While the thought of surgery can be frightening, the end results are worth the trouble when you finally experience relief and can get back to the activities you love.

My Dermatologist Told Me to See An Arthritis Doctor... I Have Psoriasis and My Joints Hurt

Psoriatic arthritis is a distinct disease, different from rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis- another common type of arthritis- but sharing similar features to each. The disability and functional impairment in psoriatic arthritis can be as severe as that occurring from rheumatoid arthritis.

Typically, a patient will have had psoriasis for a number of years before the arthritis develops. A small proportion of patient will develop the arthritis concurrently with the skin disease and an even smaller percentage will develop the skin disease after the joint disease.

Psoriatic arthritis may affect most joints in an oligoarticular pattern, meaning a few scattered joints are affected and the joint inflammation does not have the symmetrical pattern seen in rheumatoid arthritis. Enthesitis, which is inflammation of the tendons that attach to bone, is common in psoriatic arthritis. "Sausage digits" - swelling of the fingers and toes so that they look like little sausages is frequent. Nail changes are also common. These include "pitting" and separation of the nail from the nailbed. Some patients will develop carpal tunnel syndrome because of inflammation in the wrist. Inflammation of the eyes is a serious complication, as is involvement of the aortic valve of the heart.

Joint deformity is frequent and affects 40% of patients with the disease. Psoriatic arthritis has a significant impact on quality of life. The skin disease is a tremendous burden and often leads to depression.

The inflammatory process that causes both the skin disease as well as the joint disease is driven by elevated levels of a substance called tumor necrosis factor, or TNF.

A patient with psoriasis who complains of joint pain, swelling, morning stiffness, and fatigue should raise a high level of suspicion for the diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis.

Laboratory testing will show evidence of inflammation and imaging procedures such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can help confirm the diagnosis.

Treatments that improve the skin disease do not necessarily improve joint symptoms and vice versa.

Treatment goals include symptomatic relief and control of disease progression.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are helpful for relieving some symptoms. However the majority of patients with psoriatic arthritis will require a combination of methotrexate and anti-TNF biologic therapy. Anti-TNF therapies have provided a significant advance in the treatment of both the skin as well the joint disease in patients with psoriatic arthritis.

Arthritis Treatment: Treat to Target For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis affecting more than two million Americans.

It is a systemic, chronic, autoimmune disease for which there is no cure. RA is capable of causing severe damage not only to joints but to other organ systems as well including the lungs, heart, peripheral nervous system, bone marrow, and eyes.

The 2010 criteria formulated by the American College of Rheumatology as well as the European League Against Rheumatism developed new standards to improve the early diagnosis of the disease. This would, of course, lead to earlier implementation of treatment.

The criteria specifies that a classification of "definite RA" is based on clinical confirmation of inflammation of at least one joint; absence of an alternative explanation that better explains the inflamed joint, and achievement of a total score of 6 or more (out of 10) from individual scores in four areas: number and site of involved joints, positive blood tests for rheumatoid factor and anti-CCP, elevated blood tests for inflammation, and symptom duration.

As a result of these more clearly defined criteria, there has been the move towards "treating to target" meaning treatment should be aimed at a patient with goal of achieving either remission or low disease activity (LDA) as quickly as possible.

There are three steps to this approach:

• The first is to define the target as remission.
• The second is to assess the patient every three months (at a minimum) to see if remission has been achieved.
• The third is to change therapy if remission is not achieved by the three month mark.

Remission is defined as having no more than one swollen or tender joint, a C-reactive protein (CRP) less than or equal to 1 mg/dl, and a patient global assessment of less than or equal to one on a one to ten scale.
Some investigators choose to use a more elaborate Simplified Disease Activity Index which requires, in my estimation, more calculation.

Since disease activity has been shown to correlate strongly with disease presence at one year, after start of treatment, it is extremely important to monitor disease activity frequently. Because of this evidence it's critical to consider a change in treatment early if the patient is not responding and to monitor changes closely.

While not every patient will achieve remission, they should at least be in the LDA category. These changes, I believe are an improvement on the "gestalt" approach we've used for many years to evaluate patients.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hip Dysplasia and Others: Is Dasuquin The Answer?

So you have heard already about this all-time favorite in joints supplements Dasuquin. Perhaps, you have even used it already to your suffering dog or as preventive measure against such common disease. Well, some people would still think that when their dogs got arthritis, it's just the way it is; "nothing to blame just let it lame" mentality.

The thing is, arthritis in dogs can be prevented; it can be treated and of course it can be alleviated. For our beloved pet owners who have their pet suffering from such ailments, I highly recommend that you bring your pet to your trusted veterinarian and surely he/she will be able to explain to you in-depth how are you going to handle such problem.

For now, I have reserved here some few technical terms regarding joints problems in our dogs. Absolutely, our dogs never could understand such a term but I hope when our times come, we not only let these terms penetrate our ears but propel us to be kind enough with pets to bring him/her to our vet for appropriate action.


This is a degenerative joint disease characterized by the destruction of bone cells and related cartilaginous tissues around joints. While being too technical, this is sometimes the the starting point of other much complicated and much specific joints disease. Because of the destruction of those cells, it results to inflammation, reduced shock absorption, and reduced flexibility causing severe pain to our pets.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

So dogs can get rheumatoid arthritis too? Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks joints cells leading to inflammation and swelling. While not being common in dogs, most breeds affected are the toy or small breeds during early phase of life.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia has some wide range of causes from genetics to nutrition and even excessive exercise. What happens here is that the ball and socket that makes up the hip joint seems to become far away from each other causing tissue erosion and intense wear and tear. Eventually, this leads to arthritis, a disease characterized by pain and swelling.

Other joints illness and lameness problems quite worth to mention here are shoulder degeneration, traumatic arthritis, sprains and strains, bone fractures, ruptured ligaments and even dislocations. All these can or may lead your dog's active life come to an end.

Let's get straight here. As I said, joints diseases can be prevented, treated as well as alleviated. Today, we can find a number of supplements both synthetic and natural which we can try to help our pets. For example, we have the dasuquin with msm for dogs which your veterinarian might have recommended you.

This cost-effective formulation for dogs provides comprehensive joint health management. It includes NMX1000 ASU (avocado/soybean unsaponifiables), decaffeinated tea, Cosequin's FCHG49 glucosamine hydrochloride, and TRH122 low molecular weight chondroitin sulfate, as well as MSM (methylsulfonylmethane).

It contains avocado/soybean unsaponifiables, or ASU, fortified with green tea, combined with glucosamine hydrochloride, MSM and low molecular weight chondroitin sulfate. It is the most complete joint support supplement available.

Also, Dasuquin with MSM for dogs is a non-prescription (OTC) product available as flavored, chewable tablets which we can give our dogs to help counter joints problems.

Gluten Sensitivity Can Trigger Autoimmunity and Chronic Pain

We all have that one chore or project in our house we never seem to get around to. Maybe it's cleaning the garage, finally getting the family picture framed, or reorganizing your kitchen. You know it would not take much time to accomplish the task and you will feel better when you are finished, but you just never quite seem to make the time.

Living with an autoimmune illness and chronic pain is similar. You know there probably is a better way to treat your ailments than the constant drugs, appointments and new treatments. Yet, you continue to go about your medical routine, succumbing what feels like the inevitability of living with chronic pain and autoimmune illnesses and the host of drugs and doctors that go along with it.

However, just like you will feel better when you finally tackle that nagging chore, you can find relief from your autoimmune illness and chronic pain by stepping outside the traditional approaches to these ailments.

Gluten sensitivity is an under-diagnosed common trigger of many autoimmune illnesses and chronic pain. Once patients discover they have a gluten sensitivity and commence a gluten-free diet, their illness and pain often disappears. It's an amazing yet incredibly simple diagnosis that brings relief to many people suffering needlessly each year. Let's take a closer look at how this simple diagnosis can bring the much sought after cure you have been searching for.

Gluten Sensitivity: The Basics

Gluten is a protein found in common grains, specifically wheat, rye, barley, malt and a few other grains like spelt and couscous. Gluten is what gives dough its elasticity and helps it to rise. It is the composite of two proteins, gliadin and glutenin. Most people can eat and digest this protein without any problems.

However, many people suffer from gluten sensitivity or essentially an allergy to gluten. Unlike other allergies, say to peanuts for example, gluten does not typically cause anaphylaxis. It does, however, trigger the basic allergic response. When you consume gluten, your immune system produces antibodies to fight off what it perceives as harmful to your health. This immune response causes inflammation in your body leading to a host of autoimmune illnesses.

Some of the most common autoimmune responses seen in people with gluten sensitivity include:

  • Thyroid disorders;

  • Neurological problems;

  • Fibromyalgia;

  • Celiac sprue disease;

  • Skin problems such as psoriasis and eczema;

  • Arthritis;

  • And chronic pain.

There are also a set of secondary issues related to gluten sensitivity because of the way the gluten protein damages your intestines. As gluten passes through your intestines, it can trigger damage to the villi, the small follicles that pick up nutrients out of your food and pass it through your body, feeding and nourishing you and your organs. When the villi are damaged, they can't absorb nutrients from your food and you may experience chronic fatigue, anemia, narcolepsy and other symptoms related to nutrition deficiencies.

Ending Autoimmune Illnesses

The traditional medical community has only just now started making the connection between autoimmune illnesses and gluten. Those illnesses were always seen as standalone problems that doctors would treat with drugs. Doctors could test for gluten sensitivity but the old tests targeted just a fraction of the antibodies associated with gluten sensitivity. Many people went undiagnosed when these tests came back negative. They continued to eat gluten and continued to suffer needlessly.

Recently, newer tests that look at a broader spectrum of antibodies associated with gluten sensitivity have become available and patients can get more definitive answers from doctors who understand the link between autoimmune illnesses and gluten sensitivity. You can learn more about why the typical gluten intolerance test is not adequate by reading an informative white paper on the subject.

You can take action to address your chronic pain and autoimmune ailments without testing as well by simply moving to a gluten-free diet. However, often a gluten sensitive individual can have gluten cross reactions with many of the ingredients found in gluten-free products. Ideally you should endeavor to work with a gluten knowledgeable doctor who can guide you in the proper food selection process.

As you probably suspected for years, there is a better way to treat your autoimmune disorder and your chronic pain than regular doctor visits and handfuls of medication. Take the time to explore your illness a little deeper to find the root cause of your ailments. Who knows? Once you tackle your chronic illness, you might just be ready to clean out the garage as well.

Do You Know the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Did you know there are common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

A friend of mine was complaining of how her morning stiffness had gotten worse over the last couple of months. I began to ask her if she was having any other problems. She started giving details of other ailments she was experiencing.

I asked her "Do you think you could possibly have rheumatoid arthritis?" Looking at me like I was from outer space!

She immediately responded with a look of shock.

We had a lively conversation as we began to try and figure out the common symptoms. I explained to my friend that I had recently researched rheumatoid arthritis and had learned quite a few facts, particularly some of the common symptoms of RA.

I explained that I had learned that rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, tissues around the joints and organs in the body. An autoimmune disease is an illness which occurs when the body tissues are mistakenly attacked by its own immune system. RA can cause joint destruction and functional disability. It is an extremely painful disease. It can strike children, teens and adults.

There are several common symptoms.

The most common symptom is pain and stiffness of the joints. Normally first thing in the morning or after you have been resting is when the stiffness is more severe. Another common symptom is inflammation. This causes swelling in and around the joints.

Other common symptoms are called extra-articular symptoms, or simply symptoms outside of the joints. These symptoms can include small nodules that develop over the elbow and forearms, anemia and tiredness, generally feeling poorly, weight loss, fever and muscle aches and pains. In a not so common symptom of RA, inflammation can develop in other parts of the body such as the heart, blood vessels, lungs or eyes. After talking with my friend about the common symptoms she looked a little concerned.

"What is the matter?" I asked.

She told me that she has had several of the symptoms that I mentioned. The afternoon wasn't over yet before she did the right thing and made an appointment with her medical doctor to discuss the possibility of her having rheumatoid arthritis.

If you think you may have rheumatoid arthritis it is important to see you doctor as soon as possible. Common symptoms are easy to detect and it is the early and aggressive treatment of rheumatoid arthritis can help you live a full and active lifestyle.

Osteoarthritis - Signs and Symptoms

Osteoarthritis is a common condition affecting the joints that can affect mobility and quality of life. It can limit daily function such as ability to squat down or carry heavy objects.

This article reviews the signs and symptoms used to diagnose osteoarthritis.

It is a very common; 8.5 million people in the UK have osteoarthritis (Arthritis Care, UK 2002).

Osteoarthritis may first appear between ages 30 and 40, and is present in almost everyone by age 70.

There are several symptoms associated with arthritis and can include:

- Morning stiffness of stiffness after periods of inactivity
- Achy joints
- Pain
- Restriction range of motion/ impaired mobility
- Crepitus or grinding sound on movement

Symptoms are most likely felt in large weight-bearing joints in one or more sites especially the hip, knee, spine and hand.

Osteoarthritis can develop as we age or from other factors, such as injury or being overweight.

It is important that if you experience these symptoms that you consult a suitably qualified health professional for an assessment and diagnosis.

Most people with arthritis or degenerative joint pain have already been to their doctor to get it diagnosed.
In my experience there are some times when you MUST see your physician about your joint pain.

Here is my advice, if you have any of the following:

- joint pain that is causing persistent pins and needles or numbness
- spinal pain with weakness in your arms or legs, pins and needles, or loss of control of bladder and bowel (you need to see your doctor immediately for this one)
- undiagnosed trauma or significant injury that has not been assessed
- joints that lock regularly or give way on you (especially knees)
- unexplained weight loss
- constant unremitting night pain
- unable to weight bear through the joint
- undiagnosed joint pain for more than 2 weeks

Then you MUST consult your physician. Not all joint pain is from arthritis, and an accurate diagnosis is very important.

Your health professional will ask a series of questions to learn more about the symptoms then do an objective assessment.

On examination there may be swelling around the joint, heat, deformity, and pain on manual joint compression.

This could be confirmed by X-ray imaging where your health professional could see any of the following:

- narrowing of the joint space
- bony spurs or osteophytes
- alignment changes of the joint

It is important to know that signs follow symptoms and that in early arthritis you may experience some symptoms of osteoarthritis before the signs. As the condition develops it is more pronounced on X-ray imaging. Your health professional will look at the total clinical picture for the diagnosis.

Once you have received a diagnosis it is important to establish a systemised management plan that you can easily integrate in to your life to proactively manage your osteoarthritis. The earlier and more comprehensive your plan is in the beginning the better for your overall outcome.

A Real Drug Free Cure For Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is considered one of the most debilitating of diseases, and is clearly the most common type of musculoskeletal disorders.

Our population has become riddled with this terrible affliction, with millions of new cases reported annually. The overall cost to society is estimated to be in the region of $100 billion.

While Osteoarthritis is not thought to be gender related, it is apparent that the disease is far more common in women, than in men.

Although age is an obvious factor in many cases of osteoarthritis, it's also very clear that there are other areas of concern, such as sports injuries, or perhaps a previous auto accident, Any previous injury, broken bone etc. can become a contributing factor in later life to one's osteoarthritis condition.

Obesity is a worrying problem in our modern world and has a significant effect on those suffering with OA. Osteoarthritis is most commonly found in the hands, knees, hips and back, and can be especially problematic in the load bearing joints.

Osteoarthritis tends to be less prevalent in the shoulder joint, but not unheard of. OA pain in the shoulder region, or glenohumeral, will when in most cases be attributed to a previous injury.

Discovering the actual cause of one's OA can be like searching for a needle in a haystack, some factors are known however and should be considered, such as what strain certain types of occupation may be having on the condition.

Being overweight is a modern day epidemic, one which can have serious consequences for all of us especially arthritics suffering with osteoarthritis. Losing those excess pounds will lessen the strain on the load bearing joints, which in turn can only help one's OA.

Osteoarthritis is unfortunately an on going condition (chronic)

Osteoarthritis isn't typically thought of as an inflammatory disease, but researchers have found that people with osteoarthritis have higher levels of inflammatory cells in their joints, tests concluded this as fact after measuring levels in OA patients against people without the disease.

OA as we know is a very common and unfortunately an on going condition, which does tend to kick in as our body's get older, however more recently reported cases of OA indicate the conditions apparent rise amongst a younger population, which is set to become a significant health issue in the near future. So, while it is still true to say that OA is more prevalent with age, it is not true to describe osteoarthritis as an inevitable part of growing older.

The Demise of the Joint

The breaking up of the cartilage can cause Inflammation of the surrounding joint capsule, though often mild, compared to that which occurs in rheumatoid arthritis.

The swelling is brought on by tiny pieces of the damaged bone finding its way in to the synovial space (the protective area between the joint). Many severe cases of swelling attributed to OA may even restrict joint mobility.

The Dread of Night for those with Osteoarthritis.

The pain, the swelling, and the stiffness is normally at it's worst last thing at night, Resulting in lack of sleep and re-charge for the body's natural defence. Constant restless and sleepless nights will eventually take their toll on anyone, especially those suffering with such an aggressive disease.

Joint Replacement.

In many cases of OA especially in older patients, the outcome of OA is more often than not surgery, such as joint replacement, this is not always the case for younger sufferers however. A younger person with OA will normally only require surgery in a very advanced or aggressive case.

Hip and knee surgery is the most common type of joint replacement carried out today (load bearing joints), most operations are successful, however in the long term the replaced joint will only have around an 85% chance of still being intact, after around 15 years, so joint replacement must always be the last resort.

Osteoarthritis Relief Through Exercise

Low impact exercising is not thought to be damaging to those suffering with OA, In most cases simple exercising is encouraged as a way of re-gaining some mobility in an effected joint, an ongoing exercise program can also help to strengthen the area around the joint, which aids support. Exercising on a regular basis is known to be beneficial for numerous reasons, apart from OA.

Before anyone suffering with OA begins any type exercise program it would be wise to speak to their doctor, your doctor knows your condition well, so should be able to point you in the right and safe direction as far as exercising goes.

Not All Arthritis Supplements are Regulated by the FDA

Don't be tempted in to taking supplements that promise the earth, yes they just might work for you, however unless they are governed by the FDA (Food and Drug administration) who knows what your taking, you may end up with a container full of capsules containing nothing more than, ground rock and chalk. Only use FDA approved products.

Treat Arthritis The Natural Way

In many cases arthritis drugs carry so many side effects, and occasionally make the condition worse, not better. Many old and indeed new alternative treatments exist which have been shown to relieve arthritis, I believe they work by tackling the underlying elements of the condition (even in OA)

Flush the Toxins from Your Body - And Start Recovering!

Drink as much filtered water on a daily basis as you can, you should aim to consume around 2 litres a day where possible. Drinking excessive amounts of water helps remove the harmful toxins trapped in the body, and can ultimately help relieve symptoms of arthritis.

Avoid using water straight from the tap as it will probably contain heavy metal deposits, which are also damaging to the bones.

People suffering with osteoarthritis may like to experiment with their diet, foods which are known to be good for OA and indeed most types of arthritis are,

fresh fruit due to the fantastic natural antioxidant properties they contain (not the citrus variety),

Oily fish is especially good for those suffering with arthritis due to it's high content of fatty acids and vitamin E.

Treating your own OA, or any arthritic condition, naturally and without drugs may seem a bit of a daunting task, but from experience I can tell you that it can be done with only a little effort on your part.

Alternative treatments or just simple little life changes can and do make a difference, natural methods may at first seem slower, this is because they attend to the underlying cause, instead of drug therapies which offer only symptomatic relief. You really can relieve your own condition if your willing to try. There are many free sites on the web dedicated to natural treatments, why not take a look.

by Mark John

Differences Between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis is the medical term used to refer to the inflammation of the joints. There are about 150 varieties of arthritis that have been identified. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are described as the most common of these varieties.Sometimes people are confused as to what type of arthritis they suffer from. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are two totally different types of arthritis. This article shall establish all the common points of distinction which will help you distinguish both types of arthritis.

General Description


Osteoarthritis is characterized by the progressive break down of bone cartilage. This medical condition is the result of aging, trauma, or advanced wear and tear. The parts that are usually affected are the hips, knees, lower spine, and hands.

Women are prone to the hand involvement and are affected as early as in their 20s. This debilitating condition causes classic deformities to the fingers.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is defined as anti-inflammatory disease of the soft tissues around the joint and the synovium. The synovium is the lining of the joint.

It is classified as an autoimmune disease. The more advanced types can affect all other organs of the body and multiple joints are usually involved with rheumatoid arthritis.

This severe inflammation usually leads to the secondary damage of the joint. It is considered as the most crippling and disabling type of arthritis.

Causes of Osteoarthritis and RA


Osteoarthritis is basically an age-related disease. The disease is characterized by the increase of water content with the progressive degeneration of the protein composition of the cartilage.

The factors that increase the risk of developing arthritis include:

* Joint injury
* Repetitive use and stress of joints
* Weight problems
* Family history


This type of arthritis has continued to confound medical experts about the causes for the abnormal autoimmune response associated with the disease. Several theories suggest to a possible link of the disease to a genetic predisposition and a triggering event.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis


Osteoarthritis often attacks the larger weight-bearing joints, which include the hips and knees. It is generally associated with pain in the affected joint after repetitive use or activity. It is involves morning stiffness which lasts a half hour or less and joint pain that worsens as the day progresses. The joints affected by osteoarthritis can also swell, feel warm, and become stiff after prolonged activity. Osteoarthritis also results to the development of bone spurs, bony enlargement and limited range of motion.

Rheumatoid Arthritis:

RA specifically affects the smaller joints of the hands, wrists and feet. The stiffness experienced due to rheumatoid arthritis is worse after rest, especially first thing in the morning. This stiffness normally last at least 30 minutes or more. Further, rheumatoid tends to affect the knuckles and the wrist more. These are points that are usually not affected by osteoarthritis.

These are the major points that establish the wide ranging difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It is essential that the major distinctions between the two types of arthritis are accurately established. This determines the success of the diagnosis of these types of arthritis.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What Are Different Types of Arthritis?

While there are over a 100 distinct types of arthritis, there are common ones from which majority of people suffer.

The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative joint disorder that usually results from the natural decline of the body from old age. Other common causes of osteoarthritis are events that cause trauma to the joints, or the infection of a joint. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases estimates that one out of eight Americans aged 25 years and older suffer from osteoarthritis. The spread of the age group of people who suffer from osteoarthritis is attributed to the fact that it is caused both by injury and old age.

With osteoarthritis, pain results from the inflammation of the joints because of the wearing out of the cartilage, which cushions and protects joints. In the absence or lessening of this protective cartilage, pain results from simple and usual movements like walking, standing, or any activity that causes the joints to bear weight. As a result of the pain, many people who suffer from osteoarthritis lessen their physical activity, causing further degeneration of their muscles and ligaments.

While people who suffer from osteoarthritis feel general joint stiffness and joint pain, only a third of them complain from excessive pain and inflammation around the joints. The progression of osteoarthritis also vary greatly among people, with some acquiring osteoarthritis suddenly and some developing it gradually. The joints most usually affected with osteoarthritis are fingers, the neck, the lower back, the knees, and the hips.

Rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis occurs when the body attacks itself. These two types of arthritis are generally classified as auto-immune diseases precisely because it is caused by this bodily mechanism. Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful inflammatory systemic disease that can eventually lead to a loss of mobility because of excessive pain and joint destruction. It also can affect adjacent organs like the skin, blood vessels, lungs, heart, and even muscles. A good 60% of patients who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis lose their mobility and capacity to work some ten years after their initial diagnosis.

Another common form of arthritis is gout or metabolic arthritis. In this congenital disease, the uric acid metabolism breaks down, causing the deposition of uric acid crystals in the joints. The deposit of uric acid crystals in the joints causes an inflammatory reaction as uric acid concentration in the bloodstream rises. Because the uric acid crystal deposits continue to accrue in the joints, these eventually erupt out into the skin that discharge white, chalk-like material. Gout usually attacks the big foot first, but may attack a number of other joints like the heel, the ankle, the wrist, the instep, knee, elbows, and even the spine.

Physical Therapy and Exercise For Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition that can cause stiffness, pain and swelling in joints and other supporting structures of the body such as bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Some forms of arthritis may affect other parts of the body, including various internal organs. There are many different types of arthritis including osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease), rheumatoid arthritis psoriatic arthritis gouty arthritis and septic arthritis Arthritis can affect anyone at any age. Arthritis treatment often includes physical therapy and exercise. Physical therapy and exercise can help arthritis sufferers in many ways. The primary goal is to improve functional capacity to help reduce pain and fatigue associated with daily activities. Increasing the range of motion of a joint is the primary focus of physical therapy.

Physical therapy and exercise for arthritis focuses on pain relief, and in restoring function and movement. Physical therapy programs may provide therapeutic methods, including physical techniques and activity modifications. A physical therapy program consisting of manual therapy and exercise benefits patients with arthritis.

Gentle exercise helps to prevent bone loss and osteoporosis. Lifting weights is a beneficial exercise for arthritis and for joint support. Physical therapy and exercise reduces joint pain and stiffness, builds strong muscle around the joints, and increases flexibility, muscle strength, cardiac fitness, and endurance.

Some of the exercises prescribed for people with arthritis:

o Range-of-motion exercises (stretching or flexibility exercises)
o Strengthening exercises
o Water exercises
o Recreational exercises
o Endurance or aerobic exercises

Physical therapy and exercise helps to:

o Maintain normal joint movement
o Strengthen muscles around the joints
o Strengthen and maintain bone and cartilage tissue
o Improve overall ability to do everyday activities
o Maintain weight to reduce pressure on joints
o Keep bone and cartilage tissue strong and healthy

Depending on the severity of arthritis, a physical therapist may suggest either isometric or isotonic exercises. A combination of manual physical therapy and exercise is more effective to reduce pain, dysfunction and stiffness in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.

5 Tips to Reduce Arthritis Swelling and Pain

Arthritis swelling is just one of the symptoms of this chronic disease. It's also one of the ways to find out if you really have arthritis or a related disease. Pain and swelling also result in less range of motion for the limbs affected.

There are several ways to combat this condition:

1. Exercise:
Although exercise can often mean more pain at the beginning, it's really important because only through exercise can you increase the range of motion of the limbs and joints affected. Otherwise, you will find that you are becoming less and less flexible. If you're concerned that regular exercise is too painful, then try yoga for starters. This gentle exercise routine is excellent in improving flexibility. Afterwards you can move onto include regular exercise.

2. Warmth (possibly cold too):
Arthritis is a disease that affects people differently. Usually applying a warm pack to the affected area brings relief. However, if this doesn't work, try an ice pack and see what effect that has. If you have any problems with your circulation, then an ice pack isn't for you. It's trial and error but either warm or cold, this could definitely help reduce swelling and pain.

3. Ultrasound:
This produces gentle waves that penetrate deeply into your sore tissues and gives them warmth. It has been known to reduce pain and swelling as it increases blood flow, thus giving your body more oxygen.

4. Diet:
If you are overweight, make an effort to reduce those extra pounds. The more you weigh, the more pressure is put on your joints, so it makes perfect sense to relieve that pressure by reducing your weight. Also have a good look at the foods you eat in relation to your arthritis swelling and pain. Often zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant and even coffee produce more symptoms and pain. Just be more aware of what you eat and drink and how it affects your body and then reduce or eliminate the intake of that particular food or drink item.

5. Get Another Treatment Option - Drugs Or Natural Remedies
Visiting your doctor is always a good idea. He may prescribe a different medication for you to try. You can also visit your health food store and ask them if they can advise any supplements you can take to help with your pain and inflammation.

As you can see, you don't just have to put up with arthritis swelling and pain, there are often simple ways you can help yourself.

All About Treatment For Osteoarthritis Options

Osteoarthritis does not have a cure but there are a number of different ways to keep the pain to a minimum and enable joint movement. A treatment for osteoarthritis can be divided into four different categories. These categories are medication, therapy, surgery and lifestyle changes.

Before we can properly look at the treatment for osteoarthritis we should know a bit about the condition. This condition is a type of arthritis which will cause an eventual breakdown of cartilage located between the joints. The places commonly affected by this would be the spine, hands, feet, knees and hips.

When osteoarthritis has no known cause then it is called primary osteoarthritis. Primary osteoarthritis can be linked to age. As we age the water content in the cartilage becomes greater and this will cause the cartilage to degenerate. The pain and inflammation experienced with this is due to the friction present when the bones rub against each other. This happens because there is nothing between them when the cartilage is gone.

Knowing a bit about the condition will help us to understand the treatments a bit more. Medication can be used for a number of things. Acetaminophen is often given to people with this condition to help alleviate the pain. To reduce any inflammation people will often take Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAID's. Tramadol can only be taken with a prescription and is an analgesic. The use of cortisone shots will also help with the pain and can only be administered by a doctor.

There are many different types of therapy that one can undergo to help not only with joint mobility but also pain. Physical therapy is something that is conducted on a person to person basis and will help the movement of your joints. Occupational therapy will help you to find different way to stop putting stress on your joint during the day. There are centers that will have classes for people who suffer from chronic pain. Going to these classes will help you to find ways to deal with the pain of osteoarthritis.

There are a number of procedures and surgeries that can be done to help people with this condition. A procedure called Viscosupplementation is when hyaluronic acid derivatives are injected into the knee to create a cushion. Joint replacement is also something that can be looked at. When this surgery is done the surgeon will remove the damaged surface of the joint and replace it with metal and plastic devices. The surgical realignment of bone can also help alleviate pain. Fusing bones will also help with pain and increase stability but will cause the joint to have no flexibility.

For people who do not want to undergo any surgical procedures there are lifestyle changes that can help. Rest can help inflamed joints. You can also try exercise when you feel up to it done with your doctor's approval. The stress on joints can be added to by weight so maybe losing a bit of weight will help.

A good treatment for osteoarthritis comes in a number of different forms. You should try and find the one that will work the best for you.

Acupuncture And Massage Therapies For Arthritis

Affecting an approximately seventy million Americans, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Arthritis is complex disease that can hit at any virtually any age and featuring more than one hundred various conditions. Of the multitude of arthritis disorders, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common. For this reason the idea of acupuncture and massage therapies for arthritis treatment has suddenly become quite popular.

Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is the most common form of the disease in the United States. Stricking a record twenty-one million Americans, osteoarthritis is a systematic shutdown of the joint cartiledge that ultimately leads to severe pain and stiffness. The hips, knees, fingers, and spine are the most common comfort zones for osteoarthritis, with the wrists, elbows, shoulders, and ankles less commonly affected. When the disease deviates into a uncommon area of affliction it is typically due to an pre-existing injury. Work related injuries are frequent causes of the development of osteoarthritis. For example, professions where bending, kneeling, and squatting is the main attraction feature an elevated risk of osteoarthritis of the knee.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: In contrast to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis can actually affect various joint and some patients feel the disease's effects in other parts of the body, including the blood, the lungs, the tissue of the skin, as well as the heart. Rheumatoid arthritis, which can be long-term, is characterized by an inflammation of the joints called synovium, the inflammation causes joint swelling, stiffness, warmth, and redness. The affected joints may lose their shape, thus losing the ability to move normally.

Acupuncture and Massage Therapies for Arthritis Treatment

In recent years, the use of acupuncture and massage therapies for arthritis treatment have pointed to the therapies' potential as effective alternatives to mainstream medicines. And that's not all that the use of acupuncture and massage therapies for arthritis treatments have in common, both alternative treatments have beginnings that are deeply rooted in the mystical world of ancient medicine. Just take a look at acupuncture.

Acupuncture For Arthritis Treatment: Acupuncture, and other types of oriental medicines, have been wildly successful in treating the pain and inflammation affiliated with various types of arthritis. Ancient Chinese medicine custom fits acupuncture treatment according to the individual arthritis symptoms of patients with a unique combo of acupuncture therapy, Chinese herbs, body work, and lifestyle changes. Even dietary changes and energentic exercises are a big part of treating arthritis through acupuncture.

The acupuncture points used to treat arthritis aren't just located over the throbbing area, but rather in different areas located over the entire body. You may just find those tiny acupuncture needles placed in every area from your legs to your arms right on down to your baby toe! Don't let the needles frighten you, some people take their acupuncture session as an opportunity to catch up on a few Z's. Session last between five minutes and a half an hour, but arthritis patients may require multiple trips to their acupuncturist depending on the severity of the disease.

As a follow-up to your visit, your acupuncturist may also provide you with prescribed Chinese herbal formulas specifically designed to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis. Chinese herbs used to treat arthritis as a part of acupuncture therapy are:

  • Juan Bi Tang
  • Cinnamon Twig
  • Peony
  • Anjelica Pubescens
  • A Scadanavian study of thirty-two hip replacement/arthritis patients found that twenty-five percent of the patients who received acupuncture therapy experienced such surges in their functionability that they decide they didn't need that hip replaced after all.

    Massage Therapy for Arthritis: Both acupuncture and massage therapies for arthritis treatment are used as cutting edge alternatives to contemporary medicine, but did you know that they both got their start in the ancient world? It was the ancient Greek Hippocrates who first suggested that "rubbing" be used as a remedy for loosening a "hard joint-" that was over two thousand years ago. Massage therapy is believed to work in a few ways in combating arthritis:

  • Improving joint movement
  • Relaxing tense muscles
  • Stimulating blood flow to the skin
  • And if one form of massage therapy doesn't work for you, don't sweat it. There are several very popular massage therapy programs to choose from:

  • Swedish Massage
  • Deep Tissue Massage
  • Trigger Point Therapy
  • Acupressure
  • Reflexology