Saturday, July 6, 2013

Arthritis In Dogs - Medications And Food Additives That Can Ease The Pain

Arthritis isn't only associated with age. A dog that has sustained an injury at one point in time might develop arthritis in that particular part of his body well before he's considered to be an elderly dog. Improper nutrition has also been known to cause arthritis, due to bones that are misshapen from not having enough nutrients to form properly. The majority of the cases of arthritis in dogs are due to joints that have worn out over time, yet the information listed below could easily aid a dog who is suffering from any type of arthritis.

Anti-inflammatory Meds:Human anti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen aren't the best suited kinds to give a dog. Both of these are known to cause stomach problems in both humans and animals. Three types of anti-inflammatory meds that are suitable for dogs are meloxicam, etodolac, and carprofen. Each of these can be purchased through your vet once he takes a look at your dog and determines that these would ease your pets pain.

Cortisone Shots:Dogs can build up a tolerance to anti-inflammatory medications just as humans can. When it seems that your pets arthritis is getting the best of him and the medications are no longer easing his pain, then your vet might suggest administering cortisone shots as well. Cortisone-type drugs are in the steroid family with the most common two used for dogs being prednisolone and prednisone. The shots tend to greatly ease arthritic pain by reducing inflammation, but they do have some side effects as well. The list of side effects includes; fluid retention, an increase in thirst and appetite, and liver enlargement.

Fatty Acids:Inflammation triggers the progression of arthritis, so being able to reduce it will greatly benefit your pup.

Special Special blends of dog food have been manufacture to include an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids. These usually include an addition of omega-3 fatty acids or the main component is a type of cold water fish. Instead of changing your dog's diet in this manner, another alternative is to apply this beneficial fatty acid directly to your pets current food. Capsules of omega-3 can be purchased at health food stores, super markets, and a number of other stores. They are relatively easy to come by. All you have to do is cut the ends off of a couple of capsules and pour the contents over your dog's food.

Besides administering daily medication and applying supplements to his food, make sure your dog doesn't have to struggle to maneuver around the house. Place his bed in a location that is easy to get to and that he's able to climb in and out of without difficulty. Eliminate the use of stairs if possible as well.

Check your dog for arthritis as soon as you notice signs of him having difficulty getting around. Struggling to stand up, going up stairs slowly, stumbling, or yelping when performing any of these movements should be an obvious reason to see your vet immediately.

Even of your dog isn't very old; arthritis can still be an issue. Arthritis in dogs generally doesn't occur overnight. Monitoring your dog's movements can help you be able to get an early diagnosis and have your dog on the road to leading a pain-free life for as long as possible.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet

There are various theories about the cause of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that inflames the joints in the body, causing pain and stiffness. It is not completely curable. In its advanced stages, rheumatoid arthritis makes the joints deformed and immobile, simultaneously affecting other organs, too. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that can affect anyone, any time, at any age. Since prevention is better than cure, a diet rich in nutrition, such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals, is best recommended. In the case of arthritis, a good diet will help in keeping the disease under control, even though cure is a one percent chance.

As per the body requirements, a diet should be combination of every food in large, moderate, and small amounts followed by a regular exercise plan or a physically active lifestyle. The typical diet should contain vegetables and fruit, cereals, grains, bread, legumes and beans, skimmed milk, and oils that are low in saturated fats. Researchers have identified a diet rich in fish oil and a vegetarian diet as a good sources to combat rheumatoid arthritis. Moderate amounts of sugar and red meat trimmed of excess fat can also be included the diet. Though in some cases of rheumatoid arthritis more consumption of red meat has been identified as aggravating inflammation in the joints, small quantities are harmless.

The diet should also include minerals like calcium and iron, and vitamins like B and C. Also, the body weight should be always under control. This is because a person having rheumatoid arthritis may turn anemic, lose bone density, develop a fever, and develop other symptoms that body cannot withstand with the pain and stiffness. At such a time, weight gain will only increase inflammation and pain in the swollen joints.

Diet supplements such as calcium and folic acid are recommended, especially when taking medication. Drugs taken for rheumatoid arthritis may have side effects and can affect the normal status of the vitamins and minerals in the body. For instance, folic acid is administered with methotrxate a drug used to fight arthritis. Similarly, alcohol and other beverages such as coffee should be avoided when taking certain other drugs.

The Importance of Hip Exercises for Arthritis

The role of arthritis exercise for those suffering from arthritis is not one which has been known for a very long time. Hip exercises for arthritis in particular has not really been heard of until these relatively recent years. In fact the common notion in the past is that once you suffer from arthritis, you should minimize movement in the affected area as much as you possibly can.

While the health benefits of exercise and other physical activity has already been tried and tested for a long time, its impact in terms of improving the conditions of people suffering from arthritis is just presently gaining recognition. For those suffering from arthritis, exercise serves primarily to: maintain and bring back lost or diminished movement in the affected area; strengthen and improve endurance of the muscle; and keep the patient emotionally healthy and active. Exercise is also vital in terms of pain management of the affected joints.

Hip exercises for arthritis, specifically for those suffering from hip osteoarthritis, are not too common compared to those exercises geared toward those with knee osteoarthritis. This is probably because exercises for the hips are less likely to be developed due to the nature of the movement of the hip itself as compared to the knee or other jointed parts of the body. If any at all, some hip exercise varieties may require the use of special equipment for that purpose. This is significant since in the United States alone, one out of four Americans can suffer hip osteoarthritis in their lifetime.

In 2005, a research conducted in the Netherlands showed that a supervised exercise program alleviated symptoms of hip osteoarthritis in some adults. 109 men and women ages 55 and up suffering from hip osteoarthritis were divided into exercising and non-exercising groups. Those in the exercising group were given one hour a week of supervised strength exercise sessions and lower body exercises that could be done at home.

After eight weeks, the results showed that those in the exercising group experienced relief from pain caused by arthritis which lasted for 3 months. On the other hand, those in the non-exercising group suffered more pain than they previously had. Hip function for the exercise group also improved although no long term effects of this nature were recorded. This led to the conclusion that exercise can indeed aid in the management of conditions caused by hip arthritis but further research is still needed in this area.

At any rate, with or without research to back it up, arthritis exercise, and more specifically hip exercises for arthritis, can do more good than just relieving the pain caused by the disease. As with any other person, exercise can help maintain an overall good health of someone suffering from arthritis. Since hip osteoarthritis is incurable at present, activities that can help lessen the symptoms such as exercise is always encouraged. Physicians treating people with this condition would do well to take the time to explain the importance of exercise in managing arthritis.

Degenerative Osteoarthritis - An in Depth Analysis on What Works and What Doesn't For Pain Relief

Degenerative osteoarthritis is a painful condition and takes away the joy of life from the millions of sufferers worldwide. What are the natural and effective treatments available? Find out the expert answers in this article.

Degenerative osteoarthritis comes under the most common forms of arthritis. It is also known as "degenerative joint disease". It is estimated that more than 21 million people suffer from osteoarthritis in the United States alone.

Although there is no permanent cure for degenerative osteoarthritis, but an early diagnosis of the problem and its treatment through proper nutritional supplementation, exercise routine and weight maintenance can be very effective and helpful in pain relief.

The occurrence of degenerative osteoarthritis is so common in elderly people, that it is almost considered as an inevitable part of aging by many people. It is also one of the most common reasons for disability in old age.

Obesity and excess weight are one of the prime reasons of the occurrence of various chronic diseases, and that includes degenerative osteoarthritis. Research reports indicate that even modest declines in weight can improve joint mobility and reduce pain in the knees and hips significantly.

Increased intake of Omega 3 fatty acids in the form of fish oil supplements is suggested for the prevention and treatment of degenerative osteoarthritis. Omega 3s are excellent anti-inflammatory and help effectively to reduce the inflammation and pain associated with degenerative osteoarthritis. They also prevent the damage caused to cartilage cushions.

The latest research studies have revealed that omega-3 fatty acids also help to block the process of cartilage thinning. This property is very helpful to prevent age-related degenerative osteoarthritis.

Fish oil supplements are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3s not only help in degenerative osteoarthritis by reducing pain and inflammation, but they also provide a host of other health benefits such as improvements in brain health, cardiovascular health, skin, joints and digestive system.

Green lipped mussel found in New Zealand is also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. It has amazing anti-inflammatory properties and reduces pain, joint stiffness, improves grip strength and enhances joint mobility in people suffering from osteoarthritis. It is used in combination with fish oil to form the best supplements for the effective osteoarthritis pain treatment and its related symptoms.

To sum up, a healthy intake of Omega 3 rich foods as a part of your daily health regimen and including fish oil supplements and green lipped mussel of New Zealand can go a long way in the effective long-term natural treatment of degenerative osteoarthritis and provide a pain free healthy life.

Arthritis Medicine For Dogs - Joint Protection For Your Pet

Arthritis medicines for dogs had never been so useful and functional until today. With the alarming population growth of dogs with arthritis, experts know that it is important to administer reliable medicines for dogs to control or prevent arthritis.

Like humans, dogs have a remarkable array of cartilage, bones, and ligaments that make up the canine skeletal system. Just like the typical bone structures in humans, dogs' bones are also connected by joints. These joints provide flexibility for jumping, running, moving the neck and head, climbing, and trotting.

Joint Damage

For proper lubrication and to ensure that bones maintain flexibility, a thin membrane known as synovium provides synovial fluid. However, due to the joints' wear and tear and intermittent cases of diseases or injuries, joints can be damaged and may cause inflammation or arthritis.

The most common cause of dog arthritis is old age. Due to the wear and tear of the joints or cartilages, a protective layer that guarantees bone flexibility, joint inflammation or arthritis develops. And dogs cannot simply escape this condition. And even if there cannot be marvelous medications to treat dog arthritis, much can be done to help dogs bear the pains arthritis can bring.

At some point, surgery can be administered to dogs with severe cases of arthritis. However, most dogs experience manageable arthritis and are simply given medications to control pain. Along with the right diet and consistent exercise, dogs can effectively manage the bouts of arthritis attack.

Pain Relievers

One of the most distracting effects of arthritis in dogs is pain. Unlike humans, who have higher tolerance for pain, dogs may find it hard coping with the soreness and throbbing that arthritis can bring.

Hence, it is important that dogs be given pain relievers. Health experts say that pain relievers used by humans can also be used in dogs. Although dogs are prone to side effects, controlling pain can still be provide significant relief.

For so many years, aspirin has been the most common pain reliever for humans. With this, experts say it can also be used in dogs. However, dog owners should take note that aspirin can also cause stomach irritation in dogs especially if the medication has been taken with an empty stomach. Hence, it is advisable that aspirin must be taken during meals.

Also, keep in mind that dogs should not be given more than two tablets of aspirin in a week. Try to consider your dog's weight as well for proper dosage. For example, a 30 to 40 pound dog should take half tablet twice a day.

Fewer Side Effects

On the other hand, some medicines are said to be more effective and have fewer side effects. One good example is Rimadyl, generic name for Carprofen. This medication aids in controlling pain. However, just like any drug, long-term use may cause adverse effects such as liver damage. Hence, veterinarians suggest that dogs are subject to regular blood tests just to assess the normal functioning of the liver.

Some medicines are also effective in stimulating the creation of joint fluid known as synovial fluid. They can also impede the accumulation of harmful enzymes that trigger swelling or soreness in the joints. These medications attach to torn or broken cartilage to increase metabolism, thus, speeding up the progress of repair.

One good example is Adequan or polysulfated glycosaminoglycan. This is an injectable medication for dog arthritis. Since it is injectable, Adequan is said to be fast acting and effective when administered through intramuscular injection. Best of all, experts say that this specific type of arthritis medication for dogs can provide pain relief as long as six months.

Some medicines are designed to provide fast relief with minimal side effects and gastrointestinal problems. And with the natural behavior of dogs, some medicines provide ease in administering treatment.


Supplements count as one of the most important medications for dogs with arthritis. These medicines do not just provide reliable pain relief but can also promote proper shaping of cartilage and joint.

Veterinarians suggest that these medicines should be administered in dogs that are still at the earliest stage of arthritis. In this way, further damage and inflammation in the joints can be prevented. Moreover, these medicines try to preserve the remaining joints to facilitate growth and repair and maintain the normal functioning of the skeletal system.

To date, there are still no medications that can effectively eliminate dog arthritis. But with the help of arthritis medicines for dogs, such as pain relievers and supplements, dog arthritis can be bearable. To be on the safe side, make sure to discuss all treatments with your veterinarian.

Arthritis Treatment With Miraculous Homeopathy!

When it comes to any type of pain, it is really hard to bear. One can bear anything and live life happily but when it is pain, all happiness seems to go haywire and person perceives only misery through any experience. That is why when patients come to us with the severe joint pains (arthritis), we often tend to cater them as a priority. Rather, arthritis is one of the faculties I can say that busts a myth about homeopathy, that homeopathy does not act fast enough to relieve the pain of arthritis. Rather, when aptly applied the principle of homeopathy, remedy found relieves arthritic pain more rapidly than even the best of analgesic.

Whether it is rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, homeopathic treatment as with any other disease revolves around the signs, symptoms, and constitution of the patient. Miasmatic background must be understood by the homeopathic doctors before they prescribe to such patients.

What homeopaths need to know about arthritis of the patient?

The patient's history is of paramount importance when it comes to arthritis. The patients must describe-

(1) Since when the pain has started

(2) What is the nature of pain (throbbing, dull, aching, excruciating etc)

(3) Does anything aggravate the pain?

(4) Does anything ameliorate (lessen) the pain?

(5) In what position does the patient feel comfortable?

(6) Is there anything characteristic about the pain?

(7) Are there any concomitant symptoms along with arthritis?

The above mentioned points are just about the arthritis. But to understand the totality of symptoms, doctor must ask the patient about his mental symptoms or behavioral tendencies, his emotional vulnerability, his psychological and intellectual built up, other physical symptoms, and all the things you feel you need to understand the patient fully.

It may seem the tedious job initially but after one gets accustomed to the art of case-taking, one can easily navigate through these questions and perceive what is important to us. Homeopathic treatment revolves around these questions and answers to be frank. And that's why homeopathy is a life-long learning process. With every new case, we tend to comprehend some special features of our vast material medica that we use for treating the sick. Surely it's an amazing experience to match the disease symptoms with drug symptoms or do self-proving in order to completely understand what is described in material medica.

Arthritis is one of the problems that revolve around all three miasms, psora, syphilis, and sycosis. But with good history taking skills, and differentiating ability, one can find perfect simillimum in order to attain perfect cure. Certainly with homeopathic remedies, arthritis patients can find pain relief, reversal of bone pathology, halting the progress of disease, and consistently improve the condition with an overall well-being.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Episodic Oligoarticular Arthritis and Podagra

Podagra-severe inflammatory arthritis at the first metatarsophalangeal joint-is the most frequent manifestation of gout. Patients usually describe waking within the middle of the night with dramatic pain, redness, swelling, and warmth of the region. Flares of gout typically create one of the most intense forms of inflammatory arthritis. The toes and, to a lesser extent, the midfoot, ankles and knees are the most common websites for gout flares. Gout flares often occur in circumstances that improve serum uric acid amounts, such as metabolic stressors leading to elevated DNA or adenosine triphosphate (ATP) turnover (eg, sepsis or surgery) or dehydration.

Agents that reduce prostaglandin synthesis (eg, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), decrease neutrophil migration into the joints (eg, colchicine), or decrease the activation of myelomonocytic cells (eg, corticosteroids) decrease the duration of the gouty flare. Gouty arthritis can be diagnosed by examination of synovial fluid from an actively inflamed joint under a polarizing microscope.

Monosodium urate crystals could be seen as negatively birefringent needle-like structures that extend across the diameter of and therefore are engulfed by polymorphonuclear neutrophils. Firm, irregular subcutaneous deposits of monosodium urate crystals may occur in individuals with chronic gout and therefore are referred to as tophi.

Tophi most frequently form along tendinous tissues on the extensor surfaces of joints and tendons as well as on the outer helix from the ear. This kind of tophi might extrude chalky material, containing urate crystals, onto the skin surface and can be viewed for diagnostic purposes under polarized microscopy. In some individuals, the total body burden of uric acid increases greatly over many years; deposits of monosodium urate crystals occur at numerous joint websites.

This may result in a persistent but more indolent inflammatory arthritis related to remodeling from the thin synovial membrane into a thickened inflammatory tissue. Destructive and irreversible joint deformities resulting from bone and cartilage erosions often produce in this circumstance. Renal tubular injury and nephrolithiasis can also produce below these problems.

Treatment for acute gouty arthritis consists of brokers that reduce inflammatory cell recruitment and activation towards the involved joints. In contrast, prevention or prophylaxis of recurrent attacks of gouty arthritis demands chronic treatment to reduce serum uric acid amounts into the normal array, exactly where dissolution of crystals is favored.

A number of brokers are obtainable that can achieve this objective. These include uricosuric agents (eg, probenecid), which improve excretion of uric acid to the urine, and allopurinol, which inhibits uric acid synthesis by inhibition of xanthine oxidase (a critical enzyme in the uric acid synthetic pathway). Xanthine oxidase inhibitors are conceptually suitable for treatment of uric acid overproducers (10% of individuals), and uricosuric agents for treating uric acid underexcretors (90% of patients).

However, brokers that decrease uric acid production can be utilized for therapy of hyperuricemia irrespective of trigger and are frequently a lot more convenient in terms of dosage regimens. Several newer recombinant molecule therapies, including an enzyme called uricase that directly breaks down uric acid, and a soluble IL-1 receptor antagonist, have shown promising early outcomes within the remedy of refractory gout.

Basics of Arthritis Treatment

Arthritis is the disease generally resulting in the inflammation and loss of movement of joints. The arthritis treatment cannot cure the disease completely but it can surely reduce the pains and inflammation to large extent.

There are over 100 different forms of arthritis. Osteoarthritis or the degenerative joint disease is the most common. The basic cause of osteoarthritis is due to infection to the joint, trauma or age. Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and septic arthritis are other common types.

Whenever there is injury caused between the joints, it can get enlarged and painful and result in arthritis. The main complaint from the people suffering from arthritis is the joint pain. It is caused due to inflammation, stress on the joints, damage to the joints, etc.

The symptoms of the arthritis include:

• Joint Pain
• Joint Swelling
• Redness on the skin around joint
• Warmth-ness around joint
• Fever with joint pain
• Reduced movement of joints


Physical Test: The physical test may show a fluid collection around the joint that result in pain or difficulty in movement in certain direction. It is called limited range of motion.

Medical test: The test for arthritis can vary depending on the type and suspected cause. It can include different blood tests, joint fluid, muscle, urine tests and joint X-rays.
Treatment of Arthritis:
There are different types of arthritis and the treatment can vary according to the cause, age of the patient and severe-ness of the disease. Generally, the cause is incurable and the treatment aims to reduce pain and discomfort and prevent further disability.

• Aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and dicolfenac have immediate analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects and are comparatively safe.
• Hydroxychloroquine, gold, azathioprine, penicillamine, sulfasalazine and methotrexate can delay the progression of disease.
• Supplement of calcium, zinc and vitamin C is beneficial.

• Wrap red flannel around painful joint and leave it overnight.
• Gentle massage with warm olive oil on the affected joint is effective in reducing arthritis pain.
• The sufficient amount of rest and small amount of exercise can benefit the arthritis patients.
• The treatment methods may include the heat and cold treatments ensuring the joint protection, medication and surgery.
• Warm baths, massage and stretching exercise may also prove helpful.
• Change in regular diet and food along with daily exercises can help.

• Sulphuricum: every two hours when the pains are worse at night.
• Apis mellifica: 3 times for much swelling, little pain.
• Arctium: 6 times, every four hours for pain in joints, colalgia, neuralgia.

The above mentioned basics of arthritis treatment will help you to know the symptoms and the treatment for arthritis. Although arthritis is incurable, following the prescribed treatment and regular exercise can reduce its effect to great extent.

Drug Free Arthritis Treatment Using a Tens Machine

Arthritis is a painful condition that can affect the joints. This is a common chronic disorder that can not only cause pain and discomfort but can also be limit mobility. You can treat arthritis with many different methods including a drug-free tens machine.

Who Suffers From Arthritis?

Arthritis is a degenerative disease of the joints that occurs commonly as we get older. There are a number of different types of arthritis that can also affect younger people. For example rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that has been found to affect women from as early as their mid-twenties.

Why Use a Tens Machine?

A tens machine can offer a pain relief treatment for arthritis that does not involve drugs. Taking arthritis medication can be an effective way to treat the condition. However the long-term impact of these drugs can result in a number of side-effects. This is why doctors are keen to encourage other pain relief methods such as a tens machine as an alternative, particularly in younger patients.

How Tens Machines Work

A tens machine works by using soothing pulses of electricity. These are transmitted to areas affect by arthritis by small pads placed on the skin. The electrical pulses are used to suppress the pain messages that are travelling to the brain. This can relieve symptoms of pain without the need for strong medication.

A tens machine can also help to encourage the body to produce more natural pain killing chemicals (encephalins and endorphins). This can be an effective way to manage pain resulting from chronic conditions like arthritis without having to resort to powerful and expensive prescription medication.


A tens machine is often used alongside physiotherapy. These are both pain relieving treatments that do not require the use of drugs. Physiotherapy helps you to improve overall fitness and mobility with stretching and toning exercises.

Physiotherapists are able to assist you with managing your condition and can also provide that treatments. You can also find out more about where to get that therapies from your doctor or health care centre.

Pain Management Tips

To help you make the best out of your tens machine sessions here are a few essential tips:

- Pace Yourself - don't push yourself too hard if you have arthritis. This can exacerbate the pain and make it more difficult to manage. Make sure you keep your activity at a comfortable level. Try to find the right balance between resting and working or moving around.

- Exercise Regularly - exercising can help you to improve your overall health and stamina. This can also help you to manage pain as exercise release natural pain relieving chemicals such as endorphins. When you have arthritis you do need to take more care when exercising. Speak to your physiotherapist or doctor about suitable exercises for your condition.

How Arthritis Patients Should Deal With Pain, Fatigue And Depression

It is obvious to arthritis patients that they do suffer from pain; but it may not be so obvious that they can also suffer from fatigue and depression which is also related to the disease of arthritis. Pain causes a person to become tired. Being tired combined with the pain can cause symptoms of depression.

We are going to discuss what we can do to help with pain, fatigue and depression as it relates to arthritis.


Some of the pain associated with arthritis is due to stiff, unused muscles. Therefore, unless we are having a "flare"; we should be exercising. Exercising is important because it relieves the stiffness in the muscles and joints and will make you supple. If you practice relaxation exercises; it will not only add strength to the joints and muscles, you will have less pain.

You should not try to do everything yourself when you are in pain. Ask people to help you; they have no way of knowing that you are in pain if you don't mention it. Having pain can lead to stress and depression; so we have to reduce stress and depression, thus eliminating pain.


You are probably aware that arthritis can drain your energy level; especially inflammatory arthritis. This is caused in part by the body using energy trying to heal itself. In order for our body to have energy we need good nutrition because food is the basic source of energy. If we are not eating the proper foods and not getting enough essential vitamins and minerals to sustain us; then we are going to suffer from fatigue. Being overweight will increase the amount of energy we need just to perform daily tasks also adding to the stress we are putting on the joints.

If we are not getting enough sleep our body is going to feel tired. You should try to follow a schedule. If we condition our body to sleep and get up at the same time each day we are creating a routine that is good for us. This will not only allow us to sleep better we will feel like we are well rested when we awake. Being stressed with our busy lifestyles can cause us to have fatigue; so we must lower the stress levels before it leads to depression.

Fatigue can be caused by other things besides your arthritis. Therefore, if you want to prevent fatigue you really have to address the cause of it. Ask yourself; am I eating properly, do I exercise, am I getting the right amount of sleep, am I stressed out?

When people are tired, probably the last thing they want to do is exercise. In reality, it is the best thing you can do. Even just a short walk, or some Yoga will refresh your body and give it more energy.You need to motivate yourself to do this, even if you are feeling tired, and you will see how much better you feel.


Some people with arthritis say they are "feeling down" or they are "unhappy". The thing is, if you are unhappy and you are in pain, this leads to stress, which in turn leads to depression. Pain creates a cycle; causing our muscles to become tense; then this leads to psychological stress, depression and fatigue.

If your arthritis is a significant problem, you certainly have or have had some problems with depression. It is always easy to recognize pain; but on the other hand it's not always easy to realize when you are depressed. Just as there are many degrees of pain, there are also different degrees of depression.

The following are some signs of depression to look for and you probably have had some of these signs, however mild or severe.

  • Loss of energy is a symptom of depression. Feeling tired all the time.

  • Changes in sleeping patterns; like wanting to sleep more than usual, or interrupted sleep.

  • Loss of interest in activities or not wanting friends around.

  • Loss of weight or a gain of weight that is not intentional in a short period.

  • Changes in eating habits like eating more frequently or not interested in food.

  • Low self-esteem; feeling that you are worthless and nothing is worthwhile.

  • Having frequent accidents; like dropping things or just being carless in general.

  • Hostility or anger and flying off the handle over things that haven't bothered you before.

  • Not able to concentrate and become confused easily.

  • Suicidal thoughts.

If some of these symptoms are familiar; you may be depressed. Don't hesitate to seek help. Get out with friends, get exercise, take a vacation, join a group, get a pet. There are several things you can do to eliminate depression.

Doctor... I'm Confused... Is There More Than One Type of Arthritis?

The term arthritis is derived from the Greek: "arthron" meaning "joint" and "itis" meaning inflammation.

It refers to more than 100 different types of arthritis conditions. These 100 different conditions pose special problems for both diagnosis and treatment.

Some of these conditions involve inflammation and others do not. Inflammation is the body's natural response to injury or infection.

For an example of inflammation, take a simple scratch...your body automatically releases chemicals that cause fluids to accumulate and white blood cells to gather around the area of the scratch. As your body fights foreign substances and bacteria, inflammation...redness...heat...swelling...and pain occur at the sight of the injury.

In arthritis, unfortunately, this natural defense mechanism goes awry. Elements from the blood designed to fight infection and repair injury attack the body instead.

And, unless this inflammatory process is stopped, it will continue to attack the body and cause joint destruction.

So you can begin to see how treatments that just relieve the pain associated with the problem - but that do not completely halt inflammation - may not adequately treat this disease.

Getting proper treatment early on is important...because proper care can help sufferers lead more active and comfortable lives.

Let's examine some of these types of arthritis...

Osteoarthritis is the arthritis people think of as being associated with aging. osteoarthritis affects weight-bearing areas such as the spine, hips, knees, base of the thumbs, and feet. Genetics and mechanical factors also play a big role. Research is being done on medications that will slow down the progression of this disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common serious inflammatory form of arthritis. It affects roughly 1 per cent of the population and is the prototypical autoimmune form of arthritis. Because it may do most of its damage in the first year, early diagnosis and aggressive therapy is critical. Left untreated RA may shorten life expectancy by as much as 18 years!

Psoriatic arthritis is a potentially serious inflammatory form of arthritis that is often found in association with psoriasis. Because it may begin and progress insidiously, it can cause serious problems. Early diagnosis and aggressive intervention are recommended.

Polymyalgia rheumatica occurs in people after the age of 50 and presents with severe stiffness and aching in the neck, shoulders, and hips. Because it is very treatable, accurate diagnosis is needed. Because so many other conditions look like it, an accurate diagnosis is not always easy.

Ankylosing spondylitis affects the spine and the sacroiliac joints. Since it often presents with low back pain, it is often misdiagnosed. AS is very treatable; accurate diagnosis and aggressive therapy are advisable

Reactive arthritis is a form of arthritis that comes on after infections... the most common being types of infections being intestinal or genitourinary. Young adults are often affected. Appropriate medical treatment is very effective.

Gout is due to deposition of monosodium urate (MSU) crystals. In addition to joints, the kidneys are a big target of this disease. Dietary changes and medicines are very effective in treating this disorder.

Pseudogout is also due to crystals- deposits of calcium pyrophosphate or hydroxyapatite in most instances. Pseudogout may mimic other types of arthritis such as gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Further, it may coexist with other types of arthritis making it very difficult to diagnose.

Systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disease that affects many organ systems.

SLE most often affects women in the child-bearing years. Early diagnosis and management are necessary since this disorder is potentially life-threatening.

Polymyositis is an inflammatory form of muscle disease that is often associated with arthritis. Because it is a systemic condition that affects all muscles- including those that are responsible for the functioning of the heart, lungs, etc., careful examination and appropriate aggressive medical therapy are necessary.

Fibromyalgia is a soft tissue form of arthritis that is due to defective neurotransmitter function in the brain. Because these neurotransmitters are responsible for many sensory functions, patients with fibromyalgia present with bizarre symptoms. It is imperative that other forms of arthritis be ruled out first.

Lyme disease occurs as a result of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi. The organism is transmitted by a deer tick bite. Early recognition and antibiotic therapy is effective in most cases.

Arthritis Treatment: What Is Needed For Successful Osteoarthritis Treatment?

Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States. It is also one of the most common causes of physician visits.

One major misconception is that there is just one type of arthritis. Not so.

There are more than 100 different kinds of arthritis. The most common remains osteoarthritis which affects between 28 million and forty million people in the U.S., depending on the source.

Osteoarthritis is a disease of articular cartilage, the gristle that caps the ends of long bones. There are two major types of cartilage. The "gristle" is also known as hyaline cartilage. It is responsible for cushioning, gliding, and shock absorption.

The other kind of cartilage, called fibrocartilage, also helps protect from compressive forces but is somewhat weaker. An example of fibrocartilage is the meniscus material found in the knee.

Osteoarthritis occurs as a result of cartilage degeneration. The development of osteoarthritis is a complex interplay of various factors including genetic predisposition, injury, and local inflammation.

Since cartilage does not have nerves or blood vessels, healing of cartilage injury is problematic.
To date, most of the therapies aimed at treating osteoarthritis have been essentially palliative, pain relief only.

The Holy Grail of cartilage treatment would be to find treatments that aid in symptom relief and which also slow down or reverse cartilage damage.

A variety of treatments have been used with dismal results.

Only recently have there been attempts to heal cartilage injury using a variety of techniques such as mosaicplasty, chondrocyte (cartilage cell) transplantation, and microfracture.

These procedures may be useful for small discrete lesions but apparently are not effective for the treatment of osteoarthritis.

Promising reports describing the use of autologous stem cells (a patient's own stem cells) have been published.

Upon closer scrutiny though, these various attempts at inducing cartilage healing with SCs have met with mixed results. The results appear to be highly dependent upon the following factors: age of the patient, body mass index (BMI), extent of cartilage loss, degree of anatomic deformity, and the technical expertise of the center performing the procedure.

Age appears to be a factor due to the decline in qualitative response of stem cells. They don't appear to multiply or divide as quickly as younger cells.

Weight is a key factor for obvious reasons. The more load on the joint, the less likely osteoarthritis will respond to most treatments. Encouraging reports from a Swedish study has demonstrated that load reduction of the weight-bearing compartment of the knee can lead to cartilage healing. Following a stem cell procedure, it is critical to unload the joint.

Significant anatomic deformity can probably not be overcome. Also, complete cartilage loss is another reason to pass on stem cell treatment.

The last factor is probably the most important in that an effective procedure involves more than just injecting stem cells. Each patient has a different set of issues with a difference in terms of anatomic problem, procedural approach, and so on.

Ultrasound guidance is critical to assessing the correct approach. In addition, it may be that more direction using arthroscopy can also be helpful.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Help In Dealing With Arthritis Pain

No one likes to deal with pain, no matter what causes it. Dealing with fleeting or chronic arthritis pain can be frustrating, annoying, and endless. Inflamed joints cause arthritis, and there are over one hundred different kinds of arthritis. Some people suffer from arthritis pain more in cold weather than warm, but such is not always the case. Tissues involved in arthritis, from bone to tendon to ligaments and muscles, all feel the pain.

More than 40 million Americans alone suffer from the pain of various types of arthritis, and not all of them are older adults. Children and teenagers are also afflicted with arthritis pain, and it hits both genders equally. Pain can be mild, or throbbing in its intensity.

The sensation of pain may be felt differently from the fingers than it is felt in the knee, or another place in your body where body tissues connect to provide movable parts. Some people suffer from arthritis pain in the extremities, though many others also suffer arthritic pain in the spine as well as the hips.

The two most familiar types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and in both cases, your body will most certainly let you know if something is different or wrong when it comes to your joints. The pain is caused by various sources, though swelling in any given joint area causes most arthritis pain, as well as the extent of damage to bones and joints caused by osteoarthritis. Everyone reacts to pain differently, just as different people have different pain thresholds.

Determining whether a pain is mild or severe is often left to the person feeling it. Such, cannot be measured due to the fact that many people feel and experience pain in different ways and severities. Pain may be described as mild, aching, radiating, throbbing or piercing.

Many times, people dealing with chronic arthritis pain grow tearful and frustrated with the constant and aching throb of pain in various joints, and medications to help relieve such pain are often prescribed. Many people rely on over the counter products such as an anti-inflammatory, though others need more pain relief than is offered through such remedies.

Many people use heat or cold compresses to ease arthritis pain, while others try massage or acupuncture. No matter which method you use to help provide relief from pain, always make sure that you notify your doctor of any herbs or supplements that may have an adverse reaction to anything he or she has prescribed for your pain.

Learning to live with pain is often a necessary aspect to the lives of many who have been diagnosed with any form of arthritis. Understanding what causes pain and ways to prevent or reduce it is one of the first steps to living with arthritis. What works for someone else might not work for you, so be willing to experiment and try options that will help you with your type of arthritis. Arthritis pain is a pain, but it can be dealt with, through proper teaching, exercise, medication and determination.

New Class of Rheumatoid Arthritis Drugs Can Bring Much-Needed Relief

Several of my patients have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, a frustrating condition in which the immune system begins to fight its own body as if it were a disease. In doing so, the body develops a severe, chronic inflammatory response in trying to heal it. This inflammation can flare in all the major joints of the body.

Traditional treatment options for RA have been DMARDs (disease modifying antirheumatic drugs), or SAARD (slow acting antirheumatic drugs), and have been fairly successful in treating early diagnosed RA. However, not everyone with RA responds to them and they do have side effects similar to those of NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

In the last 10 years, however, a new class of RA drugs has come on the scene, the "biologics", or BRM's (biologic response modifiers) and have shown greater success in people who have not done well on the traditional drugs. If you have RA, I'd like to share with you what I tell my own patients about the BRM class of RA drugs to help you manage your RA better.

Treating RA with Biologic-Type Drugs

Like my patients, if you watch television, you may have seen commercials for a few of the new biologic-type RA drugs, Enbrel, Humira, Orencia, and Simponi. You may have wanted to ask your doctor about the possibility of perhaps trying one of these RA treatments.

These RA drugs are actually created from human genes, proteins, and are designed to inhibit the inflammatory response that the immune system causes. These drugs were specifically created for those patients whose RA does not respond well to more traditional treatments and have been proven to slow progression of the disease. They differ from the older type drugs in that the biologics zero in on specific parts of the immune system instead of broadly treating the entire immune system, thereby lessening side effects.

Advantages to Taking BRM Type RA Drugs

Even though BRM's will not cure RA, and those who take them still have symptoms of stiffness and pain, they have far less symptoms than those who do not take them, according to recent research conducted by one of the biologics manufacturer, Centocor Ortho Biotech, Inc. The drugs help improve quality of life, functioning, and ability to productively work, preventing much of the disability that accompanies RA.

Are There Side Effects/Disadvantages of Biologics?

As I tell my patients, whenever you take a chemically based drug, there are likely some side effects, and this is true of the biologic-type RA drugs as well. However, there are not as many, or severe, as with the more traditional type RA drugs. The most common side effect is rash at the injection site but with any drug that suppresses the immune system, there is always the risk of other side effects. These include:

  • Susceptibility to infections and other diseases developing

  • Cannot receive vaccinations (flu, etc) while taking biologics

  • Pre-existing health conditions like multiple sclerosis or congestive heart failure excludes their use. They could also aggravate an underlying case of tuberculosis. Everyone who wants to take a biologic-type RA should be tested for TB before taking them.

  • Effects on unborn fetus not clearly known - pregnant women should use with caution.

  • Must be taken by injection, or intravenous infusion. However, an oral biologic-RA drug is on the drawing table so perhaps one will be available soon.

  • Biologics have to clear from system prior to surgery as open wounds with a depressed immune system can increase the risk for serious infection.

What You Can Do For Your RA

In addition to perhaps taking biologic response modifier-type RA drugs, there are several things you can do for yourself that will further help your symptoms such as:

  • Regular aerobic exercise: 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise as it takes impact of joints. An elliptical machine is also good as it too takes the stress off of joints. Tai chi and yoga are also helpful.

  • Regular sleep: We all need at least 6 hours of sleep per night, but if you have RA, you likely need more sleep. This also combats developing fibromyalgia which can accompany RA.

  • Stress control: Stress can cause stiffness and pain in people who don't have RA. In those who do, it can greatly aggravate or intensify existing symptoms. Find ways to decompress like meditation, exercise, or meeting with friends.

  • Alternative treatments: I have often referred my RA patients for acupuncture, acupressure or reflexology (needle-free massage based acupuncture), tai chi exercise, hydrotherapy. These treatments can be done in addition to taking BRMs or DMARD/SAARD. In addition, herbal anti-inflammatories as white willow bark, bromelain, capsaicin, Boswellia, glucosamine, MSM, to name a few. Check with a pharmacist about possible drug interaction if you are taking prescription RA drugs.

  • Diet: Many people with RA do better on gluten-free diets as wheat and oats can contribute to inflammation. Be sure to supplement with antioxidants.

RA is a condition that afflicts over 1.5 million Americans. Early diagnosis of it is crucial to getting the proper treatment for it before disabling joint damage begins. If you have symptoms of RA, severe pain and stiffness in the morning rising from bed, and/or after sitting, please contact your doctor and be evaluated for RA. Whatever drug treatment you and your doctor decide on, making the appropriate, natural lifestyle changes will also help you stay mobile.

Arthritis Advice That All People Should Read

Arthritis symptoms should not be taken lightly. They can appear anywhere in the body and at any time in the course of your life. The impact is felt in the bones and joints and causes high levels of pain which impede daily activities.

Lose weight to slow the effect arthritis has on your knees. Every extra pound that you are carrying in excess weight puts undue stress on your joints. Extra stress leads to extra pain and accelerates deterioration. Lose some weight to stay away from arthritis pain from here on out.

Never neglect the joints. If you suffer from arthritis, the smallest of tasks can be rather painful and difficult. Instead of lifting a heavy object, you should attempt to slide it across the counter top or floor. You might also ask another person to help. Protecting yourself from further discomfort and pain is important in day-to-day tasks, and can go a long way in helping you feel better with arthritis.

It is possible that you could benefit from a professional counselor who is trained with emotional issues involved in arthritis. Enduring the chronic pain associated with arthritis can make you emotionally exhausted. Make sure to look for a counselor who is familiar with the particular emotions related to arthritis and the constant pain.

You must be pro-active while creating therapy for your arthritis. There are so many sorts of arthritis. This means that treatments and even symptoms can vary widely from patient to patient. You should be well-educated as to what options are out there so you can make the best choice for you.

Avoid carrying too much weight. Women tend to be prone to developing arthritis in their shoulders. Lugging around bags that rest on your shoulders can create pressure that leads to inflammation and swollen joints. For times when you need to carry a large number of items, consider using a backpack that will distribute the weight over a larger area.

Plan for the future! Since arthritis pain can flare at any time, you want to be prepared to work around it. Make arrangements that allow you to rest between strenuous tasks, and always have an alternative available in case you are unable to complete an activity.

Exercise can help you deal with arthritis, but you need to know if you are having a flare-up due to it. Exercise is for keeping your joints healthy and flexible, not fighting arthritis pain as it occurs. Don't do your workout routine if your joints currently are giving you trouble.

Fight back against your arthritis with every fiber of your body! By working more to keep arthritis at bay, your treatments can be more effective. Don't stop doing what is necessary to reduce the pain.

While it is important to guard the joints already affected with arthritis, it is equally important to guard the other joints in your body as well. Arthritis can spread throughout your body. That is why it is important that you do not put too much stress on your healthy joints as well.

Ask your doctor's advice regarding using heat and/or cold therapy on your joints. Ice packs and heating pads, or soaking in hot or cold baths can be very soothing and minimize the swelling, stiffness and pain of arthritis. Using both in conjunction by alternating can help reduce the pain, but do not abuse this cure.

Put it on top of your thigh and press down on it with your other hand. This helps you avoid using sensitive fingers to grip the clippers, and makes the fingernail-clipping task much easier.

If arthritis causes you deep, exhausting pain, treat it with heat. For arthritis sufferers, applying heat to aching joints and muscles is more effective than a cold pack. When pain is fatiguing you need warm packs, as it will help you to gain energy as well as relieving the pain.

Remembering these tips can help someone become a pro track runner, while still dealing with arthritis. You never want to let arthritis get you down mentally or physically. There are items that can help you manage or fight of the pain and condition. Keep your head high and your eyes on the horizon.

Some Types of Arthritis Hurt More Than Others

Arthritis is a very painful condition, but some types of arthritis will hurt more than others. Most types of arthritis are related to a specific source of pain. Some come from swelling of the joints in the knees and hands. These are, in fact, the most common areas affected by arthritis. Other arthritis pain can be caused by tiredness, or inflammation of the membranes surrounding the joints, tendons, and ligaments. The people who suffer the worst are those that have multiple forms of arthritis. Two of the most common forms of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, and it affects millions of Americans as well as others around the world. Osteoarthritis is very painful and can be debilitating for all of these people. Rheumatoid arthritis is slightly less common, but is even more painful than osteoarthritis. If you have both of these forms of arthritis, you are most likely living in constant pain. The pain from these two forms of arthritis can be very intense and difficult to alleviate. Doctors who treat patients suffering from arthritis pain will try to determine which particular types of arthritis the patient has. This allows them to better prescribe treatment or medications to deal with the pain.

It is obvious that because there are different types of arthritis, there must also be different remedies. Doctors will work with patients to try and diagnose the specific form of arthritis they have because different painkillers or treatment regimens will target different areas or different forms of arthritis. There are many treatment options available, and some will work better on inflammation, for example, while some will better treat fatigue related symptoms.

Doctors must also consider the pain level of the arthritis patient. Those who have slight pain from aching joints may be able to get by with an over-the-counter painkiller like Tylenol or Excedrin. They may not even need to be on medication all the time, but can take it only when the pain becomes less bearable.

When the arthritis is more severe, and the pain is more intense, the doctor may prescribe cortisone injections directly into the affected joints. This can be a great way to alleviate pain in those joints. Other remedies may include prescription of a strong narcotic drug to help the person deal with the pain.

Pain management clinics are springing up for people who have had trouble finding the right remedy for their arthritis pain. The staff in these clinics specialize in managing pain. Notice that I said "managing" pain, not alleviating it. The pain clinic personnel will explain to their patients that there is no permanent cure for arthritis, and that they need to manage the pain. Pain clinics are able to test and examine their patients to find the perfect relief for their arthritis pain. They do not generally drug the patients so severely that they cannot function.

Arthritis can be a painful and debilitating condition, but the methods of dealing with the pain, and the remedies to alleviate it are constantly improving. If you suffer with arthritis pain, you'll be pleased with the advances of modern science in this area.

Why Do I Get Pain In My Stiff Joints?

Probably the biggest reason for stiff joint pain is arthritis. This could include rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis as well. It's important that you take the time to consult with your doctor who can diagnose this condition and provide you with potential treatment options.

Infectious diseases can often be a contributing factor to a series of concerns including the pain from stiff joints. Some of the most common types of infectious diseases that can cause these problems are:

  • Chickenpox

  • Measles

  • Parvo

  • Rheumatic Fever

  • Hepatitis

  • Influenza

  • Lyme Disease

Keep in mind that these are just some of the concerns that can contribute to this condition. One other factor for this condition is overuse of your joints. This is especially the case on parts of the body that experience regular repetitive use, such as fingers on the keyboard. Often, the best solution for your stiff joint pain is to allow your body to rest for a few days. Repetitive movements which place a heavy load n your joints can be particularly problematic. Any misalignment or jarring can rapidly cause point damage or pain.

You will want to take warm baths, massages your joints and stretch your muscles. These are all useful ways to reduce the amount of stiff joint pain that you have. While these don't usually treat the underlying issue, they will provide you with a temporary solution to help improve circulation and reduce pain.

If you are just starting to experience pain, you will need to pay attention to your body. If the joint pain lasts less than three days, you most likely don't need to seek immediate medical help. However, if it lasts more than three days, you are experiencing sudden weight loss or the pain continues to worsen, you will need to seek medical advice.

You will want to keep in mind that it will be important for you to consult with your doctor about any underlying medical condition that could be causing you to experience this level of pain. To help them understand your condition better, keep track of the areas that seem to be most affected by this condition. Take notes about when the pain started and what you were doing at the time. All of this is going to help them to pinpoint the cause of the joint pain and that can help you to get the results you need. In many cases, an x-ray, blood testing and other tests will be done to help rule out possibilities.

Cellaplex Review - Is it the Right Pain Relief Product For You?

Did you know that millions of people who suffer from arthritis do not take any pain relief product at all? They simply manage their pain through a combination of home treatment options like warm or cold compress, warm baths, salves, or massage.

The problem is that some type of arthritis can cause extreme joint pain that can affect your mobility. Home remedies are also not enough to relieve extreme joint discomfort and pain.

In order not to lose your mobility and independence, it is important to consult your doctor so you will know the best pain relief product for you. Here are some of the most common pain relief products that you can use to alleviate debilitating arthritis pain:

Analgesics: The First Defense against Pain

Analgesics are the most widely recommended medications to alleviate pain. Analgesic drugs are inexpensive and that is why it one of the most popular pain relief product against pain symptoms.

For most cases of osteoarthritis, acetaminophen is highly recommended. Acetaminophen is a widely available analgesic, inexpensive, and can immediately numb joint pain.

However, there are joint pains that can not be treated with acetaminophen. In such cases, doctors usually prescribe stronger analgesic with opioid. These are regulated drugs and you can only get it with a prescription from your doctor.

Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs are also a common pain relief product to fight arthritis pain. Most anti-inflammatory drugs are highly regulated so you need to consult your doctor first before you take these medications.

NSAIDs combine the efficacy of analgesics but also suppress inflammations. Because some types of arthritis are characterized by inflamed joint tissues and cartilage intervention with NSAIDs are necessary.

Some patients however can develop allergies from NSAIDs. This type of medication can also cause stomach upset, diarrhea, and stomach allergies. You may be forced to take analgesic or alternative pain relief product if you can not tolerate NSAID.

Natural Pain Relief Supplements

Natural supplements normally contain active ingredients that are effective against pain and inflammation. Such supplements are especially designed for patients suffering from arthritis, degenerative joint disorder, or inflammatory disorder.

You still have to consult your doctor before you take natural supplements for pain. You have to know if the active ingredients of the supplement will interact with your drug medication.

Normally, natural supplements contain substances that have been proven effective against pain symptoms. For example, Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate, which which are common substances found in anti-arthritis supplements, are very effective against arthritis pain. They have anti inflammatory properties that could help reduce joint discomfort.

Bromelain is also a good substance that is very effective against pain. This is an enzyme with natural anti-inflammatory properties. It has been proven in several clinical trials that Bromelain can reduce swelling, fight inflammation, and alleviate extreme joint pain symptoms. Cetyl Myristoleate (CM8) lubricates joints, provides strong anti-inflammatory properties, and also supports your immune system.

There are lots of anti-pain products available for you but only one seems to have all the ingredients necessary to relieve pain and inflammation, rebuild damaged joints, and help restore normal joint function. The makers of Cellaplex have addressed the most common joint pain issues and have formulated a unique, clinically-proven product that is being widely recommended by Orthopaedic doctors and physicians to help aid in rehab and overall joint health. I have added Cellaplex to all of my patients' rehab programs and have seen very promising results to date.

To read further about Cellaplex please visit their website at

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Is There A Cure For Your Arthritis and Swollen Joints?

So you believe that arthritis is a joke? Maybe you think that people are over exaggerating about the pain associated with their swollen joints. When it's cold outside the pain worsens. How do I know about people with swollen joints and arthritis pain? One day, I was scheduled for a follow-up visit from a foot operation at Detroit Receiving Hospital. Due to the fact that the orthopedic department at Detroit Receiving hospital has a great reputation, the wait to see the doctors can be long even if you are scheduled for an appointment. On this particular day I waited for three hours for an appointment that was scheduled for one o'clock pm. During the wait the waiting lobby was filled with people complaining about back pain, knee pain, swollen joints and things of the sort. Many were middle age but some appeared to be younger than 30 years of age. While there, I spoke with people who had suffered so badly that they opted for joint replacements either in the knee or hip. The pain that they were going through did not seem like anything that I wanted to be affiliated with.

After going home and doing more research on swollen joints and arthritis, I learned something that I could not believe. I discovered that arthritis is something that can be treated through nutrition. You mean to tell me that those people at the hospital could have avoided joint replacements? Harvard Medical School did a study confirming that it is possible to treat and possibly cure arthritis through nutrition.

Harvard Medical School took roughly 30 people who were scheduled to get joint replacement surgery and asked if they could hold on for a short time longer to be a part of an experiment to re-grow cartilage. What they did was give them a large tablespoon of ground chicken cartilage in a cup of orange juice everyday for three months. This study was performed to debunk the myth that collagen and glucosamine (animal cartilage) were being used by some doctors to treat and cure arthritis on humans. In the midst of trying to prove another study wrong, Harvard Medical School proved them to be correct! For many years animal cartilage has been used on racehorses with swollen joints and knee problems. The study showed three things:

繚 Within 10 days, there was a significant decrease in the patient's swollen joints.

繚 Within 60 days, most of the patients could open up a new pickle jar.

繚 Within 90 days, 28 out of the 29 were "clinically cured".

You will never see this study broadcasted on television stations or on the radio for many reasons. The primary reason is money. If the world was able to find out about this study the orthopedic industry would take a big blow and lose millions or possibly billions of dollars. The truth of the matter is that joint replacement surgeries act as a band-aid to swollen joints and joint problems. The problem is that the root cause of the arthritis is not being addressed. Prescription drugs will only ease the pain of your arthritis and swollen joints over a period of time. After that period, your system will become immune to the drugs and they will have little to no effect.

Three Natural Remedies For Treating Osteo Or Rheumatoid Arthritis

When it comes to the treatment of either osteo or rheumatoid arthritis generally a doctor will prescribe medication to help relieve the symptoms associated with these diseases. However, the problem with many prescription medications is that they cause unwanted side effects in the users. Instead it is worth considering using natural remedies for Arthritis of which there are many available.

In fact in this article we are going to take a look at just some of the kinds of natural remedies available for helping to treat arthritis. So in the future you may find yourself having far less pain and joint stiffness and swelling to contend with.

Natural Remedy 1 - Fish Oil

This contains the Omega 3 fatty acid and which contains properties that can help to reduce the inflammation caused by this disease. This type of natural remedy should especially be used by those people who suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis. However, you must make sure that the type of fish oil supplement you take is one that has been molecularly distilled. This will ensure that all the impurities in the original fish oil such as mercury; lead and PCB's have been removed.

Natural Remedy 2 - Alfalfa (Medicavo Sativa)

This particular remedy contains large amounts of minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium all of these have a neutralizing effect on the blood. Plus you will find that it works wonders at helping to remove toxins from the body as well. However, as this particular remedy contains amino acid it is recommended that it only be taken in tea form and three to four cups can be drunk each day for a period of two weeks. Then you need to stop drinking the tea for a week before then drinking it again for two weeks. Again this particular remedy contains properties that along with reducing stiffnes to the joints improve their flexibility.

Natural Remedy 3 - Garlic

For many centuries now this has proven a very effective natural remedy for many diseases and infections. The garlic contains a substance known as allicin which has anti inflammatory properties and so helps again to bring down the swelling and reduce the pain felt. Although you should really take it in its natural form if you don't want to end up with garlic breath then make sure that the garlic tablets you take do contain allicin so they should be the kind where the oil has been extracted from the garlic.

The Types of Gout and How To Remedy Them

Gout relief is possible with lifestyle changes. A healthy diet and appropriate natural remedies to eliminate uric acid build-up from the body will help achieve this.

Gout is known to be the most excruciating type of arthritis there is. Symptoms such as soreness of joints, redness, and extreme pain are indicative of gout.

The intense pain and burning sensation experienced by gout sufferers is caused by inflammation in the affected areas. It is therefore important that steps are taken to initiate immediate relief from the symptoms.

Gout takes several forms. Each form is characterised by differing symptoms. Here are the common types of gout people should be aware of:

• Acute gout. This is often characterised by joint inflammation due to high levels of uric acid in the blood. Excruciating pain that causes throbbing may be experienced by the patient for some days. While the person's big toes are the most affected areas, gout infection may also spread to the surrounding areas.

• Chronic gout. This is probably one of the most perilous gout types. It is hazardous because it has the ability to permanently damage one's joints and kidneys. It may also affect areas such as one's ears, hands, knees, tendons, and other parts of the body. There is also the presence of pus on the person's skin.

• Recurrent gout. People who suffer from this kind of gout experience relief from the symptoms for a few months or years. While the joints may return to its original functioning, they may incur further, more serious damage when symptoms reoccur. Remember a recurrent bout can cause more dangerous symptoms than when they first took place.

• Hyperuricemia. This type of gout is characterised by high levels of uric acid in the body. Primary hyperuricemia is a type of gout that is inherited. Kidney dysfunction reduces the body's ability to remove the right amount of uric acid, thus causing a build-up in the blood. Another type of this gout is secondary hyperuricemia, which is caused by certain medications.

Immediate relief from gout can be achieved by medication, unfortunately with all drugs side effects are known. While medications are effective in treating gout, having a complete change of diet and lifestyle can make treatment easier and faster.

Taking in about 2-4 litres of water daily will help rid one's body of toxins. When toxins are flushed out of the system, there is an increased likelihood that gout can be reduced. Alcoholic drinks and foods with extremely high fat contents should be avoided. A lower consumption of meat, poultry, and fish can effectively relieve one of gout symptoms. Also, including cherries, strawberries, avocados, grapes, and blueberries in your diet is a good way of getting relief from gout pain. These are very helpful in reducing the body's uric acid levels.

Alternative treatments such as meditation and deep relaxation can help treat the severe pain experienced from gout. It is also important that one also has a daily intake of vitamin C to aid in the treatment of gout symptoms.

Gout relief is possible with a lifestyle change including some exercise, a healthier diet, and appropriate natural remedies treatment to eliminate the uric acid problems from the body. Follow this advice and you will remedy this condition, but you have to do it yourself. There aren't any magic pills to remove the problem so you can carry on abusing your body and get away with it. It is a time to be honest with yourself and put your health first. This is a test of your will power. You can be permanently free of gout if you decide to make the changes today!

Learning To Recognize Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms

Being able to recognize psoriatic arthritis symptoms places you on the path towards getting the treatment that you need. The discomfort and frustration that is often associated with this symptom makes it near impossible for sufferers to enjoy most everyday activities. Learning more about the causes, the signs and how to lessen the associated symptom can help you regain optimal health and happiness.

There are several common types of this condition that those with psoriasis must frequently contend with. Affecting only those that suffer with the skin condition called psoriasis, the associated arthritic symptoms may actually precede the development or visual appearance of the psoriasis itself. Much like rheumatoid arthritis, the signs will include pain and swelling in the joints.

With symmetrical polyarthritis the individual will have swelling that occurs in pairs. If the right elbow is inflamed and painful, the left elbow will be as well. This is the second most common that sufferers of psoriasis will experience. If left untreated it can cause major deformations in joints. Individuals that have symmetrical polyarthritis will usually have far more extensive skin symptoms than those with other types of arthritic pain.

Asymmetrical arthritic pain usually occurs in the fingers and toes and will affect only two to three joints separately rather than in pairs. The fingers will frequently swell and the joints may feel warm to the touch and may appear red. This is often a common occurrence among those have psoriasis.

There are numerous other forms of psoriatic arthritis. While there is currently no known cure for this condition, treatment is necessary to improve and maintain joint health. Speaking with your physician can allow you to garner more information about the various prescribed or natural treatments that may be advantageous to you. You can also search online through the many message and chat boards that host the comments of psoriasis sufferers that have or feel they may be developing this common condition.

Effective Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment

Psoriatic arthritis treatment is the integrative modality that is employed to manage a heterogeneous group of arthritides.

In general, this arthritis disorder is a medical condition in which the person has both psoriasis and arthritis. A person with psoriasis generally develops patches of red skin with scales.

The affected part looks different depending on the type of psoriasis that the person has. Arthritis on the other hand is generally the inflammation of joints.

Psoriatic arthritis is also an autoimmune disease. This means that the disease causes the cells and antibodies to attack healthy tissues. In general, a person with this arthritis disorder will manifest the symptoms of psoriasis. When a person has exhibited a severe case of psoriasis; the higher the chances that he will have psoriatic arthritis. Treatment would then be used to manage both conditions and their resulting complications.

Psoriatic arthritis is not a common medical condition in the US. It affects about 2.5% of white people in North America. It is a rare condition in African American and Native American people.

A recent study estimates that about 1 million people in the US suffer from arthritis. It is also a general observation that a number of persons with psoriasis are not aware that they also have psoriatic arthritis.

There are equal chances for both men and women to develop psoriasis. For men, they are more likely to develop the spondylitic form, in which the spine is affected.

Females, on the other hand, are prone to have the rheumatoid form, in which many joints may be involved. This type of arthritis usually affects people aged 35-55 years. However, cases at early age were also reported.

The causes of psoriatic arthritis have not been definitively determined. Experts point to combination of genetic, environmental, and immune causes. There about 40% of people with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis who also have relatives with the same condition. There are some cases of psoriasis which indicate to infection as the cause.

People suffering from psoriatic arthritis may not have obvious skin findings. Some may just have minimal scaly red skin on the scalp, in the bellybutton, or between the buttocks.

Some may also develop nail abnormalities and arthritis and no skin symptoms. At the early stages of the disease, various nail changes can happen. This includes loosening and development of lines going across the nails.

In most cases, psoriasis happens before arthritis sets in, sometimes as much as 20 years ahead. About 20% of cases develop eye inflammation, and inflammation of the iris occurs in 7%.

The overall goal of psoriatic arthritis treatment is to control inflammation. The medical intervention will also involve treatment of skin symptoms.

Your doctor may also prescribe NSAIDs and other anti-inflammatory drugs to control the inflammation and pain in the joint.

As part of management of the disease, you will also be required to have sufficient rest. Your doctor may also implement a good exercise program to improve movement, strengthen muscles and stabilize joints.

Arthritis Pain Relief - Nurse's Simple Home Remedies To Relieve Arthritis Pain

These are just a few of the arthritis home remedies and treatments that arthritis sufferers have sworn worked for them. Most have an anti-inflammatory effect. There are many ways to achieve arthritis pain relief. Before you take any supplements, you may want to check with your doctor. I found that the best arthritis pain relief is a permanent radical change in the diet to all living foods. Eating a raw food diet will eliminate all osteoarthritis pain. This is the best and fastest short-term and long term approach to get rid of arthritis pain.

Remember that supplements contain isolated chemicals that are not working in conjunction with other chemicals and nutrients as they are in their natural state. So the degree of absorption, if any is questionable and different supplements from different manufacturers may have varying degrees of absorbability.

But here are the tips that others have reported working for them with my comments.

1. MSM (Methyl-sulfonyl-methane), take 1,000 mg. twice a day to reduce the inflammation which causes the pain some report.

2. Fish oil or cod liver oil which contains the omega 3's. Use a good brand that contains no mercury - 1,000 mg. one to three times per day is supposed to help lubricate the joints and thus relieve the pain.

3. Many people report that glucosamine sulfate is good for supporting the joints, 500 mg. twice a day. However there are many different brands with many different absorbability reports. And many people have reported it not working for them. There also may be an elevation of blood pressure some reports say.

4. Drink one quarter cup of black cherry juice a day or take one tablespoon of concentrate in water have had excellent report say many. The best juice would be raw not pasteurized but that is difficult to get. This may take awhile to work but good for the health. Some report that it irritates their stomachs so take with plenty of water and perhaps with food. Make sure the cherry juice is unsweetened. Some people eat dried unsweetened tart Montmorency cherries and achieve the same effect.

5. To reduce arthritis pain, make sure to get plenty of minerals in the diet naturally. Eat plenty of fruits and raw veggies, several servings of day. Make huge green salads, with good greens, not iceberg lettuce.

6. Eat coconut anything. Of course, opening a fresh raw coconut you can get from the Asian groceries is the best. Put the coconut meat in a smoothie and drink the coconut water. Second best is eating coconut anything. Coconut in any form when heated will not destroy the good nutrients. It is from a tropical climate and made to endure hot temperatures.

7. Some say to drink radish juice.

8. Helpful foods that have been reported include avocados, bananas, cherries, greens, and raw nuts soaked overnight to remove the enzyme inhibitors, such as walnuts and pecans, however all living foods, not cooked foods will help. All cooked foods are acidic and inflammatory and can aggravate the joints. Most all, living or raw foods are alkaline and anti-inflammatory.

9. Some swear by apple cider vinegar. The vinegar should only be a RAW apple cider vinegar like Bragg's. And be careful using apple cider vinegar as it is an irritant to some stomachs.

10. A fad arthritis home remedy is the gin-soaked raisins method. Soak the raisins in gin for a week. Eat six raisins at bed time. Maybe the alcohol is absorbed into the air by then. Alcohol is a neurotoxin and is inflammatory and should not be ingested.

11. Some say the old remedy of Edgar Cayce's works for them - rubbing the affected joint with castor oil each morning and at bedtime. Make take a few days to work.

12. Keep moving. Moderate exercise will reduce stiffness.

13. Some report they take burdock and yucca for inflammation and swelling.

14. Some report lobelia extract, halibut oil, or cayenne extract (cayenne cream) can help alleviate pain and speed healing when applied to the affected area. Be careful about any supplement or cream you don't fully understand.

15. For severe pains in joints some have reported they have used garlic externally - warm up the affected area with a hot towel and then rub the juice of the garlic very slowly on the area. The juice of the garlic can be extracted in a clean coffee grinder or other kitchen appliance.

These are just a few of the many osteoarthritis and arthritis home remedies and arthritis treatments and arthritis diet suggestions floating around the Internet. Use your best judgment before trying any, that may be harmful, for arthritis pain relief, and get the advice of your doctor or naturopathic doctor.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

How to Understand and Avoid Arthritis

Arthritis is actually a general term for any of about one hundred different diseases that cause swelling, stiffness and pain in the joints. It is the top cause of disability in the United States, affecting about 40 million people, or forty percent of the population. While primarily considered a disease of age, arthritis also affects almost 300,000 children in the U.S. Arthritis crosses all boundaries of social strata; economic status, gender, geographic location and race.

What exactly is arthritis and how can we avoid and treat it?

In a normal joint, cartilage cushions the area where the bones meet. Cartilage is a strong, smooth, elastic tissue, which, along with the bone ends is encased in a joint capsule. The joint capsule is filled with synovial fluid, which secretes from the synovial membrane lining the capsule and further cushions the joint. Arthritis is experienced when anything goes wrong with this system, and pain results.

Osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative joint disease, is the most common form. It is most common in people over 55 and affects approximately 20 million Americans. OA is created by the breakdown of the cartilage cushion between the bones, creating friction at the bone ends, which manifests as pain and swelling. In some cases bone spurs will also develop, exacerbating the problem. It is most commonly found in the large, weight bearing joints of the knees and hips, but is also common in the spine, hands and feet. It can however, affect any joint in the body.

Rheumatoid, or inflammatory arthritis is somewhat different from OA. Here, the synovial membrane becomes inflamed and swollen causing the pain and stiffness. Blood flow is increased to the area because of chemicals released by the inflamed tissue and this can cause the joint to appear red and feel hot. Inflammatory arthritis may be caused by immune system deficiencies, crystal deposits in the joints, or infection.

In any case, the patient will tend to favor the painful area, often holding it stiffly to ease the pain. This can cause the supporting muscles to weaken from disuse and also create serious tightness in the tendons that support them. All of this combined can cause the joints to contract or change shape and may result in complete loss of movement in the affected joint.

Doctors who treat arthritis, called rheumatologists, have a variety of diagnostic tools to use to determine the type and severity of a patient's arthritis. As there is currently no known cure, treatment is applied to ease pain and increase mobility. Various pain killing and anti-inflammatory drugs; rest and exercise are tools available to aid the patient. There are a few drugs for specific types of arthritis that can slow the advance of the disease.

Regular, light exercise is a most important key to not just treating, but avoiding arthritis. For patients with arthritis an excellent exercise is swimming, as it allows activity with little joint pressure. Exercise, plenty of rest, a constant intake of fluids to keep well hydrated and a good diet with supplementation can all help to prevent arthritis.

Arthritis Treatment: How Is Gouty Arthritis Treated?

Gout is a common metabolic disease characterized by elevated blood levels of uric acid (UA). This arises as a result of either the inability to excrete (get rid of) UA or overproducing it. In any event, what occurs is that over time, deposits of monosodium urate form inside joints and other organs, particularly the kidneys, which is the major organ responsible for excreting UA.

At a certain critical point in time, if enough UA has built up, an attack of gouty arthritis (GA) will occur.

GA typically affects a joint or joints in the leg, preferentially attacking the foot, ankle, or knee. The attacks tend to occur early in the morning, often awaking a patient from sleep. The pain builds in intensity and is accompanied by swelling, redness, and heat. The discomfort is so severe that the patient may complain that even "the weight of a bedsheet" on the affected area causes unbearable pain.

The treatment of GA is generally divided into treatment for the acute attack and treatment of chronic disease.

This article will focus on the treatment of an acute attack.

There are multiple choices available and the decision regarding which avenue to pursue will depend on a number of factors including, the duration of attack, location of attack, the possibility of another process going on (ie, infection), and the presence of co-morbid conditions- other diseases a patient has that could potentially be affected by treatment intervention.

In addition to the medicines that will be discussed, rest with ice may be beneficial since ice reduces inflammation.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are the most commonly used treatment for acute attacks.

NSAIDS should be started as soon as possible and tapered when the attack is controlled.

Unfortunately, these medicines have many potential side effects including stomach ulcers, kidney damage, aggravation of hypertension, and increased risk of heart attack and stroke. They should be avoided in patients taking blood thinners. Their use in older individuals should be monitored carefully and avoided if possible.

Colchicine is a time-honored medication that blocks gout inflammation effectively. Low doses, 0.6 mgs two to three times a day for 1-2 days may be sufficient to break an attack. Colchicine has a number of side effects that limit its use. These include stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting bone marrow suppression, and neurologic as well as muscle damage. It should not be used in patients with liver or kidney disease.

Glucocorticoids ("cortisone") can be given directly into the joint if only one or two joints are affected or be given by mouth or intramuscularly. Glucocorticoids are a good alternative when NSAIDs and colchicine can't be used.

Blocking interleukin -1 using biologic therapy is a new concept in the treatment of acute gout attacks. It is very effective but carries the drawback of being extremely expensive.

Natural Arthritis Treatment For Arthritis Pain Relief You Can Put To Work Today

During my long nursing career I was never able to find relief from my own arthritis pain until I turned to natural or alternative medicine. Many people have found there was a way to relieve themselves from the crippling pain of arthritis, especially osteoarthritis, although many people with rheumatoid arthritis have reported that a major diet change has made their rheumatoid arthritis symptoms disappear and they continue on their own rheumatoid arthritis treatment relieved of pain.

The arthritic joints usually appear to be even larger, are stiff and painful, and usually feel worse the more they are used as the day goes on. Hurtful arthritis pain is usually experienced whenever a stiff or swollen joint is used even for the easiest tasks. Unlike other types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondilytis, osteoarthritis is not systemic in basis in other words it can't be detected by using blood tests for diagnosis because it appears to be localized.

The cartilage is made up of chondrocytes, water, proteoglycans and collagen. The chondrocytes are basic cartilage cells and are essential for our balance and function. Collagen is the main protein found in all the connective tissues in the human body, including muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Proteoglycans are the very large molecules that help to make up cartilage. They bond to water, which ensures there will be high-fluid content in the cartilage.

In general, the possible causes and the factors leading to the deterioration of cartilage in arthritis and specifically osteoarthritis are still not known. And injuries can sometimes be the start of a long-term arthritic disease process. Arthritis, or rather osteoarthritis, can develop many years later after a single traumatic injury to a joint or even near a joint. And one possible cause of arthritis is the inflammatory response due to the over-reaction of the immune system to an injury or other assault in the body, such as an infection, even if minor.

Some people report that glucosamine, with or without chondroitin, helps and others say they tried them and they didn't help them at all. To see if it might be allergy related - or helps, you can try avoiding the eight most allergic foods, one at a time. They are wheat, which is the most allergenic of all, corn, eggs, milk, nuts, peanuts, fish and shellfish. Keep in mind that if you take a joint supplement it should help to do three things - build up your cartilage, provide pain relief for your joints and enhance your flexibility and movement.

One successful natural treatment method involves avoiding all inflammatory foods. Another is to try massaging your fingers or other affected joints with virgin coconut oil once or twice a day. The supplements that may help any disease or arthritic ailment include sublingual methylcobalamin, vitamin B12, not cyanocobalamin. It dissolve slowly under the tongue, not be chewed and vitamin D3 gel capsules, especially if you can't get a daily dose of 15 to 20 minutes or so of the sun on your arms and legs so you can make your own vitamin D3.

An acidic diet, which is made up of foods that are not alive, is considered to be inflammatory to the joints and other body processes. I started eating a diet of living foods (fruits, raw veggies, raw nuts and raw seeds), years ago, which caused my osteoarthritis to disappear and therefore relieve me of the crippling arthritis pain I had for years. If you attempt this diet it's best to try it for at least 30 days, thereby eliminating any foods that might be the culprits.

If you really do want to get rid of your arthritis pain permanently it may take a major change in your diet and an ongoing commitment to it. Exercise is usually good for any joint affected by osteoarthritis, but check with your arthritis doctor first. And did I mention how important it is to make sure to keep moving, moving, and moving? Now if you have pain and swelling in your fingers, you can try squeezing a wad of Thera-putty which is made for this purpose, or exercising them with two of the Chinese chime balls which you can get cheaply from several sources. There are many exercises that can be used as a therapy or treatment for arthritis regardless of how much restriction of movement there is.

For arthritic fingers, a good exercise for many people is to put the finger tips together and press hard and release then repeat several times. Make sure to fight arthritis through plenty of movement and exercise. Keep a basket of arthritis treatment aids for arthritic hands, such as the Thera-putty, hand grips, and the Taiji Chinese chime balls to be used at bedtime or while you're watching television.

Once you become completely knowledgeable about arthritis whether its osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gouty arthritis, juvenile arthritis, or ankylosing spondylitis, you'll be able to plan your own arthritis treatment program, natural or conventional or a combination of both. Conventional arthritis doctors may suggest their standard protocol for your joint pain and may tell you to take over-the-counter NSAIDS or prescribe COX-2 inhibitors which all have some serious side effects. Make sure you do your research before you take any arthritis drugs, medicines or medications. Naturopathic doctors may have other suggestions not listed here. They may have herb recommendations but do research on the herbs also.

A useful tip: if you're going to take any arthritis drugs or prescription medications, make sure to ask your pharmacist for the drug inserts so you can read up on the drugs and understand any side effects or adverse reactions that they have, before you start taking them. Make sure to let your pharmacist know what other drugs, herbs and over the counter medications you're taking too.

Knowing more about symptoms and treatments for arthritis, osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis and how they work will ultimately help contribute to your arthritis pain relief. Once you understand the facts and warnings about arthritis, the symptoms, possible causes and the treatment approaches you can take, you'll be on your way to recovery and hopefully your pain will disappear. Perhaps following some these tips and suggestions, with the approval of your arthritis doctor may help you get back in the swing of things fast and allow you to spend your days enjoying life free of pain once more.

Arthritis Pain Treatment - Different Ways and Approaches

Arthritis may be a lot easier to handle if only the pain was non-existent. Unfortunately, pain is one of the symptoms that characterize this condition and it is the most difficult, most uncomfortable part of suffering from arthritis. Arthritis has no cure - at least not yet - so don't believe any advertisement or product claim that says otherwise. Pain associated with arthritis can vary in severity, but it can be managed with the right treatments.

Understanding Pain from Arthritis

In order to manage arthritic pain, it is important to understand what it is and how it affects treatment. Pain that is short in duration is generally easier to treat compared to pain that lasts longer, such as that experienced during an arthritic attack. This type of pain is caused by inflammation and damage to the joints. As the condition progresses, fatigue and wear and tear set in, which make pain much more difficult to handle.

Arthritic Pain Treatments Using Drugs

Painkillers or analgesics such as those containing acetaminophen may be prescribed to treat pain but they will not do anything for the inflammation. If you do not suffer from inflamed joints, analgesics will provide temporary relief from arthritic pain. They are also available as over-the-counter drugs while stronger doses require a prescription.

To treat pain caused by inflammation, NSAIDs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be used. NSAIDs are effective in reducing stiffness and joint swelling, giving temporary relief from arthritis pain. These drugs, which include ibuprofen, naproxen sodium and aspirin are also available over-the-counter while other types may need a prescription. If NSAIDs are prescribed, be aware that they are accompanied by side effects, including stomach upset. NSAIDs contribute to the deterioration of the gastrointestinal tract lining and prolonged use may contribute to ulcers.

Glucocorticoids and DMARDs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs) may also be prescribed for the treatment of arthritis pain. Glucocorticoids are similar to cortisol, a natural hormone found in the body. The synthetic form can either be injected directly or taken as a pill to relieve pain caused by inflammation. When given as a treatment of choice, glucocorticoids are carefully monitored in order to minimize side effects.

DMARDs, such as hydroxycholorquine, methotrexate and azulfdine also control the inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis, effectively reducing swelling and pain. The only drawback about these drugs is that they take a while to reduce symptoms. Depending on the patient and the severity of the condition, DMARDs can take weeks or even months in order to produce satisfactory results.

There are also other medications used for the treatment of arthritis pain. These include topical pain relievers, salicylates, muscle relaxants, nerve blockers, antidepressants and narcotics. Make sure you understand the options available for the type of pain you are experiencing and always discuss any problems you might have with your doctor.

Other Ways to Treat Pain

You might think that the first thing a doctor would do is to prescribe painkillers to zap discomfort. While this might be one of the major components of your treatment for arthritis pain, it should not be the only approach. Let's take a look at several options that should be considered as a complement to conventional medications:

Diet and Exercise

Excessive weight can make arthritis pain worse, especially if the affected areas are the ankles, knees, hips and spine. It may benefit these areas more if a sensible diet and exercise program are used in order to lose weight gradually. Avoid foods that seem to make your symptoms worse and include only healthy food in your meals. Try to engage in active and productive activities that promote movement. You may need to take it easy on certain joints, but that doesn't mean you should lose it to arthritis.

Relaxation techniques

It would seem a little strange for a doctor to prescribe anti-depressants to patients, but this is often the case with those who suffer from terrible arthritis pain. Anti-depressants help relax and calm the body so the patient will be more emotionally equipped to handle the pain. Avoid feelings of depression by regularly using relaxation techniques to prevent anxiety and manage fatigue. Having pleasant thoughts and a positive attitude usually works well with arthritis patients as part of any conventional or alternative treatment.

Treatment for arthritis pain has come a long way and new ones are still being researched and discovered today. When treating pain for arthritis, try different approaches aside from conventional medication, such as lifestyle changes and modifications of your own emotional approach to the problem. Arthritis may still be incurable but pain can certainly be managed effectively.