Saturday, August 17, 2013

Finding New Options for Osteoarthritis Treatment

Osteoarthritis is a serious and painful condition. This degenerative disease of the joints can result in considerable pain, the loss of cartilage as well as varying levels of tenderness. Often this condition can become so serious that joint replacement becomes a necessary step. Of all the chronic pain conditions, osteoarthritis is ranks among the most painful. Currently, there are many options for osteoarthritis treatment, and in this article we will explore some of those options in greater depth.

The first and most important step that you should take is to make sure that you are working closely with your doctor. Osteoarthritis is not a condition that you should attempt to treat without the help of your doctor and other medical professionals. It is important to remember that this is a joint issue and an arthritis issue, as the name clearly indicates, and that means that inflammation is key aspect to this chronic and potentially debilitating condition.

Inflammation of the joints is a primary concern for those with osteoarthritis. Like other forms of arthritis, anti-inflammatory drugs like NSAIDS are often prescribed; however, there is some controversy about the long-term safety of using NSAIDs to treat inflammation. In particular, there is concern that such drugs used over long periods of time could impact the health of internal organs.

Since there is some concern regarding NSAIDs, other osteoarthritis treatment options are worth exploring. For example, there are natural alternatives that work well for treating inflammation. One of the first steps to take is to remove foods that can cause inflammation. A high-fat, high-sodium diet that is also high in chemicals and preservatives can add to weight gain and will put one at risk for diabetes.

If you are overweight or obese, you are placing a higher demand on your joints, and this could very well aggravate any arthritis condition. Thus, the second best step you can take in treating your osteoarthritis is to lose weight in a healthy fashion and keep the weight off permanently. Of course, this means adopting a healthy diet consisting primarily of fruits, vegetables and healthy protein choices.

The spice turmeric is one way to treat any inflammation issue, and it has also been shown to help fight a range of diseases and even shrink tumors. Likewise, foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as wild Alaskan salmon and sardines, are effective ways of treating inflammation as well.

Other options such as light exercise, approved by your doctor, and acupuncture also stand as options worth exploring as osteoarthritis treatment. Acupuncture was long viewed with skepticism by Western medicine, but medical studies have recently shown that acupuncture can be very effective at blocking pain.

Summary of Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis to Consider

1) NSAIDs (note: these drugs could come with long-term risks)

2) The spice turmeric

3) Omega-3 rich foods

4) Acupuncture

5) Light, doctor approved exercise

Conquering Arthritis - Mentally and Physically

Common Types of Arthritis

There are many forms of arthritis. They range from severely debilitating rheumatoid arthritis to common osteo-arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Over ninety percent of people over the age of fifty have some degree of oseto-arthritis. It is basically the wearing out of the joints over time, or plain and simple wear and tear. There are a lot of factors that determine when and how severe it will affect you, some factors you can control and some that you can't. Rheumatoid arthritis is less common, but much more destructive. It is a disease which the immune system attacks the joints for an unknown reason. The body treats the joints like invaders and slowly destroys them over time. It is unknown what causes rheumatoid arthritis and it can be severe. It can happen at any age and can stop and go into remission for no apparent reason. There are a lot of other forms of arthritis that are rare, but they all negatively affect the joints.


Osteoarthritis affects every mammal on the planet and every person will eventually develop it if the live long enough. It is the joints wearing out with age. The first sign of osteoarthritis is stiffness in the joints. This is due to the fluid (synovia) that separates the bones of the joints becoming less viable and breaking down. Over time the joints will get closer together and lose the viscosity of the fluid. Calcium will start to form on the ends of the bones and slowly start to form a bridge between the two bones that make up the joint. This process is called spurring. Eventually the joint will lose all the fluid that lubricates the joint and spurs will take over the entire joint. The bones will fuse together to form one big connection. This process takes time and it can start as early as late teens or it can start much later in life.

Causes of Osteoarthritis

There are a lot of factors that determine the age and rate when osteoarthritis will start. Some factors can be controlled and others cannot. Did you ever see people in their eighties that look and move like they're in their forties? Then you see someone in their fifties that look and move like they are ninety. This didn't happen by chance. Many things determined this, but they all occur over time. It's never to late to change, unless your dead! The first factor is genetics. This is handed down by your parents and their parents. You can't pick your parents so this is 100% not controllable. If your parents developed osteoarthritis at an early age, chances are you will too unless you take precautions. Trauma is another factor that isn't exactly controllable. The amount of trauma your body, particularly the joints, has had will speed up the degeneration process of osteoarthritis. Most football players have a high rate of osteoarthritis in their hips and knees at young ages due to the amount of lower body trauma they endured while playing football. Livelihood is not really controlled either, and it is another factor that contributes to arthritis. I'll give a couple of examples. Mail carriers that carry heavy mail bags on their shoulders will develop osteoarthritis in their spines at a much faster rate than most people. Years ago they were taught to switch sides regularly to prevent on side from receiving most of the stress. This helps, but it still doesn't eliminate the increased stress on the spine day after day. Another example are dentists. My father was a dentist and my sister is a dentist. When my father started to age he had a finger that was crooked. It was just his first finger (pointer finger) on his right hand. This was due to the constant pressure he placed on the instruments while working. Rheumatoid arthritis hits all the fingers so it wasn't rheumatism. Dentists also bend to one side all day. This places a lot of stress on one side of the spine. I recommend switching sides, but it is impossible for them to do this because most dentists aren't ambidextrous. Over time this will degenerate the mid back of most dentists. I'm a chiropractor and I stand all day. I'm developing arthritis in my knee. I also had severe knee trauma (surgery) in high school form sports.

Slow Osteo-Arthritis Down

Regular moderate joint motion is one thing that slows the degenerative process down. A moving joint is typically a healthy joint. Regular daily motion stimulates the fluid (synovia) of the joint and will nourish the joint. It is similar to the difference between a pond (dirty) and a stream (clean). A pond develops scum due to the lack of moving fresh water, but a stream in constantly moving fresh water in and removing the dirty water. The joints of the body act similarly to this. They get their nourishment from the fluid in the joints so if the fluid isn't circulating the joint wont get proper nourishment and will degenerate at a much faster rate. Daily stretching and moving the whole body through a full range of motion is recommended. People that work hard often times don't get enough full ranges of motion in their entire body. They stimulate certain areas too much and other areas not enough and they become imbalanced. There are a lot of methods to stimulate and stretch, but I feel yoga and pilates along with swimming are the best ways to stimulate and stretch the entire body. Proper alignment of the joints, especially the spine is crucial in preventing osteoarthritis. If the bones are mis-aligned it is common sense they will wear out faster. Like making sure your tires are in alignment, the vertebra move and can become mis-aligned. When vertebra are mis-aligned they become fixated and don't allow proper motion in the joints. Muscle spasms are the biggest reason why this occurs. When a muscle goes into spasm, it gets tight and will move the bones or compressing the joint. A pulled muscle can create havoc on the spine, short and long term. Regular chiropractic treatments prevent mis-alignments and reduce muscle spasms. Proper nourishment and fluids are another big factor. Joints have been found to degenerate at a faster rate if they aren't hydrated properly and they also have been found to improve if proper nutrients are given to them. Glucosamine Sulfate, Chondroitin Sulfate, MSM, and Hyaluronic acid along with Omega 3 fatty acids have been found to aid in joint function. I also recommend natural ant-infammatories such as ginger and turmeric for preventing harmful inflammation of the joints and soft tissue.

Conquering Arthritis, Mentally

I don't care what type of arthritis you may have, your mental attitude is the most important factor that will enable you to manage it and help you live a happy productive life. Even the worst cases of rheumatoid arthritis can go into remission. Without positive thinking and positive preparation it usually won't happen. Osteoarthritis effects everyone. Some people let it destroy who they are and others empower it. It doesn't have to become who you are. Everyone has an identity or a story. Don't let the first thing you think of when you imagine yourself be arthritis. If you let it control you it will eventually destroy you. Arthritis is manageable and it is not going to prevent you from enjoying your life. Take preparations and you will be fine. Associate yourself with active and supportive people that enjoy life and don't dwell on the negative things such as their ailing health. Positive thinking and positive living will change your life. Energy breeds more energy. The more energy you use the more your brain and body will produce. You just have to get it started. So get moving, nourish your joints and keep them in align.

Arthritis Treatment: New Trends in Gout Management

At a recent conference in Colorado, discussion of the optimal treatment for gout was a major area of discussion among rheumatologists.

It appears that the disease, while growing in incidence and prevalence is not being treated appropriately. Factors that seem to contribute to this phenomenon are: metabolic syndrome (the association of diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, elevated blood lipids), obesity, excessive alcohol ingestion, and the increased intake of high fructose containing beverages.

Roughly eight million Americans have the disease; yet, only three million are being treated. Another issue is noncompliance. Studies have shown that about half of patients with gout don't take their medicines.

Some important issues have been raised.

First, not all patients with an elevated serum uric acid (SUA) have gout and not everyone with an elevated SUA should be treated with uric acid lowering therapies because of potential side effects.

That being said, very elevated SUA levels should not be ignored because they are linked to high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and cardiovascular problems. Any level of 6.8 mgs/dl or higher is abnormal. Nowadays, laboratory "normal values" are higher than they were in the past because of the changing health status of Americans. More are obese and more have elevated SUA. They are the ones on whom the new "normal values" have been based. Does that make the "new normal" acceptable?

Absolutely not!

The Framingham study showed that people who had SUA levels higher than 9.8 mg/dl had a 22 per cent chance of getting gout within 5 years.

Clearly, instituting early treatment for a gout attack is wise. Among the drugs that work well include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, colchicine, and glucocorticoids. Sometimes, combinations of these drugs need to be used in order to break an attack.

SUA lowering treatments should not be started until the acute attack has been resolved.

One big mistake is that some physicians unfamiliar with gout will start uric acid lowering treatment at much too high a dose. This only increases the likelihood of drug toxicity without increasing the chances of successfully controlling the gout. The two most effective drugs available for lowering SUA currently are allopurinol and febuxostat (Uloric).

In patients where these drugs are ineffective, peguricase (Krystexxxa) is a viable option.

The way to treat gout is to start low and go slow with frequent monitoring of SUA level shooting for a target of less than 6.0 mgs/dl.

How to Treat Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease from osteoarthritis of the back can cause you extreme pain and suffering. There are a few ways whereby you can treat degenerative disc disease. Understanding what degenerative disc disease is, and what you can do, are important steps towards a better quality of life.

The chance of getting degenerative disk disease increases with age. Degenerative disc disease refers to a group of painful back conditions. Other types of diseases that can cause it are spinal stenosis and ankylosing spondylitis. It is usually caused by osteoarthritis of the spine, and it can be quite painful. If you have osteoarthritis of the spine, your pain comes from the vertebra becoming inflamed and irritated because of the compression of the disk. As your spine works to heal itself, small calcium stones are created on the spinal column. You will then experience painful attacks and a lack of mobility of the spinal will occur.

There are several treatment options if you have osteoarthritis of the spine. A popular OTC medication is paracetamol for pain. Codeine can be used in conjunction with paracetamol for added pain relief too. There are other prescription medications that are anti-inflammatory, which reduce pain. Steroids such as prednisone are one, but they cannot be taken on a long-term basis, especially for people with high blood pressure and heart disease. Side effects include bleeding ulcers and severe indigestion.

Steroids can also be taken as injections directly into the back for pain relief from osteoarthritis. A newer treatment in the injection form is using hyaluronic acid. Some medical studies have shown that it may push the body to make other cells that form cartilage in the back. Other studies on hyaluronic injection treatments theorize that it may help with lubrication between the spinal pads of the back. Only your doctor is qualified to tell you if they feel that using hyaluronic treatment may be beneficial for your pain management from osteoarthritis in your back.

It is thought that because osteoarthritis inhibits blood flow to the cartilage and muscles, taking glucosamine and chondroitin helps increase blood flow and maintain a healthier cartilage. These are food supplements that can be bought directly from over the counter. Other types of natural holistic treatments are taking avocado and soybeans, in either a pill form, or adding this to your diet in elevated concentrations. A few medical studies have shown that people who did add this to their diet experienced less pain, and not quite as much dependence on painkillers. Talk with your doctor if you feel that it may help with your painful osteoarthritis episodes.

Exercise is another good way to control pain and help with movement. Also, make sure that you control your weight too. Excess weight causes pressure on the back, and increases pain in the back.

Non-traditional therapies for degenerative disc disease caused by osteoarthritis are acupuncture and deep body massages. Acupuncture is believed to inhibit the body's pain receptors in the brain, and it thereby makes it easier for you to cope with the pain. Deep body messages relax tense muscles, and it can stress from pain. Many people have found relief from pain by using these two techniques for pain management by either using them independently, or in conjunction with each other. It is also thought that with acupuncture and deep body messages that pain fighting hormones are released into the body to dull the sensation of pain.

An excellent home remedy is to use a heat on the painful area. You may find that a moist heat is the best, but always use safety when applying heat from a heating pad for your back. Do not leave the heat on it for more than 30 minutes, and let your skin cool down. You do not want blisters. You can reapply heat as needed throughout the day, but make sure to rest between cool downs. If you don't muscle spasms can occur, and it will delay your healing time. If you can take aspirin for your pain because it is an anti-inflammatory, but remember it's also a blood thinner, and aspirin will raise blood pressure.

It can be depressing to be inflicted with degenerative disc disease. The best that you can do is try out a combination of methods to help you relieve yourself from pain. Hopefully one day there will be an effective and safe cure for your back.

Types of Arthritis - Knowing the Difference Makes a Difference

Having aches and stiff joints are sometimes a part of life. But if one notices that this goes beyond usual wear and tear or if it begins to interfere with the ability to live a normal, happy life, a type of arthritis may be the cause. Being able to identify what type of arthritis is the culprit will aide in the treatment and prevention of damage to joints.

23.1 million Americans have been diagnosed by doctors with arthritis. There are 2 main types of arthritis, osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, both are painful and can be debilitating but there are major differences.

Osteo-arthritis is also known as a degenerative arthritis, a syndrome which causes low-grade inflammation and pain in the joints. This type of arthritis is caused by the abnormal wearing of the cartilage that acts like a cushion inside joints. The synovial fluid which acts as a lubricant is also destroyed or decreased. The bone becomes less and less protected by the cartilage and lubricant causing pain during movement such as walking, it can even cause pain upon bearing weight like standing. Muscles may atrophy because of the lack of movement due to pain.

Osteo-arthritis is the most common form of arthritis and its main symptom is acute pain and occasional inflammation in joints. The large weight bearing joints such as the hips feet and spine are usually the first joints to be affected. In the fingers and smaller joints, bony lumps may form, limiting movement.

Diagnosis of osteo-arthritis is usually done through x-ray, allowing the doctor to see specific damage. Further testing through MRI or arthroscopy may be included. Treatment may include dietary supplements, topical rubs, NSAIDS, injections of glucocorticoid or hyaluronan, even possible joint replacement surgery.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto immune disease. It is chronic condition that causes the body's immune system to attack its own connective tissues such as the joints but can also affect other organs. Morning stiffness lasting 20 minutes or more, flu like symptoms, painful joints on both sides of the body, swollen joints and fatigue are some of the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

A blood test to screen for the rheumatoid factor (Rh) is usually taken to determine the diagnosis of RA. X-rays are also taken to reveal severity of the condition and damage to joints. Early detection of this disease is imperative for successful treatment.

While there is no known cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis, there are several avenues of treatment ranging from dietary supplements, anti-inflammatory medication, NSAID's, methotrexate and joint replacement surgery.

New discoveries and progress in medication is made each year in the field of arthritis treatment, from natural science to synthetic laboratory findings. Arthritis is a painful and debilitating disease if left untreated, but discomfort, inflammation and damage can be prevented if diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition in which the body attacks itself. The parts of the body most affected are the joints. In rheumatoid arthritis the body forms antibodies against antigens of the synovium. The synovium is a cellular coating that lines joint spaces. It normally secretes lubricants and helps ensure the integrity of the joint. However, when auto-antibodies bind to it the result is inflammation.

The inflammatory process gets out of control damaging not only the synovium, but also adjacent structures like cartilage and bone. After years of inflammatory changes the joints involved become deformed.

Clinically, rheumatoid arthritis typically begins as vague non-specific joint pain. In its earliest form it can be difficult to diagnose. Patients will often complain of other non-specific symptoms like fatigue and fever. The inflammatory response typically begins in the hands and feet. In the hands the metacarpophalangeal joints (ie: the first "knuckle") and proximal interphalangeal joints (ie: the second "knuckle") are most commonly involved. Interestingly, the distal interphalangeal joint (ie: the last "knuckle") is not commonly involved in rheumatoid arthritis.

After years of wear and tear on these joints several deformities occur. The two commonly seen ones are Boutonniere and Swan Neck deformities of the hands. In addition, "ulnar deviation" of the fingers can occur.

Symptoms may wax and wane, or disappear entirely for periods of time. Unfortunately, they almost always return. Eventually the wrists, ankles, elbows, and knees can also become involved. The disease is considered progressive. Treatment is designed to slow both the inflammatory process and joint destruction.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Eat Healthy and Do Exercise To Combat Arthritis

When you feel tremendous pain in your shoulder, back, joints or wrists, you may be suffering from arthritis. In such a condition you need medications as these pains are unbearable sometimes, causing even fainting in a person.

Arthritis may occur at any stage of life but the aged people suffer the most because of this. It's caused due to loss of bone mass, bone cartilage. Arthritis results in progressive disorder of spines and hips, shoulders, joints with loss of bone mass.

Arthritis is of two types, Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid and can be identified by inflammation, pain and cartilage loss in an individual.

No permanent cure is available for this but medication and precautions can be of great help sometimes. Doctors recommend NSAIDS, Non Steroidal anti inflammatory drugs in certain conditions. One can also go for arthritis cream. However, these creams are known to provide temporary relief. So, eat healthy and exercise to remain fit--- is the ultimate source of prevention and managing for arthritis affected people.

Arthritis is a disease which may be fought back with articulate life style.

o Doctors also recommend precautions and prevention for arthritis and these include calcium and vitamin D intake.

o To deal with arthritis you must stop puffing/smoking or intake of alcohol, which may enhance the problem.

o There are others precautions also you should take like doing light exercises, walking, jogging, cycling, etc. to remain free from joint locks and pain. Also you must consult your physiotherapist regularly when undertaking exercises related to arthritis.

o You can also go for acupuncture to get relief from pain. Acupuncture may be well used along with pain killers or NSAIDS (Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs)

o You must take good nutritional diet to keep yourself fit enough so that there remains sufficient supply of minerals in your body that prevents bone mass loss.

When your body hurts or you feel pain, your body is talking to you. And it might be arthritis. In such a case you need to take some steps in order to live a complete light even with a health condition like arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Not Just An Old Person's Disease

When referring to arthritis, you generally bring to mind the normal aging process that results in joint damage and inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis, however, is a form of arthritis that can strike the old and young alike. The symptoms are more widespread than the common "old age" arthritis. Fortunately, there are many successful treatment options available for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Some signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are similar to those of osteoarthritis while some symptoms are unique to the rheumatoid form. Like osteoarthritis, this arthritis affects the joints causing the cartilage, a rubbery substance whose main function is to protect the joints, to wear down.

This results in joint pain and inflammation. Those suffering from this arthritis can also have a loss of appetite, extreme fatigue and low grade fever. Rheumatoid arthritis is also a progressive disease which means symptoms get worse the longer you have the disorder. In adults symptoms generally begin between the ages of 40 and 60. Juvenile arthritis is a special classification of the disease that affects children younger than 16.

It is diagnosed by meeting certain criteria laid out by the American College of Rheumatology. These include morning stiffness lasting more than one hour, arthritis and swelling of three or more joints in a set of 14 specific joints/joint groups as well as arthritis of the hands.

The arthritis is also symmetric, meaning if you have it in your left knee, you will have it in your right knee also. Nodules, or firm raised lumps, are also a symptom. Those suffering from it generally also have a rheumatoid factor at least in the 95th percentile as well as evidence of joint erosion.

Unlike osteoarthritis, which is caused by the normal aging process, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body's immune system turns on the body. Researchers are unsure what causes the body's own immune system to mistake the body for a foreign substance. The immune system unleashes its attack on the joints, which results in inflammation and joint erosion.

Thanks to today's medical advances, however, there are several successful treatments available for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. These include disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARD's) which help stop the body's attack on itself.

Methotrexate, which is one of the more widely used of this class of drugs because it not only controls joint pain and stiffness, but also helps to prevent bone damage. New injectable DMARD's, often referred to as biologics, can also help keep the disease from becoming worse.

These medicines work by causing the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in the body to return to normal levels, thereby stopping or slowing the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. Unfortunately these injections are costly. Many patients are unable to afford them, and they are often not covered on most insurance plans.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a debilitating condition that worsens the longer you have it. If you suspect you might suffer from this form of arthritis, there are specially trained doctors who can create a treatment plan to help with the pain and inflammation. Drugs can also be prescribed which will help keep it from getting worse. There is help for your condition.

Guide to Scalp Psoriasis

What is Scalp psoriasis?

As the term suggests, scalp psoriasis is psoriasis involving the scalp. It is common and approximately half of all people with psoriasis have it on their scalp. The reason it deserves special mention is that it can be particularly difficult to treat and usually requires specifically formulated medicines.

Psoriasis in the scalp forms in the same way as in other parts of the body but the affect of the hair is to trap the scale and stop it being rubbed away as it is, for instance, with psoriasis on the elbow. The result is that the scale can quickly build up causing a thicker plaque which becomes more difficult to treat. This difficulty is compounded by the hair which also acts as a physical barrier obstructing the application of creams and ointments to the affected skin.

The net result can be stubborn thick scaly plaques which require specifically formulated scalp treatments.

What are the symptoms?

Scalp psoriasis causes redness and scaliness which may also involve the hairline, the forehead, behind the ears and the back of the neck. It can range from very mild with slight fine scaling to very severe crusted thick scaling covering the entire scalp which can in some cases cause hair loss during the flare, but will normally grow back.

A correct diagnosis of scalp psoriasis is essential in treating the condition as there are other skin disorders which may look similar such as seborrhoeic dermatitis. The difference being that scalp psoriasis scales appear fine with a silvery colour, whilst seborrhoeic dermatitis scales often are yellowish and greasy. One of the most frustrating symptoms is the constant shower of scale on to your collar and shoulders.

What is the treatment?

It should be mentioned that children can get scalp psoriasis too. Treatments will be much the same as used for adults.

There are many treatment options that can help scalp psoriasis and they all need to be used regularly. Treatments can be time consuming and it is important to select one that fits in with your lifestyle. On rare occasions scalp psoriasis has been known to have spontaneous remissions but can also remain on the scalp for lengthy periods of time

Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance

A principal source of information on psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Here is a list of topical treatments that you may find useful for scalp psoriasis:

Tar Products

Tar shampoos, gels, ointments and creams are commonly used to treat scalp psoriasis. They may be combined with other medications such as salicylic acid, to help remove scale, or coconut oil, to moisturise the skin. Tar is effective but it can stain clothing and jewellery and has a strong smell. As a result, some people dislike using it. The precise instructions for use will depend on the formulation of the product but tar products are usually massaged into the scalp, left in contact for a period of time, and then rinsed off. Clothes and bedding can be protected from staining by wearing a shower cap during the contact period.

Topical Steroids

These scalp products are usually formulated as liquids, gels, oils, foams, sprays or shampoo. They range from mild to very strong potency. They should not be used for long periods of time. Ideally, they should be used regularly for a few weeks to bring the psoriasis under control, and then gradually phased out, giving way to maintenance with a coal tar shampoo. Abrupt stopping of steroids can result in a rebound or worsening of psoriasis. It is not advisable to use steroid preparations on your face, other areas of sensitive skin such as under the breast and genitals and around the eyes, unless directed by your doctor. Most topical steroid medications are designed specifically for treating scalp psoriasis. These formulations are usually water and alcohol based which make them easier to wash out after treatment.

You can become resistant to some topical steroids used in the treatment of scalp psoriasis. If this happens consult your doctor for alternative medications. It should also be noted that it can take several months before such topical steroid medications will work again for skin that has become resistant.

Vitamin D Analogues

Vitamin D analogues are available in water and oil - based scalp formulations. They are usually applied once or twice a day and left in contact with the scalp. They do not smell or stain clothing, and are relatively easy to use. They can be used to bring the scalp psoriasis under control and maintain that control. Such medications should be confined to the scalp region only as it can irritate unaffected skin particularly the face. It may be advisable if you think you are prone to sensitivities to test a small patch before applying it to the entire scalp. Avoid contact with the eyes.

Vitamin A Derivative (topical retinoids)

These can be applied as creams or gels for the treatment of psoriasis and can be used in the treatment of scalp psoriasis too. These medications may be less irritating for the people with dry or sensitive skin. To avoid the drying out of skin too much and to reduce irritation, applying a moisturiser 30 minutes before these are used may help. These medications can be used on the face but should never be applied around the eye region and treated skin should not be covered.

Antimicrobial Treatment

If bacterial or yeast infections are present scalp psoriasis can become worse. A crusting scalp together with scaling and/or lymph nodes in the neck are swollen, this may indicate to your doctor that antimicrobial treatment will be necessary as there is infection present.

Mild scalp psoriasis can respond well to treatment with anti fungal shampoos that will help to reduce the yeast infection. Anti fungal shampoos may have to be used once or twice a week thereafter to maintain results.

Other things affecting the scalp

These can include scalp acne, infestations, fungal infections and alopecia. Make sure you get a correct diagnosis before starting any treatments. your doctor or healthcare provider will provide appropriate advice.

Ultra violet light

Successful outcome for using UV light treatments can be variable on the scalp because the hair blocks UV light from penetrating the scalp. It works best on shaved heads. Natural sunlight may also help again if your head is shaved or very thin. It is therefore not surprising that this is not a first line treatment.


Dithranol creams are effective in scalp psoriasis but like coal tar can be difficult to use. Dithranol is usually applied to the scaly plaques and left in contact for up to 30 minutes before being rinsed out. It needs to be applied with great care as it can irritate and cause purple staining of blonde or red hair. Dithranol can burn non affected skin. Lipid stabilised Dithranol (Micanol), if used correctly, can reduce staining. It should also be noted that dithranol will stain clothing and baths, showers and wash basins. Extra attention is needed.

Medicated Shampoos

There are many coal tar and non coal tar medicated shampoos for treating scalp psoriasis at your local chemist. For further advice ask your pharmacist who may be able to give you further guidance. You should also bear in mind that medicated shampoos are designed for the scalp not the hair so the use of a regular shampoo and conditioner after your scalp treatments will reduce the smell of any unpleasant medicated shampoo and leave your hair shiny and manageable.

Scalp psoriasis can get worse if it becomes infected with bacteria or yeasts and sometimes medicated shampoos with antifungal medicines can be useful in reducing the plaques.

The choice of which of these treatments is best for you is a personal one. It is a good idea to shop around and try different treatment options. In this way you can discover which one suits you best.

Some Useful Tips

Scalp psoriasis may progress down onto the forehead, neck and around the ears. These areas can be treated with the same products you use for your scalp only if indicated to use on such areas. Be careful about your face. Strong steroids should not be used on the face and dithranol can stain and burn facial skin. Avoid getting medication in the eyes.

A lot of product treatments will contain salicylic acid, known as a keratolytic. This ingredient aims to loosen psoriasis scales so they can be washed away more easily. This ingredient will be contained in both OTC and prescription products mostly found in shampoos and soaps. It should be noted that treatment with high concentrations of this ingredient can cause irritation and used over large areas of skin the body may absorb it leading to the weakening of hair shafts, causing them to break and leading to temporary hair loss. Hair should return to normal after stopping the treatment. Such products may be easier to apply at night and the head covered with a shower cap to avoid messiness and more convenient as they can be time consuming at the beginning of the day before going to work.

Softening and loosening thick scale makes it easier for topical medications to penetrate plaques and clear them. Soaking the scalp in warm water can help loosen scales which can then be removed using a comb. But be gentle - do not break the skin.

Round or fine tooth combs or brushes are generally used to remove psoriasis scales. Comb the scalp gently with a light circular motion holding the comb flat against the scalp. Loosen the scale gently then you can shampoo to flush the scale from the scalp and out of the hair. A hairdryer can be used to blow additional scales away from the scalp and the hair. Do not remove scales too fiercely as this can break the skin leading to infection. The Koebner response can occur to damaged psoriasis skin, this can also occur if you scratch or scrape your scalp roughly. If any treatments you use aggravate your psoriasis and scalp always consult your doctor. Care should be taken when removing the scales and applying topical medications so as to avoid the Koebner response.

Never use a shower cap or other occlusion method when using prescription scalp medications unless specified by your doctor.

Scalp Itch - As mentioned refraining from scratching and picking of psoriatic scales will reduce infection and the Koebner response. Over the counter medicated shampoos can help in alleviating itching. Please speak to your pharmacist about this.

Combination Medications - The treatment of psoriasis should be tailor made to each person. A doctor may try various combinations of medications before finding what works for you. Good communication between you and your doctor and good compliance will ensure optimum results for you. Always be aware that when medications are combined they may activate adverse reactions. By being aware of this and consulting your doctor if you are unsure will reduce the likelihood of further discomforts.

Another alternative is to soften and loosen the scales is to use oils, lotions, creams or ointments applied to a damp scalp providing they do not cause you irritation. To add to their effectiveness a hot towel placed around the head to act as an occlusion will also help loosen and soften the scales. The heating of olive oil and application to the scalp and wrapping your head in a towel for a long period of time may also help or to speed the process up applying the olive oil and then sitting under a hairdryer. Be careful not to burn the scalp with too much intensive heat.

If you are prone or suffer from dry hair conditioners and cream rinses may help to minimise and moisturise the hair and scalp. There is no evidence to suggest the use of hair dyes, hair sprays or perms will affect your scalp, however please advise your hairdresser before embarking on any treatments so that they can apply patch tests to see if any of their products will irritate your scalp or psoriasis lesions. They may be able to use gentler products. If you have the need to use head lice shampoo preparations it is unlikely you will have a reaction but they can be irritating and great care should be taken not to get the solution into open cuts or lesions or extensively scratched skin.

Hair Matters

It can be highly embarrassing for you finding or going to a new hairdresser or barber. If they are reputable and understanding they should have a knowledge of conditions such as scalp psoriasis and therefore will be able to best advise you on styles, colourings and hair products. It is always worth making general enquiries of friends and relatives about local hairdressers or contacting the Hairdressers' Council for further advice that may be useful. Some hairdressers are also happy to visit your home if you would prefer not to go to a salon.

When applying scalp products part the hair and hold it in place while you drip the oil or lotion directly onto your scalp. Repeat this process until the whole of the affected area has been treated. Conditioners and cream rinses to help combat dry hair can be used after you have completed using your medication. Hair dyes and sprays do not usually irritate the scalp in scalp psoriasis. However, it may be sensible to test a cosmetic product on a small area of your scalp before committing to it.

This information has been prepared by the Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance and should not be used as a replacement for advice from your healthcare professionals. Always consult a doctor too. Bear in mind however, that the treatments used should never be worse than the psoriasis itself. If this is the case consult your doctor for further advice or alternative treatment options.

It is also important to realise that good patient compliance and experimentation to find an effective treatment plan which may include treatments such as topical medications and ultra violet UV light can often be combined and rotated depending on psoriasis resistance to repeated medicinal use.

With all treatments it can take at least eight weeks until you get adequate control of the plaques. Once you have achieved this it is important to maintain any improvement, and this can usually be done with regular use of a tar shampoo.

You are strongly advised to speak to your doctor or health care provider if you think you are affected by any conditions or items mentioned in this article.

Common TMJ Causes

TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) is a disorder that can affect people of all ages. It is a condition that develops when the Temporomandibular joint (the joint that connects the person's jawbone to their skull) does not function properly. Some people are affected on both sides of their head, while others experience problems only on one side.

People who have TMJ can experience a variety of different symptoms. Some of the most common include having a stiff jaw, constant ear pain, or pain that will not easily go away without some type of treatment. Many have problems when they are eating since the pain is often generated when they are chewing their food. Others may have consistent and nagging headaches and they are usually hard to treat and identify. Although these are some of the more common symptoms, there are other symptoms that have been reported by patients that have this condition.

Unfortunately, there are many identifiable causes of TMJ and they include an improper bite, the clenching or grinding of teeth, various kinds of arthritis, injuries, mistakes made during a dental or medical procedure, the overuse of the jaw, and stress. These TMJ causes can make TMJ disorder much more likely than what would normally be expected.

As stated above, an improper bite is one of the main causes of TMJ, since the improper bite makes the person place excess stress on their chewing muscles. The chewing muscles are adversely affected because the individual's teeth are lined up incorrectly when they are eating. When this condition is not treated, the individual can experience a certain amount of pain along with muscle spasms around their jaw area. These alignment problems can also lead to the person's jaw sliding out of its socket.

The clenching and grinding of teeth can also cause this condition, especially because the clinching and grinding can wear away the individual's cartilage. This means, when the cartilage is worn down, the bone is rubbed on bone and it creates the symptoms of TMJ. Unfortunately, grinding of teeth normally occurs when the individual is asleep and they may not be aware that they are doing it. Some of the symptoms of grinding can be identified, however, by jaw pain and ear pain that cannot be easily explained. Dentists can also identify problems with grinding and clenching by examining the teeth for wear and tear signs.

In addition to clenching and grinding, arthritis is also one of the causes of TMJ. Degenerative arthritis and osteoarthritis in the jaw area are two of the types of arthritis that can lead to TMJ, specifically because they can cause the jawbone to be displaced or dislocated. When the jawbone is dislocated, the individual can begin hearing popping, grating and clicking sounds and they can also experience a lot of pain when they open or close their mouth. Rheumatoid arthritis is also a major issue for many. Some of these individuals have a higher risk of not being able to move their jaw at all.

Some dental and other medical procedures can be responsible for causing TMJ. For instance, if a patient has to have a breathing tube inserted into their mouth, the jaw is often fixed in a certain position for an extended amount of time. When this occurs, the patient can suffer from the overuse of that jawbone and TMJ may be the result.

Stress is also listed as a common cause of TMJ. This is one of the contributing factors because it can make an individual involuntarily tighten their facial muscles and jaw muscles, while they are also clenching their teeth together.

Once the person has identified the cause of TMJ, they can search for a viable solution. This is a very important step because the treatment that the person receives is based on the actual cause of the problem. For example, if the cause of the problem is an improper bite, the dentist can evaluate the problem and they may recommend a mandibular position device. Normally, when the doctor prescribes this type of device, the patient is instructed to wear them for a short timeframe in order to relieve the symptoms and pain that they are experiencing. On the other hand, if TMJ is caused by stress, the physician will usually recommend relaxation as well as other stress relieving techniques.

Arthritis Treatment: How Does Gout Progress?

Gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in men past the age of 40. It is a metabolic condition due to an over-accumulation of uric acid. This situation occurs because of two factors. The first is an inability to excrete uric acid fast enough. The second is an overproduction of uric acid which is a byproduct of the metabolism of foods containing a substance called purines.

As one might imagine this process develops over time. Uric acid accumulates to the point where there is oversaturation of the substance in joint fluid and other body tissues. This oversaturation eventually causes deposits of monosodium urate to accumulate. Over the course of many years, these crystals form deposits called "microtophi" which are a mixture of monosodium urate, fibrous tissue, and different kinds of inflammatory cells. Theses microtophi form on the surface of the joint lining (synovium) as well as on the cartilage.

When a certain critical point is reached, the first gout attack occurs. This is the beginning of the phase termed "acute intermittent gout." Acute attacks are separated by a symptom free-interval. This symptom free interval is called the "intercritical period." The intercritical period can last for months to years.

Even though early gout attacks can be successfully treated, monosodium urate crystals still remain inside joints and cause low grade chronic inflammation. This causes damage to the joints.

As acute intermittent gout continues, the attacks become more frequent and tend to last longer. Other joints may become involved as well. The length of attacks can vary. Mild attacks last between a few hours up to a few days. Severe attacks can last many weeks. Obviously, the quicker the attacks can be diagnosed and treated, the shorter the attacks will last.

As further progression takes place, the intercritical period is no longer symptom free.

This has now become the stage of chronic gout. Patients have chronic stiffness and pain in many joints. When gout affects multiple joints, it can be mimic other types of arthritis. In fact when it affects multiple joints in a symmetric manner, it can be confused with rheumatoid arthritis. Significant joint damage and kidney damage can occur now.

Patients with chronic gout often have other associated conditions such as obesity, elevated blood levels, diabetes, and hypertension. This constellation of co-morbid conditions is referred to as the "metabolic syndrome."

Treatment of gout consists of aborting the acute attack as well as dealing with the consequences of uric acid overload by using medications that can suppress uric acid production.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Over-The-Counter Treatment For Arthritis in Dogs

Arthritis in dogs is a painful condition which is the result of bone joint damage and deterioration. Dog arthritis is as common as one in five dogs over eight years of age. A dog's arthritis pain can range from very mild to severe.

There are several different ways in which arthritis in dogs is treated to them continue and maintain a normal life. The most common form of dog arthritis treatment would be dog arthritis pain relief medications.

It is wise to change your dog's diet to prevent further deterioration of bone joints due to arthritis. It's recommended that you feed your dog quality dog food without any unnecessary additives, wheat, corn or soy. Whole grains tend to promote bone joint inflammation and aggravate your dog's arthritis.

It's best to get your dog on a healthy and balanced diet since any excess weight will only add to the stress on your dog's body and bones furthering any inflammation due to arthritis. Make sure you get your do enough exercise. Swimming for dogs is often recommended to help relieve pain from arthritis in dogs.

Never give your dog ibuprofen as this can be toxic and fatal is ingested by dogs.

If your dog has arthritis pain then you can get over-the-counter dog arthritis meds for pain relief such as FlexPet. For severe arthritis pain, you need to consult with a vet to find out if any prescription arthritis medications for your dog would be necessary.

Dog arthritis is no joke and can be painful and crippling to your pet. If your dog is showing any signs, you need to take the proper steps now to help prevent further damage which may lead to surgery.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Arthritis is known as the painful inflammation and stiffness of joints in the body. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, painful, autoimmune disease of the joint that destroys, deforms, and disables movement of joints altogether. It is caused by the infection in the immune system. That is, the anti-bodies attack their own tissues, mistaking them for foreign bodies. It may gradually affect other organs of the body, too. Hence, it is known as autoimmune disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis can make a healthy individual a life-long patient at any age. It may be a genetic or non-genetic disease. It appears in several stages. That is, initially a patient may feel only pain caused by the inflamed joints. Gradually, the affected lining of the joints, called synovial lining, starts thickening. When the condition becomes severe, the inflamed joint and surrounding area release a fluid or enzyme that destroys the flexible soft tissues, the cartilages, and bones. This changes the original shape of the joints. The patient finds this stage very painful. He or she is left with stiff and deformed joints and is literally unable to move. The small things that a person once did with ease are no longer possible for them. For instance, lifting a pen is virtually a painful act.

Rheumatoid arthritis can affect any joint. But studies report that it begins from smaller joints such as the joints in the fingers. It has also been found that it affects the joints simultaneously. For instance, an individual complaining of pain in the wrist experiences it in both left and right wrists.

The pain is a very common feature. But if the pain is a prolonged one and is followed by stiffness, it is a matter of concern. Some of the symptoms identified with rheumatoid arthritis include pain and stiffness upon waking and pain after prolonged rest. Additionally, individuals may also face difficulty in standing up after being seated or lying down in bed for a long time. They might have symptoms of flu and weakness or fatigue. The individuals may lose weight because of low appetite, turn anemic, and often may be depressed and stressed. They are found to have sweaty palms and feet, and lesser flexibility in moving. In some persons, skin ulcers and visible lumps or rheumatoid nodules are also reported. As such, the health of the individual declines and it is necessary to take support from others for daily activities.

Since rheumatoid arthritis also affects organs in acute stages, the patients can become anemic (low in red blood cells), develop dry mouth and eyes, and have inflamed spleen and lining in the lungs. In some persons, the disease flares up after a prolonged time.

Psoriatic Arthritis IBS - Find Out the Alarming Connections Between These Conditions

The Debilitating Symptoms of IBS

Often times, Irritable Bowel Syndrome can cause some disabling symptoms such as consistent diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, etc. It can also cause pain in the muscles and joints as a result of the histamines that result from the immune system's defense mechanism against antigens that reach your gut via the Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Process of the Leaky Gut Syndrome

The Leaky Gut Syndrome occurs when the yeast in your gut overgrows beyond normal amounts and mutate to drill holes in your gut. The food particles from the consumed foods, would then enter your bloodstream through these holes. The foods or antigens are seen as a foreign substance and begins to attack them resulting in histamines.

Skin Problems and the Solution

With the yeast overgrowth and the histamines being present, this can quickly result in eczema and/or psoriasis being present. The most important thing to do as a result of these chronic skin conditions, is to keep your skin moisturized at all times. Ensure that you use a thicker type of cream that is considered for extreme dry skin. Use this cream on your body immediately after you dry yourself after taking a shower. This will keep the moisture in your skin. Similarly, if you see that your skin is peeling at any point in time, ensure to keep a container of cream around to re-moisturize the dry areas on your body. In countries where the air is extremely dry, ensure that you keep a closer eye on your skin to prevent it from over-drying.

A Bucket of Problems

For arthritis problems, make sure that you try to keep rigorous activities to a minimum. Take pain medications only when it is truly necessary. It is evidently clear that there is a connection between psoriasis, eczema, arthritis, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. IBS often being the causative factor for all of these conditions.

Tips Provided

A change to your daily diet as well as the introduction of probiotics, will do wonders in minimizing the occurrences of psoriasis, eczema, arthritis and other IBS caused conditions.

Got Osteoarthritis? Don't Worry, So Does Everyone Else Your Age

Osteoarthritis is a recurring disease caused by the deterioration of joint cartilages. It is actually the most common form of arthritis. The deterioration is mainly due to the years of wear and tear of the joints where the body's ability to form new bone margins between bone connections and cartilages have significantly decreased. Osteoarthritis is common in the phalanges and other joints found in the knees and hips.

As a common joint disease, osteoarthritis is widespread for both males and females. Typically, this disease starts to appear at the age of 40 and may get worse as one gets older. In a number of cases, osteoarthritis can cause serious handicap to people as it can decrease the dexterity of the fingers or toes and the mobility of hips, knees and elbows; in fact, osteoarthritis is second only to heart ailments when it comes to work-related disabilities.

Symptoms of osteoarthritis include deep pain in the joints especially after heavy exercise or excessive movement. However, the pain can subside after ample rest. If you suffer from osteoarthritis, you may also experience stiffness in the joints during the morning and after doing heavy exercise. And hearing or feeling that your joints are grating as you move can be considered normal if you have osteoarthritis.

The bad news about osteoarthritis is that it could be permanent as there is no known cure for it. However, there are many ways to relieve its symptoms. Medical attention pertaining to this disease is focused on soothing the pain that accompanies it. As of the moment, the most effective approach to relieving the osteoarthritis pain is to take oral pain pills. Some topical creams are also used to help alleviate pain.

Then, if ordinary analgesic and topical creams are not enough, anti-inflammatory drugs without steroidal derivatives can also be used. For extreme cases, injections with non-sulfated form of polysaccharides, a type of complex carbohydrates, can help in lubricating connective tissues like your aging joints. A process called visco-supplementation together with other surgical treatments, have increasingly become popular especially for osteoarthritis in the knees. But remember, all these measures just deal with the pain and in no way can these cures improve the principal disease which is osteoarthritis.

Instead of totally depending on synthetic medication, osteoarthritis sufferers must also aim to lose weight and do regular exercises. Weight can be a major factor in the overall wear and tear of joints, while adequate exercise can improve the strength of most connective tissues. As for your exercise, you can also add yoga movements. The twists and turns that are characteristic of yoga are proven to build flexibility and strength to connective tissues, plus they can also put a stop to stiffness in your muscles and joints.

Other pain solutions include alternative approaches. Foremost among the alternative means of relieving osteoarthritis pain is acupuncture. In acupuncture, small needles are inserted into certain points of the body. When these points are stimulated, the flow of energy in the body becomes more efficient, thereby releasing substances like serotonin and endorphins which can soothe osteoarthritis pain among other things.

Finally, don't forget traditional hot and cold compress. Rotating hot pads and ice packs on your aching joints can also provide some remedy for osteoarthritis pain. This is similar to the way athletes take care of their injuries sustained in a match or training session. Although the effects can be short-lived, hot and cold compress sure beats grinding your teeth in pain.

If you are suffering from osteoarthritis, you should consult with your doctor. You can also use supplements like Phosoplex to relieve the pain and put you back in motion. For more information about this product, you can visit

Arthritis Treatment: Disturbing Trends and Possible Promise for Osteoarthritis of the Knee?

A number of recent studies have pointed out a disturbing trend. The first showed that the prevalence of knee pain has increased over the last 20 years, independent of age or body mass index. What was surprising is that this was not accompanied by an increasing incidence of osteoarthritis noted on x-ray.

Another study- probably more disturbing- indicated that only a few years ago, between 300,000 and 350,000 knee replacement surgeries were performed annually. Today, that number has risen to an astonishing 500,000. And within 10 years, some estimate there could be as many as 3.2 million annual knee replacement surgeries.

What's more surprising is that this operation is being done on a much younger population group... boomers under the age of 60.

While the technology is improving, it is still worrisome because the "shelf-life" of replacements is still unknown. What that means is revision procedures- replacements of the replacements will have to be done conceivably two and three times during the course of a given person's life.

That exposes the patient to a number of potential complications.

So what can be done?

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

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

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

Why OA develops is still poorly understood. Since investigators have difficulty figuring out how the disease develops, it is no surprise that the treatments for the condition are relatively inadequate.

Symptomatic treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, analgesics, braces, physical therapy, exercise, injections of glucocorticoids and viscosupplements, can buy time they do not restore articular cartilage.

There needs to be a treatment that bridges the gap and possibly may forestall the need for knee replacement.

In the latter part of the 20th century, work on adult mesenchymal stem cells, cells with the ability to differentiate into connective tissue were found to be an integral component of connective tissue repair.

These cells are present in a number of areas including the bone marrow, fat, deciduous teeth (baby teeth), and the periosteum (outside lining) of bone.

Increasing number of anecdotal reports, case histories, and small population studies (Wei N, Beard S, Delauter S, Bitner C, Gillis R, Rau L, Miller C, Clark T. Guided Mesenchymal Stem Cell Layering Technique for Treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Knee. J Applied Res. 2011; 11: 44-48) have confirmed the potential value of mesenchymal stem cells as a viable treatment for osteoarthritis.

Quite obviously, there need to be large multi-center controlled studies to validate these findings and it is hoped they will be offered in the near future.

Arthritis Pain Management

Arthritis pain management is a constant routine for those who suffer from Osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis, commonly known as arthritis, is the most common form of arthritis. The condition unfortunately is degenerative, meaning it continues to worsen over time and normally begins during middle age. The condition causes inflammation, which in turn causes the joint to swell, with pain and limited movement.

The pain can be quite severe especially the weight bearing joints such as the hips and knees. Joints that have arthritis seem to react negatively to extreme cold temperatures and rainy weather. Those with arthritis say their joints ache and hurt more. Arthritis pain management is often a process, because simply taking prescription pain medication, long-term, is never a good idea due to the side effects and addiction potential.

Since long-term use of prescription drugs and over the counter drugs is not the best option, a person with this condition must find daily ways in which to control their arthritis pain.

Diet, Herbs, and Exercise

It is no secret that the food we eat impacts our health. This has been scientifically proven, so it makes sense that the foods you consume could greatly reduce overall pain. This includes a well-balanced diet:

- High fiber foods, because this helps reduce inflammation, which is what normally causes the pain in the first place.

- Eat food such as fish or salmon because they contain omega fatty acids, which reduce inflammation and pain. If you do not like fish, you can take gel caps, but make sure they are a single source such as salmon oil or flaxseed oil.

- Reducing the amount of saturated fat and sugars keeps the body from gaining weight, and additional weight can make the pain worse especially if your arthritis is in your hips or knees.

- Cold and heat packs work well to decrease the swelling, which lowers the pain. Alternate between heat and cold applications for the best outcome

- Take ginger extract because it contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help keep the pain at bay.

- Glucosamine is also a wonderful product to take for controlling pain by increasing the ability to move the joint more freely.

- Exercise such as waking, yoga, stretching, and biking are all very good activities to engage in to reduce the pain long-term.

Other ways to manage the pain of arthritis includes keeping stress at a minimal level. Everyone has stress, but extreme stress can cause the arthritic joints to hurt more because stress naturally depletes the body of nutrients and in turn pain increases.

Final Thoughts

You may have daily pain from arthritis, but it is possible to manage the pain through exercise, diet, reducing stress, and adding useful herbs. Many people that have an arthritic joint assume it is best to keep it still and not move it, however, this is incorrect. If you do not move the joint, it continues to swell and then makes movement quite difficult. Keeping the joint moving helps the blood circulate and helps to reduce pain.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How to Decrease Gout Symptoms and Arthritis Symptoms

You've heard the expression "you are what you eat"; but unfortunately that is the case with gout symptoms and arthritis symptoms. The good news is that there are a healthy number of delicious foods that will combat both of these. True, there are many delicious foods that you will need to steer clear of; but hopefully, with enough of the proper foods in you (and maybe a little splurge now and then...very little) you can reach a happy medium.

How to relieve gout symptoms

Eating the right foods is just as important as staying away from the wrong foods. A diet high in omega 3 fatty acids goes a long way to decrease gout symptoms; but the fats from dairy products work in just the opposite way. Purines are the enemy (as is uric acid), which makes sense considering that they go hand in hand. Fresh fruits and veggies are highly recommended for both sufferers of gout and arthritis. Certain veggies are on the 'to- be-avoided' list but overall; celery, carrots and almost all citrus fruits have pectin in them. Pectin is essential for the relief of arthritis symptoms in that it encourages joint flexibility.

Oh and by the way...

Symptoms of arthritis are actually treated with most of the foods used to treat gout. Onions, for instance, are one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. Not only are they beneficial to sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis and an essential part of a gout diet; but they contain strong antibiotic qualities and are good for sufferers of cardiac issues as well. If you could get the vitamin C necessary for the treatment of gout symptoms and an analgesic to help relieve symptoms of arthritis and one tasty food, would you eat it? Of course you would.

Fortunately, this is exactly the case with sweet cherries. No, not the Maraschino cherries that you drop in your old-fashioned (cocktail)! God only knows what's been done to those. The fresh sweet cherries are what we are referring to. Sweet cherries are not your cup of tea? That's okay, because sour cherries (instead of vitamin C) offer your body vitamin A which can help relieve the inflammation involved with arthritis and the pain of gout. These particular cherries go one step further by working overtime (with their anti-oxidants) to "roto rooter" out your arteries that are all clogged up as a result of an overabundance of uric acid.

Maybe there's a lesson here... It's better to be sour than sweet!

Rheumatoid Arthritis - The Basic Effects of Reiki Therapy

If you are tired of trying treatments for rheumatoid arthritis then here is an alternative solution for you. Reiki therapy is a different approach to rheumatoid arthritis that is being used by people wanting a change from ineffective conventional methods of treatment. It has no harmful side effects like conventional medicine and has the potential to make you feel better.

What is Reiki therapy?
It is the transfer of life energy from the therapist to the patient. It is transferred by light touching of the hands over the entire body or by raising the hands directly over the patient. This is just the basic concept. The principle of Reiki therapy is to treat a disease by unblocking spiritual and emotional blocks that may be causing a disease. This is done by unlocking energy and transferring it in the body. It works on a similar principle to acupuncture but no needles are used.

How can Reiki therapy help me?
• It helps you to relax and feel better both mentally and physically. It will put you in a state of peace and harmony. It will also energize your body.
• If you are in severe pain Reiki therapy can help to decrease it. This is because this treatment helps your body to relax and allows you to absorb energy to combat pain.
• When you are relaxed and have more positive energy your body will have more chances of healing itself.
• It will help your body get into balance and function better. When your body is stronger you will find it has more resistance to disease and can help to decrease the symptoms of arthritis naturally.
• It will relieve stress. Stress aggravates any disease that you have especially a painful chronic one like rheumatoid arthritis. When you relax and are stress free your body will have less pain and it can help decrease inflammation.

How can I get started? You can look up Reiki therapy on Google and you will find many websites advertising this therapy. Check out these places and find some that are in your locality. Make sure that they are experts in the field. Do your research before attending sessions.

Bear in mind that to be effective you will need several sessions until your body is working in harmony with itself. It can only be effective if you are ready to receive the energy from the therapist and come with a positive attitude. Reiki therapy can also be used with aromatherapy to enhance its effectiveness.

Natural Remedies For Treating Arthritis in Dogs


Arthritis is one of the most common afflictions for dogs; it affects one in five dogs in the United States. Arthritis is a debilitating condition which causes inflammation and pain in a dog's joints, and usually affects elbows, hips, shoulders, back and neck. It can affect one or more joints and can be present in both young and old dogs alike. Because of their great size and weight large/giant breeds are the most prone to developing arthritis.

Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs

The most common symptoms for arthritis in dogs are:

1. Favoring a limb/limping
2. Difficulty sitting or standing
3. Sleeping more or restless sleep
4. Stiff or sore joints
5. Unwilling to get up, run, jump, or climb stairs
6. Weight gain
7. Less interest in play/not alert
8. Irritable, crying or whimpering
9. Lack of appetite

If one or more of these symptoms are present, make an appointment to see your dog's veterinarian. Your dog's veterinarian can perform an arthritis evaluation consisting of a physical exam and x-rays. Additionally, if your vet doesn't suggest it, request a blood panel. The blood panel might detect a disease such as Lyme disease, which has some arthritis-like symptoms.

Natural Therapies

If your dog is suffering from arthritis, first evaluate his weight and diet. Fido's extra pounds are adding to the stress on his joints and many dog foods contain ingredients, which will make the arthritis worse. Start, by cutting back on those table scraps and unnecessary treats and taking a short daily walk. Even just ten minutes a day will shed pounds and improve circulation.

Now let's take a closer look at what you're feeding your dog. Are you feeding a high quality chemical-free food? I recommend Canine Caviar. No matter what you feed your dog make certain it doesn't contain preservatives, food colorings, wheat, corn, or soy products. These ingredients are not good for dogs. Furthermore, avoid feeding your dog grains; grains tend to increase joint inflammation.

While we're on the subject of food, celery is a vegetable that can help with your dog's joints. If you give this a try, you'll probably have to be sneaky. Try using a food processor and chopping it into very small pieces before mixing it with your dog's food.

Over the counter supplements can also help with a dog's arthritis. Studies have shown that glucosamine, chondrotin sulfate and omega three fatty acids are all helpful in treating the symptoms of arthritis. Glucosamin and chondrotin sulfate can be purchased in powdered form and fish oil capsules are a good source of omega three fatty acids.

Non-traditional Therapies

Exercise and Physical therapy have also been shown to alleviate many arthritic symptoms. Swimming is a great exercise for your dog, and it doesn't put a strain on their joints. If you have a small dog you can use a bath tub as a therapy pool, but be vigilant and for safety don't leave your small dog unattended. If your dog isn't fond of water don't force them to swim, regular walks are still a good source of exercise.

Another effective means to combat canine arthritis is acupuncture. Utilized for centuries in Eastern Medicine, acupuncture is starting to become a widely accepted practice in Western Society. It has been shown to dramatically improve a variety of health concerns in dogs. Talk to your veterinarian to learn if acupuncture is right for your pet.

To help maintain joints and connective tissues add a powdered Vitamin C supplement to your dog's food. Not only does Vitamin C maintain joints it will also combat further degradation of joints already plagued by arthritis. Avoid plain ascorbic acid, because it can cause your dog to have an upset stomach, instead use sodium ascorbate. If you notice loose stool after starting a regimen of Vitamin C cut back the dosage.

Dosage recommendations based on breed size.
Small= 500-1000mg
Med-Large= 1000-2000mg
Giant = 2000-4000mg

What to avoid?

Never try to home medicate your dog with medications meant for humans. Certain medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be toxic to a dog. If your veterinarian prescribes a prescription medication for your dog strictly follow their dosage suggestion. Remember, that regardless of the treatment option(s) you choose, it could take weeks for any remedy to make a difference. Be diligent and make caring for your dog's arthritis a habit.

How to make your arthritic dog's life better?

There are also several environmental changes you can make to your dog's lifestyle. Here are some things you can do almost immediately to help alleviate arthritis pain. Avoid activities that strain your pet's joints. Purchase or build a dog ramp to assist your pet in getting access to those difficult to reach places like cars/trucks, beds, and stairs. Help to reduce the strain on your dog's neck and back when they eat and drink by raising or purchasing a stand to elevate your dog's food and water dishes.

Keep your dog warm. Cold and damp air aggravates arthritic joints. Purchase a high quality pet bed that will help to keep your dog sleeping warm and comfortable while reducing stiffness, aches, and pains after sleeping. If you usually keep your dog outdoors consider purchasing an insulated dog house or better yet welcome them inside. Even just petting your dog can help your dog to feel better. Be a friend to your best friend.

Osteoarthritis Solutions - 7 Tips To Coping With Arthritis

Coping with arthritis is a massive challenge for several million people every day. Making changes in your daily life can offer new hope when you have been given few treatment options. Finding alternative methods gives you a choice from the selection offered by the medical system, and may help you to avoid the harmful effects of NSAIDs. Following a comprehensive plan is effective and will help.

1. Meeting with Your Physician for an Accurate Diagnosis

Several conditions mimic the symptoms of osteoarthritis and because of this many people misdiagnose their pain, living with a correctable problem for years. Joint pains can come from several different sources, and there are instances where cancer o r a serious joint infection can be the result of chronic pain. It may be necessary to see a specialist physician for an evaluation as they spend more time studying osteoarthritis and therefore have more experience in this field.

2. Improving Your Biomechanics to Reduce Stress on Your Joints

Having a biomechanical evaluation will indicate how you are using your joints, the stress they are subjected to and whether there is something you are doing that may contribute to developing arthritis, or worsen an existing condition. Correcting your alignment or finding potential problem areas can change the way you are using your joints and make a drastic difference to your condition as well as reduce your pain.

3. Eating a Healthy Diet to Support Your Joints

In order to maintain a good standard of health it is extremely important to consume a variety of nutrients that are found in a selection of foods, which will help to reduce inflammation. Foods that are filled with antioxidants and contain bioflavonoid are important. In addition, a healthy diet will help you to maintain a balanced weight thus reducing strain from your joints and making it easier to follow an exercise program.

4. Taking Regular Exercise

Regular exercise is critical for your long term health and is now known to be an important contribution to keeping your joints healthy, as well as nourishing and keeping your cartilage moist. Reducing your exercise can drastically increase your symptoms and create a loss of muscle strength, tone and flexibility. The correct choice of exercise may help to reduce pain and increase mobility. Regular exercise will also help you to maintain a balanced weight.

5. Maintaining Your Ideal Weight

Carrying excess weight places a great deal of stress on your hips and knees, with studies linking excess weight to osteoarthritis, as the increased load can cause cartilage break down. Combining a daily exercise plan with a healthy diet will help you to lose and maintain your ideal weight. It is important to develop a program which is suited to your level of health and fitness.

6. Researching Alternative Treatments

As long term use of chemical medicines, and complicated interaction with other drugs, can cause terrible side effects for patients, more consumers and scientists are turning back to look at traditional and often natural therapies. Fortunately there are many effective, natural alternatives to drugs and surgery that are backed up by breakthrough clinical studies.

7. Maintaining a Positive Attitude

It is very easy to become depressed when experiencing constant pain. However, a positive attitude can make a dramatic difference to your health, with studies showing that negative and positive thoughts affect your immune system and other areas of the body. Getting support from your family and friends or connecting with your community will help you to remain positive. Joining a class designed for your condition will help to motivate you and put you in contact with others who are facing a similar experience.

What Is Cortisone and When Is It Used?

Cortisone is a part of medicines categorized as corticosteroids which is described as medicines that can reduce tumor growths, stimulate appetite for food, and treat skin rashes, nausea and vomiting, inflammation, allergic reactions, autoimmune diseases, and the accumulation of fluids in the brain. Cortisone is a white crystalline powder that can be naturally formed in the cortex of the adrenal gland but may also be produced synthetically. This substance is insoluble in water, stable in gas, and is readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.

Cortisone is primarily used because of its powerful anti-inflammatory effects in various organs and systems of the body. It is also able to be of great help in improving the body's immune system against many stimuli. All in all, cortisone is used in treating the following conditions:

1. Endocrine disorders-Cortisone, along with hydrocortisone is always the first choice in treating primary or secondary adrenocortical insufficiencies, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, non-suppurative thyroiditis, and hypercalcemia which is a condition associated with cancer.

2. Rheumatic disorders-Cortisone is used to prevent the patient from having acute episodes or exacerbation during rheumatic disorders such as: psoriatic arthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, acute and subacute bursitis, acute non-specific tenosynovitis, acute gouty arthritis, post-traumatic osteoarthritis, synovitis of osteoarthritis, and epicondylitis.

3. Collagen diseases-Cortisone is used during exacerbation and also as a maintenance medicine in cases such as: systemic lupus erythematosus, acute rheumatic carditis, systemic dermatomyositis.

4. Dermatologic conditions-Cortisone is also used in conditions of the skin such as pemphigus, bullous dermatitis herpetiformis, severe erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome), exfoliative dermatitis, mycosis fungoides. severe psoriasis, severe seborrheic dermatitis.

5. Allergic reactions-Cortisone may also be used to control allergic states such as: seasonal or perennial allergic rhinitis, bronchial asthma, contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, serum sickness, drug hypersensitivity reactions.

6. Respiratory diseases-Cortisone may also be taken by people with Loeffler's syndrome not manageable by other means, berylliosis, pulmonary tuberculosis, aspiration pneumonitis.

These conditions, among others are usually prescribed with cortisone, and can be in pills or tablets. This list does not include all conditions where in cortisone might help. It is still best to consult your health care provider before consumption.

It's important to note that cortisone is a drug and therefore can have side effects. These can become especially prevalent when it is used for lengthy periods of time. Risks include constipation, a weakening of blood vessels and a lowering of bone density. It's recommended that you consult a doctor to ensure you are fully informed about the risks.

Are Your CNAs in the Know About Arthritis?

In the United States, arthritis affects more than 46 million people. By the year 2030, as the "baby boomers" get older, this number is expected to climb to 60 million! With numbers like that, it's a safe bet that your nursing assistants provide care to clients with arthritis. But, do your CNAs know that arthritis is not a normal part of aging and what they can do to help clients who suffer from arthritis? Here is some information to help get a discussion going about arthritis at your next CNA inservice meeting.

The Aches & Pains of Arthritis

"Oh, my aching joints!" You've probably heard many of your clients make that complaint. In fact, you may have said it yourself!

Aching joints are one of the main symptoms of arthritis. (This makes sense since the word "arthritis" comes from two Greek words that mean "joint" and "inflammation".) But, did you know that...?

  • There are over 100 different types of arthritis. Some forms of the disease are mild and some can be very serious.

  • Some types of arthritis affect the whole body-not just the joints.

  • Most forms of arthritis are chronic...meaning that there is no cure and they last a lifetime.

  • Half of the people over age 65 report symptoms of arthritis.

Isn't Arthritis Just Part of Getting Older?

You might be thinking that arthritis is just a normal part of aging. So, what's the big deal? Shouldn't we all just expect to have aching joints as we get older?

Well...some forms of arthritis do come from wear and tear on the joints. And, the older we get, the more our joints tend to wear down. However, there are a couple of important points to remember about arthritis:

  • Nearly two out of every three people with arthritis are younger than age 65.

  • Some elderly people never develop arthritis.

  • There are many young adults who are diagnosed with arthritis. In fact, over 8 million Americans under the age of 44 have arthritis.

  • Some forms of arthritis appear to be caused by viruses, bacteria or genetic defects-rather than by wear and tear on aging joints.

  • Most people over 60 show signs of arthritis on their X-rays, but many of them have no symptoms of the disease.

What Causes Arthritis?

The exact causes of arthritis remain a mystery. However, there seems to be three main factors that play a role in the development of arthritis. These include:

Genetic Factors

  • There seems to be a genetic link for developing osteoarthritis, especially in the joints of the hands. Some people are born with defective cartilage which tends to break down easily.

Accidents, Injuries & Illness

  • Some types of arthritis may be due to bacterial infections.

  • People with diabetes have a higher risk of developing some forms of arthritis.

  • Accidental injuries-such as a dislocated joint, a bad sprain or a fracture-can lead to arthritis.

  • Sports-related injuries can cause arthritis.


  • Poor nutrition may be a factor in the development of arthritis.

  • Years of poor posture or lack of exercise can contribute to arthritis.

Because arthritis affects so many people, it's likely that at least half of your clients are affected by the disease. They are forced to learn how to manage their everyday lives while dealing with this painful, chronic condition. So, what's the good news? You can help!

A Dozen Tips for Helping Clients Manage Arthritis

1. Keep in mind that if you hear popping, clicking or banging noises when your clients move their joints, they may have osteoarthritis. And, if you hear a sound like crinkling plastic wrap when they move their joints, they may have rheumatoid arthritis.

2. Remember that some days are better than others for people with arthritis. Don't be surprised if your clients can function pretty well one day and need lots of help the next.

3. Check the fit of your clients' shoes. Remember that people's feet can change size as they age. If shoes are too small, they will put pressure on sensitive joints. If shoes are too large, they put your client at risk for falling.

4. Remind your clients to change position frequently. This includes the position of their jaw, neck, hands, shoulders, arms, hips, legs, back and feet. Encourage them to stretch any area that feels tense or stiff.

5. Keep in mind that people with arthritis may find it easier to climb stairs one at a time, leading with their stronger leg.

6. Remind your clients to use the strongest joint possible to complete a task. For example, rather than open a door with their arthritic hand, they can push it open with a shoulder instead.

7. Encourage your clients with arthritis to sit in chairs with arms so they can push on the arms when getting up.

8. Be sure to balance periods of exercise and activity with periods of rest.

9. Remember that some of your clients may have specially made splints to help keep their joints in the correct position and reduce pain. Your clients may need help putting on and taking off these splints.

10. Remind your clients to use proper posture. This helps prevent additional joint damage. (And, keep in mind that slouching actually requires more energy than sitting up straight!)

11. Encourage your clients to use any self-help devices they may have to help them bathe, dress or eat. If they don't know how to use a particular assistive device, let your supervisor know.

12. Be sure to let your supervisor know if a client has pain, stiffness or swelling in or around a joint.

For a more comprehensive review of arthritis, consider presenting the inservice, Understanding Arthritis to your nursing assistants.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Arthritis Symptoms? How to Choose the Right Treatment for Your Pet

Most dog and cat owners can not stand the thought of seeing their beloved pet in pain. Arthritis in cats and dogs is as prevalent in them as it is in humans with a staggering 1/3 of pets being afflicted. The question is: How can an owner choose the right treatment for their pet?

Any treatment for arthritis must first be given the green light by a veterinarian after proper diagnosis. There are plenty of treatments for arthritis out there, but an owner should be sure if the treatment for arthritis that they have in mind is right for their pet. There are considerations before choosing a treatment for a pet suffering from arthritic joint pain.

Things to consider include:

1. Cost-effectiveness. Money spent on a treatment that works is money well spent. Money spent on a product that works for half the price is just smart. The form of treatment that a pet receives needs to be effective and when possible, more affordable.

2. Easy to administer. Pets hate taking medicine as much as we do. Trying to get pills into them 3 times a day is much easier said than done. Some medications have gone to chewables making dosing easy on the pet and owner but many times I have had to trick my dog into eating a snack with his medication inside. He has now mastered the fine art of extracting a pill from his treat before swallowing. So, if possible, the form of treatment given should be owner and pet friendly.

3. Minimal side effects. As pet owners, the last thing we want to do is give something to our pet that causes more harm than good. A good treatment for arthritis, or for any illness for that matter, should have little to no side effects. Medications prescribed and only available through a vet usually contain a list of side effects that range from mild to severe.

4. Healing. Immediate pain management is desirable, but when possible, the treatment administered to a pet should lead to a more substantial, prolonged healing. Some treatments only block the pain and do nothing about repairing damaged tissue. Some treatments can assist the body in healing itself.

5. Safety. The treatment should not have any ingredient that is harmful to your pet. With all of the pet food product recalls recently, we need to be as certain as possible the product used is safe for ingestion.

One treatment that is getting the nod from more and more veterinarians these days, is a combination of two supplements that are safe and effective. Glucosamine and chondroitin taken in combination, has been found to alleviate pain in those suffering joint disease more effectively than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, commonly referred to as NSAIDs. One such product containing both supplements that has proven itself safe, effective, and affordable goes by the brand name Syn-flex Liquid Glucosamine.

Are There Remedies That Can Alleviate Degenerative Osteoarthritis Symptoms?

Degenerative osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease is the most common form of arthritis. Here we have accumulated osteoarthritis statistics compiled by various health agencies to help provide a better understanding of how disabling the condition can become and of the importance of early intervention through the use of nutritional supplementation, weight maintenance and regular exercise.

According to the osteoarthritis statistics compiled by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 46 million Americans report being told that they have degenerative osteoarthritis or other conditions affecting the health of the joints. Nearly 19 million adults are disabled because of degenerative osteoarthritis and more than half of all people over the age of 55 have it to some degree. Many think of it as an inevitable part of aging.

Degenerative osteoarthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States. The American Arthritis foundation reports that 21 million Americans suffer from degenerative osteoarthritis. Higher figures compiled by the CDC include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, fibromyalgia and other joint disorders.

In addition to osteoarthritis statistics, other figures are relevant. 15.4 million American adults are unable or find it very difficult to walk a quarter of a mile. This number is fairly close to the number of people who are disabled by degenerative osteoarthritis.

At one time, it was common for people to reduce their physical activity because of pain in the weight bearing joints (knees and hips), but most health care professionals now recommend that regular physical activity can reduce stiffness and pain. Avoiding high impact sports that put additional stress on the joints is still recommended.

64.7 million American adults are obese, according to figures compiled by the US Department of Health and Human Services. That's nearly one-third of the total population. Another 72 million are overweight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of many chronic diseases, including degenerative osteoarthritis. Experts maintain that even a modest weight loss can reduce the pain and improve mobility, particularly in the knees and hips.

Researchers have compiled estimates concerning future rheumatoid and osteoarthritis statistics. The number of American adults who suffer from the all forms of degenerative osteoarthritis and other chronic conditions involving the joints is expected to increase to 67 million by the year 2030, because adults are living longer and the number of people in older age groups is growing.

Other osteoarthritis statistics concern cost of treatment, which is approximately $128 billion per year. This figure too may increase, if Americans do not begin to follow recommendations from the CDC and other health agencies. Lose weight, eat right and get regular exercise. In addition, increased intake of omega 3 fatty acids may prevent or reduce the degradation of the cartilage cushions found in degenerative osteoarthritis.

Research has shown that omega 3 fatty acids are natural anti-inflammatories and appear to block the processes that lead to thinning cartilage. If the research is correct, then maybe the osteoarthritis statistics will not increase after all. It may be possible that developing age-related degenerative osteoarthritis is not inevitable after all.

According to the University of Maryland's Medical website:

"Based on laboratory studies....many researchers suggest that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids (and low in omega-6 fatty acids) may benefit people with other inflammatory disorders, including OA [Osteoarthritis]. In fact, several laboratory studies of cartilage-containing cells have found that omega-3 fatty acids decrease inflammation and reduce the activity of enzymes that break down cartilage. Patients also showed increased improvement when fish oil supplements were used...."

The website goes on to state:

"....New Zealand green lipped mussel ( Perna canaliculus ), another potential source of omega-3 fatty acids, has been shown to reduce joint stiffness and pain, increase grip strength, and enhance walking pace in a small group of people with osteoarthritis."

So if you suffer from degenerative osteoarthritis, you may want to start including a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids like fish oil and New Zealand green lipped mussel.

Arthritic Myth Busters

Arthritis is inflammation of the joints, which causes a combination of pain, swelling and limited mobility. It is very common - more than one is six adults suffers from some form of arthritis and with the increasing aging of the population, those figures are rising.

There are actually more than one hundred different types of arthritis and therefore it is very important that the type of arthritis you have is correctly diagnosed because successful treatment is dependent upon it. Several types have a known cause, although the majority of types do not. Those with no known cause include all cases of rheumatoid arthritis and the majority of osteoarthritis cases.

Even when the cause is known, it is not known why some people develop arthritis while others with the same risk factors don't. Some people think it's due to the fact they cracked their knuckles as a kid or that their joints are acting up because of damp weather, however, neither of these myths (or many others) have ever been proven in clinical research studies.

Cracking your knuckles

Although you may cause injury to a joint by over enthusiastic knuckle cracking, evidence suggests that doing this has little effect on the health of your joints.

Cold, damp weather

Arthritis sufferers seem to be affected more when the weather is cold and damp, however, this does not mean that weather causes the arthritis, although it does appear to aggravate the symptoms.

Overuse of the joints

Although certain occupations with repetitive manual work and athletes who have had repeated joint injuries may develop degenerative arthritis, there is no rhyme or reason to this theory. If it were due to overuse, then why do marathon runners not appear to be at increased risk?


There are no medications generally recognized as a cause for arthritis, although there may be a few exceptions. Corticosteroids may cause interruption of the blood supply to the hip bones causing death to the bone, which may result in the development of arthritis. Also, water pills may cause gout but not arthritis. There are some other drugs which may cause bone or joint pain, but they won't cause arthritis. However, there is a rare condition called 'drug induced lupus' which may follow after using certain medications and it is thought that arthritis may develop afterwards.


As far as we know, most infections will not cause arthritis. There is a very small fraction of infectious causes and these include: bacteria such as Gonorrhea and Staphylococcus; Lyme's disease; some viruses (including occasional cases of Hep B, Hep C or parvovirus).


Similarly, some vaccinations, including those for Lyme's disease and Rubella are thought to be linked (although very rarely) to the development of arthritis. This connection is unclear though. Fortunately, the majority of people receiving the most common vaccinations never develop arthritis.


For centuries, there have been theories about which foods are the best to eat to prevent/treat arthritis, however, the types of food we eat are not thought to have a role in the development (or not) of arthritis.

There are some exceptions though. Some people notice that eating certain foods or drinking alcohol, triggers gout attacks. There is also a link between obesity and osteoarthritis, so a diet that helps with weight reduction would obviously be helpful.

In some cases, osteoporosis may be caused by not having sufficient calcium or vitamin D intake. Lack of these vital nutrients will cause the bones to become weak and if a fracture occurs, then arthritis may follow.

Old age

This cannot be seen as a cause, since it doesn't come inevitably with old age.


Although there may have been cases where people have developed arthritis after going through prolonged periods of stress, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that it causes any specific type of arthritis. Stress can make pain feel worse though.

Any prolonged mental or emotional stress will cause illness in your body.

Bad posture

Despite the myth, slouching will not cause arthritis, however any type of arthritis can affect your posture.

Osteoporosis may cause you to have a stooped posture if the vertebrae collapse and arthritis in your spine may follow, however, the stooped posture does not cause the arthritis. Another example of this is ankylosing spondylitis - a condition in which inflammation of joints in the lower spine leads to a rigid spine. Therefore, poor posture can be seen as a result of arthritis, but is not known to cause it.

In conclusion, with so many different types of arthritis and little understanding of their causes, it is understandable why there are so many myths circulating regarding arthritis. For now it's just a case of 'nobody knows' and there is no known cure. Once you have developed arthritis you may adopt a new diet, move to a warmer climate or opt for some risky treatment, however, you may be very disappointed in the results and find that things are just as bad, if not worse, than before.

The same goes as for every other disease of the body - try to keep your mind and body healthy and active by having a healthy lifestyle and healthy, balanced diet. Also make sure you are getting plenty of Calcium and Vitamin D to keep those bones strong and healthy.