Saturday, September 28, 2013

Arthritis Treatment: Five Neck Exercises That Work Wonders!

A common complaint heard by rheumatologists from their patients is, "My neck hurts." If you have ever had neck pain you know how debilitating this can be. The neck consists of a column of seven vertebrae separated from each other by true joints (uncovertebral joints) in back and discs in front. This column is supported by a complex arrangement of ligaments and muscles.

While most neck pain is due to muscle strains- for example, the "crick" in the neck that can come on if you sleep in an awkward position- most people with neck pain after the age of 40 also have osteoarthritis and degenerative disk disease as well.

Here are five simple exercises you can do to help your neck feel better. Do not do these exercises until you consult with your physician or physical therapist. If possible, apply moist heat to the neck for five minutes before doing these exercises. That helps to loosen the muscles up.

#1. Stand up straight. Slowly turn your head as far as possible, slowly, to the right. While you're turning, count slowly to eight. That's about the right cadence for this exercise. Hold this position for a five count. Return to a neutral position. Then repeat the same motion to the left side. Do a total of five repetitions each side.

#2. Stand straight up. Slowly lower your chin to your chest. Hold this position for a five count. Slowly raise your head up and look at the ceiling. Do not force this. If it hurts, stop. Hold this position for a five count. Return to neutral and repeat this set of motions five times.

#3. Stand up straight. Slowly bend your head to the side bringing your right ear to your right shoulder. Hold for a count of five. Return to a neutral position. Repeat the same motion to the left side. Do five repetitions to each side.

#4 Stand up straight. Slowly and evenly roll your head clockwise in a wide circle up to the right, then down to the left. Then repeat the same motion in a counterclockwise fashion. Do this slowly. Repeat five times.

#5. Stand up straight. Take a deep breath in and with your arms down at your sides, slowly lift your shoulders up towards your ears. Pull your shoulders back as far as they will go at the very top of this maneuver, then rotate your shoulders forward again and exhale. Repeat this ten to twenty times.

Don't expect overnight miracles. These exercises will help you over time.

Joint Pain Stiffness and Inflammation Relief Natural Remedies

One of the common characteristic of arthritis is joint stiffness. This is the condition which is related with inactivity, decreased range or total loss of motion in a joint. If the patient is suffering from osteoarthritis then he or she may suffer from joint stiffness which may last up to 30 minutes after waking up.

In the condition of rheumatoid arthritis or systematic lupus erythematosus, which is of inflammatory types of arthritis, the stiffness typically lasts for more than 45 minutes. One of the causes of the joint pain may be bursitis also. The bursae allow the muscles and the tendons to move freely over the bone as it is a fluid filled sacs which cushion and pad bony prominences.

Some of the important causes of joint stiffness are given below.

Joint stiffness is caused due to the inflammation in the synovium, which is the lining of the joint. The pain in the joint can be caused by different types of injuries or conditions. Whatever may be the cause of the joint, joint pain and stiffness can be bothersome.

Stiffness and the pain in the joint can also be caused by an autoimmune disorder, Rheumatoid arthritis. Due to osteoarthritis, there is a growth of bone spurs and degeneration of cartilage at a joint. This type of joint pain is very common in adults older than 45 which results into the pain of the joint.

Some of the important causes of joint pain are hepatitis, influenza, rheumatic fever, rubella, varicella, infectious disease, bursitis, autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, mumps, injury, tendinitis, osteoarthritis, unusual exertion or overuse, which includes sprains or strains.

For treating the problem of joint stiffness there are many processes. Exercise helps in improving the condition of joint stiffness. Regular doing exercises helps in improving the health and fitness of the patient without hurting the joints. With the help of exercise -

1. Weight is controlled
2. Muscles are strengthened around the joints
3. Maintains the strength in the bone
4. Make it easier to get a good night's sleep
5. Make you feel better.

Cold and heat treatment is also beneficial in lessening the pain and the joint stiffness. With the help of cold treatment, swelling is reduced and it also relaxes the excited nerves and with the help of heat treatment, blood circulation is enhanced. Sometimes pain medicines also reduces the joint stiffness. Now people also prefer to go for herbal medicines to reduce the stiffness in the joint.

Degenerative Osteoarthritis - The Best Pain Relief Measures

Degenerative osteoarthritis is an agonizing condition that is suffered by millions of people all over the world. However, though potentially debilitating, the disease can actually be treated the natural way. Read on to understand more about this form of arthritis and the remedies that can alleviate the symptoms of this disease.

Degenerative osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis. At the moment there is no permanent cure to treat this condition, which is also known as degenerative joint disease. However, with early diagnosis, proper treatment and a program of regular exercise and weight strengthening, the pain associated with it can be significantly reduced.

Degenerative joint disease is most commonly suffered by the elderly, as it is considered to be an inevitable process of aging. Eventually it is something that can affect by all of us. Although the cause of the disease can not be pinpointed to one factor, it is often thought that obesity and excess weight are some of the main culprits. This is backed up by recent research that demonstrated that even a modest decline in weight could improve the mobility of the joints and reduce pain in the knees and hips.

As for its prevention and treatment, increasing the intake amount of Omega 3 fatty acids in the form of fish oil supplements is highly recommended. After all, Omega 3 is an excellent anti-inflammatory substance that can help reduce pain caused by the disease. Fish oil supplements can also prevent more damage from occurring in the cartilage. Consuming Omega-3 fatty acids can also help the cartilage from thinning. This is especially useful to prevent age-related osteoarthritis, such as the degenerative type.

Taking fish oil supplements, which are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, is one alternative remedy that you should definitely look into if you want to improve your condition. Not only will they help to reduce the symptoms of degenerative joint disease, but they will also improve your general health. Omega 3 fish oil supplements are good for the heart, brain, skin, digestive system and of course, your joints.

In addition to taking supplements, you should also eat fresh fish and mussels. One specific mussel that is highly rich is Omega-3 is the green lipped mussel. The anti-inflammatory properties in these mussels have been shown to reduce pain and joint stiffness in your body. A combination of eating fresh fish, green lipped mussels and taking fish oil supplements is the best remedy to combat the disease.

Make sure to include these Omega 3 rich foods as a part of your daily diet. For more great tips and ideas about the benefits of fish oil supplements, visit my website.

Arthritis - An Explanation

Arthritis, which affects the musculoskeletal system, generally refers to the slow erosion over time of the cushioning cartilage that is situated in the area between the bony joints and which normally protects them as they move against each other during normal exercise.

When I was eventually diagnosed with this condition I was told I must have had it for about 15 years although for much of that time I didn't know I had a problem. It is not always immediately apparent even though early arthritic symptoms can sometimes include some stiffness and restriction in movement. By the time it eventually shows up or is diagnosed, often the damage has been done, is irreversible and can only be corrected by surgery.

So prevention is definitely better than cure in this case and needs to involve taking special care to look after the cartilage in your body. As in the case of all living cells, specialised cartilage cells called chondrocytes normally go through a natural and continuous process of dying and being constantly replaced and require the right nutrients and environment to thrive.

In the case of Rheumatoid arthritis or following an injury however, inflammation can arise which produces an environment that is detrimental to and can attack and kill the cartilage cells more quickly than the body can replace them, especially if there aren't enough of the right nutrients available within the body to make joint repair feasible.

Arthritis can be a localized to one or more joints in the body such as the hip, shoulder or knee. Or it can be experienced as a more generalized condition throughout the body as a whole, generally affecting the muscles and soft tissues. Fibromyalgia or inflammatory Rheumatoid Arthritis would be a common type of arthritis under this category, as well as gout and as the condition varies so would the treatment although it is possible to have more than one type of arthritis at the same time requiring several different approaches.

This condition can start as early as infancy or childhood although it is not so common at this stage of life. It is much more common among adults in the over 60's, and shows up mostly in the form of osteoarthritis. As the American population ages, the number of people suffering with it is increasing and it is considered to be more common amongst people who have practised high impact sports for some time, thus increasing the wear and tear on the joints. The prime cause of disability in the United States of America these days is considered to be arthritis.

If you want to help prevent the onset of this debilitating and very common and painful disease I recommend you take the time to follow a few easy and simple, yet possibly life-changing steps.

* Watch your diet and seek to maintain your appropriate ideal weight

* Regularly consume plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit. They are a really good source of vitamins D and C

* Take the time to make sure that there is enough enough calcium in your diet

* Take regular low to medium- impact exercise and take care to reduce the risk of sports injuries

* Natural therapies have also been found to be very useful in both preventing damage and alleviating the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis, even sometimes curing it completely

* Take steps to reduce the level of stress in your life such as taking up meditation or setting aside some restful 'you time'

Using Chinese Herbs to Help With Rheumatoid Relief

Arthritis is a condition which many people suffer from and sometimes they do not even know that they have it. If you are experiencing pain and stiffness in any of your joints then it is essential that you see a doctor as soon as possible. There are a number of different types of arthritis and so it is important to know exactly which type you actually have.

Treating Arthritis There are a number of treatments used to relieve patients suffering from arthritis. However, one treatment that is not widely advertised is the arthritis herb. It can be used only to treat the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis.

So even though it is classed as an arthritis herb, it will not be of much use to any other type of arthritis. Surprisingly a stinging nettle is one of the best natural treatments for Rheumatoid arthritis. Now the best way to hold the nettle is to grasp it firmly and rub the nettle leaves across the area of pain.

You will experience a lot of extra pain at first as the nettle stings the skin. However, once you have finished you will notice that the only pain which you are feeling, is from the nettle stings and not the arthritis. As you use the nettles more frequently, you will become accustomed to the sting and it will not hurt as much anymore. Just remember that when you do use nettles, you have to resist the temptation to scratch the itch as it will just make things worse.

Another way in which you can use nettles to treat Rheumatoid arthritis, is to drink nettle tea. By drinking one cup of nettle tea each day, you can gain all kinds of health benefits. It helps to purify the blood as well as providing relief for Rheumatoid arthritis. If you do not like the taste of pure nettle tea then it is possible to add ingredients such as honey and crown sugar. Now with the tea you will not notice results overnight.

It will take a few weeks for them to really show through, but when they do you will notice the difference. Overall stinging nettles may be a surprising treatment for arthritis, but they do work. The University of Plymouth did a study in the year 2000 and that clearly showed that 63% of those questioned, found stinging nettles helpful in the treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis.

Doctor...My Body Hurts. There's Pain In Every Joint... What's Causing It?

Joint pain causes can be divided into several categories.

Infections such as viruses (in particular, parvovirus) can cause a type of arthritis. Bacteria such as gonococcus (the bug that causes gonorrhea) and Borrelia, the organism that causes Lyme disease, are well known infectious causes for joint pain.

Trauma is an obvious cause. This can range from an athletic injury occurring more than 30 years ago leading to osteoarthritis in the knee to a whiplash injury that happened yesterday accounting for total body stiffness and pain today!

Disorders of the blood are an uncommon but important cause of joint pain. Leukemia and lymphoma can present as aches and pains. Often fever, sweats, and weight loss accompany the pains... but not always. Multiple myeloma- a malignancy that affects the plasma cells in the blood- causes ill-defined joint pains. Sickle-cell anemia and hemophilia both are associated with arthritis. A blood disorder due to excess iron in the blood- hemochromatosis- is responsible for causing both cirrhosis of the liver as well as an unusual type of arthritis.

Endocrine problems can cause aches and pains. For example, growth hormone excess is called acromegaly. This is a cause of terrible arthritis. Thyroid hormone deficiency also causes aches and pains that mimic the symptoms of fibromyalgia

Closely related to endocrine causes are the metabolic disease like gout and pseudogout which cause inflammatory types of arthritis.

The largest category of causes of aches and pains is arthritis. Wear and tear arthritis- termed osteoarthritis- is the most common form of arthritis. This arthritis is due to premature wearing away of cartilage, the gristly that protects the end of long bones. Osteoarthritis most often affects weight bearing areas such as the neck, low back, hips, and knees. It also affects the hands and feet. More autoimmune types of arthritis such as systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, polymyalgia rheumatica, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis can cause severe total body aches and pains in the joints. These autoimmune diseases have more inflammation associated with them. In addition, constitutional symptoms such as low grade fever, weight loss, sweats, and fatigue are common.

Finally soft tissue rheumatism - termed fibromyalgia- is a very common reason for a person to have "total body joint pain". While not a life-threatening disorder, fibromyalgia, which is often accompanied by fatigue, short term memory loss, "fibro fog", and bladder and bowel disturbance is can be debilitating.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Tips On Dog Arthritis Prevention

Arthritis is so common in people it should not come as a surprise that it is very widespread with dogs and cats and the numbers keep rising every year.

It may surprise you to know that your dog does not have to suffer with this and other related diseases such as: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, Joint Inflammation and other painful diseases.

Put your pet on a balanced healthy diet, which does not include commercial dog foods and treats. If you feed your dog this type of diet you can almost rest assured your dog will be heading for arthritis, diabetes, and cancer. The reason for the widespread of these diseases which have increased tenfold in the last twenty years is directly related to the deterioration of dog food diets.

Nutritional Therapy:

The best diet for maintaining your dog or cat's health is a raw food diet.

If you cannot do a completely raw diet there are enzymes added to your pet's food that can supply the absorption of essential nutrients and fatty acids from cooked foods.

If you do follow enzyme therapy you can reduce the food intake by over 15 percent and feed your dog less to avoid your dog becoming overweight.

Veterinarians that have tested enzyme supplements have found improvements in coat, higher puppy survival rates, and fewer problems with hip dysplasia and arthritis. Once your dog develops arthritis there are tips to help it maintain a good quality of life especially in older dogs.

A Comfortable Bed:

If your dog is not sleeping in your comfortable bed you have to get one for your furry companion. Or if your dog is sleeping in your bed and you do not want that, you have to get it a comfortable bed. I have seen some pretty fancy beds on the internet that would befit a king, or queen with four posters and step stools which is truly over the top. The motto: " Nothing is too good for my dog" really is adaptable in this case. It could be grandma's old blanket or a soft throw blanket whatever makes a nice comfortable bed for the Prince or Princess of your household.

Nutraceuticals for Dog Arthritis:

Veterinarians who care about nutrition will recommend using supplements for treating and preventing arthritis, as much as they prescribe drugs. These supplements are used by humans and have been studied to provide relief from painful joints, and inflammation while repairing joint cartilage.


One of the essential ingredients in Arthritis supplements is Glucosamine which builds and is a major component of joint cartilage in humans and animals.

It is especially useful in osteoarthritis and used in veterinary medicine for horses, dogs, and cats with arthritis and as a preventive supplement. You will find you can purchase the Glucosamine with Chondroitin in the same bottle which you can use as directed for your particular pet's needs.


Chondroitin sulfate attaches to proteins and is a major goal of the study of Glycobiology. Chondroitin is a major structural part of cartilage and provides resistance to pressure on joints as the joint is used for daily activities. Again it is made with Glucosamine in the same bottle and you can take it as directed for your particular pet's needs.


Methylsulfonylmethane or MSM is assessed as an anti-inflammatory medicinal supplement and for relieving pain associated with joints and arthritis. If your dog is showing the signs of arthritis by limping, struggling to walk or having difficulty after a short walk you should consider relieving its pain by using MSM regularly.

Omega -3 Fatty Acids:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids or DHA and EPA are found in fish oils which are important in reducing joint swelling. Another side benefit of Omega -3's is it supports heart health of your dog or cat. As your pet ages you may want to consider especially if it is overweight the strain on the heart. It is also found to help with alertness and mental vitality in older pets, and memory.

Doses for Dogs:

A Dog of 60 -70 Pounds:

2,000 milligrams of Glucosamine daily, divide in 2 doses morning and night.

1,500 to 2,000 milligrams of MSM per day, divided in 2 does morning and at night.

1,500 to 2,000 milligrams of Omega 3 fatty acids per day, 2 doses morning and night.

Larger Dogs: double the doses.

Smaller Dogs: take 翻 of the dose for a 60-70 pound Dog.

Smaller Smaller Dogs: take 翹 of the dose for a 60-70 pound Dog.

Animals are like people and as we age, we all need reinforcement to the bone and joint structures of our bodies. These simple measures can repair the damage of arthritis and the most important benefit is it prevents future damage to our pets. Prevention is 99 percent of the cure and far easier than dealing with the disease.

Genetics and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that can cause chronic inflammation of joints such as knees, hands, ankles and hips. It can also cause a number of other complications throughout the body and is a condition that is widely regarded as incurable. It causes both pain and stiffness of joints that can together affect a person's mobility levels and ability to get about life in a normal manner. When we consider the role of genetics in causing rheumatoid arthritis we must also consider the fact that the condition is more likely to occur in women than men. In fact it is likely to occur up to three to four times more in women than in men. It is also mostly detected in those over the ages of 40, while people younger than that can also be affected.

When discussing genetics and rheumatoid arthritis it must be said that there is no conclusive evidence to prove that genetics play a definite role in deciding whether a person has a higher chance of being affected by it or not. However recent research studies have indicated at least a strong correlation between certain genes and the condition.

Key among them is the gene that is most strongly identified with it. This susceptible gene is found in the HLA region and is referred to as the 'shared epitope'. Additional research also suggests that the gene, PTPN22, is also strongly associated with the rheumatoid arthritis, and is said to double a person's chance of being affected by the condition. Certain other types of genes are also believed to significantly increase the risk of rheumatoid arthritis but the amount of definite evidence is few and far in between.

As pointed out by researchers it is not sufficient to know what genes can decide the risk factor of a person being struck down by a complex disease such as this. When considering genetics and rheumatoid arthritis all we know now is that there might be a connection, but not how definite or strong that connection is. We are also still not in a position to work on these connections and transform that knowledge into affective treatment. What this does allow however is an insight to who amongst us is more susceptible to be affected by this disease as a result of the genes we carry.

If the genes most strongly tied to the disease are detected then it's best to watch out for symptoms of the condition. Primarily symptoms include pain that affects joints and stiffness of joints especially in the morning. Because rheumatoid arthritis can also affect other organs of the body, it is wise to watch out for a series of other symptoms that include fatigue, shortness of breath and loss of appetite. Complications arising from the condition can also cause gritty and dry eyes that can ultimately result in loss of vision, rheumatoid nodules under skin and in and around the lung, cardiovascular complications that could increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes as well.

Homeopathic Pain Relief Formulas For Arthritis Pain

Homeopathic pain relief formulas are the one hundred percent natural, safe, and the most powerful anti-inflammatory agents on the market today.

They also acts as highly effective lubricants in joints, muscles and other tissues. Homeopathic pain relief formulas are also immune system modulators, which can be effective against auto-immune conditions.

All of these characteristics contribute to its ability to act as an analgesic by removing the source of pain (inflamed and irritated tissues) so that there is no pain impulse; hence Homeopathic pain relief formulas are most effective for easing all types of arthritic pain.

Ingredients of Homeopathic pain relief formulas

White Willow Bark (Salix species) is the main and most important ingredient of most all FDA registered all natural homeopathic pain formulations.

The Chinese have used the bark of the stately white willow tree (Salix alba) as a medicine for centuries because of its ability to reduce fever and relieve pain.

Native Indians of the North American continent used the bark of the indigenous willow trees as a medicine to relieve pain and lower fever.

The white willow contains salicin, which when used as an active ingredient is converted by the body into salicylic acid

The first aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) was made from an herb, meadowsweet, containing the similar salicin. All aspirin is now chemically synthesized, and it is no wonder that the bark of the white willow is often referred to as "herbal aspirin".

Another ingredient in most homeopathic pain relief formulas is Boswellia, also known as boswellin or "Indian frankincense" The boswellic acids contained in the gummy like resin from the bark of the Boswellia serrata tree that grows in the dry hills of India, have been used for centuries by traditional Indian healers for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Modern preparations made from a purified extract of this resin and packaged in pill or cream form are used to reduce inflammation associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Unlike conventional NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen, the accepted treatments for joint inflammation, Boswellia is not known to cause stomach irritation.

How do homeopathic pain relief formulas work?

Prostaglandins are hormone like compounds in the human body that cause aches, pain, and inflammation.

The salicylic acid in white willow bark lowers the body's levels of prostaglandins. While it may take longer to begin acting than aspirin, its effect last longer, and, unlike aspirin, it does not cause stomach bleeding or other known adverse effects.

Specifically, white willow bark helps to relieve acute and chronic arthritic pains because of its power to lower prostaglandin levels in the human body. Some arthritis sufferers taking white willow bark have experienced reduced swelling and inflammation, and eventually increased mobility, in the back, knees, hips, and other joints.

Added to the above is the anti-inflammatory properties of Boswellia, actively ease osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms

Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic skin condition that causes inflammation of the skin and joints. It is quite common, resulting in patchy, scaly and red areas of skin. The areas that mostly get affected by it are the elbows, knees, near the navel and genital area and the scalp.

This is a particular type of arthritis that takes place in those people who already have psoriasis. A person suffering from psoriatic arthritis will have symptoms of both the skin and joint disorder.

The likelihood of this condition taking place is equal for men and women alike - usually, at the age group of 30-50. For some people the condition may be mild and not as severe as it is for the rest, affecting only a couple of joints.

It is important to be familiar with the symptoms and recognize them when they start showing up, and if they are not treated on time, the symptoms may worsen, resulting in more serious health issues.

The most common symptoms include the effect of psoriatic arthritis over the fingers and toes of a person. Rough, scaly and dry rashes start taking place on areas of the body such as the knees and elbows.

The joints start to swell up which causes great pain and uneasiness. For example, the swelling of the wrists and fingers, knees, ankles and toes would result in the person hardly being able to carry out any of the tasks in daily routine. The fingers and toes may swell up to such an extent that they would appear to be sausage like. Moreover, grayish scales would show up on the scalp and other areas where the condition has taken its toll.

Apart from the swelling up of the joints, the person may also suffer pain in the lower back and buttocks. The nails would get highly affected, becoming pitted.? Upon waking up, the joints would seem to be quite stiff. Also, fatigue and a lethargic feeling are common for people who are suffering from psoriatic arthritis.

Herbal Remedies Used For Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease, arising from autoimmune reaction against the joints of the body. It is characterized by symmetric inflammation, swelling, severe pain and ultimately deterioration of the joint's interior. It is most commonly observed in women and the elderly.

To date, no remedy has yet been able to cure the condition. All treatments are directed to relieve pain and restlessness, improve joint function, control the inflammatory reaction and retard the ligament, cartilage and joint deformities. Herbal medication has played quite an aggressive role in achieving all these treatment goals.

Natural treatment of rheumatoid arthritis starts with proper diet management. Avoid certain things like red meat, smoking and coffee that increase inflammatory responses. A certain diet plan may be normal for one, but hyper sensitizing for the others. So, it's all matter of awareness of potential effects of diet on your condition.

Certain foods and herbs have the potential to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Fish oils are the most readily available option for arthritis. Cod liver oil is popularly associated with reducing the pain causing inflammation. Alternative eicosanoids produced from omega-fatty acid reduces cytokines, thus inhibiting the activation of autoimmune response shown by T lymphocytes.

Salicylate, found in Birch, White Willow, Balsam Poplar, Meadowsweet and Black Haw, control severe arthritis symptoms like inflammation, pain and fever. They actually retard the prostaglandins associated with these symptoms. Gugguls is a combination of natural gum resins with anti-inflammatory properties. The natural remedial formula includes Francincense and Myrrh.

Ginger is a commonly available rhizome. Its' regular and continuous use reports relief in pain and swelling. It is effective either as a powder, or in form of ginger tea. Turmeric also bears anti-inflammatory potential. Curcumin, the yellow part of turmeric, is highly effective in combination with pineapple plant extract. Both produce their effect and relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Devils claw root, controls arthritis by means of uric acid expulsion. Dandelion has the same function, with additional feature of strengthening connective tissue. Blueberries and cherries are beneficial for rheumatoid arthritis. These berries are actually rich in flavonoids, with excellent anti oxidizing, anti-inflammatory and collagen stabilizing properties; relieving and strengthening the weakening joint. Other herbs like Bupleuri, Feverfew, and Thunder God Vine and Celery seeds have a positive role in disease control.

The above-mentioned herbs, in a variety of dosages, are used individually as well as in combination with other therapies, for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis Symptoms: Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms in Women

The first symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may be swelling and morning stiffness or just a general aching of the joints. In 90 percent of women, the first areas affected by rheumatoid arthritis are the feet and hands. The disease often affects the wrist and the finger joints closest to the palm, as well as joints in the jaw, neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, ankles and toes. Any joint in the body can be a target.

Inflammation can cause body wide symptoms such as low grade fever, flu like body aches, and a general feeling of not being well. You may also lose your appetite, lose weight, and feel like yo have no energy. Fatigue is a very common symptom of RA and may first overtake you in the afternoon. Fatigue may also be a symptom of anemia, which often accompanies RA. Inflammation can affect the tear producing glands in the eyes and saliva producing glands in the mouth, so you may experience dry eyes and dry mouth. You can have muscle pain and stiffness after sitting or lying in one position for a long time. Depression is also common.

At first, these symptoms may not add up to much. Often a women will complain of joint pain to her doctor, and all that can be seen in a puffiness of the hands, with no obvious redness or warmth. About one-quarter of women with RA develop raised, firm lumps called rheumatoid nodules. Rheumatoid nodules are actually abnormal accumulations of cells, much like the synovial cells that we see accumulating within the joint, but they commonly occur just under the skin. Nodules often appear in an area where there is repeated pressure, such as on the elbows where you lean them on a table, or the finger joints. Because rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease, nodules can show up in other places, such as the eye, the heart, the lungs. They can be very destructive, very damaging, interrupting whatever is in their path of growth. And they can be disfiguring and disconcerting to patients.

Up to half of RA patients can develop inflammation in the linings of the chest and lungs, causing pain on taking a deep breath and breathlessness; rheumatoid nodules can also appear in the lung tissues itself, not just the lining. Inflammation can also affect the sac around the heart, producing fever, chest pain, a dry cough and difficulty breathing. Blood vessels can also be inflamed; a common sign is tiny broken blood vessels in the cuticle area of the nail bed.

You may first notice the symptoms of RA during the winter, and symptoms often feel worse during the cold months and improve in warm weather. While RA develops gradually in about 50 percent of women, with symptoms coming and going for months, a more continuous pattern eventually emerges. This disease needs to be diagnosed very quickly and treatment needs to be started quickly. So that increases the importance of having women recognize the signs and symptoms.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Arthritis Treatment: Evolution of Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis Today

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis, affecting approximately two million Americans. It is a chronic, systemic, autoimmune driven disease for which there is no cure.

Among the multisystem features of the disease is the ability to attack and destroy not only joint tissue, but also other organ systems such as the eye, bone marrow, lungs, peripheral nervous system as well as heighten the incidence of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke.

While the disease, if not diagnosed and treated aggressively, can still cause significant problems, major advances in treatment have developed in the last 25 years.

The drug of choice remains methotrexate. We now have more than 30 years of experience with this medication and are familiar with its side effect profile which is much more benign than we used to believe.

Roughly, 25% to 30% of patients will go into remission or near remission on methotrexate alone, and many of those patients will sustain that response for up to a year or more.

So how is response defined?

Response occurs when a patient has no clinical signs of disease activity, no elevated acute phase reactants, which are blood tests that measure inflammation. The two most commonly used tests are the erythrocyte sedimentation rate ("sed rate") and CRP. And they have no functional deficit from their disease.

In patients who don't achieve remission or lose their remission, we now add on a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor. These are a category of biologic drugs. These medicines that act like a laser beam against the immunologic disturbances that are responsible for RA.

While many patients respond to the combination of methotrexate and TNF inhibitor, some either don't respond initially or lose their response over time. In these patients we will try a second TNF inhibitor.

Fortunately, there are alternatives. We have three other biologic medicines that are all useful in the event a patient fails two TNF inhibitors. There is Orencia, which is a T-cell costimulatory modulator. T cells are felt to be a key player in the inflammation of RA. The second is Rituxan. This is a drug that was initially used to treat non-Hodgkins lymphoma. It is an antibody directed against B-cells, which are also a major contributor to chronic inflammation in RA. Finally, there is Actemra, which is an antibody drug directed against the interleukin-6 receptor.

Interleukin-6 is a protein messenger that is pivotal in perpetuating RA activity.

All of these have been shown to be effective in rheumatoid arthritis, and all have been shown to be effective in patients who have failed a TNF inhibitor.

With this arsenal of drugs there is better than a 50 per cent chance of getting a patient with new-onset RA into remission within six to twelve months.

And the good news is that newer therapies are being developed that may be even more effective.

How to Cure Gouty Arthritis

Gouty arthritis is probably the one form of arthritis almost everyone has at least heard of. this condition is not only painful but it can also be immobilizing at times. It is important that you are aware of the warning signs for gouty arthritis so you can get a diagnosis as easily as possible.

Not only will the early detection and diagnosis prove beneficial for treating the pain early on but it can also help in minimizing the possibilities of having future bouts with the pain. Finding out how to cure gouty arthritis will depend on the length of time the condition has gone untreated and the severity of the gout.

Some signs you should be aware of will play a role in the early diagnoses and treatment of your condition. The first and most commonly reported symptom or warning sign is swelling. Kidney stones are another possible warning sign for gouty arthritis.

Treating gouty arthritis can be done in a number of ways. The first way that is generally implemented is changes in diet. Avoiding purine rich foods is essential for limiting the pain. However, medical techniques that include drugs is a method that is usually used first to treat the symptoms.

NSAIDS, colchicines, Sulfinpyrazone, adrenocorticotropic and corticosteroids to name a mere few of the most commonly prescribed medications prescribed for the treatment and controlling of gouty arthritis.

Some of the medications are used for reducing the inflammation associated with gouty arthritis and other are pain relievers. Again, your individual circumstances, overall health and medical history will be the weighing factor in the final determination for the course of treatment that is used for you.

Some people prefer to use home remedies or alternative treatments for their gouty arthritis symptoms. Among the most utilized home remedy is the cold compress or ice. the next in line is alternating between cold and hot compresses until the pain has gone away.

Other treatments include herbal supplements, herbal ointments that are spread on the joint to relieve the pain and even drinking cherry juice has been associated with the relief of gouty arthritis symptoms.

Figuring out how to cure gouty arthritis is likely going to prove to be a task. It is likely that the first method you have decided to use is not going to be the one that works for you. However, once you find the method that works for you, you are in the clear. You will be on the road to living a pain free life.

Effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis on the Body

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that causes chronic inflammation of the joints such as knees, hips, ankles and hands. It is accompanied by high levels of pain and can cause severe disability issues. More likely to strike women than men, the condition is commonly occurring in those over the age of 40 although it also affects much younger people. It affects about 1% of the population and can be dependent on a host of factors that include weight, environment, smoking and genetics.

Contrary to common belief, the affects of rheumatoid arthritis go beyond merely affecting joints and causing restrictions on a person's mobility. In fact the condition can have significant and widespread effects on the whole body. One such effect can be seen on skin with the development of rheumatoid nodules. These are lumps of tissues that can occur, usually under the skin in areas such as the fingers, forearms, elbows and heels. They can even occur in the lungs and heart or appear as ulcers.

Rheumatoid arthritis's effects on the body can be detected in the eyes as well. Inflammations in the eyes, especially in the white area, can turn the eye red and cause pain. Vision loss and an increase risk of Sjogren's syndrome are some of the other ways the disease can take its toll on the eyes. The heart and blood vessels are yet another set of organs that could be affected by this condition and thereby place people under heightened risk of cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks and stroke. Inflammation of blood vessels is another common complication that could also prove to be of a serious nature.

The effects of rheumatoid arthritis can also extend to blood cells. It can affect the body by lowering levels of red blood cells, causing a condition known as anemia, which in turn causes fatigue, accelerated heart beat, dizziness and insomnia. Lung problems are yet another way in which we can witness the effects of rheumatoid arthritis on the body. Inflammation of the lungs that can be attributed to the condition may cause pleuritis and fluid collection. Some complications that may arise as a result include collapsed lungs, infections and coughing up of blood. What is worse is the tendency for some rheumatoid arthritis medication to cause lung problems that could result in shortness of breath, cough and fever.

Most medication available for its treatment tends to suppress the immune system and this could in turn cause complications by increased disease and illness arising from a suppressed immune system.

Life can be difficult at best for those living with this condition. The constant pain coupled with the inability to move about freely and enjoy life as well as the pain and difficulty in getting the most basic chores done without pain or restrictions can, and often does, lead to high levels of depression in a significant percentage of people living with this condition. Thus rheumatoid arthritis doesn't only take a toll on a person's body; it also takes a toll on a person's mental health.

Glucosamine - Arthritis Miracle Cure?

The Benefits of Glucosamine
Arthritis is caused by the degeneration and deterioration of the cartilage layer surrounding the joints. This causes the bones to rub against each other, causing discomfort, pain and deformity of the bones. Glucosamine is naturally produced by the body, but the body's ability to produce it diminishes as we age. As Glucosamine is essential in promoting cartilage growth and repair, the cartilage in the weight bearing joints starts to break down. This can lead to arthritis developing.

Glucosamine works by stimulating the body's natural production of the proteins which rebuild and replenish the damaged cartilage. This means that the Glucosamine is treating the cause of arthritis rather than just the symptoms. As it is a natural product, any side effects from taking Glucosamine are much milder than those caused by other medications.

It is often marketed as Glucosamine Sulphate, and daily recommended doses vary with each manufacturer. As it can take some time to be absorbed into the system you may need to take it for 1- 3 months before you start seeing the benefits. Glucosamine is more effective when taken in liquid form, as it is absorbed faster by the body.

Taking Glucosamine supplements, when taken early enough, can also help to prevent joint conditions such as arthritis by enabling the body to repair cartilage on an ongoing basis and maintain joint strength and function.

Can Glucosamine Be Harmful?
Glucosamine is classed as a nutritional supplement rather than herbal medication. As stated above, there are less likely to be any side effects from taking it.

Although it is generally considered to be safe, there are a few points to be aware of; Glucosamine is generally not recommended for diabetics, as it is a carbohydrate and can cause fluctuations in insulin levels.

If you are taking blood thinning medication such as Warfarin, you should be wary of taking Glucosamine as there is some evidence of a risk of an increase in bleeding.

Individuals with shellfish allergies should be aware that most Glucosamine on the market is derived from shellfish, although some companies now offer corn derived Glucosamine. If you are allergic to shellfish then taking Glucosamine may cause a reaction.

It is also recommended that pregnant or breast feeding women do not take Glucosamine; there is no evidence to suggest that it would be harmful, but there is not yet sufficient evidence to guarantee 100% safety.

If you are considering taking Glucosamine or any other natural product, see your doctor and discuss this with him.

So- Is Glucosamine a Miracle Cure?
There have been many trials and studies on the effects and benefits of taking Glucosamine to relieve and even cure arthritis symptoms. Some of these tests have shown mixed results; for example Glucosamine has been found to be beneficial in the treatment of arthritis in the knee, but not so effective in treating arthritis in the hip. However, a lot of the studies were done on people experiencing relatively mild amounts of pain, so the room for improvement was not that great.

It should not be seen as a miracle cure, but over a period of time it can help in the regeneration of cartilage and improve joint function. Although it is not a pain killer, it has been shown to be effective in relieving pain in many individuals with arthritis. However, there are also individuals who have reported no benefits from taking Glucosamine.

Glucosamine can also help to prevent the cartilage damage caused by wear and tear which can lead to arthritis developing.

So, the jury is still very much out, but as it is a natural product with relatively few side effects, it would seem that it is worth trying it with your doctor's approval.

Terminating An Employee - How To Handle Terminations Safely And Securely

The least pleasant part of being a supervisor or manager is terminating an employee. No matter how horrendous that employee has been, looking someone in the face and saying, "We're terminating your employment," is just plain difficult. It doesn't matter how many times you've had to do it, either. When you're terminating someone's employment, you are making a major change in his life, something he probably doesn't want and something that may have an effect on his family as well as himself.

But like it or not, there are times when termination is the only choice. An employee who seemed to be full of potential decides to "retire" at work and doesn't meet your expectations. An employee whose job requires that he be present during specified hours, strolls in whenever he pleases, leaves when he feels like it, and is gone more than he's at work. There are thousands of scenarios, but the end result is the same; you need to move this person out of your workplace.

Communicate With Your Employee As Soon As You Identify A Problem

When I worked as a Corporate Employee Relations Manager in a Fortune 100 company, I frequently received phone calls from supervisors with employees who were not meeting expectations. Interviewing the supervisors, I'd ask how long the performance had been deficient. "Oh, about six months, maybe a little longer," was not an unusual response. Six months? When I questioned the supervisors a little more, they admitted they were reluctant to confront the employees. Some wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt. They thought the employees just needed some time to settle in. Some supervisors thought things would just get better if they left the employees alone. (This will not happen!)

As soon as you see an employee struggling, even if the employee does not acknowledge or even understand he's struggling, it's important to sit down, in private, and discuss your observations. Let the employee know what you expect from him and what you've actually observed him doing. Explain how he can meet your expectations. Schedule follow-up coaching and counseling sessions. Let the employee know that you're in his corner; you want him to succeed. Encourage him to ask questions. Start every coaching and counseling session with positive feedback; then discuss areas for improvement; and end the session with positive reinforcement.

Put Job Deficiencies in Writing

If an employee is not meeting expectations, whether by way of job performance or attendance or conduct, put those deficiencies in writing. A Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is an excellent tool to communicate what is expected, what standards are not being met, steps to be taken immediately, and consequences for not meeting those expectations. I drafted PIPs for supervisors in the form of a memo to be signed by the supervisor, the employee (if he wanted to sign it - it wasn't required), and countersigned by me. The employee received a copy whether or not he signed the PIP. The reason I signed it was that in a large company we wanted to make certain we were consistent across the board. i.e., We wanted to make certain that we treated employees in all states in the same manner.

Employees were given a reasonable period of time in which to make improvements. Often 30 days is sufficient time in which to expect a change in performance, attendance or conduct. If there is a serious deterioration, you need not wait until the end of that time period to take the next step. And if the deficiencies are only partially cured at the end of the time period, you can extend the PIP to make certain the employee does not backslide.

Make It Clear At the Outset of Employment, What Acts Constitute Grounds For Immediate Termination

There has been a lot of talk about progressive discipline. When an employee is modestly deficient in his performance or his attendance is a little less than stellar, progressive discipline may be appropriate. But there are times when the only appropriate response is immediate termination. What constitutes grounds for immediate termination may vary but here are a few that come to mind:

* Possession of firearms or knives (other than pocket knives) on company property (you may want to include company parking lots in the definition of company property).

* Physical assault on another employee or visitor on company property

* Possession and/or sale of controlled substances without a valid prescription on company property

* Threats of violence made against another employee or visitor on company property

* Sexual harassment (Immediate termination would generally be for actual sexual assault or inappropriate touching. A PIP might be issued to an employee for making an inappropriate remark.)

* Viewing child pornography on company computers or other equipment.

* Making threats against another employee based on his race, religion, national origin, etc. (Violations of state laws and Title VII are to be taken very seriously).

*Committing a felony that disqualifies an employee from working for the company. (I worked for a financial services company and financial service companies cannot hire or retain employees who have been convicted (as opposed to just being "arrested") for crimes involving robbery, theft, or embezzlement.) Your human resources department can advise you if there are restrictions of this type that apply to your company.

The Termination Process

Your employee has been coached and counseled. You've given him a PIP and the improvement, if any, was temporary. You see no other avenue left but termination. Before you start the process, it's always a good idea to get a second opinion. In the company where I worked, my opinion and my signature were required before the termination could take place. This policy was instituted by the Senior Vice President of Human Resouces to ensure that we didn't have someone terminated in California, while an employee in Georgia only received a PIP for the same reasons.

Once the paperwork has been signed, make certain you have the employee's final check ready to hand to him at the termination. In some states, like California, this is mandatory. Even if you are not required to do so, it is a good idea to give the employee his money before he leaves. It goes a long way to reducing his anxiety about his future and makes the termination at least slightly more palatable.

Does it make a difference what day you choose to do a termination? Some people like to wait to the end of the week. My preference was to either do the termination on a Monday or at the very latest, on Thursday morning. If an employee is terminated on a Friday, all he can do is sit around all weekend thinking about how he was fired. I know we call it "termination" but the word that goes off in our heads is "fired". If an employee is prone to any sort of retaliation or depression, a Friday termination can make things worse. On the other hand, if an employee is terminated at the beginning of the week, he has a reason to get up the next day and apply for unemployment and start looking for a new job.

The termination should take place in a private room. I generally used a conference room near an entrance or exit to the building. If your building is not configured this way, find some private room in which to conduct the termination. It's humiliating enough to lose your job without the whole world hearing and watching you. A member of human resources or another manager should be in the room with you as a witness.

The supervisor should remind the employee that they have discussed his deficiencies over a period of time and that things have not gotten better. The supervisor should then inform the employee, "We have decided to terminate your employment." Use the word "we" rather than "I"; it's less personal and less confrontational. Don't let the employee argue about this. Explain that the decision has already been made and you're not going to debate the decision. Let the employee know that you will not discuss his termination with anyone and that you respect his privacy.

The supervisor should arrange to have someone (either an assistant manager or someone from human resources) retrieve from the employee's desk, whatever he needs to take with him immediately. If the employee is a woman, she will want her purse. It is not a good idea to let the employee return to his desk. I have witnessed too many incidents where the supervisor let the employee collect his own things.

One supervisor told me there was nothing to worry about because the employee would act in a professional manner. Five minutes later, I was called to the work area because the employee was screaming at the top of her lungs about how unfair we were; how she had been fired for no reason and how she was going to sue us all. The disruption to the workplace was devastating, even though in this particular case, most of the other employees were happy to see this woman leave.

Let the employee know that you will pack up his belongings and have them shipped to the employee's address. Confirm the address to which the employee wants his belongings sent. When the belongings are packed up, have one person do the packing and another writing an inventory. The last thing you need is for a former employee to accuse you of stealing a Rollex he left in a drawer. You may laugh but it has been known to happen.

After the employee has been given his final check and a copy of his termination paperwork, ask him for his badge or any other company property he may have with him (company pager, company cell phone, company credit card). Escort the employee out of the building. Immediately after the now-former employee leaves, make certain security knows that this person is no longer employed by the company. If employees swipe badges to access company parking lots or buildings, make certain facilities or security disables the employee's badge. Company credit cards should be cancelled immediately, as should cell phone and pager numbers.

Other employees will undoubtedly ask what happened. It is not unusual for a terminated employee to call some of his former coworkers and ask what was said about him. Here is the appropriate response: "John Doe is no longer with the company." If they ask why, "I do not discuss other employees." If you hear employees gossiping about the terminated employee, it's probably a good idea to encourage them to go back to work, reminding them that they would not want someone to discuss them behind their back.

One last caveat: If for any reason you believe before or after the termination, you believe the employee may retaliate in any way, don't keep it a secret. Tell your own supervisor and human resources. There were many times when I had security outside the door while I participated in terminations and I never felt as if I were overreacting.

When I worked for The Boeing Company, a security guard gave me some very sage advice. Whenever I had to participate in a termination, he checked out the room where the termination would take place. The first time I saw him remove a stapler from the desk, I just laughed. I stopped laughing when he asked, "What would you do if he picked this up and hit you in the head?" Not being a person prone to violence, this had never occurred to me. "That," he said, "is why I'm in security; to make certain it does occur to you."

While I was never physically threatened or assaulted, there were cases where the immediate supervisor and I thought that possibility existed. All you have to do is watch the evening news to hear about workplace violence. If you have treated an employee with courtesy and respect, up to and including his termination, you will have gone a long way to ensuring the safety and security of the entire workplace.


Apart from the HIV, arthritis is one of the deadly diseases in the world. This is the disease that has claimed many lives in the United States and elsewhere. Millions of dollars have been spent in combating this deadly disease, but still no permanent solution. If you or a loved one have this disease, you need to be aware that it is not the end of the world yet.

Many people like you having the same problem have been able to continue living their normal lives, while battling with this disease. It is a disease that you can recover from if detected early enough. An early treatment will prolong your life or that of your loved one.

Arthritis is a disease that is common in joints. Arthritis as a term derives its meaning from the Greek word "arthron" and "itis". The former means joint while the latter means inflammation. It is not just a single disease but a combination of several other diseases that affect your joints.

Actually, it combines different diseases. Some of these various diseases associated with arthritis involve inflammation of the joint, while others do not. Some of these different diseases are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, pseudo-gout, ankylosing spondylitis, polymyalgia rheumatica, psoriatic arthritis, etc.

Though presently there is no known cure for this disease, researches are still being carried out in order to find a cure. It is advisable that you contact a reputable and reliable physician for treating arthritis.

These professionals are more experienced than you. Their timely advice can help elongate your life or that of your loved one battling with arthritis. Though many people out there are scared of visiting a physician, it is advisable that you do so; as it might be the saving grace.

You must watch out for the arthritis symptoms early enough to know when to begin receiving treatment for arthritis. As soon as you detect any early symptoms of arthritis, it is recommended that you seek immediate help and assistance of a professional rheumatologist who will be in the best position to help you with the needed treatment.

Arthritis might not be far away from you if:

- you are having persistent pain in your joints

- there is swelling in one or more of your joints

- you have persistent low back pain

Arthritis is a disease that is most common with women. This is not to say that the men folks are exempted but the rate among women is more than that of the men.

Also, it has been discovered to be prevalent among older people.

However, there are other types of arthritis that affects the younger ones as well.

In other words, no age range is spared by arthritis.

As mentioned earlier, there is presently no known cure for this deadly disease.

You are therefore advised to seek urgent medical attention when you discover that you or your loved one is experiencing any symptoms of arthritis.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dietary Tips for Osteoarthritis Treatment

Osteoarthritis is a common condition that affects the joints. It is most common in the elderly but has been widely linked to people who are overweight. There is no definitive cure for osteoarthritis, but there are many ways that one can help prevent and treat the condition. By far the easiest of these osteoarthritis treatments is to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.

If you believe that you may be suffering from osteoarthritis or any kind of arthritic condition the first thing you must do is visit you local GP. A qualified doctor will quickly establish if your symptoms are caused by an arthritic condition, and will give you the best advice as to how to treat it. This may involve anti-inflammatory drugs, pain relief drugs or may be as simple as suggesting a new exercise routine and improved diet.

There has always been strong links between food and the treatment of osteoarthritis and other arthritic conditions. So what foods are considered good?

The main types of food that may help treat osteoarthritis are those rich in Vitamin D. We get most of our vitamin D from the sun; however such foods as oily fish and fortified foods such as cereals and margarines are also good sources of Vitamin D.

Vitamin C as always, is good for the treatment of Osteoarthritis. Vitamin C is involved in the formation of collagen and proteoglycans, which are two of the main components of cartilage. It also acts as a powerful antioxidant that can help counteract chemicals in the body that can damage cartilage. Vitamin C is a vital part of any healthy diet, it is therefore important to ensure you have a regular intake. The best way to do this is by following the government's 5-a-day policy. Try to east 5 different portions of fruit and veg a day; this will help boost your immune system and general health.

Another good food source is those rich in Omega-3. Omega-3 is said to have an anti-inflammatory effect, which may help reduce pain associated with arthritic conditions. Omega-3 is most commonly found in oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel and sardines. You should try to eat at least to portions of oily fish a week.

As well as maintaining a healthy balanced diet, many doctors will also encourage regular exercise as part of your osteoarthritis treatment. Swimming is a great way to help strengthen the muscle that surrounds the joints. Try to avoid strenuous exercise that involves stress to the joints. Walking, cycling and swimming are all great ways to supplement your healthy diet, with valuable exercise.

Having an arthritic condition is an unpleasant thing to live with. However, the days of silently suffering are long gone. Today there are many treatments for osteoarthritis that will help ease both the pain and comfort of the condition to help you live as normally as possible. Obviously the same goes for those without an arthritic condition, it is always best to eat healthily and exercise regularly as this can help you prevent such conditions.

Symptoms of Rheumation Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a long term condition affecting every person in a different way. For some, it can occur for a long time, while for others, remissions can be shorter. When the rheumatic condition is not active, symptoms can be absent. People diagnosed with this disease can have the condition inactive for even as long as a month.

Although it may involve various parts of the body, the major structures that are affected are the joints. When it becomes active, this is the time when joints become inflamed. In the normal process, inflammation is due to the body's reaction to infection or other harmful attacks of dangerous foreign organisms. But for rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation occurs within normal bodily processes with reasons not known.

The joints that rheumatoid arthritis most usually affects are the hands, particularly the knuckles. This is due to the reason that these bony prominences are the most to experience pressure. But then, rheumatoid symptoms can also develop in any joint, like the wrists, neck, knees, shoulders, elbows, and even in jaws. In almost all cases, the joints are symmetrically affected.

The hallmark of rheumatoid arthritis is inflammation of joints along with these rheumatoid symptoms.

One of the rheumatoid arthritis symptoms experienced by individuals diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis is stiffness. The joints become harder, thus mobility and dexterity are affected. The trademark symptom is "morning stiffness". These people wait for an hour or more for their joints to loosen up and movement is tolerable.

Next is swelling. The accumulation of fluid in the affected joints results to edematous joint areas. The build-up of fluid also causes greater stiffness.

Pain is also among the rheumatoid symptoms. The joints are tender, sensitive and painful. Chronic inflammation results in damage of the joints.

Warm and red joint areas also observed. The erythema or redness of the area also tends to be visible in nearby muscles and skin.

Fatigue or feelings of excessive tiredness are also felt, as rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic condition that can affect the body in general.

Malaise, also called general body weakness is evident in arthritis patients. These persons feel ill.

Anorexia, or the medical term for appetite loss is also evident. This leads to weight loss.

Muscular pain is also noted, as muscles cover the joints. The inflammation of the joints leads to muscular atrophy or death of tissue because muscles become immobile due to pain and stiffness.

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms are often compared to the flu but they can be less severe, and may last for shorter periods. It can affect the body in general, thus aside from the main structures involved which are the joints, other body parts can be greatly affected. In moderate to severe cases, multiples body organs can be severely damaged.

Thus, when a person is experiencing rheumatoid symptoms, early diagnosis from a doctor, early intervention, and aggressive treatments if possible are highly recommended. This way, symptoms are managed during the initial phase, and progression of rheumatoid arthritis is deferred, and less damage will occur.

When you have symptoms, early and aggressive treatment can help prevent further symptoms as well as stop progression of rheumatoid arthritis.

Hand Surgery - A Perfect Way to Fix Rheumatoid Arthritis

Many people choose to get hand surgery to address their rheumatoid arthritis. If you want your hands to feel better then you may want to consider fixing your pain by undergoing this procedure.

If you hand hurts in any way, then you may want to fix your condition by getting hand surgery. This can fix disease that impair the use of our hand and can help increase the usage of your wrist and fingers. Many people choose to get it done if they rheumatoid arthritis which is a disease that causes inflammation in any of the joints of the body. It can lead to deformed finger and decrease movement.

This method can be performed on people of any age. You should be in fairly good health and not have any other medical conditions or diseases which can affect the healing process. In addition, you should be a non smoker and reduce your drinking. You should have a positive view on the hand surgery and the results that can be obtained. This means that although you may get added usage of your hand, it may not be restored to the same level as before the rheumatoid arthritis.

The success of this can be due in part to how honest you are with your doctor before the procedure. The doctor will ask you many questions about your health and desired outcome so make sure you answer them candidly. Make sure you divulge all of the medications that you are taking. Finally, you should follow the advice of the doctor before during and after the procedure. The doctor will also evaluate your general health and make sure you are strong enough to get the procedure.

On the day when you are getting this operation done, the doctor will administer sedation and general anesthesia. The doctor will cut the affected tendon and repair and reconnect it during surgery. The doctor will then close the incisions and will use removable or non removable sutures.

There will be some swelling but this should go down with time. You should have limited complications however if you experienced an increase heart rate or shortness of breath, you should go to the doctor. You will not see the full results until a few months after the procedure.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis and want to get hand surgery, make sure you find a doctor who can find a doctor who you can trust. Your hands may feel better and you may get added usage after the operation.

5 Natural Dog Arthritis Tips Every Dog Owner Needs To Know

Dog arthritis is one of the most common reason pet owners see a veterinarian. Unfortunately the only option many owners are given is to treat their dog with potentially toxic anti-inflammatory medication. This article will give you my top 5 natural dog arthritis solutions that you can use on your dog at home.

Supplements which contain Glucosamine Hydrochloride and Chondroitin are most important; they both have veterinary studies showing their effectiveness. The big point here is to ensure that they are in high enough doses, and the correct form to be helpful for your dog. As a guideline you can use a dose of 500mg of Glucosamine per 50lbs of body weight daily, and 250mg of Chondroitin per 50lbs of body weight daily.

Omega 3 fatty acids are critical for every arthritic pet; they decrease the inflammatory processes that further damage the cartilage in the joints. There are a few potential sources: flax oil, fish oil, or even evening primrose oil. I personally have found flax oil to be very effective, especially when given at the dose of 1 tablespoon per 50lbs of body weight daily. Flax oil's other big benefit is it is cost effective - it costs a fraction of fish oil.

Acupressure is an ancient form of Chinese healing that every pet owner can start using for their arthritic pet. The easiest way to start is to locate a point called 'The Aspirin Joint'. It is found on the outside webbing of your dog's hock joint- this is the joint just up from their back feet. Place your index finger on the outside of this web of skin and with moderate pressure, hold for 60 seconds. I suggest performing this 3 times a day for 7 days, and assessing if it is helping your dog.

There are a surprising number of herbs that can be helpful to relieve the pain in arthritis, but with all the conflicting information, it is often difficult to know what to choose. Willow contains the active ingredient found in aspirin, (salicylate) and was a traditional First Nation's remedy for arthritis. The Willow dose I have used is 100 mg or 10 drops per 10 lbs of body weight. Salicylates are toxic to cats, so never give Willow to your cat.

Many dog owners have reported relief of arthritic pain by the use of homeopathy, and I have seen certain dogs respond well, so it may help your arthritic dog. There are 2 in particular that you should consider using, Traumeel, and Rhus Tox. Traumeel actually contains a combination of a number of homeopathic remedies, providing both anti-inflammatory and pain relief; the Traumeel dose being 翻 to 1 tab twice daily. Rhus Tox is typically advised for soft tissue and muscle injuries, but often this is the source of discomfort in arthritic dogs. The dose you can use is 30C per 30lbs every 12 hours.

So there are my top 5 holistic and effective dog arthritis solutions. If you have an arthritic dog, I encourage you to try a few of these natural remedies to give your dog pain relief naturally. Your dog will definitely thank you!

Treatments for Dog Arthritis

Obesity, old age, lethargy etc are the primary reasons for arthritis in dogs. It is degenerative in nature and is not very different from the ones seen in humans. As a result of arthritis dogs suffer from stiff bones, rigidity in limbs and joints and at times unbearable pain. As a dog grows old his ability to withstand wear and tear grows weak and the pain that develops as a result gets intense. However the condition varies from dog to dog. One cannot assume that the arthritis is restricted to older dogs because even the younger ones may be a victim of arthritis. The main reasons why younger dogs suffer may be due to injuries or laziness. There are a few diseases and infections also that may also lead to arthritis. If a dog suffers from a serious injury on its limbs as a pup it may develop arthritis at a later stage in life. Canine hip dysplacia is a condition that may lead due severe arthritis in dogs.

Out of all types of arthritis osteoarthritis is the most common and it is related to normal damage to the cartilage. However, there are different types of arthritis. Older dogs usually go through this condition in their senior years. Blindness-complete or partial, deafness, disobedience, gastric troubles, indigestion are common ailments in dogs at a very old age.. To ensure dogs live longer happily it is imperative to consult a veterinarian since the condition may lead to unbearable pain and limit the dog's age.

The right medicine in the right quantity is a must to alleviate the pain. Consulting a vet is a must but besides that regular exercises and physiotherapy are useful to keep the condition at bay or control it if already the dog suffers. Regular exercising leads to the release the fluids that lubricate the joints thereby assist in improving the condition. There are medicines that give instant results to check the condition temporarily however there are other medications that do not let the condition from occurring. However, prevention is always better than cure. Keep a check of the condition of your dog after it crosses an age of six. However different sized dogs behave and react to such conditions differently. Heavier dogs understandingly suffer more than the lighter counterparts.

Arthritis can be degenerative or inflammatory in nature. The various conditions that indicate arthritis are reluctance to walk or climb, whining constantly, not able to keep up pace, lethargy in getting up and abnormal walking style. Constant jumping over obstacles, ligament tear, fall from heights etc can also cause the condition to occur. Degenerative arthritis is classified into primary disease and secondary disease. Loose knee caps, OCD, HD are causes of secondary degenerative joint disease.

Degenerative arthritis may not be known till the dog has had abnormal stress and the damage can progress with no outward signs till the joint is severely damaged and the fluid for lubrication has thinned down so much that it cannot protect the and the lubricating fluid has thinned and lost its ability to protect the bone surfaces. Infection of any kind causes inflammation of multiple joints and is accompanies by fever, chills, anorexia and overall stiffness. Since infectious joints call for different treatments administering immune suppressive pills surely help.

Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Differences of Opinion?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common inflammatory form of arthritis and affects approximately 2 million Americans. It is a chronic, autoimmune, systemic disease for which there is no known cure; however, it is capable of being put into remission.

RA develops as a result of chronic inflammation involving the synovium- the lining of the joint- which results in damage to the joint. Damage can occur early in the disease and is irreversible.

New diagnostic criteria formulated in 2010 by a combined effort of the American College of Rheumatology as well as the European League Against Rheumatism have helped establish parameters that allow for the detection of early disease.

It is quite clear that early diagnosis and aggressive treatment results in improved functional outcome for patients with RA. Currently, the target or goal is remission. In fact, the "treat to target" approach is the new buzz word in rheumatology.

Treatment approaches designed to effect remission vary depending upon the treating rheumatologist.

Some arthritis specialists feel that a combination of disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS) including drugs such as methotrexate, hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), and leflunomide (Arava) should be employed for at least six months before switching to biologic therapies.

In most instances, methotrexate is the DMARD of choice and is started at a dose of 10-15 mgs per week and increased to about 20 mgs over an 8 week period. Folic acid is given in a dose of 1 mg per day to help counteract some of the untoward effects of methotrexate.

While there is some data to support this approach, many other rheumatologists feel that six months is far too long to wait before initiation of biologic therapy.

Most rheumatologists do agree that for patients with active disease, low doses of corticosteroids can act as a "bridge" until the disease is controlled.

Biologic therapies are much more selective in their effects on RA. They are specifically designed to hit certain inflammatory proteins or cells that produce these inflammatory proteins.

The difference between DMARDS and biologic therapies can be likened to the difference between a shotgun versus a rifle.

As can be surmised, there is potential for side effects from both DMARDS as well as biologics. The use of either category of drug needs to be instituted and followed by a physician with much experience in their use.

While much has been written about the potential hazards of biologic therapy, there has been relatively little attention paid to the potential hazards of combination DMARD therapy.

It can be emphatically said that neither approach is side-effect free.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Can A Diet Or Specific Food List Help Relieve Rheumatoid Arthritis?

There is a discussion going on for years now, doctors against patients, scientist against believers in alternative health and so on. Because it is never been scientifically proven that a diet or a list of foods that you should or should not eat can help against rheumatoid arthritis, doctors will almost never advise this. But many patients believe that there are certain known foods that help with there rheumatoid arthritis. So who should you believe?

There are many kinds of illnesses where a diet can help. Diets seem to be part of a healthy life, you need proper nourishment before you can function. For the many years this discussion is going on there is in fact no prove for either of the sides. It can't be proved and it can't be denied.

There has been done research that suggest that oranges, fish oils and green tea are some of the foods that can help with this disease but it hasn't been proven, yet. You can also eliminate all kinds of foods that might worsen it in your body, but you need to be aware that this can result in an unbalanced diet. It is better to remove specific foods that you have experienced to be a trigger for your pain than eradicating everything that is under that same type of food.

A diet or food that help with your rheumatoid arthritis can probably give you relief but it is no cure, but the regular medical treatments for it is also almost never a cure, so the best thing you can do in our opinion is to try it for yourself, if you can reduce the amount of pain killers it is already worth the trouble. When you look for this kind of alternative treatment online you will find out that there are lists available with foods that could be helpful or should be avoided, just try one tip at a time for a couple of weeks, if it works keep it, if it doesn't put it aside.

In general, most lists recommend more fresh fruits and vegetables, increasing your daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) and a reduction of coffee, alcohol, processed foods, and fried foods. And whatever it does for your rheumatoid arthritis this advise can't do any harm. You probably will lose some weight and this is also a good thing to relief the pain from this disease. There are many studies that have shown that even a small amount of extra weight can have a dramatic effect on it.

We now know that a diet or a list of foods will not cure you from rheumatoid arthritis but it is also clear that it can help you to live a healthier life and that is always a first step to a better condition. And when you do experience less pain and less stiffness in your joints take note of your diet and try it again and again and share it with others online.

Arthritis and Fish Oil Omega 3 - A Natural Remedy for Strong Joints

Arthritis and Fish oil omega 3 have been a subject of interest for many researchers and health professionals. Studies suggest that EPA and DHA fats present in fish oils reduce pain, inflammation and stiffness in joints. But can they replace mainstream medical treatment completely? Let's find out.

Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation in the joints and in severe cases, might even cause joint destruction or physical disability. Most of the people suffering from joint problems experience difficulty in performing routine tasks such as getting dressed, walking or doing household chores.

There is no definite cure for this condition and most medical treatments consist of anti-inflammatory drugs and pain killers. However, excessive use of such drugs can cause cardiovascular disorders and other problems. In such conditions, wouldn't you be interested in adopting a more natural approach?

Polyunsaturated fats activate the secretion of Prostaglandins in our body. These are hormone-like substances that perform various functions such as controlling blood pressure, improving immunity levels, muscular contractions and reducing inflammation throughout the body.

The anti-inflammatory properties of omega 3 fats helps in reducing the pain and stiffness associated with Arthritis. They are known to strengthen the joints, thus improving mobility in RA (rheumatoid arthritis) and osteoarthritis patients.

EPA and DHA fats have blood thinning properties that enables better blood circulation throughout the body. They are very beneficial in treating joint problems and improving joint functionality. It also inhibits formation of platelets and blockage of arteries.

Essential fatty acids play a crucial role in our body and are important for a healthy heart and mind. The main dietary sources of Omega 3 fatty acids include cold-water fatty fishes such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and Hoki. Vegetarian sources include green leafy vegetables, walnuts, hemp seeds, flaxseed oil and canola oil.

Eicosapentaenoic and Docosahexaenoic fatty acids maintain healthy cholesterol levels in our body by reducing the triglycerides and increasing the HDL cholesterol levels in the blood stream. This lowers the risk of coronary heart diseases, hypertension, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disorders.

Polyunsaturated fats provide protection against breast, colon and prostate cancer. They also treat mental disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, Alzheimer's disease and ADHD.

While eating fish regularly can lead to the deposition of harmful toxins in your body, regular consumption of molecularly distilled fish oils is considered safe. Molecular distillation is a refining process that removes all the toxins such as metals, mercury and PCBs from the fish oils and makes them absolutely safe for regular intake.

For treating specific disorders such as heart diseases or joint disorders, you need high quality supplements. Oil extracted from the tissues of Hoki fish has 40% higher DHA levels and is very beneficial in treating various ailments.

Fish oil supplements are definitely a powerful way of relieving pain and stress associated with arthritis and joint inflammation. However, it is always best to consult your doctor before starting on any supplementation.

Studies on Arthritis and Fish oil omega 3 have shown promising results. Consume pharmaceutical grade, molecularly distilled Fish oils for best results.

Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis - Five Steps to Manage RA Pain

To avoid preventable joint strain and added rheumatoid arthritis discomfort, try to follow these five useful steps. Remember, Rheumatoid Arthritis is an incurable disease, its not going to disappear, its not going to get better However, it can be managed effectively.

Step One: Mobilize every joint throughout its complete pain-free range of movement at least one time a day

This will help you keep liberty of movement in your joints. The volume you're able to Mobilize every joint devoid of rheumatoid arthritis pain may change daily be careful not to do too much. Keep activities gradual and smooth abrupt jerking or bending can cause pain your joints.

Steer clear of leaving your joints in the same position for a lengthy amount of time. Don't allow your joints the possibility to grow to be rigid, keep them mobile. After writing or doing handiwork, loosen your hold every 10 to 15 minutes, or as soon as your hand feels tired. On lengthy car journeys, exit the car, relax and walk about at least each hour. During watching tv, stand up and move around every half an hour.

Step Two: Try to understand and have respect for your rheumatoid arthritis discomfort

Understand the differences involving the common soreness of rheumatoid arthritis and the tenderness from overworking a joint. By knowing the movement that overworked a joint, you can keep away from continuing that motion. Pain that remains for more than an hour following an activity may suggest that the activity was too demanding. Consider ways that you can change the activity.

Exert yourself at a steady, careful pace and steer clear of hurrying. Rest before you become tired or in pain. Switch between easier or more difficult activities all through the day. And make use of occasional relaxation breaks.

Step Three: Use sensible body mechanics

The way you posture your body greatly changes how much stress you place on your joints. True body mechanics enable you to use your body more effectively and save energy. When you're sitting down, the correct height for a working surface is 2 inches lower than your cocked elbow.

If you type at a computer for extended lengths of time and your chair doesn't boast arms, think about using wrist or forearm supports. An angled working area for reading and writing is more helpful on your neckline. When you're standing, the height of your working area should allow you to work in comfort without lowering the head. To pick up objects from the floor,lower yourself by bending your knees and hips.

Hold weighty items close to your body, sustaining the load on your forearms, and keep up good balance. Poor posture creates uneven load distribution and can stress your ligaments and muscles.

Step Four: Be sensible how you use your hands

You use your fingers in several daily pastimes. Demanding positions and techniques may intensify the threat of pain. You can complete most tasks in more helpful ways with the aim to put a reduced amount of deforming pressures on your joints.

Keep away from situations that bend your other fingers in the direction of your little finger. As an example, steer clear of tasks that need stressful or lengthy gripping or clamping. Finger movements should be in the direction of your thumb when feasible. Avoid forming a clenched fist. Use utensils with ergonomically formed handles, that yield them more helpful to clutch.

Step Five: Make use of the strongest joint available for the task

Save your less strong joints for the particular tasks which only they can carry out. During the day, choose large joints. For example, hold objects with your palm wide open, distributing the burden equally above your forearm. Slide items across a counter instead of lifting them. When opening cabinets or weighty doors, use a strap that you can draw with your wrist or forearm to lower strains on your fingers.

Common Medicines And Medical Procedures For Rhumatoid Arthritis

There are various types of medicines can help control the pain and swelling of joints in Rhumatoid arthritis (Rheumatoid). Doctors recommend medications depending on type of arthritis, the degree to which the joints have been affected and how much pain is experienced as well as other factors. There are various classes of medicines, most of them falling under one of the following

o Analgesics: They are drugs to relieve pain but not inflammation. They are generally used if there is allergy to aspirin. Acetaminophen is one example of an analgesic. It is available without a prescription.

o Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) : are used to combat joint pain, stiffness and swelling. NSAIDs work by blocking the production of prostaglandins in the body , which are substances that send pain messages to the brain. Examples of NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. Other NSAIDs are available by prescription only. NSAIDs should be used under doctor supervision only and can cause the side effect of stomach upset.

o Glucocorticoids: are drugs that relieve pain by reducing swelling and inflammation in the affected joint. These drugs are related to a hormone found in the body à cortisol. Glucocorticoid injections must be monitored carefully; side effects can occur if you receive injections too frequently.

o Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) : The main function of DMARD's is to reduce inflammation, slow down and suppress the immune system, but these drugs also help relieve pain. The effects of these drugs may take several weeks or months to become tangible in nature. Examples of DMARDs include methotrexate, hydroxycholorquine, azulfdine and lefunomide.

o Biologic response modifiers (BRMs): These are also known as biologic agents and are used to suppress arthritis inflammation. Food and Drug Administration has approved two BRM's for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: etanercept (Enbrel) and infliximib (Remicade).

o Antidepressants are typically prescribed for the chronic pain of fibromyalgia rather than for arthritis. They work by blocking pain hormones in the brain. They are sometimes used with patients to break out of depression cycle. Antidepressants also can help improve sleep quality, which in turn may help reduce pain. The doses used to treat pain and sleep problems are usually lower than those used for depression.

o Topical pain relievers include creams, rubs and sprays that are applied to the skin over a painful muscle or joint. Some topical pain relievers contain combinations of salicylates , skin irritants and local anesthetics that relieve pain . Salicylates work by making nerve endings in the skin unresponsive to pain.

o Narcotics and other strong painkillers are sometimes prescribed for short-term and intense pain. Morphine and codeine reduce pain by blocking pain signals that are traveling to the brain.

o Tranquilizers can be helpful in reducing painful muscle tension and spasms in some types of arthritis or its related conditions. However, these drugs have to be used very carefully as they can be addictive if they are used for a long period of time.

o Nerve blocks are anesthetic drugs injections, administered directly into the nerves of the painful area. They can help relieve nerve, tendon, and ligament and muscle pain. Yet nerve blocks are not as effective for long-lasting pain because they work only for a limited period of time. They may also cause temporary muscle weakness and numbness near the painful area.

After reviewing many of these options, you may find it beneficial to also examine some natural options for dealing with your arthritis and a sufferer myself, I have found these to be a useful complement. With some trial and error they can begin to replace many of the more conventional approaches to your Rhumatoid arthritis pain relief.

What Are the Options For Knee Osteoarthritis?

Knee osteoarthritis is a condition that affects millions of Americans and has several different causes. The primary cause of this condition is obesity. Many people who are obese or even overweight, will develop a problem in their knee joints that cannot take the extra weight.

Another cause of osteoarthritis in the knees can be related to a previous injury. Many athletes or former athletes suffer from this condition. The injury wears down the cartilage in the knee to the point where it is stiff and sore.

Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis

The symptoms of knee osteoarthritis will usually come on gradually. You will notice pain, the dominating symptom of arthritis, in the joint, accompanied by stiffness. This pain will usually get worse over a period of time, although not everyone who suffers from knee osteoarthritis will find the condition debilitating. Everyone appears to suffer from a different degree of pain from this condition. This could be because some people also have higher pain thresholds than others.

If you have the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis, you need to see a doctor to have the diagnosis confirmed. The pain coupled by a stiffness in the joint are the primary symptoms for this disease. Osteoarthritis of the knee can also present with a freezing up of the joint intermittently.

Treatment Options for Knee Osteoarthritis

When a doctor diagnoses osteoarthritis, usually after taking a blood test as well as an x-ray of the joint, they will give you options based upon the cause of the condition as well as your age and the overall damage to the joint. If the reason for the knee osteoarthritis is due to obesity, your doctor will advise you to lose weight.

Many people who suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee are overweight. They find that when they lose weight, their symptoms are dramatically reduced. If you are overweight and suffering from knee problems, losing weight is the best option. This can be done by a diet rich in fiber and vitamins as well as exercise.

Exercise can help those who suffer from osteoarthritis in the knee. Swimming is considered to be the best exercise for this condition. Walking is also good exercise, although many with this condition will find that walking becomes painful. Exercise with knee osteoarthritis can be somewhat of a Catch 22. People want to lose weight through exercise, but find it too painful - making the osteoarthritis even worse.

A knee brace is also one way that the pain and swelling from this condition can be alleviated. Your doctor may recommend a knee brace as well as a heating pad to help with the swelling.

There are anti-inflammatory medications that a doctor can prescribe for those who are suffering from very painful affects of osteoarthritis of the knee. NSAIDS are the category of anti-inflammatory drugs that are most often prescribed for this condition. Some doctors will prescribe muscle relaxants and others will prescribe pain pills. Medication, however, should be a last resort and not a first option when it comes to treating osteoarthritis of the knee.

In some cases, knee replacement surgery can be performed. This is often an option for younger people who have suffered a previous injury and who want to avoid disability from this condition.

Inflammation - Eating Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Are there really diets out there that can reduce inflammation? Do they work? Scientists have found that there is a relationship, in part, between what we eat and inflammation. They've even identified some compounds in food that can reduce inflammation and others that promote it. There is still a lot to learn about just how diet and inflammation interact, and research, as of yet, is not at that point where a specific foods or groups of foods can be singled out as being beneficial for people with arthritis. We are beginning to get a clearer picture of how eating the right way can reduce inflammation.

So why are we so concerned about inflammation? Inflammation is the body's natural defense to infections and injuries. When something goes wrong the body's immune system goes to work to inflame the area, which serves to get rid of the invader or to heal the wound. Inflammation can cause pain, swelling, redness, and warmth, but this goes away as soon as the problem is solved. This is good inflammation.

Then we have chronic inflammation, the type that's familiar to people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), lupus, psoriatic arthritis, and other types of "inflammatory" arthritis. Chronic inflammation is the type that will not go away. All the types of arthritis that are mentioned above are a disorder of the immune system creates inflammation and then doesn't know when to shut off. Inflammatory arthritis, chronic inflammation can have serious consequences, permanent disability and tissue damage can be one if it isn't treated properly. Inflammation has been linked to a full host of other medical conditions.

Inflammation has been found to contribute to atherosclerosis, which is when fat builds up on the lining of arteries, raising the risk of heart attacks. Also, high levels of inflammation proteins have been found in the blood of people with heart disease. Inflammation has also been linked to obesity, diabetes, asthma, depression, and even Alzheimer disease and cancer. Scientists think that a constant level of inflammation in the body, even if the level is low, can have a number of negative effects. Research shows that diet can reduce inflammation; in theory an inflammation-lowering diet should have an effect on a wide range of health conditions.

Researchers have looked for clues in the eating habits of our early ancestors to discover which foods might benefit us the most. They believe those habits are more in tune to our eating habits with how the body processes and uses what we eat and drink. Our ancestor's diet consisted of wild lean meats (venison or boar) and wild plants (green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, and berries). There were no cereal grains until the agriculture revolution (about 10,000 years ago). There was very little dairy, and there were no processed or refined foods. Our diets are usually are high in meat, saturated (or bad) fats, and processed foods, and there is very little exercise. Nearly everything we eat is available close by or as far away as our computer and the click of a mouse.

Our diet and lifestyles are way out of whack with how our bodies are made from the inside out. While our genetic make-up has changed very little from our early beginnings, our diet and lifestyles have changed a great deal and the changes have gotten worse over the last 50 to 100 years. Our genes haven't had a chance to adapt. We aren't giving our bodies the right kind of fuel, it's as though we think of our bodies as engines in a jet plane when instead they are like the engine in the very first planes. There are some foods that we are putting into our bodies, especially because we are eating way too much of them, that are affecting our health in a bad way.

There are two nutrients in our diets that have attracted attention, are omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids have been part of our diets for thousands of years. They are components in just about all of our many cells and are important for normal growth and development. Both of these acids play a role in inflammation. In several studies it was found that certain sources of omega 3's in particular, help to reduce the inflammation process and that omega 6's will raise it.

Now this is the problem, the average American eats on average about 15 times more omega 6's than omega 3's. While our very early ancestor's ate omega 6's and omega 3's in equal ratio, and it is believed that this is what helped to balance their ability to turn inflammation on and off. The imbalance of omega 3's and omega 6's in our diets is believed to contribute to the excess of inflammation in our bodies.

So why is it that we eat so many omega 6's now? Vegetable oils such as corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, and the products made from them, such as margarine, are loaded with omega 6's. Even many of the processed snack foods that are so readily available today are full of these oils. Based on the best information of the time, was to use vegetable oils like those mentioned above instead of foods with saturated fats such as butter and lard. It looks like the consequences of that advice may have contributed to the increased consumption of omega 6's and therefore causing an imbalance of omega 3's and omega 6's.

You can find omega 6's in other common foods such as meats and egg yolks. The omega 6 found in meat is the fatty acids that come from grain-fed animals such as cows, lambs, pigs and chickens. Most of the meat sold in America is grain fed unlike their grass-fed cousins who contain less of those fatty acids. Wild game such as venison and boar are lower in omega 6's and fat and higher in omega 3's than the meat that comes from the supermarkets where we shop.

You can get omega 3s in both animal and plant food. Our bodies can convert omega 3s from animal sources into anti-inflammatory compounds more easily than the omega 3s from plant sources. Plant foods contain hundreds of other healthful compounds many of which that are anti-inflammatory, so don't discount them all together.

There are many foods that are high in omega 3s and that include fatty fish, especially fish from cold waters. Of course everyone knows about salmon but did you know that you can also find omega 3s in mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring, striped bass, and bluefish. It's also widely known that wild fish are better sources of omega 3s than the farm raised ones. You can also buy eggs that have been enriched with omega 3 oils. There are several excellent sources of omega 3s in plants that are leafy greens (like kale, Swiss chard, and spinach) as well as flaxseed, wheat germ, walnuts, and their oils.

You can also get omega 3s in supplements (often as fish oil); this source has been shown to be beneficial in some instances. You should take with your doctor before you take a fish oil supplement because it can interact with some medications and under certain circumstances can increase the risk of bleeding. I take a prescribed omega 3 supplement because my doctor had told me that the ones you get in the supermarket or health food store are not pure, they have other additives that do absolutely nothing to help. There are other fats that are contributors to clogged arteries, the "bad" or saturated fats found in meats and high-fat dairy foods, these are called pro-inflammatory.

There are also the Trans fats that are relatively new to the cause of heart disease. These Trans fats can be found in processed convenience and snack foods and can be spotted by reading the labels. They can be identified as partially hydrogenated oils, often soybean oil or cottonseed oil. But, they can also occur naturally in small amounts in animal foods. The thought is that they contribute to the pro-inflammatory activities in our bodies and the amounts we eat today are staggering.

Antioxidants are substances that prevent inflammation causing "free radicals" from over taking our bodies. Plant foods such as fruits, vegetables (including beans), nuts, and seeds carry high amounts of antioxidants. Extra-virgin olive oil and walnut oil are very good sources of antioxidants, also. These foods have long been considered the basics for good health, and can be found in fruits and vegetables with colorful and vibrant pigments. The more colorful the plant, the better they are for you, from green vegetables, especially leafy ones, to low-starch vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower, to berries, tomatoes, and brightly colored orange and yellow fruits and vegetables.

I bet you're wondering what this has to do with Arthritis. Well, there has been some research on diet and arthritis, mostly focusing on RA. There was a study that looked into a bunch of other studies on diet and RA and found that diets high in omega 3's had some effect on reducing the symptoms of RA. There was yet another study published in 2008, that found eating omega 6 fatty acids and omega 3 fatty acids in a ratio of 2 or 3 to 1 (a low ratio compared to the 15 to 1 ratio in most people's diet) decreased the inflammation in people with RA. There was also another study that found taking omega 3 may also allow people to reduce their use of no steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). But these and other studies don't offer enough evidence to prove that there is any particular anti-inflammatory diet that can have a real impact on arthritis symptoms. It doesn't mean that the diets are harmful; it just means that there may come a day when research may be able to prove their benefits. In the future, diet may be considered one of the many tools along with exercise and medicine that can be used to ease the symptoms of arthritis.

We don't have to revert back completely to the caveman to eat the anti-inflammatory way to benefit from the anti-inflammatory diet. Just eating a healthful diet that is recommended today is right on track. Our chief strategy should be to balance the amount of modern day foods with the foods of long ago, which were rich in the inflammation reducing foods. Really, all we have to do is replace foods rich in omega 6 with foods rich in omega 3, cutting down on how much meat and poultry we eat while eating oily fish a couple of times a week and adding more varieties of colorful fruits and vegetables, and while whole grains were not a part of our early ancestor's diet, it should be included in ours. Be sure that it is whole grains and not refined grains because they contain many beneficial nutrients and inflammation-tempering compounds. Researchers have found that eating a lot of foods high in sugar and white flour may promote inflammation, although there is more studying that needs to be done on the subject.

The amounts of knowledge we have on how the body works and how our ancestor's ate is helping to confirm the old adage: "You are what you eat." But, there is still more we need to learn before we can prescribe any one anti-inflammatory diet. Our genetic makeup and the severity of our health condition will determine the benefits we get from an anti-inflammatory diet and unfortunately there is doubt that there will be one diet that fits us all.

Also, what we eat or don't eat is just a small part of the whole story. We are not as physically active as our ancestors and physical activity has its own anti-inflammatory effects. Our ancestors were also much leaner than we are and body fat is active tissue that can make inflammatory producing compounds.

Anti-inflammatory eating is a way of selecting foods that are more in tune with what the body actually needs. We can achieve a more balanced diet by going back to our roots. If you look at the diet of the people of the Bible, you will find that they, like our caveman ancestors, were more active and their diets consisted of much the same things as our caveman ancestors. They also had no choice but to walk everywhere they wanted to go, there was no such thing as cars or trucks. While we have it easier today, our health has suffered greatly from it.