Saturday, October 19, 2013

Arthritis Treatment Using Ayurvedic Herb Guggul

If you have any form of arthritis, I'm sure you've considered using lots of different options to ease your arthritis pain. Ayurveda is an ancient healing art that has been practiced in India for centuries and has naturally also been used for arthritis treatment.

Mukul Myrrh is a small, thorny plant which is common in India and guggul comes from the yellow-colored resin produced by the stem of the plant. Guggul is one of the most used herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. It is because it has amazing properties - it is anti-inflammatory, analgesic and is an immune enhancer. It is used for joint pain, arthritis and sciatica, among others.

This is not all, this wonder herb can reduce existing plaque in arteries and improve the body's metabolic rate (therefore the fat burning activity) and improves the function of the thyroid. It also helps lower cholesterol. It decreases the platelet 'stickiness' in the blood, thus reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. This is why it is one of the best herbs used in Ayurveda to treat obesity and related disorders. This herb, however, should not be used during pregnancy as it promotes menstrual discharge and is a uterine stimulant.

Another Ayurvedic herb (well it's a combination of 3) is Triphala and this is a good thing to take as well when you are using guggul as this supports the herb gugul and also helps to detox your body.

As arthritis thrives in an acid environment (which is why acid forming nutrition is counter-productive - coffee, for example), it is important to rid your body of unwanted toxins and then add foods to your diet that are alkaline forming. This includes lots of vegetables and most fruit. Cut down on meat, coffee and alcohol. Smoking is very acid forming and should also be avoided.

You can also do research online to find out more information why Ayurveda can be a great help with arthritis treatment.

Arthritis Treatment: The Four Critical Keys To Optimal Gouty Arthritis Treatment

Gouty arthritis (GA) is an inborn error of metabolism. This means that the normal conversion of purines (an ingredient found in many foods) to uric acid (UA) works abnormally. The end result is an abnormal accumulation of UA in the blood and other body tissues because either UA is overproduced or it is under-excreted (not being rid from the body).

The buildup of UA in joints leads to a painful form of arthritis which can cause crippling and disability. Also, gout can cause the kidneys to become damaged.

There are three stages of gout:

* Asymptomatic elevated UA in the blood
* Acute attacks of GA
* Chronic GA

So what is the treatment?

1. The treatment of the acute attack is aimed at reducing symptoms as quickly as possible. This involves using one of three options: colchicine, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or steroids, given either by mouth or by injection.

However, that is only part of the optimal treatment because it is critical to understand that once gout causes symptoms, this means that UA has accumulated over a long period of time and it is going to be necessary to place a patient on long term UA lowering medicines.

2. Diet is probably the first issue to bring up since many foods are high in purines and need to be avoided. These include red meat (beef, pork, etc), beer, hard liquor, shellfish, soft drinks (which contain corn syrup), and canned fish such as tuna and sardines. Eating foods high in purines is sure to trigger an attack of GA in a susceptible patient.

3. Uric acid lowering drugs also need to be instituted. The decision as to when and what kind need to be individualized. It's important to understand that during the first six months of therapy, a patient needs to be on prophylactic colchicine or anti-inflammatory medicines in order to prevent a flare up of gout. It is felt that the rapid fluctuations in blood uric acid are responsible for these paradoxical attacks.

The aim is to lower the blood UA level to less than 6.0 mg/dl.

Once that target level has been achieved, most patients will become symptom free.

4. The three main types of uric acid lowering drugs are probenecid, allopurinol, and Uloric. There are other drugs in development for GA. Some are aimed at treating acute attacks that don't respond to conventional medicines. Others are designed to help patients who have difficulty with chronic disease and lack of response to conventional medicines.

Choosing the Ideal Arthritis Knee Brace

When you are inflicted with debilitating arthritis, getting an arthritis knee brace can be valuable. It is a common misconception that only older people get arthritis. Today, people between the ages of 30 and 40 already experience arthritic pain, especially in the knees. Wearing the right type of knee braces will give the needed support to the knees, alleviating pain and discomfort.

What Causes Knee Arthritis?

Basically, there are various types of arthritis of the knees. Middle-aged people are more prone to osteoarthritis. Once the cartilage is rubbed off due to lack of moisture, the bones can rub against each other. This causes immense pain and discomfort. One of the worse things about this type is that the condition only gets worse.

On the other hand, people of all ages can experience rheumatoid arthritis, often brought about by inflammation of the knees. In normal cases, both the knees become affected.

Post-traumatic arthritis is caused due to injury. This arthritis may not set in immediately after an injury. Once it does however, the pain is often unbearable.

The Benefits of a Knee Brace

An arthritis knee brace is normally prescribed by doctors, in order to alleviate arthritis discomfort. This is because a knee brace is known to lighten knee and leg pressure. Once the pressure is diminished, the patient can align his or her leg correctly, lessening pain significantly. Although there is no particular cure for arthritis, wearing the right braces can help patients effectively manage their conditions.

Since patients may have different cases of knee arthritis, you need to pick the ideal set of braces for your needs. There may be days when your knees feel slight pain, while on some days the pain could be excruciating. During cold weather, arthritis symptoms also tend to worsen, especially for middle-aged and old-aged individuals.

Choosing the right arthritis knee brace

Although knee braces are widely available and can be bought readily, you still need to choose the ideal shape and size of the knee braces. This is important in order to ensure the right fit and the best level of comfort. Typically, these braces are available from small to large sizes. One of the advantages of buying these knee braces off the shelf is convenience. You need not wait for the braces to be delivered to you, as is often the case with personalized knee braces.

Custom-made knee braces on the other hand, are beneficial for a number of reasons. Since proper measurements will be made, you are assured of getting the best fit from the braces. You will also be able to make a few specifications regarding the braces. When you choose tailor-made braces, however, you need to be prepared to pay for a bit more. Most custom made braces are more expensive than readily available ones.

The Types of Knee Braces

There are several types of arthritis knee braces. Off loader knee braces are suitable for knee alignment. For patients suffering from sports injuries, a prophylactic brace is often used. Finally, OA or Osteoarthritis braces are recommended or people suffering from Osteoarthritis.

A knee brace can be useful in diminishing the symptoms of knee arthritis. It can also greatly help in knee alignment. Consulting with your doctor is recommended however, before choosing any specific type of arthritis knee brace.

Wearing Supportive Braces With Joint Pain

If you suffer from joint pain and stiffness, you may be inclined to wear a brace to help stabilize the joint. Joints damaged by age or overuse may become weakened and stiff during everyday activities. A supportive brace may help alleviate this pain and stiffness throughout your busy day. Whether it's inflammation from an injury or arthritis, braces can offer patients a reprieve from the pain and stiffness.

What Are They?

A supportive brace is just as it sounds. It is a contraption that you wrap around the weakened joint which lends support and aid to the joint. There are many types of braces for such pain, such as a knee brace, ankle brace and the like. Generally the brace will have a type of restriction which keeps the joint in perfect alignment and can ease the pain associated with overused joints. For example, a knee brace can lend support to a weakened knee joint, realign the joint so that it is in proper alignment with the hip and back, and help ease the pain of misalignment.

If you have an injury to a joint, bracing it can help speed up the process of healing, by keep the joint in proper alignment. Braces with strong support are frequently utilized by individuals who have experienced some trauma to a joint, like overuse or sprains. For this, supportive braces can strengthen the muscles and ligaments associated with the injured joint by essentially acting as a second muscle group, keeping the injured muscles from experiencing additional trauma.

For those who suffer from arthritis, supportive braces can increase motility of the damaged joint and in some case, relieve the pain associated with the condition. Often arthritic braces act as an insulator, applying heat to the afflicted joint to reduce pain by keeping it warm. Neoprene sleeve are a common type of arthritic supportive braces. The neoprene sleeve can insulate and thereby help alleviate joint pain from arthritis.

Should I Just Go Get One?

As with any medical condition, it is always advisable to seek medical treatment for any injury or disorder. If you have joint pain, you may have a more serious arthritic condition which may require surgery. Minor injuries do not always require a supportive brace and in fact supportive braces can do more harm than good if worn inappropriately. This is why it is important to consult a physician before wearing a supportive brace. Only a physician can affirm whether a supportive brace is the right choice for you.

Manage Arthritis With Hanna Somatic Movement Education

There are so many methods out there for easing the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis, so why should you need another one? Well, imagine a gentle exercise routine that you will be much more motivated to keep up because it causes no pain, positively discourages any stress or discomfort, teaches you more about your illness, and actually feels wonderfully soothing! Read on...

If you have the type of arthritis that flares up, such as rheumatoid arthritis or reactive arthritis, it can be tremendously demoralizing and you just feel like getting into the most comfortable position and staying there to ride out the acute phase. Well, this may be a valid response for a while, but as soon as you can move without too much discomfort, it is very important to take gentle exercise to minimise joint damage and regain mobility and muscle tone.

Somatic movement education is absolutely designed for this!

I discovered somatics through my good friend, osteopath and somatic movement educator Brian Ingle, N.D., D.O., with whom I have teamed up on my website to make these systems more widely available. At first I doubted their effectiveness, as even to a committed old yoga freak like me, they still seemed too gentle to be of much use. How wrong I was.

When I started to practice somatics, I was amazed at how powerful these gentle movements are in balancing even the most locked-in of muscle and joint knots and imbalances. Then, recently, when I contracted reactive arthritis from a bout of some sort of stomach bug, and ended up with very swollen and painful ankles and one knee, somatics really revealed itself to me as a major godsend, playing a huge part in my recovery.

At those difficult times when even ordinary yoga or stretching just seems like too much, somatics may actually be the only system of movement that is truly comfortable. You never have to go beyond your comfort zone in any of the routines, and even with what might be very minimal movement possible in affected joints, you will find extraordinary relief.

Because somatics is mainly based on awareness during these gentle movements rather than forcing a stretch that the body is not yet ready for, it can also teach you a great deal about the progress of the disease, whether good or bad, and warn you of coming flare-ups, or encourage you that you are easing the stiffness and pain and going in the right direction.

Of course, diet has a great deal to do with managing arthritis, and finding your own personal triggers and food sensitivities will go a long way to warding off or at least minimizing attacks. Alkalising your diet will of course help greatly, as will many other systems, but to develop the intuition to put them all together in the most effective way for your own unique body type and imbalances, a knowledge of Ayurveda and its systems of body typing and diet is perhaps the best way to go.

With somatics and Ayurveda as your partners in the fight against this horrible disease, you will be in very good company and well on the right track to success. Good luck!

My Rheumatologist Says I Have Undifferentiated Arthritis-What is that?

Among those who seek out a rheumatologist's assistance for joint symptoms, one of the most common diagnoses is undifferentiated arthritis (UA). This means a specific diagnosis is not yet possible.

Spontaneous remission occurs in 40 to 50 percent of UA patients, while about one-third develop rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rheumatologists must make a decision regarding whether to initiate disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS) immediately... or to wait a bit.

To investigate the question as to what could or should be done, researchers with the Early Arthritis Clinic at Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands, developed a formula to help determine whether patients who present with UA are likely to progress to RA.

They looked at a total of 1,700 arthritis patients. The Leiden investigators then identified 570 patients with recent-onset UA and monitored their disease for one year. At the end of one year, 177 of the original UA patients fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for RA and 150 had achieved remission; the remaining 94 had been diagnosed with another arthritic condition.

Through a combination of questionnaires, physical examination, and blood samples, the team identified 9 clinical variables with independent predictive value for RA: gender, age, localization of symptoms, morning stiffness, the tender joint count, the swollen joint count, the C-reactive protein level, rheumatoid factor positivity, and the presence of anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies.

They then created a prediction scoring system

The prediction score, ranging from 0 to 14, was calculated for every patient in the group, with a higher score indicating a greater risk of developing RA. None of the patients who had a prediction score of less than 3 progressed to RA during the year-long observation. In contrast, all of the patients who had a prediction score of 11 or greater progressed to RA. Among the patients with scores between 4 and 10 who experienced progression to RA, the frequency of such progression increased with rising scores.

The percentage of patients in whom RA developed was also assessed according to several cutoff values of the prediction score. For example, when the scores 5.0 and 9.0 were chosen as cutoff values, 97 percent of patients with UA who had a score equal to or less than 5.0 did not develop RA, and a score of equal to or greater than 9.0 was associated with progression to RA in 84 percent of the patients.

"Because the prediction rule is accurate and can be easily determined in daily clinical practice, the present model is an important step forward in achieving individualized treatment in patients with recent-onset UA," notes chief spokesperson Dr. Tom W. J. Huizinga. "... we believe that the current model allows physicians and patients to make an evidence-based choice regarding whether or not to initiate DMARDs, in the majority of patients presenting with UA."
[van der Helm-van Mil AHM, le Cessie S, van Dongen H, Breedveld FC, Toes REM, Huizinga TWJ. A Prediction Rule for Disease Outcome in Patients With Recent-Onset Undifferentiated Arthritis: How to Guide Individual Treatment Decisions. Arthritis and Rheumatism. 2007: 57 (2).]

Authors note: A version of this prediction scale is already used by practitioners in the United States. By taking into consideration multiple variables, a rheumatologist can usually arrive at a decision about whether to start DMARD therapy or not. One measure that was omitted from the Dutch study that we often use in the U.S. is the use of an imaging procedure such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasound. These imaging procedures are invaluable for early detection of inflammatory damage (diagnosis) and staging.

We do know that the earlier treatment is started, the more likely a patient will achieve remission. We also know that the more aggressive we are at the beginning of RA, the more likely we are to avoid permanent irreparable damage. On the flip side, the use of strong DMARD therapy or biologic therapy should be tempered with the knowledge that these drugs do have potentially severe side effects.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Grandma's Old Fashioned Arthritis Remedies

Modern day arthritis treatments include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's), corticosteroids, anti-TNF (tumour necrosis factor) treatment and, of course, the disease modifying anti rheumatic drugs (DMARD's), which are notoriously excelled for their nasty side-effects. This minefield of chemicals that we are willingly putting into our already ailing bodies surely can't actually be good for us and our delicate constitutions. What would our grandparents think? More importantly, what would our grandparents do?

The answer is simple, they would go into the pantry or the garden to gather a herb or dig up a vegetable. Here are a few of the remedies that our ancestors would have used to ease their aching joints.

Let's take a look in the pantry first. Mustard was a popular choice of treatment for joint pain. The seeds of white or yellow mustard (sinapis alba) are used make the popular condiment. Mustard plasters were very popular for treating arthritis as well as chest congestion, bronchitis and sore muscles.

To make a mustard plaster mix together one part mustard powder to two parts flour and mix to a soft paste with warm water. Spread the paste into the middle of a clean hand towel. Fold the towel in half to enclose the paste, and half again before putting on the affected joint. Leave the mustard plaster to work its magic for approximately 15 minutes. If the plaster starts to feel uncomfortable at any point remove it immediately. After the treatment, gently wash the treated area with lukewarm water and pat dry. It is important to ensure that the mustard paste does not come into contact with the skin; it is hot on the skin as well as the palate and has the potential to cause severe blistering.

Epsom salts were used in the bath as a general arthritis remedy. Four tablespoons in the bath will reduce inflammation and stiffness in the joints.

Castor oil has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Rubbed into the ailing joints it was also a common arthritis treatment. Castor oil was also taken as a medicine for arthritis with two tablespoons of castor oil boiled and added to fresh orange juice. This should be taken every morning on an empty stomach.

Going into the garden we will find herbs and vegetables that will soothe arthritis pain. The herb comfrey, also known as knitbone, has been used for centuries for a host of different ailments. It has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. As a poultice comfrey will help to reduce inflammation and draw out toxins.

To make a poultice, chop the comfrey and add to a blender to make a fine paste. Put the paste into a bowl and add flour and knead to make a stiff doughy consistency. Use old sheets to make the poultice and add the comfrey paste to the middle and wrap to make tidy squares about an inch thick and a comfortable size for the joint you wish to treat. Apply the poultice for 15-45 minutes then wash the area with warm water and pat dry. A great tip is that you can make several and freeze them for later use. Just pop them into a self-sealing bag and bung them in the freezer. Alternatively you can make a lazy poultice by simply bruising the leaves, wrapping them around your aching joint and holding them in place with clingfilm!

Cabbage makes a really good poultice for arthritis too. Cabbage is from the same family as mustard and has anti-inflammatory properties. For a basic cabbage poultice simply bash the leaves with a rolling pin to get the juice running and wrap the leaves around the joint that you wish to treat. Cover with a gauze bandage and leave overnight. Also you can freeze the cabbage leaves and place them directly onto the joint for instant relief.

Moving away from herbs and vegetables to apply to joints to vegetables that are to be eaten to help ease arthritis; potato juice is alkaline and will help to dissolve uric acid for gout sufferers. Peel and cube a potato and leave overnight in a glass of water. Drink the starchy water that is produced the next morning before breakfast. Not so tasty but if you hold your nose as you drink, it won't taste so bad. This is absolutely true because your olfactory glands and your taste buds work together.

Garlic and onion have anti-inflammatory properties. Eaten raw in salads, salsas or sandwiches gives the best results. Strong onions work better, and to stop the tears, peel them under running water.

Finally we will look at celery which when juiced with 2 carrots and an apple works a treat on Rheumatoid Arthritis.

How Fish Oil Helps Arthritis Sufferers

Let's face it: arthritis is such a difficult condition. It is painful and uncomfortable, it is permanent, and can set it anytime. There are actually over a hundred types of arthritis, but it is generally safe to assume that arthritis is an inflammation or swelling of the joints, and causes an insurmountable amount of pain and immobility to the joints.

It has been found that omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil can provide tremendous relief from arthritis, especially if you are suffering from rheumatoid or osteoarthritis. Before we move onto finding out how these omega 3 acids help, let us familiarize ourselves with these dietary fats and the connection between omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil and arthritis.

There are actually two kinds of polyunsaturated fats that play significant roles for inflammation: omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. It has been found that most people, especially those who suffer from arthritis, get too much of omega-6's in their diet than omega-3's. The abundance of omega-6 has been found to be detrimental to arthritis sufferers.

You see, omega-6 fatty acids help produce inflammatory agents called eicosanoids or prostaglandins. These compounds have significant roles to play in the body and are linked to important functions, including the relaxation and contraction of smooth muscles. Getting just enough of omega-6 in the diet (sourced from vegetable oils, sweets, crackers and even junk food) can be helpful, but higher doses are not and can lead to many health problems, including the production of pro-inflammatory agents - those that enhance inflammation rather than prevent them.

Omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand, richly found in fish oil, are also converted into eicosanoids. The interconversion happens at a much slower rate, and anti-inflammatory eicosanoids (not the "pro" ones) are involved. The chemicals released by omega-3 alleviate inflammation and stops it right at the very core.

Fish oil for arthritis: better than NSAIDs

For the longest time, NSAIDS have been the only relief available for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. Sure, they work, but compromise health because it brings about higher risk for heart attack, stomach bleeding, among many others. Intake of NSAIDs for a prolonged period of time actually lead to more harm than good. As an alternative, fish oil supplementation does not only reduce your pain naturally, but also brings you a multitude of health benefits as well: including promotion of heart and brain health, better focus and memory, and overall better health.

Fish oil naturally stops inflammation

Omega-3 fish oil can effectively heal the pain of arthritis sufferers. Since these essential fatty acids also encourage better cardiovascular function, which means that systemic inflammation is not just reduced, you can have a shot at permanently waving your pain goodbye. For arthritis sufferers, fish oil does not only offer alleviation from the pain and the swelling, it does so naturally that there are no unwanted side effects to expect.

Arthritis Hip Pain - Are There Any Treatments That Work?

Arthritis hip pain is certainly not something anyone will find easy to deal with. Such pain can certainly reduce the quality of one's life because of the constant pressure that it delivers. While some forms of arthritic pain can be dealt with to a certain degree, arthritic pain in the hip can be extremely difficult to contend with simply because of the location of the pain. Specifically, the hip joint will be affected anytime one moves the lower body.

When you walk, for example, you engage the hip joint. So, unless you opt to dramatically reduce the amount of time you move around, you will assuredly have to deal with a certain level of hip pain. Or, do you? Is there an effective treatment that can reduce the pain one feels from hip pain? The answer to such a question, mercifully, is yes. There are ways to treat arthritis hip pain and restore a certain sense of improved quality to one's life.

Some may wonder what exactly causes hip pain. Essentially, it will be wear and tear on the joints that leads to the onset of arthritis hip pain. This does not mean that the pain develops overnight. Usually, it is a cumulative effect of several years of wear and tear on the cartilage found in the joint. Those that may have been very athletic in their youth, for example, might end up suffering from hip arthritis later in life.

Of course, those that may have suffered a serious injury such as a car accident may also find themselves in the unenviable position of developing hip problems later in life. Most commonly, it will impact those over the age of 50. The potential to develop such a problem will increase, however, if you are genetically predisposed for suffering from the problem. So, if others in your family are contending with this type of pain, odds are strong that you will develop similar difficult problems.

The symptoms of this are not difficult to miss. Sharp pain with each and every movement would be a clear indicator. Stiffness in the joint that becomes more prevalent whenever you walk. Dealing with a very limited range of motion in the hip would also be another obvious problem. What makes hip arthritis pain more complicated to deal with is the fact that the pain is not a constant one. In other words, it can come and go with extended periods of time where the pain does not appear. Commonly, this type of hip pain will appear when the weather changes or become inclement. Such a difficult to predict nature adds to some of the complexities associated with dealing with the problem.

Thankfully, the problem of arthritis hip pain can be effectively dealt with as long as the proper treatment is sought. In some instances, the treatment employed can be considered minimalist. Losing weight, for example, can often reduce hip pain to a significant degree.

Taking prescribed anti-inflammatory medication is another common way that hip arthritis pain can be effectively dealt with. Using a walking aid can also alleviate some of the pressure and restore a semblance of a pain free life. And, of course, applying several of these methods simultaneously may also prevent the issue of hip from becoming overwhelming as well.

Find a Psoriasis Treatment Today!

Presently there's no substitute for seeing a medical doctor or skin doctor regarding help in receiving a prognosis and acquiring treatment assistance for the purpose of psoriasis. Nevertheless, because there are variety of reliable remedies out there, a lot of individuals can certainly attempt to treat their psoriasis by themselves. How is this possible? Through informing themselves about the assortment of readily available psoriasis treatments and then caring for themselves by means of a careful trial and error process. Despite the fact that there is actually still not any easy cure designed for all psoriasis, many people can obtain help or possibly complete clarifying of their skin by checking out available treatment alternatives.

In this part - explaining the healing of psoriasis - we will lightly evaluate a few of the much more popular and effective therapies, some of which often entail employing prescribed or OTC drugs, in addition to others that are much more purely natural. However, before explaining these kinds of therapies we will quickly assess just what exactly causes skin psoriasis.

What Causes Skin Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is generally known to be a dysfunction of our immune system, and is without a doubt recognized as an auto-immune problem. In psoriasis one's very own immune system, and in particular, an individual's T-helper cells, wrongly attacks one's own personal skin cells. Nearly all psoriasis remedies center on handling this specific immune system response, frequently through controlling the immune system, by removing the cause or even a connection of the immune response, or perhaps by addressing the particular signs or symptoms on the epidermis. Okay, now we will go onto a quick overview of a number of of the more standard psoriasis treatment.

Treating Psoriasis


Biologics are a brand new class of medicines intended for dealing with more critical instances of psoriasis, and normally include Amevive, Enbrel, Humira, Remicade, and more recently Stelara, along with a few others some others. Amevive helps by simply hindering the T-cell immune response, and Enbrel, Humira, and Remicade give good results by simply obstructing an additional major factor in the immune reaction, which is actually referred to as TNF-alpha. Stelara, the most recent to become authorized, functions simply by preventing the activation of a number of of the interleukin chains throughout the immune response. The biologics have offered optimism to numerous people with moderate to extreme psoriasis which weren't previously helped by different remedies. Having said that, biologics also have a greater hazard of occasionally critical uncomfortable side effects, such as microbe infections. Other drawbacks are: need to get applied by way of injection or infusion, do not work for everyone, usually are exceptionally high priced, and the signs or symptoms of skin psoriasis in most cases come back as soon as therapy stops.

Coal Tar

A well used and everyday form of therapy put to use to help manage slight instances of skin psoriasis, coal tar is used in hair shampoos and creams. Although coal tar may well reduce irritation and redness for quite a few people, it is only somewhat helpful, is certainly messy, can easily bother the skin and in substantial concentrations can end up being poisonous and also possibly carcinogenic.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is actually getting more attention recently as a therapy for psoriasis victims, both as a dietary supplement and also as a skin salve. Coconut oil consists of elevated quantities of lauric acid, which often is known to help destroy candida in our digestive tract, therefore healing one of the potential underlying origins of skin psoriasis. Coconut oil has additionally shown to cut down inflammation, equally while used as a vitamin supplement or even whenever hand-applied to the skin.


Cyclosporin is an immunosuppressant and is actually effective at lowering psoriatic conditions since it reduces and depresses the immune system. For the same exact reason, however, cyclosporin possesses a higher threat of unwanted effects and is solely prescribed by doctors for much more critical conditions of skin psoriasis.

Diet Plan Modification

Adjusting your eating habits can certainly be the best form of managing psoriasis. Why? There is rising proof that by-products coming from food may perhaps be the triggers for the immune reaction which usually leads to psoriasis. Several researchers have proposed that "leaky gut syndrome" (also termed intestinal tract hyper-permeability) may well be to blame for the "leaks" of food-dependent agents out of the intestinal tract directly into your bloodstream. Consequently, diet plan modification may possibly aid simply by way of treating a person's digestive tract, possibly by fighting an overgrowth of candida, which is definitely one probable cause of leaky gut syndrome. For people who are interested in curbing their psoriasis, but do not want to spend a lot of money and want to avoid unwanted side effects this is the best option. Some well-known food triggers are: dairy products, very acidic foods, fermented food, alcohol, sugars, nuts, wheat, gluten, nightshades, and a number of others. Then again, it is without a doubt important to note that each person may have many different food triggers - one really needs to experiment. In addition, as well as doing away with certain items, plenty of people have benefited from including things to their diet, like: coconut oil, fish oil, folic acid, zinc, antioxidants, Vitamin D and probiotics.

Dithralin (Anthralin)

Dithralin is a synthetic form of an extract out of the bark of the South American araroba tree. It is often helpful, and succeeds by blocking cell proliferation. It normally takes a long time to begin working and also can stain and upset your pores and skin.

Dovonex and other sorts of Vitamin D analogues

Dovonex, the brand name for calcipotriene, is without a doubt the most renowned and trusted kind of the Vitamin D analogues which often are used to care for psoriasis. Others are Vectical and tacalcitol. Dovonex is a synthetic variety of Vitamin D3, and operates by inhibiting skin cell growth and proliferation. A number of individuals report decent benefits with Dovonex, and the side effects are generally low - still - it requires several weeks to take effect and some folks do not respond at all. Fairly recently, the Vitamin D analogues have additionally been manufactured with hydrocortisone.


Similar to cyclosporin, methotrexate is a systemic medication having far more potentially serious unintended effects, but which can also offer relief for more serious cases of psoriasis as well as extreme instances of psoriatic arthritis. Methotrexate functions by inhibiting cell growing, and was at first intended for use as a chemotherapeutic for cancer. The the majority of considerable complications associated with taking methotrexate is liver damage, and its use is must be supervised by medical professionals.


You will find several varieties of skin lotions to take care of psoriasis. Some happen to be beneficial simply because they can calm the skin and reduce itching, plus they could also help get rid off the top stratum of scales, allowing some other agents to more readily access and start treating the underlying skin cells. Oatmeal soaks, salicyclic acid, epsom salt bathing, saltwater baths, and a wide range of oils are just a couple of countless moisturizing treatment options. Some skin lotions, such as coconut oil and ocean or brine, could perhaps work by lessening inflammation in addition to basically lifting scales and soothing pores and skin.

Omega 3's (Fish Oil)

Dietary supplements, like fish oil, made up of Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease inflammation and several reports point to improvements.

Phototherapy, Natural light

There are actually several kinds of phototherapy used to control psoriasis, which work by decreasing skin cell growth. While typically powerful, phototherapy symptoms become worse before they get better, and the possibility for overexposure adds a carcinogenic danger, hence the great importance of medical oversight when deciding upon phototherapy.


Topical retinoids like Tazorac are available in ointments and gels, and are a artificial form of Vitamin A. Tazorac is the brand name pertaining to Tazoratene, and is also employed to care for acne breakouts. Skin irritation is definitely one side effect, and it commonly will take 2-12 weeks to observe results.

Topical Corticosteroids

The most well-known form of therapy. Topical steroids such as hydrocortisone are utilized in a range of varieties and applied to the skin. They work by reducing the inflammation reaction. Topical steroids will usually supply short-lived reduction and lessen inflammation, scaling and itching, but, they usually do not target the root origin of the symptoms, and because of side effects are generally advisable for temporary use only.

If you suspect you might have psoriasis, reviewing psoriasis pictures may help you confirm your suspicions.

Arthritis Treatment: What to Do About Wrist Arthritis

The wrist is a complicated joint. Rather than just two bones that interact, the wrist consists of eight small bones all of which interact with each other as well as the two arm bones- the radius and ulna- as well as the bones of the hand.

The wrist bones- called "carpals" are arranged in two rows and are held in place with an intricate system of ligaments.

The wrist has a number of functions. It moves the hand, stabilizes the hand, and enhances the mechanics of the hand in relation to the forearm.

Wrist arthritis results in both severe pain and restriction of movement. Swelling and deformity are other features of wrist arthritis.

A number of conditions can cause wrist arthritis. The most common is rheumatoid arthritis. However, crustal induced arthritis such as gout and pseudogout, psoriatic arthritis, and osteoarthritis can also be implicated.

Since the wrist is supposed to stabilize the hand, the resultant pain and deformity from arthritis may result in loss of function with weakness of hand grip.

History and physical exam start the process of diagnosis. Laboratory tests are also useful. While x-rays can detect damage, the findings are late. Magnetic resonance imaging is better for finding early changes.

The general axiom is that initiation of treatment for the underlying disease is needed along with local treatment for the wrist.

Non-surgical measures for wrist arthritis are aimed at pain relief. Splinting can be instituted during acute flares. However, prolonged can lead to wrist stiffness and weakness.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) can help reduce swelling and pain.

Steroid injection may be beneficial. Injection should be accompanied by temporary splinting. The results can vary depending on the severity of the underlying problem.

In patients who don't respond to conservative measures, surgery may need to be considered. A number of considerations enter into the decision making process. These include: type of arthritis, the extent of involvement, functional requirements, and patient expectations.

Surgical options include:

• Arthroscopy (using a small telescope to examine the inside of the wrist and perform minor surgical procedures such as repairs of ligament tears)
• Synovectomy (removal of inflamed joint tissue; particularly useful for rheumatoid arthritis)
• Ulnar resection (removing the end of the ulna bone which helps stabilize the wrist biomechanically)
• Arthrodesis (fusion)

All of these treatments have their place depending on the extent of disease. Wrist replacements are improving all the time but are still inadequate.

Types of Juvenile Arthritis

Juvenile arthritis, also known as juvenile chronic arthritis, childhood arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis, has five different subtypes, or classifications, depending on the symptoms found within the first six months of diagnosis. These classifications are pauciarticular, polyarticular, systemic onset, spondyloarthropathy and psoriatic juvenile arthritis. Juvenile arthritis was once referred to as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis but the 'rheumatoid' was dropped as part of the name because it leads people to believe this disease is similar to rheumatoid arthritis in adults, which it is very different from in terms of symptoms, course of the disease and future outlook of the disease.

Pauciarticular juvenile arthritis affects less than four joints, usually the ankle, knee, elbow, or wrist and is the most common type of juvenile arthritis. This particular subtype affects around 45% of children diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, very few of which develop general, or body-wide, symptoms. Pauciarticular juvenile arthritis sufferers rarely experience bone growth problems or deformed joints, which may be associated with other types of juvenile arthritis. Some children with juvenile arthritis develop inflammation of the eye, known as uveitis, which can lead to blindness if it isn't treated promptly. Pauciarticular juvenile arthritis will sometimes disappear within a few years, but many children will experience cycles of remission and flares for the rest of their life.

Polyarticular juvenile arthritis affects about 40% of children diagnosed with juvenile arthritis and it affects more girls than boys. This subtype of juvenile arthritis affects children with a huge age gap and it is rarely first diagnosed between age three and ten. Polyarticular juvenile arthritis affects at least five joints at the same time, usually the small joints of the hands and feet, although the knee has been known to be affected as well. When the knee is affected by juvenile arthritis, the bones in the leg will begin to grow at different rates and one leg will become longer than the other. This can lead to arthritis in the hip or spine, which around half of all children diagnosed with this subtype of juvenile arthritis will develop. Polyarticular juvenile arthritis presents with general symptoms, such as decreased appetite, slight fever and a slight rash. Polyarticular juvenile arthritis is usually most severe in children who were primarily diagnosed after age 10 and they may test positive for rheumatoid factor. This is a marker found in other autoimmune disorders, including adult rheumatoid arthritis. If a child does test positive for this marker, they are more likely to develop deformed joints and many doctors consider this subtype of juvenile arthritis adult rheumatoid arthritis that occurs at an early age.

Systemic onset juvenile arthritis is sometimes called Still disease after the doctor who first described it. This subtype of juvenile arthritis occurs in approximately 10% of juvenile arthritis patients and affects boys and girls equally. Primary diagnosis is usually made between 5 and 10 years of age and may be difficult to diagnose accurately because the initial symptoms do not affect the joints. The initial symptoms are usually found with some type of infection, high fever, swollen lymph nodes, rash, loss of appetite and subsequent weight loss. Occasionally children with this subtype of juvenile arthritis will develop more serious complications, inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart (pericarditis), inflammation of the heart itself (myocarditis) and inflammation of the tissue lining the chest cavity and lungs (pleuritis). However, systemic onset juvenile arthritis rarely includes inflammation of the eye as seen in pauciarticular juvenile arthritis. When arthritis symptoms do begin to appear, often later in the course of this disease, they usually affect the wrists or ankles. Many of the children diagnosed with systemic onset juvenile arthritis will experience cycles of remissions and flares of the systemic symptoms throughout their childhood. Systemic onset juvenile arthritis sufferers will go on to develop polyarticular juvenile arthritis.

The final two subtypes of juvenile arthritis, spondyloarthropathy and psoriatic juvenile arthritis are rare. Spondyloarthropathy usually affects boys over the age of eight. It begins in the knees and ankles, slowly moving to include the lower spine and hips. Sometimes uveitis occurs, but resolves on its own. Psoriatic juvenile arthritis affects less than four joints in the beginning, but soon advances to other joints. The toes, hips, spine and fingers are the main joints affected by this subtype of juvenile arthritis. Children with this subtype of juvenile arthritis often suffer from psoriasis and have pits or ridges on their fingernails. This arthritis often disables the child.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Some Less Common Arthritis Types

There are more than 100 different arthritis types, which are split into three main classifications. These are inflammatory arthritis, for example rheumatoid arthritis, non-inflammatory arthritis, for example osteoarthritis, and connective tissue/ autoimmune disease, for example lupus. Arthritis is a term generally used to describe inflammation within a joint, whilst rheumatism is a more general term used to describe aches and pains in or around the joint area. The three most common and well known types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. However, there are many rarer and less known types of the disease; we will explore some of these in this article.

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS); this is an inflammatory type of arthritis affecting the joints of the spine. After an inflammation attack, the body produces calcium which is laid down over the point where the ligaments attach to the vertebrae in the spine, causing a loss of flexibility. Eventually ankylosis can result, which is a fusing of the bones in the spine. Symptoms include sciatica type pain in the buttocks or thighs and stiffness.

Reactive Arthritis (also known as Reiter's Syndrome or Reiter's Arthritis); this is an autoimmune type of arthritis that develops following an infection in another part of the body. It commonly develops in the knees and the back, and responds well to treatment. Symptoms include increased frequency of urination or pain on urinating, pain and swelling in affected joints, conjunctivitis type symptoms and small hard nodules which develop on the soles of the feet or the palms of the hand. Some people also experience recurrent mouth ulcers.

Psoriatic arthritis; this is an inflammatory type of arthritis which often develops in people with the skin condition psoriasis. There are five forms of psoriatic arthritis, some of which can be severe if not diagnosed and treated. Symptoms include swelling, throbbing, redness and stiffness in the affected joints, particularly first thing in the morning or after a period of rest, a reduced range of movement in the affected joints and swelling to the fingers or toes.

Pseudo gout; this is another inflammatory type of arthritis, and, like gout, is caused by the formation of crystals in the joints. However, unlike gout where crystals are formed by uric acid, they are formed from a type of salt known as calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD). This build up of crystals causes swelling and pain in the knees, ankles, wrists and other joints. Symptoms include joint pain and swelling and a build up of fluid in the joint. The symptoms of pseudo gout can mimic the symptoms of gout and rheumatoid arthritis, making it difficult to diagnose at times.

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JIA); this is an inflammatory type of arthritis which affects children under the age of sixteen. There are three main types of JIA; Oligoarticular (or pauciarticular) JIA, which is the most common form and which affects only a few of the joints, Polyarticular JIA, which affects more of the joints including the digits, and Systemic JIA (Stills disease), the rarer form of the condition, which is a more general illness of which joint pain is one symptom. Symptoms of JIA include stiff, swollen, reddened and painful joints which may feel hot to the touch. This can be accompanied by other symptoms such as a fever or rash.

Fibromyaligia; this is a connective tissue/ autoimmune type of arthritis and is found in the muscles and soft tissues overlying the joints. The cause of fibromyalgia is not yet fully known, but it is thought to be due to a defective neurotransmitter function in the brain. Fibromyalgia can affect the whole body, and symptoms range from exhaustion, chronic fatigue, muscular pain and spasm, muscle twitching and a disturbed sleep pattern. Although there is no cure for fibromyalgia, there are treatments available that can relieve some of the symptoms.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR); this is an inflammatory type of arthritis which most commonly affects people over the age of 65. It causes inflammation of the larger muscles in the body such as the muscles around the shoulders, neck, upper arms and hips. Although the cause of PMR is still unknown, it generally responds well to treatment. Symptoms include stiffness, aching or pain in the large muscles around the neck, shoulders and upper arms, which is often worse in the mornings or after sitting for long periods. Inflammation and swelling can also occur in the soft tissues around the joints.

If you suspect you may have one of these arthritis types, you should visit your doctor so that an accurate diagnosis can be made and appropriate treatment prescribed.

Symptoms for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis are often reflected by feelings of pain, joint stiffness, inflammation and swelling in your joints. This chronic disease is caused by the normal response of your body to infections, injury, wounds, or foreign objects.

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms are not only felt on the main joints but can also include some of your smaller joints, including those of the writs, hands, feet, ankles, knees, and elbows.

In addition, symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis also extend to complications associated with this disease, as the inflammation can affect your internal organs and other systems of the body. Treatment generally consists of controlling the inflammation to prevent damage to joints or tissues.

Thus, if you have rheumatoid arthritis, your ability to function at the normal level can be greatly impaired. Normal, routine activities such as walking, dressing, cooking, cleaning, working, and even using the restroom can become difficult to achieve. As the condition worsens, many individuals with rheumatoid arthritis find that they can no longer to work. In many cases, the total inability to function can occur as early as ten years after your first detection of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

What distinguishes rheumatoid arthritis from other forms of arthritis? Rheumatoid arthritis is unique because it is classified as an autoimmune disease.

This means that your own immune system is actually responsible for attacking and damaging its own cells and tissues that it normally protects. This happens when an individual's immune system produces unique chemicals and cells that are released into the blood stream. These cells then begin to attack body tissues, causing irreversible damage. When your tissues are being attacked, your body responds by producing inflammation and abnormal growth in the synovium. The synovium is the special membrane that lines each joint.

The process whereby the synovium becomes inflamed is referred to as synovitis. Synovitius is one of the primary distinguishing features of rheumatoid arthritis. Synovitis is responsible for your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. When synovitis continues to expand around the joint, it threatens the function of the surrounding tissues, joint, and cartilage. Ligaments, nerves, tendons, and blood vessels may all be adversely affected.

It is not surprisingly that many with symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis experience a shorter life expectancy than the general public. The disease itself is not inherently fatal. But since rheumatoid arthritis is essentially an autoimmune disease, many vital tissues or organs can be affected throughout the course of the disease.

Early detection of all health ailment is key to treatment and recovery. Thus, it is vital that you recognize the common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis. When you experience pain in your joints, it is best to consult a doctor. Treatment process can involve occupational therapy, physical exercises and supplementation to prevent the disease from deteriorating. There are also new treatments being developed that can help rheumatoid arthritis sufferers recover faster.

Natural Treatment for Feline Arthritis Recommended by Veterinarians

Work with your vet to rule out other problems that might cause your cat to limp or be lame. There are tests your vet will use to rule out other complications. Then ask your vet if you can use a natural treatment for feline arthritis.

There are several kinds of treatment that can be prescribed. The overall goal is to make sure your cat's arthritis symptoms are managed or even almost eliminated. Having your cat return to top shape makes you feel better too. Your kitty returns love more easily when he isn't hurting. While you don't mind picking up the cat, you would rather have him jumping into your lap on his own.

There are two substances that are naturally produced in your cat's body which are glucosamine and chondroitin. These combine to form major components of your cat's joint cartilage. Your cat's body produces less of this as he ages. There are different supplements that can be used to help rejuvenate your cat's joints, and some cats will even completely regain all of their mobility.

When Omega-3 fatty acids are used, it will help relieve stiffness and pain, as well as lubricate your cat's joints. Corticosteroids are prescribed to help provide relief for a cat's arthritis pain. Some people will even try natural remedies, but you have to be careful. Some treatments like tea tree oil or cayenne may work for humans, but your cat can't tolerate certain natural substances. If you go the natural path look for products specifically formulated for cats and dogs, not for human consumption.

Whatever treatment for feline arthritis you follow, whether it's pain-relieving drugs or a natural supplements, there are some things that are necessary to relieve your cat's pain and suffering. For one, if you are dealing with an overweight cat, he's going to have to undergo a weight loss program. The excess weight puts extra pressure on the inflamed joints. Exercise is difficult for fat cats. However, the fatter he is the more lethargic he'll be.

This leads to more stiffness and pain. As he limbers up, your cat will resume his former antics and play. Of course, don't ask your fatty to do too much at first. He's going to have limitations, but cats love to play. He's going to love the fact that you are spending more time with him too. Cats love warm spots in the house. Cats with arthritis need more warmth to minimize joint pain too. If you have a electric blanket on your bed, leave it on low so he can benefit from the warmth. A heating pad can help too, just make sure there is a towel or blanket in between your cat and the pad. Keep this on low too.

What could be better than a gentle massage? Massage helps keep the blood flowing to muscles and joints. Use your fingertips to gently massage your cat's muscles all over, but be careful when you get to the sore areas. The last thing you want is to be bitten. Exercise is an effective treatment for feline arthritis. Also consider using natural treatments that you can use long term to minimize your cat's pain from osteoarthritis. You can use these on a daily basis without bad side effects or causing problems with other vital organ functions.

Arthritis and the Lower Back Pain Relation

Arthritis is one of the most pervasive diseases in the United States and is the leading cause of disability. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention one out of every three Americans is affected by one of the more than 100 types of arthritis. Arthritis simply means a painful condition of the joints. There are different types of the disease - many inflammatory and others more degenerative in nature. Across the world there are 350 million people suffer from the chronic joint inflammation of Arthritis. In US the number reaches to the 37 to 40 million. All of us know that there should the joint pain that is accompanied by the arthritis. The joint pain referred as the arthralgia. To suppress the join pain all of the people search for the natural arthritis treatment.

There are many forms of arthritis (over one hundred and growing). The forms range from those related to wear and tear of cartilage (such as osteoarthritis) to those associated with inflammation resulting from an over-active immune system (like rheumatoid arthritis).Together, the many forms of arthritis make up the most common chronic illness in the United States. People are spontaneous to react in way of finding the treatment of arthritis symptoms and anxiety of its various forms.

In the world there are two types of arthritis- 1) Osteoarthritis and 2) Rheumatoid arthritis. The Osteoarthritis mainly affects the cartilages of or around the bones. The cartilages provide the bone with the cushion and thus to protect it from the rubbing friction. On the other hand the Rheumatoid arthritis is the joint chronic inflammation that also the affect the body autoimmune system. Rheumatoid arthritis is also the main disease that causes the pain in or around the joints. Only the arthritis low back pain relief is the main pain suppression methodology for both of the arthritis. Here Autoimmune disease must be explained. The autoimmune disease is that illness by the blood antibody or the cells whose main job is to seeking and destroying body invaders preferably the infections mistakenly attack the body tissues.

For most people arthritis pain and inflammation cannot be avoided as the body ages. In fact, most people over the age of 50 show some signs of arthritis. Joints naturally degenerate over time. Fortunately, arthritis can be managed through a combination of medication, exercise, rest, weight-management, nutrition, and, in some cases, surgery. Your doctor can tell if you have arthritis through blood tests and x-rays. He or she will then be able to help you decide on the best treatment for arthritis for your case.

Discover How To Stop Arthritis Pain Naturally

For those suffering from arthritis, finding an effective method of reducing their symptoms is a priority. How to stop arthritis pain in a natural way is so important to those arthritis sufferers who may already be taking prescribed drugs, but not always getting the level of relief they would like. There are a variety of simple, but effective ways in which effective relief from the pain of arthritis can be acquired.

How to Stop Arthritis Pain with Rest and Relaxation

A great many people with arthritis can enjoy an active and full lifestyle. However, those that tend to be most active are those who know the benefits of resting and relaxing at the right times. Taking out just a little time in your day-to-day routine to relax a little, by either lying down or sitting in a comfortable chair can have huge benefits. It is all about understanding what your body is trying to tell you. Recognize when fatigue is starting to affect you, then stop what you are doing and simply relax for a while. A regular sleep routine is essential to provide enough hours to let your body prepare for the day ahead. Bathing in warm or hot water brings great relief to many arthritis sufferers. Starting the day off by bathing in a hot tub can be more beneficial than taking a brisk shower. Adding in a mid day soak and relaxing in the tub again in the early evening has its perks. Do this daily and you will start to gain significant benefits, by preventing much of the pain that you would normally experience throughout the day.

How to Stop Arthritis Pain Applying Heat or Cold

Heat is often used to give relief from pain. For arthritis sufferers, moist heat is most effective. There are many electric heating pads available that can provide this. Or you can use a towel that has been soaked in hot water. Always wring out the towel first and apply to the area on top of a dry towel, to reduce the chances of burning. If it is swollen joints that you are treating, then it is better to apply cold instead. Liquid filled ice pads can be purchased that come with Velcro, allowing them to be wrapped around an arm or leg. Take care to avoid frost bite, by removing the pad before the maximum usage time lapses. This is normally around 15 to 20 minutes.

How to Stop Arthritis Pain with Cherry Juice

Recent research has shown that consuming the juice from cherries can have beneficial effects for the relief of arthritis pain. The presence of anthocyanins, the pigments that give cherries their red color, have been said to hold many times the anti-inflammatory properties of aspirin. Although fresh cherries are not available all year-round, you can normally purchase cherry juice at any time. Check to ensure that the juice has a high concentrate of cherries. It is also possible to purchase highly concentrated cherry juice now in capsule form as well.

While there are many natural methods you can use to stop arthritis pain, you should consider them as complimentary to any prescription drugs you may already be taking, rather than an alternative. Never stop taking any regular medication that has been prescribed, prior to consulting your doctor.

Arthritis and Its Types

It is one of the diseases having a painful effect. It has a far-reaching impact on most people who either have themselves or their family members affected by this disease. Literally Arthritis is a term given to joint inflammation. However in the biological world this term is used for hundreds of diseases. These diseases can affect your ligaments muscles tendons and bones causing stiffness, swelling and massive pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are the common types of this disease.

When the diseases takes place on the common joint causing degenerative effect the arthritis is known as osteoarthritis. This is a common type of arthritis and has already affected more than 20 million of US population. In this type the main targeted portion is the cartilage. If you are having this disease you will find that the outer cartilage layer gets broken down. It causes reduction of cushion in the bones and they start rubbing against each other. This leads to a loss in motion for the particular joint involved alongside swelling and pain. Spurs start growing at the edges of the joint. Following that it is seen that the spurs start to break off and float in the joint itself. This causes further damage and more pain. Such arthritis form can only have an affect on your joints.

Another common arthritis form which has more than couple of million of US population currently affected with it is the rheumatoid arthritis. Unlike osteoarthritis this form of arthritis is not limited to joint you would find it affecting heart nerves blood eyes skin and other parts of our body. It is actually an inflammation characterized by symmetry. This means that if one of the joints are affected you would find the joint parallel to that also getting affected.

This is why it is quite simple to detect this form of arthritis. Other symptoms of the disease include swelling and pain in joint alongside stiffness inactivity and fatigue. People having rheumatoid arthritis have rheumatoid factor. However it has little or no use if you are trying to diagnose this disease. Apart from rheumatoid arthritis there are a number of other diseases which can have rheumatoid factor. If you see any of the symptoms of the two arthritis types you should consult a rheumatologist today.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Natural Home Remedies For Gout Arthritis Pain

Gout Arthritis can be very painful and some people have described it as walking on glass.  This said, treating gout is two fold.  You want to eliminate the source or reason why you get gout and reduce the pain by taking things that will naturally reduce inflammation in the joints and areas that are affected.  In this article, I am going to go over some natural home remedies to treat gout pain.

  1. Fish Oil - Personally, I recommend eating your cold water fish (cod, mackerel, herring, sardines, salmon, etc.) to get your omega 3's but since most prefer fried fish or don't like fish at all, you can always opt for fish oil, either in liquid form or in capsules.  Frankly, I have not found a better food than cold water fish that will help with inflammation in joints.  Fish oil is good for all types of arthritis...even metabolic arthritis aka gout.

  2. Quercitin is another natural anti-inflammatory that can be used to reduce the pain that gout causes.  Once again, I suggest eating the foods that are high in quercetin such as capers (which are great on salmon by the way), apples, organic tomatoes, green leafy vegetables and berries (all types).  That said, you can find quercetin in health food stores like whole foods grocery in capsule form.

  3. Cayenne Pepper - Cayenne pepper has a huge amount of other health benefits but it works very well for reducing inflammation.  Use it as a topical aid.  Mix a little pepper with some vinegar, bring to a boil and let it cool.  Then dab it on the affected areas.  If this seems too much for you, you can also buy Capsicum cream from your grocery.

  4. Turmeric powder - Chinese and Ayurvedic cultures have been using the things that they cook with as herbal remedies for common ailments for thousands of years.  Turmeric is reportedly a powerful anti-flammatory spice that will help reduce overall inflammation in the body.

These are just a few of the natural home remedies for gout arthritis.  The reality is that there are tons of options that you have to help prevent gout pain that don't require doctor administered medication, which I don't recommend.  Try some of these suggestions out to see if it helps...

What Is Seronegative Arthritis?

There are more than a hundred different types of arthritis, with each form affecting differing areas of the body, having different root causes and at times symptoms that cannot be found in the other forms of arthritis. The common symptoms of all forms of arthritis, however, is joint pain and difficulty resulting from damage to the connective tissues of the joints. Because each form is different, proper diagnosis is required in order to get correct treatment.

One of the forms of arthritis that gives doctors difficulty in diagnosis is seronegative arthritis. This disease is actually a collection of different forms of arthritis that have symptoms that are similar to rheumatoid arthritis. This similarity is what makes the different forms of seronegative arthritis sometimes be misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis, but there are distinct differences between them.

The main difference, and the reason for the name "seronegative" is that those with rheumatoid arthritis are found to have the autoantibody called rheumatoid factor, while those with seronegative arthritis are found not to have this autoantibody. This, combined with an analysis of the different symptoms, can lead to a proper diagnosis of whether the form of arthritis present in an individual is rheumatoid arthritis, or one of the types of seronegative arthritis.

As previously mentioned, there are different forms of seronegative arthritis, and each of these forms affect different areas of the body. As with rheumatoid arthritis, seronegative arthritis does not only attack the joints, but also different organs of the body, which again is one reason that the two can often be confused with each other.

Examples of this disorder include but are not limited to: psoriatic arthritis, Reiter's syndrome or reactive arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.

Psoriatic arthritis is a result of psoriasis, which is a chronic skin condition. Up to thirty percent of those with psoriasis will eventually develop psioriatic arthritis about ten years after developing psoriasis. This form of arthritis is inflammatory in nature, and has five different types, which can further complicate diagnosis.

Reiter's syndrome or reactive arthritis is caused by a bacterial infection. Often this form of arthritis is difficult to diagnose, as the infection that caused the arthritis has often been cured or in remission by the time the symptoms are observed. In most cases, reactive arthritis is a temporary condition, though up to twenty percent of those who develop reactive arthritis will develop a chronic form of this disorder.

Ankylosing spondylitis is a seronegative arthritis that affects the spine. It typically affects young males, aged twenty to forty, who will first experience chronic pain in the lower spine. This pain often spreads throughout the spine, into the neck, and may also affect the ribs, shoulder blades, hips, thighs and heels. Often those with this disease also feel fatigue, experience fever, and may be anemic as well. Up to forty percent experience inflammation of the eye as well.

Home Remedies For Arthritis Relief

Arthritis is a painful condition that affects about 46 million Americans. The most common type is osteoarthritis, which is often age related, although it can be the result of wear and tear on the joints from fitness or sports. In Australia, a type of arthritis, gout, took center stage in the media when the socceroo Harry Kewell was thought to be suffering from it in the 2006 World Cup.

Injury and age are not the only causes of arthritis however. Crohns sufferers often develop arthritis in one or more of their joints. This is a result of permeability in the gut wall due to damage from chronic inflammation. Bacteria and infections can also cause arthritis in other conditions. And rheumatoid arthritis, another common form, is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks its' own cells.

What Can You Do About It?

There is no cure for most types of arthritis, and the focus is on pain management and slowing down the progression of it. Some types of arthritis, like septic arthritis, have a greater chance of clearing up when the main problem is addressed. This was my experience when I was suffering from crohns related arthritis.

The different types of arthritis will have different treatment strategies, and this is also true of arthritis natural remedies.

For those suffering from the types of arthritis that cause wear and tear on the joints, dietary changes may be suggested if a person is overweight. But more than the weight issue, this is a holistic approach that seeks to minimize cartilage degeneration by keeping the immune system at it's peak. It seeks to do this by providing optimum amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other dietary elements. Additionally, some foods can increase inflammation in the body, and others can help reduce it. Fruit and vegetables, with their antioxidant activity, usually exert an anti-inflammatory effect.

Other natural arthritis remedies include the herb white willow, for pain management, and the supplement MSM. Both have an anti-inflammatory effect. MSM needs to be taken in large quantities to be effective in pain relief, but it does work very well. White willow can be taken as an oral supplement, and it can be mixed into a tincture prepared by a herbalist. It can also be used externally, mixed with aloe vera and rubbed onto the affected joints.

Burdock is a good remedy for arthritic conditions. It can reduce the swelling in joints, and may assist in breaking down any calcification in the joints.

Relief From Arthritic Pain - Medical Gloves

Arthritis is a problem which affects almost all elderly people and may affect young people too. This ailment creeps in slowly and the sufferer is almost crippled by the impact. Arthritis can prevent you from doing even the basic daily tasks and leave you drained of your energy. This also has a major effect on their daily lives and might hamper their lifestyle. One effective solution that most doctors would suggest is medical gloves.

Hand arthritis affects the wrist and the fingers of the hand. This cripples the entire hand and the patient is unable to do even the primary tasks like picking up an object or holding hands. Under such circumstances, arthritis gloves come in very handy. These gloves are compression gloves that produce pressure on the wrist area and fingers that help in relieving the pain and provide comfort to the patient.

How the gloves work

These arthritis gloves are compression gloves that work by applying moderate to high pressure on the affected area and thus facilitate blood circulation. They provide relief in all conditions like osteoarthritis as well as rheumatoid arthritis. They increase the blood circulation that helps in supplying sufficient oxygen which rejuvenates the veins, blood vessels, blood capillaries, and nerves. This reduces the rigidness that has crept over the hand and also loosens up the finger joints. Due to better blood circulation, it has a good effect on the skin and nails as well.

About the gloves

The gloves are available in two forms; one is the standard slip in glove while the other is a wrap around glove. These gloves are manufactured in such a way that they can fit into both the left as well as the right hand. Designed my medical experts, these gloves have flattened seams so that it is gentle on the hands and does not hurt newly formed skin. They are made from nylon hypoallergenic material which is soft and lightweight. This also allows easy breathability and yet offers a snug fit to provide ease of use. You can easily wash them at home with lukewarm water and they will remain in perfect condition and last really long.

If you are suffering from arthritis problems over a long period of time, it is recommended that you consult your doctor and opt for this affordable yet effective solution. Choose a reputed online store that sells compression medical gloves and order your pair today.

Arthritis Treatment: How Painful Is a Stem Cell Procedure for Osteoarthritis Treatment?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a wear and tear disease of articular cartilage. It arises as a result of the lack of ability of cartilage to keep up with excessive breakdown. It's a common disorder affecting more than 20 million Americans.

So far, the treatment of osteoarthritis is mostly symptomatic. Various medicines, called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), exercises, physical therapy, and injections are used to provide palliative relief. Ultimately, patients will go on to have knee replacement surgery.

More recently, attempts at cartilage repair through the use of autologous (a patient's own) mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has shown promise.

Noted initially in animal models such as goats, sheep, and rabbits, the reparative benefit of autologous stem cells has also been reported anecdotally in humans.

There are multiple descriptions regarding technique. The most common is to centrifuge bone marrow or fat to concentrate the stem cells and then inject them into the joint.

While the simplicity of this approach is appealing, it is probably not effective.

MSCs migrate to areas of new injury. If the surrounding environment is conducive to their survival, they will undergo multiplication and differentiation and populate any framework that is provided in order to begin the reparative process.

That being said, all of the above factors need to be in place in order to achieve the desired outcome.

There must be an area of new injury that attracts the MSCs; there must be a favorable environment with growth factors that stimulate MSC differentiation and multiplication; and finally, there must be a suitable framework that provides sanctuary for the MSCs in a hostile environment.

A proper MSC procedure will require the expert use of various anesthetics. Anesthetic needs to be administered in the form of both local soft tissue as well as regional block. Knowledge of anatomy as well as the use of diagnostic ultrasound to localize nerves is important. Also, knowledge of the pharmacokinetics of the various anesthetics is important in order to avoid toxicity.

Finally, if arthroscopy is needed in order to better visualize the area or to deliver the acute injury at a specific site, the use of intra-articular anesthesia is critical.

General anesthesia is not required.

Obviously, there is some discomfort associated with the administration of anesthetics. After all, how can a needle stick be rendered absolutely painless? However, when properly done for OA, a MSC procedure will be somewhat uncomfortable but should not be overwhelmingly painful.

Ironically, most of the discomfort occurs after the procedure because the nature of a regenerative procedure requires the aid of a robust inflammatory response to deliver healing.

Arthritis Natural Treatment

Arthritis natural treatment is possibly the safest way to recover from the disease. The word arthritis is derived from the Greek word 'arthron' meaning joint and 'itis' meaning inflammation. The very condition of inflammation of joints is known as arthritis. The incidence of arthritis is more prevalent among aged people than young individuals, as because the joints of the elderly men turn weak and brittle due to years of wear and tear.

There are about hundred types of arthritis out of which only two types commonly occur. They are the Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. Both the types of arthritis are highly painful in nature and gradually spread to all the other joints across the body. Osteoarthritis is a bone degenerative disorder where the cartilaginous pad of the joints gets damaged and the head of the bones forming the joints are exposed to frequent friction. Heavy weight bearing joints like those of knees, spines and shoulders are mainly affected by Osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is the result of auto-immune disorder. It is characterized by the inflammation of the synovial membrane of the joints and consequent erosion of the cartilage resulting intense pain.

Arthritis Natural Treatment Ways

The following are some of the ways by which arthritis can be treated naturally.

  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin - These two compounds are naturally found in our body but you may take them in as supplements if you find your body to be deficient in them.

  • MSM - It is a form of sulfur and is said to have anti-inflammatory properties. It also reduces swelling to a great extent.

  • Manganese - Manganese is highly useful for treating rheumatoid arthritis. Manganese is also famous for its anti-inflammatory properties. It also regulates secretion of hormones that influences the process of aging.

  • Niacinamide - This substance is rich in Vitamin B3 which helps in integration and consolidation of cells and tissues adjoining the bones.

  • Extracts of Turmeric and Extracts of Ginger - Turmeric and ginger have been in usage since the ancient times of human civilization. Turmeric is specially valued for its antiseptic properties. Both turmeric and ginger are herbal products and are studied to have very powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Cayenne Pepper or Red Pepper - It is highly recommended to fight against the pain associated with arthritis

  • Garklic and Ginkgo Biloba - Both of these substances are useful for improving the blood circulation. Under their reaction oxygen may be brought to the affected regions resulting in removal of harmful deposits from the joint surfaces and thus curing arthritis.

Arthritis is very painful and the disease becomes worse if it is neglected and left untreated in the initial stages. The usage of the above mentioned therapies along with a mild stretching exercise might turn out to be beneficial for arthritis natural treatment.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Arthritis Treatment - What Works?

For most people, arthritis treatment using the state of the art methods as offered by the top medical doctors in the country will only get you so far.

Arthritis drugs can suppress your symptoms, but they will not heal your arthritis. At best, they will slow down or temporarily stop the damage being done to your joints, giving you time to seek out alternative treatments that heal the underlying condition. At worst, they will produce side effects that can sometimes be as bad as the arthritis itself.

Joint replacement surgery is a godsend to many, but again, that isn't really treating the arthritis, it is recreating a functional joint after arthritis has already destroyed one you were born with.

What type of arthritis treatment actually treats the underlying causes of the disease?

Diet is one of the most popular and successful types.

One of the underlying causes of arthritis for many people is food sensitivities. If you are one of these people, you must first first proceeds by finding out your exact food sensitivities. Then you need to eliminate these problem foods from your diet. This type of strategy can often work miracles.

The ALCAT blood test is one way to discover if you have any food sensitivities and if so, exactly what they are. Selectively eliminating any suspected problem foods from your diet for a week and then systematically reintroducing them, with at least 24 hours between each reintroduction, is another.

This type of treatment is two fold. First you most know exactly what your problem foods are. Second, you must know all the hidden sources of these foods, so you don't unknowingly eat them.

For instance, table salt is half dextrose, half salt. The dextrose in the United States is made from corn. Individuals with corn sensitivities will sometimes have their arthritis activated whenever they eat food that contains table salt.

Besides foods to avoid, there are also healthy foods to seek out. Assuming you don't have a food sensitivity to them, you will want to eat foods that have anti-inflammatory properties. Including the spices tumeric, ginger, and cumin in your diet, for instance, can calm inflammation without the negative side effects of many prescription arthritis drugs.

Reduce Rheumatoid Arthritis and Inflammation With Antioxidants From Resveratrol

Rheumatoid arthritis can be cured by a variety of diets created by health experts. Below are diet suggestions one must follow:

1. Tea: Examples of this are green and black teas. Green tea has polyphenols known as epigallocatechin or EGCG. Black tea can stimulate pain reduction. The compounds that are special in teas are fluoride, flavonoids, and phytoestrogens. The antioxidants obtained through resveratrol which can enhance the feeling of people undergoing stress and pain.

2. Grapes: It is high in non-steronoidal compounds and phyto-estrogens which can stop the cells from swelling. Cell inflammation also leads to arthritis and other problems in the joint.

3. Vegetables: A diet with many vegetables can help in the reduction of swelling for most people. It has many leukotrienes and prostaglandins used in avoiding problems with joints.

4. Broccoli: It has glutathione responsible for detoxification processes. It can also enhance the body's supply of vitamins E and C. Other foods rich in glutathione are watermelon, grape fruit, avocados, and peaches.

5. Fishes: They are rich in Omega-3, a fatty acid found in fish that helps ease the feeling of pain. Fish oil plays an important role in the diet for it helps the body get rid of the causes of joint problems. Fishes rich in Omega-3 are bluefish, salmon, white fish, tuna, anchovies, capeline, herring, shad, mackerel, dogfish, and sardines.

6. Pineapple: It has bromelain for healing sports injuries.

7. Olive Oil: It has unsaturated fatty acids that can improve swelling, joint problems, and the like.

Hope this article can give you a guide on this arthritis.

What Causes Arthritis in Older Dogs?

Arthritis is becoming more and more common in older dogs, particularly in larger, heavier breeds. It is a condition that affects the joints which makes it more difficult and painful for him to move around. There is more than one type of arthritis and knowing which condition your dog has will make it easier for you to treat him and ease his pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis is one type. This type of arthritis occurs when the dog's immune system becomes overactive and cannot distinguish between natural proteins produced by the body and foreign proteins. The immune system will start to produce antibodies to fight the proteins and attacks the surface of the cartilage around the joints.

The joints then become severely inflamed and your dog will start to struggle with mobility. This is also an erosive disease; not only does inflammation occur but the cartilage and bone in the joint will start to wear away. This does not just affect one joint unfortunately; several will be attacked at once giving your dog severe pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis is not a common disease in dogs and little is known about what actually causes it. It could be due to sudden infection, disease of the digestive system or even cancer. Sometimes though, it can happen with no other problems being present. IT normally affects small, toy breeds of dogs around the age of 4.

Osteoarthritis is the more common type of the condition that dogs suffer from. This is normally caused by damage to the cartilage and joint by an injury, although age does play its part in this disease as well. The joints and cartilage will start to wear out, causing inflammation in some cases. This is incredibly painful and makes it very difficult for your dog to move around in comfort.

Whilst it is important for your dog to receive a good healthy exercise regime, too much and too often can lead to problems later on in life. Your dog can sustain injuries running around, chasing a ball or jumping in and out of the car. You won't always know about these injuries as some are minor enough not to be a problem at the time.

However, the damage may already have been done and the joints are starting to take a pounding. A good diet is also essential as overweight dogs are more likely to suffer from arthritis as well. The dog's joints can only take so much pressure and increased weight and lack of exercise will lead to the cartilage starting to break down and wear away.

Some breeds are more susceptible than others but all dogs are at risk, especially as they get older. A lifetime of exercise will start to tell on the joints and they will start to wear away, causing an immense amount of discomfort and stiffness to your dog. Treatment is possible, but normally only to ease the pain and allow for a better quality of life. Unfortunately, particularly in older dogs, the damage cannot be repaired; we can only try to stop further damage from occurring.

New Implant Helps Cartilage Grow

Engineers at MIT and researchers at the University of Cambridge designed a new resorbable, porous implant for joint surfaces. Chondromimetic is an implant with a two layer scaffolding that encourages the body's natural healing process. The implant stimulates the repair of damaged joint surfaces caused by degenerative processes, such as osteoarthritis. Chondromimetic contains collagen, glycosaminoglycans and calcium phosphate which are biocompatible materials normally found in cartilage and bone. The implant has a two layer scaffold which provides a framework to allow cells to migrate in and around and start the regeneration process. One layer of the scaffold mimics bone and the other layer mimic cartilage and they can stimulate stem cells in the bone marrow to produce new bone and cartilage. The dual layer scaffold resembles the cartilage and bone layers in a normal joint and this makes it unique and perfect for joint surfaces.

Arthritis is the inflammation and swelling of the joint tissues and associated deterioration of the cartilage and osteoarthritis is the breakdown of the cartilage within the joint. Healthy joint cartilage helps with shock absorption and allows the bones to glide smoothly over each other. When the cartilage deteriorates, the underlying bone is exposed which causes painful and limited joint movement.

There is no current treatment for osteoarthritis that will replace the cartilage. There are conservative therapies for managing the pain and accommodating the joint. There are medications, such as ibuprofen, which can manage the pain and discomfort. Surgical procedures are limited. Some current procedures involve drilling the deteriorated joint surface to encourage new cartilage growth. There are some cartilage implants which can be placed within the joint and have some success. When the arthritis becomes severe and the pain is limiting, many joints are replaced. In the foot, the great toe joint is the most commonly affected by osteoarthritis. Joint fusion, placing two bones together with screws and removing the remaining cartilage, is a common procedure for severe osteoarthritis.

The Chondromimetic implant is an novel approach and current research is encouraging, but further evidence is needed to establish the safety and effectiveness.

Rheumatoid Arthritis - What It Is

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory, chronic disease that affects multiple joints. Some of the common characteristics includes periods of inflammation/exacerbation then remission. Usually the small joints are affected first, with a symmetrical joint involvement e.g. right and left fingers simultaneously etc.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease Process

Synovial membrane thickens, becoming increasingly vascularised and filled with inflammatory cells. This build up of tissue is very aggressive, and can cause:
- erosion of cartilage and subchondral bone
- infiltrates tendon sheaths and disrupts its mechanisms, limiting gliding effect, and can lead to tendon rupture
- goes into the space of connective tissues
- nerve compressions of the sensory or motor nerve especially in tight compartments

This results in pain, joint instability, contractures, weakness of the muscles and even deformity or subluxation. There is usually a varying degrees and levels of damage, pain and functional levels. The perception and actual damage can determine the ultimate function and mobility of each individual. Patients with better pain tolerance and education and hope usually end up with better results and function.

Phases Of Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease

There are three phases of rheumatoid arthritis: acute, sub-acute and chronic. Their characteristics are:

Acute: lots of inflammation, swelling, pain in joints, elevated temperature
Sub-acute: lesser activity and easier to be controlled by medication, more stable but demonstrates that disease is progressing
Chronic: during this stage, the disease is no longer active, but at this point there will be residual biomechanical problems in the joint will cause pain, instability or stiffness

Does Glucosamine Work For Osteoarthritis? The Truth Revealed!

Do Supplements Work?

There are a number of supplements that claim to be beneficial for the treatment of Osteoarthritis. However, there is very little medical evidence to support most of the claims with the exception of vitamins as a part of a healthy diet and Glucosamine Sulphate. Many of the companies are free to make any claims they choose with marketing etc. because in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not review products listed as "supplements". The two most common supplements for Osteoarthritis which do have some evidence to support their use to relieve pain are Glucosamine and Chondroitin.

What Is Glucosamine and Chondroitin? Glucosamine and Chondroitin are substances naturally found in healthy cartilage in joints and have been shown to be effective in relieving pain in some studies. Glucosamine is available in three different preparations:

  • Glucosamine Sulphate

  • Glucosamine Hydrochloride

  • Glucosamine NAS
Only Glucosamine Sulphate along with Chondroitin has been shown to be effective in reducing pain and symptoms. However, people who have an allergy to shellfish should not use either product. They may need to be taken for several weeks to a number of months before any pain and symptomatic relief is apparent. During this period it is important to continue taking the product to maximize benefits. The particular brand is very important in providing benefit to patients.

Recently, Consumer Reports did a review on Glucosamine Sulphate/Chondroitin. The review warned that many brands did not accurately list the amount of Glucosamine in the product and also rated numerous brands on cost/value. In the review only one brand was rated by Consumer Reports as one of the best brands because of its purity and accuracy in listing the amount of Glucosamine in the product. In addition, the brand was also rated as one of the top values based on price. It is important to remember that a company can make any claim it chooses on how much Glucosamine is in the bottle etc. so use a reputable brand.

Other Supplements-Commonly used but with little evidence to support their use to treat OA:

  • Omega-3 fatty acid-unsaturated fat fatty acids commonly found in fish

  • Selenium

  • Vitamin B9 (folate) and B12

  • Vitamin D

  • Antioxidants-including vitamins C and E

  • Ginger extract

  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 6 (BMP-6)

  • Avocado/soybean extract

  • Frankincense-derived from specific trees in India

  • Bromelain-enzymes found in the Bromeliaceae family of plants

  • Hydrolyzed collagen (hydrolysate) (a gelatin product)

Treatment Options for Thumb CMC Arthritis

Thumb CMC arthritis is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. The "opposable thumb" that has allowed us to develop fine motor coordination is made possible by the CMC joint, located at the base of the thumb. Also known as the basal joint, it's the most important joint in your hand, allowing you to pinch, manipulate objects, and to grasp items of various sizes. When this joint is painful, tasks that seem so simple, such as writing, turning keys, or buttoning, can become burdensome.

The thumb CMC joint gets most of its stability from ligaments, rather than the bony structure of the joint. These ligaments can stretch after years of use, eventually leading to instability, causing the cartilage of these bones to wear. A form of osteoarthritis, it's a progressive condition caused by wear and tear that can progress to bone on bone pain in the later stages.

In daily life, this joint takes an enormous amount of strain since it's used whenever we hold anything in our hand. It often begins to show signs of wear when a person is in their late 40s to early 50s. Both women and men are affected by thumb CMC arthritis, but it's more common in women since they are more likely to have ligament laxity.

There are several options to treat the pain that occurs with thumb CMC arthritis:

1. Splinting: The purpose of wearing a splint is to provide support to the thumb CMC joint, taking some of the strain off of the joint. A good splint will position the thumb so you can easily touch the tip of your thumb to your index finger. Custom splints can be molded directly to your hand by a local hand or occupational therapist. Premade splints come in a variety of options. Generally, splints can be worn during activities that involve thumb use, and can also be worn at night to keep the thumb in a good resting position.

2. Therapy: A local hand or occupational therapist can teach you ways to decrease your pain, techniques to protect your joints, and exercises to prevent stiffness.

3. Cortisone Injections: Your orthopedic surgeon may recommend a cortisone injection to decrease your pain. It's a steroid that is injected directly into the joint to decrease inflammation. Pain relief can vary from person to person. Some report total relief of symptoms while others don't. Talk to your doctor to learn more.

4. Surgery: People decide to have a joint replacement surgery when pain has progressed to the point that it limits function in daily activities. With this procedure, a bone in your wrist (or at least a portion of it) is removed. A strip of muscle or tendon is taken from your forearm and placed in the open space. There are several different versions of this surgery so if you have questions, talk to your doctor.

Despite which option you choose, pay attention when you experience thumb pain. Try to limit or avoid activities that require pinching whenever possible. Many adaptive devices have been developed to decrease the pinch force used for activities. Using a pencil grip on your pen or a key adapter on your keys can make your life easier and less painful. Remember that the earlier you seek treatment, the more proactive you can be to prevent it from progressing!

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Best Diet For an Arthritis Patient

Now more than ever, doctors are beginning to believe that some of the severity of arthritis can be reduced by eating the right foods and avoiding others. There needs to be a great deal more research done to investigate the right diet for every type of arthritis, but past successes have proven that there is a connection between what we eat and how bad our arthritis symptoms are. For instance, a gout patient who avoids alcohol and eats purine-rich foods can lower the uric acid level in the blood. Less uric acid drastically reduces the chances of having a gout attack.

Watch Your Weight to Lower Arthritis Risk

People who are as little overweight as 20% have shown a far greater risk of developing arthritis and of aggravating existing arthritis conditions. It is easy to understand that extra body weight will add to the stress placed on damaged joints. People who eat more also experience a greater likelihood of eating something that acts like an allergen in triggering flare-ups of arthritis and altering the immune system.

Any diet that is well-balanced and healthy will contribute to the well-being of an arthritis patient. In addition, it's always the smartest practice to avoid fad diets. You can never tell with a fad diet if you're getting the nutrients necessary for overall health and well-being.

Tests on the effects of high cholesterol and high fat foods on arthritis have proven that both contribute to the development of arthritis as well as to the increased pain levels of current patients. To start with, you want to eat a diet low in these items in order to avoid getting arthritis. If you already have arthritis, avoiding these foods will help relieve pain.

Among the foods that all people should avoid, and especially arthritis patients, are:

  • Foods from fast food restaurants

  • Soda

  • Potatoes, pasta, and other starchy foods

  • Red or other fatty meats

  • Foods that are high in saturated fats

Some foods are beneficial to those suffering from arthritis because they seem to relieve pain. Fruits which contain high vitamin C content include oranges, strawberries, and apples. Oily fish are high in vitamin E, and whole grain wheat products and brown rice also contain beneficial properties.

In the western world, people eat diets that are far too heavy in cholesterol and fat. This diet is detrimental to the health of everyone, but arthritis sufferers may be making their symptoms worse by continuing to eat this way. Everyone should be eating a diet high in nutritious foods that don't contain fats and cholesterol. Not only will this type of diet contribute to overall well-being, but it will also help people maintain their ideal weight. Overweight arthritis patients need to be the first to take up the cry: Fight Fat, Eat Right!