Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Importance of Arthritis Knee Support

One way to treat arthritis pain and provide stability is with the proper arthritis knee support. For many patients suffering from osteoarthritis in the knee, a knee support will give them the relief and support they need.

Types of Knee Braces

There are several different types of arthritis knee support braces to choose from. In order to get the best fit you should always discuss knee support devices with your doctor or health professional. Most physical therapists are well versed in the use of knee support and can also offer helpful and knowledgeable advice.

The type of knee brace you chose will depend primarily on the location of the affected area.

A medial arthritis knee support brace will support the inside of the knee joint. A lateral brace will give stability to the outside of the knee joint, and a patellofemoral brace stabilizes the area behind the kneecap.

These types of braces are usually recommended for patients who suffer osteoarthritis and cartilage loss of the knee joint.

Breaking It Down: Different Types of Knee Braces

Arthritis knee support devices can be broken down even more into specific types of braces. One popular type of brace is the single piece sleeve. This brace is made from durable neoprene and is the basic type of knee brace. To put on the brace you simply pull it on over the foot and up to the knee. This brace is for mild osteoarthritis only.

An unloader brace is made from molded materials such as plastic or foam. Inside the mold are metal bars that limit the range of motion of the knee joint. This type of brace is individually fit to each patient. It works by moving the pain from the affected area with pressure.

Other Treatments

Medication is also popular treatment for the early stages of the disease. Medication is usually used to control pain until such time that you can begin a treatment plan. During this time you will work with a physical therapist and also do exercises at home. The goal is to not have to take pain medications for life.

Some patients will benefit from a simple change of diet with exercise. Overweight people are prone to arthritis of knee because of the added pressure on the joints due to their weight. Dieting and exercise can help overweight people get control of their weight and relieve pressure on the joints.

Knee joint surgery and knee replacement surgery are usually reserved for those persons who have not had success with other treatment options. In some cases this is the only way to reverse the damage and ease the pain.

Joint replacement surgery is performed everyday and considered very safe and successful.

If you decide to try using an arthritis knee support device it is important to consider all of your options. As mentioned earlier, your doctor will know the best type of brace for your specific condition. The success of the arthritis knee support device depends on your dedication - wear it always.

Good Fish Oil For Arthritis - A Miracle Cure?

With all the known risks of traditional treatment for arthritis with COX-2 inhibitors, analgesics and corticosteroids, interest in a healthy, safe and natural alternative remedy has generated a lot of buzz around the use of fish oil for arthritis.

Omega 3 fats have been shown to reverse heart disease, boost immune function, fight degenerative disease, help increase fertility, improve mental health and promote healthy skin.

A list of benefits of fish supplements, essentially related to their anti-inflammatory effects, includes rheumatoid arthritis.

Does Fish Oil Help Arthritis?

No one quite knows for sure what causes rheumatoid arthritis, but in almost all cases the 'final common pathway' is linked to inflammation of the synovial lining of joints all over the body. It is an auto-immune condition where the body reacts against its own tissues, causing this inflammation.

Not only does sea oil lower inflammatory reaction and relieve joint pain and swelling in those with arthritis, it also lets them lower the amount of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids that they needed to take earlier.

There is some speculation about whether or not it actually slows down the progression of rheumatoid arthritis, but there is no actual proof of this effect, and further research is necessary.

On a related note, omega 3 has many protective effects against the development of heart disease and can lower triglyceride levels. This is important because of the known increase in cardiovascular risk that patients with rheumatoid arthritis have.

What Kind of Fish Oil Works Best for Arthritis?

Fish like tuna, trout, mackerel, halibut, and salmon have a lot of Omega 3. Other sea foods like oysters, sardines and herring are rich in omega 3. Consuming these fatty fish can reduce inflammatory reaction, providing significant relief from arthritis.

A way to enjoy the benefits of fish without having to eat a lot of it is to take capsules. 3 grams a day provides 1 gram of the important omega 3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which is all you need.

Several brands use oil from fish caught in the cleanest and coldest waters, preferably those far from industrialized countries where the highest risk of water contamination exists.

Making capsules even safer is the practice of molecular distillation, a process that removes any mercury or other heavy metals, dioxins, PCBs and other contaminants.

If you'd like to learn more about the fish oil supplements I personally take daily, please drop by my website today.

Types of Auricular Therapy

Many therapists use acupuncture needles placed in the chosen acupuncture points and manipulated.

The therapist may pass a tiny electric pulse down the needles. No pain is felt and patients usually find the treatment relaxing. Electrical stimulation may also be given without needles. The patient holds a metal rod which is attached by wire to an electrical stimulator. Another wire leads from the stimulator to a pen-shaped electrode held by the therapist. He places the tip of the 'pen' on the chosen area and a mild, stimulating current is passed into the relevant point.

A third method - for very young children and people who are afraid of needles - is the use of a laser. Stimulation is carried out by the electrical frequency of the light source, and patients experience no sensations at all.

Patients who cannot get to their practitioner regularly can treat themselves by using press needles, or semi permanent needles as they are called. These are mainly used to treat conditions such as anorexia and heavy smoking. Press needles are very fine pins with heads like drawing pins. Or they may resemble pointed studs.

The needles are fitted by the practitioner and left in place for several days at a time, covered by a small piece of plaster to keep them clean. To stimulate the pressure points, the patient simply presses the heads of the needles gently. In cases of addiction, the needles should be pressed every hour and whenever the craving comes on. Otherwise, they should be pressed once every hour, especially in cases of painful joints and certain forms of arthritis.

What Is The Treatment Method For Psoriatic Arthritis?

What's psoriatic arthritis?

Reports indicate that 30-35% of the psoriasis suffering populace will even get psoriatic arthritis. This is kind of arthritis triggers swelling, stiffness and discomfort inside the joints and prolonged phrase outcomes are joint harm and deformity. We are going to examine therapy for psoriatic arthritis along with the newest remedies accessible to you during this publication. To the most element, treatment of arthritis is kind of related to remedy of rheumatoid arthritis.

Mostly treatment involves healing individuals with anti-inflammatory drugs, although I feel that an advantage to all-natural medicine therapies are which the same relief is effected, still that a deeper cause is more completely addressed too. For instance, rubbing emu oil in to the influenced areas, brings ant-inflammatory medicine right to your influenced regions, notably where the joints don't lie very deep beneath the skin's surface area. It has been proven that a mixture of emu oil used topically, along with nutritional supplements of glucosamine, chondroitin and/or MSM, can maintain arthritis very much below some semblance of management. What exactly is the Treatment for it? You could possibly wish to realize that there's not any lab check for arthritis. When you have psoriasis and have the symptoms of arthritis then you definitely probably have it.

They will adhere needles inside your joints and pull fluid out to see what they could locate like gout crystals or something else, but no definite check results. They have got check for other sorts of arthritis so by procedure of elimination they are going to have the opportunity to find out arthritis and prescribe a psoriatic arthritis remedy. This could be considered an extremely agonizing and debilitating disease and a thing you ought to not just take lightly. Don't forget, you've psoriasis and there's a 30-35% likelihood you will get arthritis. Normally the remedy for this diseases involves physical exercise and inflammatory medicines called NSAIDs. They're a non-steroid treatment and assistance irritation, stiffness, and fever but may cause ulcers and inside bleeding with extended use.

Of course onycholysis is a very standard phrase which means just illness of deformity of the nail. These can consist of anything from ingrown toenails to all kinds of odd and rare nail fungus along with other deformities with the nails. Psoriatic arthritis can create at any age, however the normal age that arthritis typically seems is about ten a long time immediately after the initial signs of psoriasis. For many individuals with arthritis, this condition tends to make an onset between the ages of thirty and fifty, still it may arise in kids and those of other ages also.

Women and men seem to be pretty similarly affected by psoriatic arthritis, whereas osteoarthritis influences nearly 2 times as many women since it does guys. One in 7 situations of arthritis involve the arthritic signs happening a lot previously than any skin issues or skin involvement of the situation. There are several different types of arthritis. There exists symmetric arthritis where joints on each sides from the physique are afflicted simultaneously. This kind accounts for around fifty percent of all this cases.

Arthritis Treatment: Should Combination Treatment Be Used for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common inflammatory form of arthritis affecting almost 2 million Americans. It is a chronic, systemic, autoimmune process driven by a complex array of cells, cytokines (protein messengers), and antibodies.

What is significant is that it is a disease that affects internal organs and is associated with a marked increase in morbidity and mortality when not treated aggressively. RA is a leading cause of disability as well.

In the early 1980's, methotrexate (MTX) assumed the position of being the disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) of choice when treating RA. DMARDS are supposed to slow the progression of disease and multiple studies confirmed the effectiveness of MTX in doing so. Unfortunately, as effective as this drug can be, there were still many instances when patients would not respond as well as hoped or they would sustain side effects that limited the use of the drug.

Multiple combinations of DMARDS have been used to "enhance" the effectiveness of MTX. These have included MTX plus Arava, MTX plus cyclosporine, MTX plus Azulifidine, and most often MTX plus Plaquenil and Azulfidine.

A recent study (TEAR) study purportedly showed that the latter combination was as effective as MTX plus a biologic medicine. The results of this study are still being discussed among rheumatologists. The upside is that combination DMARDs are significantly cheaper than biologics. The downside is that x-ray damage appears to be worse with combination DMARD than the combination of MTX and biologic. And x-ray damage correlates with future disability.

So let's talk about biologics. The biologic revolution began in the 1990's with the introduction of drugs such as Enbrel, Remicade, and Humira, and more recently Simponi and Cimzia, along with biologic drugs with other mechanisms of action.

It has been shown in a number of studies that the combination of MTX and a biologic is superior to MTX alone. There has been a recent surge of interest in the use of monotherapy with a biologic by itself.

Nonetheless, most rheumatologists still prefer to use MTX in combination with a biologic. All biologics appear to work well in combination with MTX. The exception is Kineret which is not used much by anyone I know, because it doesn't seem to be all that effective. However, Actemra, Orencia, and Rituxan all seem to work better with MTX in combination than MTX alone.

So bottom line... MTX works pretty well for RA but it appears to work even better when combined with another medicine, preferably a biologic.

Hip Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis affects a person's joints. The parts of body at maximum risk are the hips and knees. Hips carry the body weight and, over years, the smooth and glistening articular cartilage that helps the hip joint to glide ultimately wears thin. Initially, there is discomfort and stiffness in groin, buttocks, or thighs that increases with activity inflaming the hip joints and reducing rotation, flexibility, and movement.

Osteoarthritis of hips affects both genders equally due to diverse causes such as age, obesity, congenital deformity, injury, or stress. We cannot reverse the effects of Osteoarthritis of the hips but it is important for sufferers to go in for early treatment to reduce discomfort. Consult a doctor to determine the extent of damage and the treatment required. An x-ray will check if the hip joint space has changed or there is any development of bone spurs or abnormalities. If in the early or initial stages, the patient is advised to rest the hip, participate in a physical therapy program, engage in non-strenuous exercises like swimming, water aerobics, or cycling to keep the joint functional and healthy. A hip Osteoarthritis patient can follow a self help plan of sound sleep at night, work on weight reduction by following diet plans, reduce strenuous activity, and generally take it easy. Women need to be extra vigilant because they are more susceptible to hip osteoarthritis. Use a cane or some support when and if movement is painful, and keep in mind that household chores can be shared or done at leisure. Another precautionary measure is wearing appropriate footwear.

Once the disease sets into the advanced mode, hip replacement surgery or arthoplasty is advised to help cure the pain and improve mobility. Surgery is not an instant cure and if both hips are affected it requires patience and a rehabilitation program to pull the muscles in shape. Treatment also depends on the patient's attitudes, daily activities, and anxiety.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Arthritis Prevention

Arthritis is a common painful disease affecting the joints and bones of the body. Early signs can include twinges or stiffness of the knees and other joints, limitation in movement or visible thickening of the joints, often in the hands and feet; creaking joints, spinal pain and backache, or painful swelling of the joints.

There are several types of arthritis - osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout.

Osteoarthritis is the most common resulting from wearing of the joints - mainly hips, spine, knees, feet and fingers. A far greater number of women suffer from this than do men.

Rheumatoid arthritis can destroy other tissue besides the bone, affecting cartilage and tissues within and around the joints to damage the bone surface itself, usually of feet, ankles, knees, fingers, wrists, elbows and shoulders.

Gout is principally caused by uric acid crystals settling in the joints to produce painful irritation and inflammation. It can produce extremely severe discomfort, often focused in the big toe. This is principally a disease suffered by men more than women.

In the prevention of all kinds of arthritis there are certain general rules of health to consider as well as some natural self-help methods of treatment.

Remember: It is largely your eating habits that have created an imbalance in your body chemistry. It is only by seriously reconsidering your diet and improving your intake of natural foods and avoiding the synthetic or artificial products that you can return your body to normal healthy condition. It may take self-discipline - but self-discipline today is better than a painful tomorrow. It is best to start with improving the quality of your diet.

Nutrition: avoid foods producing high acidity such as starchy food, white bread, white sugar and processed foods including soft drinks, sweet sherry, ice-cream, chocolate, etc. You should take only a moderate intake of milk, cheese and for a time try to avoid all fried foods, meats, fish and salt.

Diet should consist mainly of fresh fruits and green salads with a variety of ingredients, light dressings, raw nuts, herbs, sprouted seeds, seaweed, plenty of celery and plain steamed vegetables of all kinds.

Food supplements: should include some of the following - alfalfa (lucerne) concentrates, raw potato juice, carrot juice, vitamins B, B complex, C , brewers yeast, celery seed tea or celery and juniper tablets.

Herbs: There are some beneficial herbs that are generally stocked along with other kitchen ingredients such as celery seed and alfalfa tea, but there are others in the garden that should be included regularly in your preparation of meals. These are parsley, dandelion leaves, gotu kola, mint, sage and garlic.

Skin Care is Important: Regular brushing and stimulation of the skin over the entire body is a pleasant enough addition to your personal toilet. The brushing causes the surface skin cells to flake off, leaving the skin freer to function properly regarding natural perspiration and circulation of the blood to surface cells. Improving the skin, even on one part of the body, will in time help to improve entire skin function.

This discipline is necessary if you are to relieve the work of the kidneys that have the main job of eliminating toxic wastes and acids from the body. Most people are aware of the need to help the kidneys by drinking lots of water. Not everyone is as enthusiastic or is aware of the simple benefits of skin brushing.

Exercise: to exercise to perspiration point each day is a generally accepted health practice. Depending upon any symptoms and their severity, your age and your doctor's advice, this rule must be modified, not be neglected altogether. You should follow an exercise programme that gradually increases if not to perspiration level, a freer movement of the entire body through gentle, simple elementary movements, preferably aided by soothing rhythmic music. Yoga exercises and Tai Chi are perfect methods for those unfamiliar with more vigorous exercises as they are gentle, slow and safe.

Stress: Although some types of arthritis involve physical stress, by far the greatest found by researchers is the psychological stress factor. Of course this is a complex issue but it is interesting to note common findings that anxiety, fears of all kinds, usually resentment, loneliness and general unhappiness are involved. This means that the more you work on relaxation of body, feelings and thoughts the better your will feel. Each of us has the means to change negative habits of all kinds by practising positive alternatives - not only learning physical relaxation and possibly treatment by massage to help you, but starting each day with a self-promise to not only enjoy your work, but to seek an island of calm in each day; to expect less from others and give more of your friendliness and good cheer. It is helpful to select a few words that appeal to you, to use in silent repetition to remind you to keep your mind focused upon positive moods, thoughts and outcomes.

Be patient. Consider some of the above information and determine what you can do to improve your lifestyle and to avoid arthritis.

If you already are suffering from this disease, seek additional professional naturopathic advice regarding further methods of self - care and relief through simple home treatment.

Your Blood Type and AutoImmune Disease, Inflammation and Fatique

In order to maximize your health and reduce your chances of developing autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto's, Celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and other illnesses, it pays to know your blood type. Let's explore this concept in more detail.

Most people pay little attention to the type of blood they have, as it seems it is only important when you are scheduled for an operation or other procedure when you might need blood products given to you...or when you are having a baby.

However, science has shown blood type is indeed important for reducing disease and illness and living a more energetic, healthy life. A life that allows you more time to focus on your dreams, desires, family and friends...instead of visits to the doctor or hospital.

I earned certification in blood type (BT) science from the Institute for Human Individuality and currently hold a fellow from that organization. As a result of this training I have learned about the direct and indirect relationships between what we choose to eat and various disease processes that plague humanity and have seen first hand the benefits of typing blood for developing dietary recommendations.

Most people are familiar with ABO blood typing. There are 4 of these blood types: O, which makes up 45% of the worlds population, A, which comprises 40% of world population, B, which is 11% of global population and lastly AB, which only makes up 4% of the world's population.

Genetic control is what determines your specific BT. Just a small piece of sugar that's stuck on the outside of your red blood cell creates your blood type. Each one of your cells contains millions of different sugars, including the blood type sugars. These sugars are manufactured by the cell, controlled by your DNA. Just like eye or hair color is a genetic quality, your blood type is a very unique part of who you are. Your BT doesn't change either- if you're AB, you will always be AB.

The sugar for type O is fucose. The sugar for type A is a combination of fucose and N-Acetyl galactosamine (or GalNac for short). The type B sugar is fucose with D-Galactose. Type AB is a combination of A and B, with all three blood type sugars. This is why AB is the universal receiver of blood. The immune system works by identifying what is "you" and what is "not you". Since AB has all three sugars on its blood cells, it recognizes each one and won't cause a rejection. Type O is the opposite, known as the universal donor. Since O blood doesn't have GalNac or D-Galactose, it sees the other blood types as "not me" and will try to destroy them. The same is true for B and A. They can receive blood from O, but not from each other.

People are not the only ones with blood types. The sugars (antigens) that make our blood type are actually all around us in the environment. They can be found in a variety of animals, microbes, dirt and even food. One example is the virus. Many types of viruses have antigens, like our own antigens, that are made of D-galactose. D-galactose is what makes blood type B, so when somebody who is type B contracts a virus, their chance of infection is greater. Just like a transfusion works on "self" vs. "non-self", if a virus looks like you (type B), your body is going to be less likely to destroy it than if it looked like type A. The most important point is that some foods have blood type antigens too. The best example of this is milk, which contains large amounts of D-galactose, the type B sugar. Pork is another example, as a source of GalNac, the Type A sugar. Seaweed is a significant source of fucose, the sugar for all the blood types.

Foods also have substances known as lectins which act upon our specific blood type to cause various alterations in our body function such as:

  • Causing our blood cells to stick together

  • Trigger body-wide inflammation

  • Act as insulin by attaching to insulin receptors on cells which leads to weight gain

  • Trigger autoimmune attack

  • Trigger digestive system malfunction and pain

  • Creative intestinal damage leading to Leaky Gut Syndrome and as a result brain inflammation

  • Interrupt nerve signals in the body and alter levels of neurotransmitters and thus cause nerve and brain malfunction leading to ADD and even Alzheimers disease.

  • Create joint inflammation leading to various types of arthritis.

  • Alter hormonal levels and lead to thyroid malfunction

  • ...and more

Due to the many health damaging effects various lectins can have on the health of people with different blood types, it behoove the health practitioner to utilize blood type in formulating individualized dietary recommendations. I invite you to learn more so you can be healthier.

Warm Mouse, Heated Keyboard - Infrared Heat USB Hand Warmer Therapy For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a debilitating, chronic disease affecting millions of people throughout the world.  It is considered a crippling, inflammatory disease affecting joints and surrounding tissue most commonly associated with the hands and feet, producing joint pain, swelling and stiffness.  There is no known cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis, and there's a long list of treatment options involving medications and surgery. 

Alternative treatments show some promise using different oils and exercises.  But the greatest relief has been documented by Rheumatoid Arthritis patients using infrared heat.   Far infrared ray (FIR) is a natural deep healing source of warmth penetrating deep through the skin's layers to the muscle tissue -- even as deeply as the bones -- improving circulation and reducing inflamed tissues and joints.  This radiant heat is the deep warmth one feels from sunlight without the harmful UV rays of the sun.  It's been used as a healer for hundreds, if not thousands of years by Eastern Cultures.  And, now Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferers can benefit from its healthy effects by using  a variety of products and devices.

Natural Rheumatoid Arthritis treatments using  far infrared ray (FIR) have been made using infrared heat saunas, lamps, massagers, heating pads, space heaters and computer devices. The results for Rheumatoid Arthritis patients using FIR are positive.  For example, the debilitating disease can cripple a person making it difficult to walk.  After infrared sauna treatments some Rheumatoid Arthritis patients report more free movement and joint flexibility.  Same holds true for using the computer.  Arthritis patients report a reduction of hand pain and the ability to work longer hours using the computer when infrared heated computer devices are used. 

Infrared heat computer products are cost-effective and energy-efficient.  They are made using a low 5v carbon fiber heating element for the USB port on the computer.  The low 5v heating element is safe for the computer and its users and produces a steady flow of deep healing warmth.  Compared to the high cost of some infrared heaters, infrared heat computer products are available for less than $20 each.  This therapeutic relief is available for people who suffer from debilitating diseases in the comfort of their home or office.

The most common infrared heated computer devices include a warm computer mouse, warm mouse pad, warm keyboard pad and mouse hand warmer blanket. The USB hand warmers can be used separately or in combination with one another.  Each of the products when used alone assist computer users with cold hand pain.  Greater results are achieved when the infrared heat computer items are used in combination with one another.

If you or someone you know suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis when using the computer, infrared heat can help relax the mouse hand and keep computer hands warm. Infrared heat is known to improve blood circulation to the affected areas by helping to reduce inflamed tissue surrounding stiff joints.  About 20-30 minutes of infrared heat therapy daily shows positive results.  Plug in when computing, and use the computer to work for you, not harm you.

For more information about the positive results of using infrared heat USB hand warmers, visit the Learning Center at

Arthritis and Marijuana Use

It is estimated that over 30 million people suffer from arthritis each year. Arthritis is a painful condition that can affect your joints and the ability to use them. Many with severe joint pain find that it prohibits them from doing the activities they love and confines many to relying on stair lifts and hand rails just to move from one room in their home to another.

While there are many treatments available for this condition, medical research has yet to find a definite and effective cure that reverses the symptoms - most treatments are focused mainly on pain relief medications or taking supplements that can help with rebuilding cartilage. For this reason it is not surprising that some may be interested in learning how marijuana, a natural narcotic derived from the cannabis plant can be used in treating their pain.

There has been a lot of controversy over the use of this plant for treating illness and disease as well as its recreational use which can be habit forming and potentially detrimental effects. Marijuana is also illegal to use in many parts of the world, making it difficult to obtain and putting anyone at risk who uses it for legal punishment which can include fines and jail sentencing.

Limited research has been done to learn the effects of using the drug in treating joint conditions and as an alternative for other available prescription pain relievers. It is still often a debate whether smoking weed is habit forming or addictive, and if so whether these disadvantages would make it no better of an alternative than existing treatments.

While many would expect that addiction to weed would occur only in teenagers and young adults, a surprisingly increasing amount of people who are using it as a treatment for chronic pain are also finding themselves becoming dependent on the drug. For many it is a toss up between choosing over drug dependency or being dependent on friends and family to help them with the daily tasks in life.

It may be several more years before we finally know the answer to how to treat and cure arthritic symptoms. If you believe that you may have arthritis or the pain has become severe, there are many options available to explore and talk about with your doctor. Your doctor should be the most up to date and best resource for learning about ways to cope with your condition and adapt your lifestyle so you can enjoy life to the fullest.

Causes of Arthritis and Effects of Glutathione

While it is a common disease especially among the elderly, the exact causes of arthritis are for the most part, unknown.

Arthritis is a common disease especially among the elderly yet the exact causes of arthritis are, for the most part, unknown. Of the more than 100 types of arthritis, only several have an identifiable cause. The rest are idiopathic. Rheumatoid arthritis, for example, and most cases of osteoarthritis have no known cause.

Even when the cause is identified, it is unclear as to how some people develop the disease when others who have gone through the same conditions and share the same risk factors do not. For instance, a person with a broken knee may develop arthritis several years down the road, but other people with a similar broken knee may not get arthritis.

There are however, several factors that have been linked to the development of arthritis which some people even consider as causes of arthritis.

Here are some of the common risk factors for arthritis:

  • Heredity

Certain types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout can be passed down through the genes. Individuals with a family history of arthritis need to be extra careful because they have a genetic predisposition to the joint disease.

  • Injury

Injuries and trauma to the joints are among the most common risk factors for arthritis. They may not immediately lead to arthritis but they can do so in the long run. A deformity or tear in the surrounding cartilages, tendons and ligaments caused by a joint injury can result in scars and weakened areas.

Further injury, abuse and strain on the weakened joint can completely compromise the integrity of the joint and eventually pave the path for arthritis to set in.

  • Aging

Aging also numbers among the most common risk factors for arthritis. In many cases, the disease is a normal event that occurs with old age. Just like the cogs in the wheels of a car, joints eventually break down after a lifetime of wear and tear.

  • Infection

Local infections can be disseminated in the bloodstream and carried to the joints and other parts of the body. The infectious agents may be bacteria, fungi or viruses. Arthritis cases caused by the spread of infection are few and far between and usually affect individuals who are already suffering from another type of arthritis.

  • Abnormal Metabolism

Metabolic abnormalities can also lead to the development of arthritis.

The abnormal purine metabolism in gout, for instance, can lead to the formation of uric acid crystals which usually lodge themselves at the joints of the big toes.

  • Autoimmunity

Autoimmunity happens when the body attacks its own cells and tissues. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune and inflammatory type of arthritis.

  • Other Diseases

Some diseases can count as risk factors for arthritis because arthritis can be developed secondary to these disorders. Severe cases of Lyme disease, for example, can result in the swelling of various joints.

  • Obesity

Extra weight places extra stress on weight-bearing joints. If the joints are unable to bear the added pressure, then osteoarthritis can occur. It is therefore important to maintain a normal weight by eating a well-balanced, well-portioned diet.

Benefits of glutathione can also help curb obesity. This powerful antioxidant helps flush out bad cholesterol from the body and also has anti-inflammatory effects which is very helpful for people with arthritis.

  • Gender

Both males and females can get arthritis but certain types of the joint disease play favorites. Osteoarthritis, for example, is more prevalent in middle-aged women. On the other hand, gout is more common in men than in women.

  • Sedentary Lifestyle

An inactive lifestyle can also be a contributing factor to the development of arthritis. Without exercise, the joints and bones become weak. A sedentary lifestyle usually goes hand-in-hand with obesity.

Effects of Glutathione on the Causes of Arthritis
Glutathione is not well known amongst doctors let alone a household word, however, do a search on the National Library of Medicine PubMed and you will find over 90,000 articles on glutathione (also known as GSH).

Glutathione and Arthritis

At Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, rheumatologists proved that by increasing the glutathione levels in affected tissues, that inflammation at the cellular level showed definite improvement.

Since the causes of arthritis are chronic inflammation, scientists have proven that by raising the glutathione levels in the immune system, inflammation could be minimized or prevented.

Known as the master antioxidant, some of the benefits of Glutathione not only alleviates some of the causes of arthritis by boosting the immune system which in turn reduces inflammation, but also provides other benefits like lowering blood cholesterol and over 60 other different diseases.

Coping With Osteoarthritis

There are a lot of people in the United States that suffer from arthritis. Arthritis can be painful and greatly limit a persons' mobility. There are many types of arthritis, but it generally involves joint inflammation. One of the most common types of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is often called degenerative joint disease.

Under normal conditions there is a layer of cartilage that surrounds the bones in a joint. The cartilage acts as a sort of pad for the bones and allows them to move easily and freely. In people that suffer from osteoarthritis, the cartilage will begin to wear away and breakdown. Eventually the bones of the joint may directly rub against each other, which can be very painful.

Many are affected by degenerative joint disease, but it is very commonly found in those who are older. This is in large part do to the fact that they have been using their joints for a long time. Athletes, those who are overweight, and people who have had joint injury are also frequently affected by osteoarthritis. The exact cause, however, is unknown, but it is thought to be at least partially genetic and just using your joints alone will not cause osteoarthritis.

There is currently no cure for osteoarthritis, but there are many things that can be done to help control its advance and the pain associated with it. One of the most important things to do is to protect your joints whenever possible. This means using devices like canes or rollators. A rollator is a rolling walker that has two handlebars and doubles as a seat. It is also important to avoid lifting heavy objects and you should do some types of exercise. Some people also find that heat packs or ice packs can help to reduce stiffness and pain. There are also several different types of medicines available that reduce swelling and inflammation. Many over the counter drugs like ibuprofen and acetaminophen (Tylenol) can also reduce pain, but you should consult a doctor to find out the best one for you.

Protecting your joints and minimizing their use is one of the best ways to control and combat osteoarthritis. Things like electric can openers and electric knives should be used when possible. You should also consider buying tools and kitchen utensils that have larger handles and you can wrap things like pens in fabric or foam to make them easier to handle. Another device that can be used is a lift chair. Lift chairs are like recliners, but the base of the chair rises to make standing and sitting much easier. They are controlled by a remote control and some come with built in heat pads. A lift chair will greatly reduce the amount of wear that you put on your joints and can greatly reduce the pain of standing and sitting. There are many other devices that can be used.

For those that live with osteoarthritis, many everyday tasks, like standing and sitting, walking, and using tools and kitchen utensils, can become very difficult. It is very important to reduce the amount of strain that you put on your joints. Devices like automatic can openers and lift chairs can be used to affectively reduce the amount of strain that you put on your joints.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Implications For Physiotherapy And Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists and physiotherapists must provide complementing therapy to and for the patient(s) with the rheumatoid arthritis disease. They need to complement each others therapy and education, that the patients will not be confused and can manage the disease effectively and efficiently. The biggest contribution that both the occupational therapist and physiotherapist for the patient with this disease is with pain relief, improving mobility and functional ability, as well as managing the mental and cognitive perspective to pain and perceived impairment.

Objectives Of The Physiotherapist And Occupational Therapist

1. educate and assure patient about the disease, its process, prognosis, and what to expect
2. educate, instruct and demonstrate methods of energy conservation and its benefits
3. how to manage the maintenance of joint range of motion using exercise, heat modality and protection
4. how to bolster strength and stamina through exercise, mental imagery and perception
5. prevent or slow the disease using approaches such as splinting, adaptive and protective approaches
6. how to maintain or improve mobility and function, enabling and encouraging the patient with the disease to be as participative as possible in activities of daily living and mobility. Mental approaches to stress management, motivation and empowerment is frequently used to encourage and empower the patient with rheumatoid arthritis to improve as much and and as often as possible.
7. provide environmental (social and physical) support, advice and modifications to facilitate the patient's cognitive and physical adjustment to the disease
8. re-integrate the patient to their homes, work and social life, with rheumatoid arthritis.

Type 2 Diabetes - Having Psoriasis Can Lead To Insulin Resistance

Psoriasis is a hereditary, non-contagious, inflammatory skin disease. People diagnosed with psoriasis have high levels of the inflammatory molecules IL-6 and TNF-alpha. Having high levels of these inflammatory molecules on a permanent basis is thought to cause:

  • clogged blood vessels,

  • insulin resistance,

  • high blood pressure, and

  • Type 2 diabetes.

Researchers at the Goztepe Training and Research Hospital in Instanbul, Turkey, looked at the number of people diagnosed with the metabolic syndrome in a population of people with psoriasis, compared to individuals without the skin condition.

This study, published in April 2011 in the Scientific World Journal, included:

  • 115 people diagnosed with psoriasis, and

  • 140 participants with healthy skin.

The group of people with psoriasis had more cases of the metabolic syndrome, and it was more common after the age of 40.

From this information, it was concluded since psoriasis patients are at high risk for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and the metabolic syndrome, they should be treated as soon as diagnosed and watched closely for Type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, meaning the immune system mistakes skin cells for invaders and attacks them. The skin becomes inflamed and skin cells multiply far too fast. It was named for the Greek word for itchy, because of the dryness and irritation seen in the condition. It is manifested by red patches often covered with white scales.

Topical medications combine moisturizers with cortisone to reduce inflammation. Oatmeal baths are also used to sooth the skin and reduce itching, and sun exposure in moderation can reduce the speed of skin cell reproduction. People with psoriasis often find their skin gets better during the summer months and in warm, sunny climates.

Oral medications: Methotrexate and cyclosporine are two medications taken orally. Methotrexate, also used for some types of cancer, slows down the rapid cell reproduction. Cyclosporine, used also to prevent graft rejection, acts by slowing down the immune system.

Biological medications: These are the most effective treatment. They work by blocking some of the immune system's action, and must be taken only when no infection is present. They are injected just under the skin, and the frequency of injections depends upon the kind of medication injected, and the dose.

One advantage the biologicals have over topicals is they are also effective against psoriatic arthritis.

  • Enbrel is injected under the skin twice weekly for three months and then once a week. Patients quickly become adept at injecting it at home.

  • Humira is also injected under the skin, every other week.

  • Stelara is injected twice, four weeks apart, and then once every twelve weeks.

  • Remicade is given by IV injection in a doctor's office.

Individuals who have psoriasis or suspect they do should see a dermatologist. Even if the rash is considered only a minor nuisance, it should be treated to prevent any complications.

Can A Natural Diet Relieve Arthritis Pain?

I finally found relief from arthritis pain, naturally, and you can do it too. It was just a few years ago that I accidentally discovered how to get rid of arthritis pain, naturally, with no conventional arthritis treatment.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis; when people refer to arthritis they usually mean osteoarthritis. The pain in arthritis can be mild, moderate or severe. Sometimes arthritis symptoms can occur in the wrist, elbows, shoulders, and jaw but generally you don't find it there.

The synovium is a membrane that surrounds the entire joint; it is filled with synovial fluid, a lubricating liquid that supplies nutrients and oxygen to the cartilage. Collagen is the essential protein that is found in cartilage; it forms a mesh to give support and flexibility to the joints. Proteoglycans are the large molecules that help to make up cartilage; they bond to water, which ensures the high-fluid content in the cartilage.

Sometimes injuries can be the start of the arthritic disease process; osteoarthritis can develop years later after a single traumatic injury to a joint or near a joint. When chondrocytes, which are the cells that make up cartilage age, they lose their ability to make repairs and produce more cartilage; this process may play an important part in the development and progression of osteoarthritis. Researchers report a higher incidence of osteoarthritis between parents and children and between siblings rather than husbands and wives.

One dietary natural treatment method involves avoiding all inflammatory foods. Make all-fruit smoothies using a base of two bananas, add a cup of frozen or fresh blueberries and mango chunks or substitute any other fruit and add an energy boost of two tablespoons of organic virgin coconut oil if you like; add one or two leaves of kale for even more super nutrition. Many arthritis sufferers who have changed their diets significantly have noticed major and even total improvement.

Many people have told me that going off dairy products and foods containing gluten, like wheat especially, relieved them of arthritis pain entirely. If arthritis is affecting your weight-bearing joints, keeping your weight within a normal range is important to get rid of any arthritis symptoms. Some of the foods and beverages to avoid that are inflammatory are: caffeine, salt, sugar, meat, dairy products, additives, soft drinks, white flour, white rice, alcoholic beverages, fast food, processed vegetable oils, and all refined, packaged and processed food.

Some people swear by a morning drink of pure filtered heated water with a teaspoon or so of raw apple cider vinegar (like Bragg's) and honey to keep them free of arthritis pain but vinegar is too harsh for many. If you're not already doing so, make a big effort to change your diet for the better.

Some of the supplements commonly reported for relieving arthritis pain (and I don't know if any of these work) are: cherry powder, glucosamine, chondroitin, bromelain, grapeseed extract, omega-3 and omega-6, cod liver oil, manganese ascorbate, MSM, boron, niacinamide, pantothenic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. For a natural approach and for natural treatment for arthritis make an appointment with a naturopathic doctor, called a naturopath; ask around for referrals in your area.

Make sure to exercise all your affected joints every day, to keep them flexible. Important exercises for arthritis include: range-of-motion exercises, isometric exercise, and some weight-bearing exercises. At bedtime you can try putting on a pair of stretch gloves to help reduce the pain and swelling in your fingers if you have arthritic hands. A good exercise routine is important to beat arthritis and keeping arthritis pain at bay; keep on moving.

Your body has 147 different joints in motion every day of your life; keep them moving! Yes, whatever you do, keep moving; don't sit when you can stand, don't stand when you can walk or walk in place. To be on the safe side always check with your doctor before starting or changing any exercise program.

At the very least, understand what the side effects and adverse reactions are for any arthritis medication you take; one rule of thumb is - don't take any medication that has been on the market for less than five years. For conventional treatment of arthritis - if you do choose to take drugs or medications, be careful, read the labels thoroughly and talk to your pharmacist about side effects and adverse reactions; make sure you know the name of them and if they'll react with any other medication you're taking. Once you become completely informed about arthritis you'll be able to plan an arthritis treatment program, natural or conventional or a combination.

Changing your diet to lots of raw fruits and raw veggies, like I did, can turn your arthritis pain around almost overnight. More and more doctors are investigating the benefits of natural arthritis treatments and alternative therapies and most don't object to their patients trying them. Relief of your arthritis pain and symptoms is the ultimate goal - understanding arthritis and arthritis treatments is a good way to get there.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

The cause is unknown for the auto-immune disease characterized by the chronic inflammation of the
joints and other parts of the body. Rheumatoid arthritis can strike anyone at any age, delivering
waves of disease flare-ups, followed by periods of remission. Rheumatoid arthritis can strike
numerous joints at once that over time can cause permanent deterioration and deformity. There is
no cure for these symptoms, which can increase in severity, but with proper self-care and
medication, the disease can be somewhat managed.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are characterized by lack of energy, loss of appetite, low-grade
fever and stiffness, as well as aching throughout the muscles and joints. Stiffness often comes
when a patient first wakes up in the morning, as well as after the disease has been inactive.
During flare-ups of the disease, arthritis may run rampant. This can be seen when the joints
become swollen, painful and tender to the touch, as well as red. This is often caused by a
buildup and thickening of joint fluid during inflammation.

Common body parts affected by rheumatoid arthritis include the small joints of the hands, wrists
and feet. If the left side of your hand joints are inflamed, the right side will follow suit.
This is because the disease often follows a symmetrical pattern, which means both sides of the
body will be affected. These flare-ups can be so debilitating that the simplest thing like
opening a door will cause extreme pain. Joint deformity is a symptom of the disease that is
caused by repeated bouts of inflammation. These bouts cause the loss in cartilage, weak bones and
muscles that leads to further destruction.

Rheumatoid arthritis is also responsible for causing the drying out of eye and mouth glands,
chest pains, a reduction in red blood cells and enlarging of the spleen, as well as increased
risk of infection.


Since there is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis, early detection is important when it comes
to taking advantage of all available treatments. Although medical professionals provide various
medications and possible surgery, there is a wide range of responsibilities that fall on the
shoulders of patients. This includes increasing their knowledge about rheumatoid arthritis, as
well as practicing good joint protection. Rest and proper exercise will also ease the symptoms of
the disease.

Early treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is important for the prevention of a worse state of
affairs. Years ago, a large number of rheumatoid arthritis patients were disabled within the
first two to three years of the disease. It is a known fact that some people are more susceptible
than others to the joint damage and disability associated with the disease. For this reason, not
all patients require an aggressive treatment.

Medical Professionals: Common Treatments

For the most part, there are two main focuses pertaining to the treatment of rheumatoid
arthritis. Reducing the inflammation and relieving the symptoms (namely the pain) top the list
for doctors and patients. Doctors will most likely prescribe a medication, as well as suggest a
variety of things a patient can concentrate on while at home. For more severe cases, surgery is
elected, such as total joint replacement.

When patients exhibit a low potential for joint damage, drugs such as Polaquenil, Azulfidine and
Minocin may be prescribed. These selections present the lowest number of side effects. When the
rheumatoid arthritis is moderate to severe, drugs like Trexakk, Arava, Enbrel, Humira, Remicade
and Rheumatrex may be prescribed. Stronger, newer drugs, such as Orencia and Rituxan are given to
patients who do not respond well to the above drugs.

Self Care: What Patients Can Do

The first line of defense against any disease is equipping yourself with the weapon of knowledge.
Learning all there is to know about your condition will better assist you in the treatment and
understanding of the changes your body will experience. Reliable resources to draw from include
health professionals, the Internet, books, as well as conversations with those already battling
the disease. Make sure to look into all possible treatments, including their side effects.
Knowing the ups and downs of a disease will help you to prepare for the unknown. Familiarize
yourself with the symptoms as they correspond to your own body. If your joints ache for more than
one hour after activity, you probably should limit this option to avoid future pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis also demands a certain level of physical activity. This will help to
decrease the amount of pain you experience from the disease. Water aerobics, as well as other
strengthening or cardio exercises are suggested. Protection of the joints is highly recommended.
This can be accomplished through avoiding activities and positions that cause stress to the

Rheumatoid arthritis patients often pace themselves throughout the day, meaning they alternate
how much rest and movement their body receives. Try to keep joints moving and avoid staying in
the same position for a long time as stiffness may develop. Taking a healthier approach towards
your lifestyle will also ease the effects of rheumatoid arthritis. This includes losing weight
and not smoking, as well as eating a balanced diet filled with fruits, vegetables, protein,
low-fat dairy, vitamin C and calcium.

All of these self-care measures can ease the symptoms and make living with rheumatoid arthritis a
much easier task.

Arthritis Pain Reliever - Conventional And Alternative Options

The next best thing to a cure for arthritis - as this is still unknown - is a pain reliever. Pain is the common and usually most unbearable symptom of arthritis and with the right pain reliever, you could look forward to a relatively comfortable and active future even with arthritis. Ultimately, your main problem is making sure you're using the right arthritis pain reliever.

Three Types of Conventional Arthritic Pain Relievers

You have the option to choose among the three known types of arthritic pain relievers.

Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). This is the most common type of arthritic pain reliever and can be used regularly to assuage the pain caused by your condition. If you are looking for NSAIDs with higher dosages, however, you'll have to ask for prescription from your doctor for those. Previously hailed for its effectiveness in treating symptoms for arthritis and other pain-riddled diseases, recent studies have revealed how continued use of NSAIDs have serious side effects.

Narcotics. This type of arthritic pain reliever has its own share of side effects as well. Possibly the worst disadvantage to using narcotics is the risk of getting addicted to it. Many people have found themselves unable to function properly without taking narcotics at the start of the day. Another side effect of narcotics is the possible immunity of the body to its effects after a long period of use. In such cases, individuals will then be forced to take larger doses of narcotics. If they aren't careful, taking huge amounts of arthritis can lead to respiratory problems and even death.

Steroids. Examples of this type of arthritic pain reliever are COX-2 inhibitors which are very popular with arthritic patients. Unfortunately, continued use of steroids can lead to heart and kidney disorders, hypertension, and other chronic complications.

Obviously, all three types of arthritic pain relievers have their respective sets of ups and downs. If you're determined to use a traditional arthritic pain reliever, you need to consult your doctor to get the kind of medication your body is ready and able to handle without much side effects.

Is an Alternative or Home Arthritic Pain Reliever Effective?

Arthritic patients, fearing the various side effects and possible complications caused by taking traditional painkillers are becoming increasingly dependent on alternative or home remedies. These are safe to use, provided you can be sure of its origins.

Some people believe that natural arthritic pain relievers are effective only because of contrived placebo effects - it's only the individual's trust in the product, in other words, that make the product effective against arthritis. Herbalists however provide data regarding pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties of their ingredients to prove that their home remedies are truly effective in allaying the pain caused by arthritis.

Here are several examples of alternative arthritic pain relievers you can use:

Chondroitin and Glucosamine. These two not only reduce the amount of pain you're suffering from arthritis but also help in slowing down the progress of osteoarthritis as well as expediting joint repair.

MSM. Its natural sulfuric contents make it an effective anti-inflammatory agent. It decreases the intensity of inflammation and swelling of joints and consequently making your condition less painful.

Boswellia. This is another herb with anti-inflammatory properties.

SAM-e. This natural arthritic pain reliever is good in increasing joint motion and flexibility as well as reducing swelling of joints.

Tumeric. Yet another herb, Tumeric is more powerful than other natural ingredients when used to treat pain caused by arthritis.

Choosing the Right Arthritic Pain Reliever for You

Consider the following factors when looking for the ideal natural arthritic pain reliever.

Price. Natural pain relievers are certainly more affordable than painkilling medications, but they might not be considered as acceptable expenses by your health insurance company. It's best to consult your insurance agent before trying out any painkiller, natural or not, as they may have recommended brands that will give you discounted rates to enjoy.

Availability. If you have a green thumb and garden, it would be easy for you to grow your own herbs and make your own remedies. If you live in the city then OTC arthritic pain relievers are definitely more abundant in supply as they can be procured online or from any drugstore.

An arthritic pain reliever has many benefits, but don't make the mistake of using it as a substitute for having a healthy lifestyle. The right habits are still one of the most effective ways of treating arthritis.

Treatment of Sacroiliitis

Sacroiliitis is a disorder that is far more complex than back pain and it is important to seek medical attention early if you develop the symptoms. The condition is complicated with a variety of causes; it may be secondary to an injury or pregnancy but this is not a disorder to gamble with. Delay may lead to joint degeneration or the pain may be a symptom of a larger, inflammatory arthritic condition known as ankylosing spondylitis. This is one of the many forms of inflammatory arthritis, the most common of which is rheumatoid arthritis. Complications of ankylosing spondylitis can be quite serious and include:

  • Spine Deformities

  • Difficulty Breathing

  • Lung Infections

  • Heart Problems. 

Symptoms OF Sacroiliitis

  • Pain and stiffness in lower back, thighs, buttocks

  • Pain becomes worse with walking, due to the motion of the hips.

  • Psoriasis, an inflammatory skin condition, may occur with a type of arthritis and sacroiliitis.

  • Pain radiating down leg, often mimicking sciatica

  • Limp

  • Decreased range of motion

  • Elevated temperature

  • Bloody diarrhea occurs with Reiter's Syndrome, which causes painful urination, joint pain, sacroiliac joint pain, and eye inflammation, and accompanies sacroiliitis.

  • Eye inflammation in one or both eyes, a symptom of Reiter's Syndrome and evident with sacroiliitis. 


  • History and Physical

  • When examined, pain localized around sacroiliac joints, can be detected.

  • Laboratory studies, including blood cultures

  • X-rays of sacroiliac joints

  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan of sacroiliac joints

  • Culture of fluid from affected sacroiliac joint 

It is important that the doctor be informed if there is a history of IV Drug use and whether any antibiotics have been taken recently. Recent antibiotic use can delay the proper diagnosis and identification of the infectious organism if a blood culture is done.


The underlying cause and symptoms are considered when implementing a treatment plan.

  • NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs) such as naproxyn and ibuprophen reduce inflammation and pain.

  • Cortiosteroid Drugs, such as prednisone and medrol, reduce inflammation and slow down joint deterioration.

  • DMARDs (Disease Modifying Anti-rheumatic Drugs), such as Azulfidine and methotrexate, help limit joint damage.

  • Antibiotics, if an underlying infection is determined by a blood culture or culture of fluid from infected sacroiliac joints. Drug must be specific for that infectious organism.

  • Rest to relieve strain on sacroiliac joints.

  • Tumor necrosis factor inhibitor medications, such as Enbrel, Humira, Remicade, can block a cell protein that acts as an inflammatory agent. This helps reduce pain and stiffness. These medications are quite expensive and may not be prescribed unless other medications are not effective.

  • Physical therapy will be started after the painful, acute phase is under control. Range of motion exercises and stretching exercises to improve muscle strength and joint flexibility.

         Decrease or eliminate smoking because nicotine decreases the blood flow to the affected areas and makes it more difficult for the body to fight the disease. 

These medications can effectively relieve the painful symptoms of sacroiliitis but they have many side-effects. They may interact with medications you are already taking so it is important that you understand all their side-effects and how to use them appropriately. Some of these drugs increase the risk of bleeding, the risk of a cardio-vascular event or damage to your kidneys, liver or gastrointestinal tract. Complete patient education is vital to the management of sacroiliitis and the effective relief of its symptoms.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Stem Cell Treatment For Osteoarthritis - What is it All About?

While many new and amazing therapies for rheumatoid arthritis have been developed in recent years, very little progress has been made in the treatment of osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and affects approximately 30 million Americans. OA is a disease of articular cartilage, the gristle that caps the ends of long bones. Cartilage has both gliding as well as shock absorbing properties.

It is this flexibility of function that enables a joint to work properly.

Normal cartilage is composed of cells called chondrocytes that sit inside a matrix consisting of collagen and glycosaminoglycans... much like grapes inside Jello.

Osteoarthritis develops when the chondrocyte begins to malfunction and starts to produce destructive enzymes. At the same time water content inside the matrix changes making it more susceptible to stress. Small cracks, called "fissures" develop. Also, local inflammation involving the lining of the joint- called the synovium- begins. The end result is a gradual and premature wearing away of cartilage.

This process is most apparent in weight-bearing areas such as the neck, low back, hips, and knees.

Current approaches to the treatment of OA involve the use of analgesics (pain-relieving medicines), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), physical therapy, proper weight management, exercises, injections of steroids, injections of viscosupplements (lubricants), and surgery.

While many of the above treatments help relieve pain, they do nothing to prevent cartilage loss... and more importantly, they do nothing to restore cartilage.

Orthopedic techniques such as chondrocyte transplantation and cartilage plug surgery are helpful for discrete, relatively small areas of cartilage loss but are generally reserved for younger people who have had traumatic injuries to cartilage. But what about the older person who suffers from osteoarthritis?

In recent years there has been much interest in the role of regenerative techniques to rebuild cartilage.

The topic of much study are stem cells. Stem cells are pluripotential cells, meaning they are cells that can become any kind of tissue, given the right stimulus. Stem cells can be obtained from embryonic tissue, which is a source of much controversy. Or they can be obtained from adults. The adult body has a small number of stem cells in many tissues. They are activated by injury or illness. Adult stem cells, as a rule, do not have the ability to differentiate as well as embryonic stem cells.

However, in recent years, techniques have been developed to harvest mesenchymal stem cells- stem cells found in the bone marrow. These mesenchymal stem cells cells, when properly prepared and concentrated, have the ability to differentiate into cartilage and bone.

Stem cells are harvested from the the patient's iliac crest bone marrow using local anesthetic and a special type of biopsy needle. The stem cells are then specially concentrated.

After the stem cells are prepared, the physician, using ultrasound guidance and local anesthetic, finds the area of arthritis involvement and irritates the area using a special large needle. This irritation is important because it initiates an inflammatory reaction which is the prelude to healing and regeneration. The areas that are irritated include the capsule, tendon insertions, pericapsular soft tissue, as well as cartilage.

Blood is drawn from the patient and spun in a special centrifuge in order to obtain platelet rich plasma. Platelets are blood cells that contain multiple growth and healing factors.

Once the irritation has been completed, stem cells as well as the platelet rich plasma are injected into the prepared area.

The growth factors within the platelet rich plasma act on receptors found on the surface of stem cells and cause the stem cells to differentiate and multiply.

The end result is cartilage regeneration as well as lessening of pain. While the data is preliminary, the early results appear to be very promising.

Alternative Treatments for Arthritis - An Evolving Science

Arthritis has gained quite a reputation over the years as a deadly disease affecting millions of people worldwide. Its spread has been so vast that the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared 2000 - 2010 as the decade of joint health as joints are pre dominantly affected in arthritis.

Millions of dollars are been spent on the research to find a cure for this disease. Conventional forms of treatment and alternative forms are been researched and debated world over. Clinical research is been done on a number of new drugs promising the magic cure.

New evidence from patients using both the conventional form of medicine and alternative forms has thrown new light on the treatment methodologies and side effects after prolonged use of the medicines.

Research has also helped in several medicines taken off the shelf as their use has been found to increase the side effects sometimes even leading to death. Vioxx was one of the most common and popular medicine prescribed for arthritis. Its prolonged use has been found to lead to heart attacks and internal bleeding.

As more knowledge is been gained about the causes, treatments and side effects involved in the treatment alternative or natural cure for arthritis has slowly but surely started gaining the upper hand over conventional medicine.

Causes of arthritis

  • Heredity has also been found to be a major reason for arthritis.

  • Hormonal imbalance, stress and anxiety and a sedentary lifestyle have all been cited as reasons for increase of arthritis incidence the world over.

  • Accumulation of toxins in the body is the main cause of rheumatoid arthritis. The toxins accumulate on the joints and cause swelling and pain.

Ayurveda, homeopathy and traditional Chinese medicines provide a natural cure for arthritis.

What are the various treatment options for arthritis?

  • Treatment of arthritis is a life long process and alternative medicines are a safe bet. Diet and overall lifestyle changes form part of the alternative treatments prescribed for arthritis.

  • Japanese fishermen seem to be less prone to arthritis and studies conducted on them found that high intake of fish were the primary reason for keep arthritis at bay.

  • Green lipped mussel found in New Zealand has also tremendous benefits and it has been found to be more effective than fish oil.

The traditional forms of treatment are not over the counter kind of treatment. They require expert guidance and a complete analysis of the patient's health, lifestyle and diet patterns.

Dog Arthritis Treatment With Liquid Glucosamine

Glucosamine use for dogs with arthritis who seem to be suffering from arthritis or even the just having the symptoms of arthritis has proved to be most effective in relieving pain.

The healing agent called glucosamine that is used for dogs with arthritis comes from cartilage in animals that are alive and functioning well, but when dogs become older or unhealthy over time, the dogs body lessens the creation of glucosamine which causes his joints to become much more unhealthy. Using a supplement such as glucosamine in these cases can help the dog's body to seemingly remain as healthy as it was before and his joints don't seem to suffer from the natural glucosamine loss.

Some of the ways that you may realize your dog would be a prime candidate for the glucosamine is if he or she begins to limp and have some difficult times walking or going up and down the stairs, you may begin to notice that they want to lie on a cold floor or always be away from the sun and in the shade. If you notice that your dog is lethargic or they have a tough time getting up from a laying position and vice versa, this is a good sign as well. All of these signs can be indicators that your dog is going through some difficult pain and this pain can give him much more freedom and relief of symptoms if he is on the glucosamine supplement.

What the glucosamine can do for your dog is ease the painful symptoms that he feels from the arthritis. Glucosamine has some very strong anti inflammatory items in it that helps to reduce swelling and pain and can also be used to even help prevent the onset of arthritis in dogs that don't even have it yet! With the glucosamine, you will notice that in just a couple weeks your dog is much more happy and friendly. You will note that he seems to walk much more at ease and without pain at all.

When taking glucosamine supplements, you want to be sure you give the dog the dosage that is better suited for his own weight and depending on how severe his signs of pain are and you can use the liquid glucosamine or even the tablets but some dogs are tough to administer pills to unless they are mixed in with your pets food and then you have to be sure they eat the entire amount to get the correct dosage.

Glucosamine for dogs with arthritis is also beneficial because it has so little side effects on your pet and has been used for a long time over in Europe to help dogs with arthritis. If your dog experiences any upset stomach with the medication just lower the dosage until you see they feel much better.

What Are Surgery Options For Osteoarthritis Of The Knee

Conservative approaches to osteoarthritis of the knee include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, good quality forms of glucosamine and chondroitin, physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, viscosupplementation (injections of lubricant into the knee), and bracing.

For people who do not respond to these measures, there are more aggressive approaches available. The first is arthroscopy. This is a procedure where small telescope is inserted into the knee. Using specialized cutting instruments, damaged and diseased tissue is removed and flushed out of the knee. For many patients this affords relief.

If the arthritis damage is limited to one side of the knee, an osteotomy (removal of a wedge of bone to help the bones of the knee line up better) can be a very good option. This procedure is best done in patients under the age of 60 who are active and who do not have severe inflammatory changes. The only disadvantage is that because bone is removed, it may make subsequent knee replacement surgery more difficult because there is less bone to anchor the replacement in.

Resurfacing is a procedure where a thin layer of the femur (upper leg bone) and a thin layer of the tibia (lower leg bone) are removed. A layer of metal is applied to the femur and a layer of plastic is applied to the tibia. Sometimes the back of the patella (kneecap) is also resurfaced. This type of procedure is good for people who only have a moderate amount of damage and who have relatively good bone stock.

A relatively new procedure is paste grafting. Here, a hole is drilled in an area of arthritis to expose bleeding tissue. A paste consisting of crushed up bone and cartilage cells is then placed in the hole and the patient is not allowed to bear any weight on the repaired knee for several months. The paste is supposed to promote regeneration of cartilage. Preliminary data is encouraging.

Cartilage plug grafting is a procedure used when there is a single localized defect in the cartilage of the femur. A plug of cartilage is removed from the intercondylar notch of the knee (a non weight-bearing area). The plug is then placed into the cartilage defect in the femur. While this is good for localized defects, it is not useful for large defects due to osteoarthritis.

Autologous cartilage implantation is a procedure where a plug of cartilage is removed from the intercondylar notch of the knee (a non weight-bearing area). The plug is then used to provide cartilage cells which are grown in a laboratory. The patient then undergoes a second surgery where the cartilage defect in the weight-bearing part of the knee is carefully debrided (cleaned), then a patch is placed over this defect and cartilage cells grown from the first harvesting procedure are injected underneath the patch. Cartilage cells then grow over a period of several months. This procedure is good only for isolated cartilage defects and not for generalized osteoarthritis of the knee. Patients must not bear any weight on the leg for at least six months.

Synthetic cartilage plugs can also be inserted. The plug is made of synthetic biodegradable material that permits the patient's own cartilage cells to grow within the defect. This procedure is best used for younger patients (50 or younger) who have a localized defect. It takes several months for the plug to take hold.

Patients who have a damaged meniscus (cartilage cushion) due to arthritis can have a replacement meniscus donated from a cadaver source. These grafts can last about 4-5 years. The one danger is that the body may reject them.

Total knee replacement is a procedure where the end of the femur and the end of the tibia are removed and replaced with appliances consisting of metal capped with ceramic or plastic. Knee replacements last 12-15 years. A revision of this replacement may be required if the knee replacement is older than 15 years. Recent data indicates that a an exercise program instituted before surgery greatly enhances the chance of success.

Can Gin Soaked Raisins Help Treat Arthritis?

When it comes to home remedies for arthritis, the most unusual but the most talked about natural treatment must be the gin soaked raisins. A lot of people swear to the healing properties of this remedy for arthritis. To prepare it, you need a bottle of gin and a handful of golden raisins. Put the raisins in a bowl. Pour enough gin to cover the raisins. Let the mixture stand, up until the gin had evaporated. This could take a week or so. Keep the moist raisins in a clean jar and cover it with a tight lid. Arthritis patients are required to eat nine raisins everyday for best effects. Holistic medicine experts say that these raisins are the perfect addition to your daily cereal.

This remedy does sound simple and strange. Does it really work? Well, there is only one way to find out. And that is to try it. As of yet, there is no scientific evidence that this remedy can work for you. But if you're a little desperate about your condition and have tried every single remedy for chronic arthritis found in the books but are still crippled with the problem, it is best that you go ahead and try this treatment therapy. After all, raisins are good for the body. It has lots of antioxidants that can help restore the cell's working ability.

The gin soaked raisin remedy for arthritis started when Paul Harvey spoke of it in his radio show. And since his show is very popular, the word spread rampantly and a lot of people started to try it. Basing on the groups of people who attested to the beneficial results of the combination, gin soaked raisin had slowly crept its way to folklore and natural remedy books, magazine, and feature articles. Right now, there are many gin soaked raisin recipes and preparation variations coupled with persuasive testimonials of the people who say that the remedy does work.

Well, it is best that the nutritional and beneficial values of raisin and gin combined are taken into consideration before fully attesting to their effectiveness. The impressive testimonials of the people who had tried the remedy are simply not enough to convince science.

It's a good thing that raisins does have good natural elements in it that proves to be helpful. Golden raisins and white raisins both contain sulphides or sulfur that can help relieve arthritis pain. The sulfur in raisins is obtained when fresh grapes start to slowly dry out. The drying process is assisted by the sulfur dioxide gas.

Raisins are rich in natural chemicals as well, which has both anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects. The pain relieving properties of raisins should be enough to treat the most common illnesses associated with pain and swelling.

Gin, on the other hand, is generally made up of juniper berries. Juniper is the main ingredient of gins that give it its flavor. It comes from evergreens and conifer plants found in North America and Europe. Juniper berries are rich in terpenes and Vitamin C. History indicates that these berries have been used since the Middle Ages. The folks of long ago use juniper berries as a medicine to treat swelling because of its effective anti-inflammatory properties.

However, the gin soaked raisin remedy for arthritis could be effective due to the placebo effect. Placebos are medicines that don't possess any medicinal value but are given to patients anyway to condition themselves of treatment. There are times that the mind has to be programmed to believe that a medicine is really effective for it to work. The same is true with the gin soaked raisin formula. Some people must be bent on the idea that the remedy really works that's why for them, it does. When the mind believes strongly on a medicine, the body's natural pain and disease mediators come into play. Their number gets heightened. Hence, the disease gets cured.

If you're really decided on the gin soaked raisin remedy for arthritis, there is no harm in trying it. But then again, you have to tell your doctor about it first. It pays to be guided by a medical expert when it comes to matters of the health. Your doctor should be able to warn you about any effects of this remedy on you, if any. And that's because doctors have your full medical record and they would know of your allergies and possible unnatural reactions to certain foods and food items.

Arthritis Treatment: What Causes the Pain of Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. It is a disease affecting weight-bearing joints such as the neck, low back, hips, and knees.

While it may occur in younger people as a result of trauma to the joint, it is still considered a condition that accompanies aging.

OA affects more than half of adults past the age of 65. With the graying of the Baby Boomers and with the increasing incidence of obesity, that figure will continue to rise.

OA is a disease of articular cartilage, the gristle that caps the ends of long bones. Articular cartilage, or as it is referred to as hyaline cartilage is a tough connective tissue consisting of proteoglycans (complexes of proteins and sugars) as well as collagen. These coalesce to form a soupy matrix. Interspersed in this matrix are cells called chondrocytes. When cartilage is healthy, chondrocytes manufacture matrix. As osteoarthritis develops and proceeds, there is cartilage degradation with changes affecting the surrounding lining of the joint (synovium) as well as the underlying bone.

What is interesting is that cartilage has no blood vessels nor does it have any nerve fibers. So the big question had been, "What causes the pain of osteoarthritis?"

While people do have disability and pain related to OA, more than 40% of patients with OA on x-ray don't have pain!

So why do people with OA hurt?

It is likely that the cartilage wear and tear triggers other mechanisms to kick into gear. Multiple studies have identified abnormalities occurring in the synovium, bone, and other soft tissue structures that could cause pain. OA has traditionally been thought to be a non-inflammatory form of arthritis. The truth is that a substantial amount of inflammation occurs and it has effects on soft tissue structures both within as well as surrounding the joint.

Local chemical messengers known as cytokines could cause more inflammation to develop locally. The production of destructive enzymes by chondrocytes and other sources also could contribute to pain.

Magnetic resonance imaging studies have demonstrated that bone marrow edema may play a role in the production of pain.

The puzzle is this... there appears to be a disparity between the degree of joint damage and the amount of pain perceived by the osteoarthritis sufferer. This has led to more investigations into possible central causes of pain.

Functional MRI studies of the brain have shown that there are areas in the brain that appear to be responsible for pain processing.

An excellent discussion regarding this phenomenon was published recently.

(Sofat N, Ejindu V, Kiely P. What Makes Osteoarthritis Painful? The Evidence for Local and Central Pain Processing. Rheumatology. 2011;50(12):2157-2165)

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment to Manage the Condition

Although a cure for rheumatoid arthritis has not yet been discovered, rheumatoid arthritis treatment plays an integral part in managing this medical condition. Characterized by chronic inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues, this autoimmune disease is a progressive illness that causes a variety of symptoms. These include severe aches and pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, stiffness, and a lack of energy.

Unfortunately the disease develops gradually, so it is not always possible to determine exactly when it began. Some people find that the disease is active constantly, while others show signs of symptoms intermittently. The specific symptoms, and the severity of pain and discomfort, depend entirely on the individual and can be worse if a person is inactive for a long period of time.

The main goal of treating rheumatoid arthritis is to manage the pain, maximize the functioning of joints, and reduce inflammation. The prevention of joint damage and deformity also forms part of treatment. Since the severity of the symptoms varies according to the case, treatment needs to be tailored to the needs of each patient. Generally factors, such as age, occupation, overall health, the types of joints that are inflamed, and whether the disease is active or not, are all taken into consideration when deciding on a course of treatment.

Rheumatoid arthritis treatment usually consists of a combination of medications and non-drug therapies. The types of drugs used include anti-inflammatory medications and drugs that promote remission, as well as slow down the progression of the disease.

Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as cortisone and aspirin are used for pain management and to reduce inflammation. Hydroxychloroquine, gold salts, sulfasalazine and methotrexate are commonly used to slow down the progression of joint destruction and promote remission. In cases where joint deformity is severe, surgery may be necessary.

Non-drug therapies include physical therapy and specific exercises to relieve pain and stiffness. Besides reducing inflammation, physical therapy can be used to address particular effects of the disease and preserve the structure of joints. A combination of relaxation techniques, finger splinting, ultrasound, and hot and cold therapies are used to achieve optimal results. A dietary plan is often recommended to ensure patients receive plenty of essential nutrients, especially during periods when there is a loss of appetite. To help with fatigue and restore energy, individuals are encouraged to rest.

In order for rheumatoid arthritis treatment to be successful, a patient needs to work closely with a medical health care provider. Anyone who continuously follows an effective treatment plan designed for their particular case will have a better chance of improvement.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment - What Should You Expect?

Psoriatic arthritis treatment drugs come in several categories. There are the nonsteroidal drugs that combat inflammation, commonly known as NSAIDs. There are the anti-rheumatic drugs that modify the disease, commonly known as DMARDs, and there's also the biologics made from animal or human proteins. In addition to these, there are a number of natural, or alternative remedies that have known success in some people.

Psoriasis is a skin disease that affects some 2 percent of the population. It is a chronic condition having little impact for those only slightly affected, and a considerable social and domestic impact for those heavily affected. Not all psoriasis sufferers require psoriatic arthritis treatment as the condition only affects some 10 to 30 percent of the group as a whole.

The disease develops at different rates for different people. If you already have skin psoriasis, and you also have joint pain, especially if the two coincide on the same joint, then you should inform your physician as soon as possible, for you may have developed psoriatic arthritis and require treatment.

Treatment for this condition is aimed at reducing the pain and the associated swelling. It also aims to maintain fluid and natural movement in the joints, which in turn helps to prevent any further damage. The treatment recommended by your doctor will depend on the severity of the condition, your reaction to the treatment, and the type of psoriatic arthritis that you have.

French physician, Baron Jean Louis Alibert, was the first to describe psoriatic arthritis. It took almost 140 years, however, to be classified as an particular arthritic disease in its own right. Psoriatic arthritis treatment can sometimes be delayed because the condition is wrongly diagnosed as being gout. It is important, however, that the correct form of arthritis is diagnosed as the necessary treatments differ substantially.

Top 5 Tips To Prevent Osteoarthritis

The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis results in damage due to wear and tear on the cartilage of your bones. Healthy cartilage is smooth which allows your joints to move freely and tough, to act as a shock absorber between your bones. But in osteoarthritis, the cartilage breaks down in slow stages:

1. It becomes soft, frayed, and less elastic.

2. Large sections wear away completely, letting the ends of bones rub together.

3. As a result, your bone ends thicken, and the joints may change shape, grow spurs (bony growths), and develop fluid-filled cysts.

No one knows for sure what causes osteoarthritis or even if it is actually age-related, but heredity, obesity, injury, and overuse all appear to play roles in osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, but it is mostly found in the knees, spine, fingers, big toes, and hips. Men are especially likely to suffer from osteoarthritis of the hip.

Here are the helpful tips to lower your risk of developing osteoarthritis:

1. Exercise

It can be your best tool against osteoarthritis because exercise strengthens your muscles and works to keep your joints flexible. Exercise can also help you to maintain a healthy weight (or lose weight if necessary). Obesity is often considered a factor in some types of arthritis. However, be sensible: Don't overdo high-impact aerobics such as running. And if a particular joint (for example, those in your knees, ankles, and feet) starts to suffer from overuse, change your exercise regimen. Try low-impact exercises such as walking and swimming and stretching exercises to loosen your joints, increase your range of motion, strengthen your muscles, and more important, relieve arthritis pain.

2. Protect your knees against injury during sports, starting in your teens

Wear protective gear such as knee and elbow pads when playing contact sports or other, riskier sports such as in-line skating.

3. Sit straight and don't slump

Your mother was right! Good posture, whether sitting or standing, can help reduce the pressure on the joints, especially those in your spine.

4. Learn to perform your job without stressing your joints

If your job requires repetitive movement (such as typing) or movement that stresses your joints, be sure to vary your activities and working position as much as possible.

5. Safety First

Some safety concerns that may help to prevent osteoarthritis in your daily life, for example, wear a seat belt to prevent injury to your knees (and other body parts) in case of a car accident.

Diet For Rheumatoid Arthritis - What Foods Help to Relieve Joint Pain?

Researchers have determined that your diet for rheumatoid arthritis is directly linked to the severity of the disease. A poor diet can greatly aggravate pain and other symptoms, so it is important to have a clear understanding of proper nutrition, especially as it relates to RA.

First of all, it is incredibly important that you integrate plenty of fruits and vegetables into your diet, while greatly reducing or eliminating red meat and dairy. Dark green leafy vegetables are always the best, and you can gain lots of antioxidants from eating fruit. However, your diet for rheumatoid arthritis should avoid overly acidic fruit like oranges and lemons.

Many people have greatly benefited from becoming vegetarian or vegan. You may or may not want to go down this route, but if you're desperate, there's no harm in trying for a while to see if your symptoms alleviate.

Eat plenty of cold water fish like salmon and cod, as these contain high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, which act as anti-inflammatory agents in the body. If fish isn't your thing or you're worried about mercury, you can also get Omega-3 fatty acids from almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, soybeans, and avocados.

Make sure you drink plenty of fluids. You should be drinking at least 8 cups of water per day. In addition, soups, broth, herbal teas, and unsweetened fruit juices are also fantastic. Just make sure that the tea is decaf and there isn't much salt in the soups and broth.

A diet for rheumatoid arthritis should be rich in vitamins and minerals, and while taking supplements will definitely help, it simply doesn't compare to getting the nutrients straight from the source. So don't think that you can counter your bad eating habits by taking supplements, because it simply doesn't work that way.

How To Deal With Osteoarthritis

Do you have painful and stiff joints that are difficult to move? Does the pain increase during cold weather? If you have these symptoms, you could be a victim of osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is due to the natural wear and tear of the joints. It is also known as degenerative joint disease or hypertrophic arthritis and is common in adults over 45. The fingers, knees, hips, and spine are usually affected.

Signs of osteoarthritis are joint stiffness and pain that may increase during cold weather. There is swelling and limited movement of the affected joint that is sometimes accompanied by a cracking or grating sound.

Factors that contribute to the disease are injury to the joint lining or joint stress due to physical activities or aging.

At times, osteoarthritis is characterized by acute or sudden inflammatory episodes or flare-ups. These are common in joints of the hands and knees. Symptoms include intense pain, inflammation, and immobility. These flare-ups may be due to trauma or synovitis, the inflammation of the synovial membrane that surrounds a joint cavity.

Rest is important during acute cases but normal activity should be resumed as soon as symptoms disappear. Inactivity will only make the muscle around the joint smaller and weaker.

Acute pain and inflammation can be relieved with the use of analgesics or oral and topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). However, these have numerous side effects and should never be used without first consulting a doctor. A safer alternative is Flexcerin, a natural supplement that rebuilds worn joints, lubricates stiff joints, and soothes aching and inflamed joints. Check out for details.

The following measures from Dr. H. Winter Griffith, a fellow of the American Academy of Family Practice, may help those suffering from osteoarthritis:

1) To relieve pain, apply heat to painful and stiff joints for 20 minutes two or three times a day. Use hot towels, hot tubs, infrared heat lamps, electric heating pads or deep-heating ointments or lotions. Swim often in a heated pool or move around in a whirlpool space.

2) If osteoarthritis of the neck causes pain in the arms, wear a soft, immobilizing collar (Thomas collar). If this isn't helpful, buy or rent a neck-traction device for home use.

3) Massage the muscles around painful joints. Massaging the joint itself is not helpful. If osteoarthritis affects the spine, sleep on your back on a very firm mattress or place 3/4-inch plywood between
your box springs and mattress. Waterbeds help some people.

4) Avoid chilling. Wear thermal underwear or avoid outdoor activity in cold weather.

5) Keep a positive outlook on life. Don't think of your self as an invalid. Remain active to prevent wasting of muscles.

Psoriatic Arthritis - The Skin Condition That Leaves You Aching For Relief

While there are well over 100 different types of arthritis in existence, unfortunately many people do not even realize that there are other types of arthritis besides rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. But guess what my friend, there are many other types of arthritis that can invade your life.

One of those little known types of arthritis is known as psoriatic arthritis and it can be as debilitating as some of the more well known varieties of arthritis. So exactly what is psoriatic arthritis and just how does this variety present itself?

Just like the name sounds, psoriatic arthritis is associated with psoriasis. This rather common skin condition is characterized by redness, swelling, inflammation and scaly patches all along the skin. Yes, psoriasis can be found in all populations, but most commonly it is seen most often in the United States among those of Caucasian decent.

The skin condition psoriasis most often affects the scalp, face, navel, tips of the elbows, knees, and areas surrounding the genitals and anus. Health professionals estimate that 10 per cent of all psoriasis patients concurrently develop some form of inflammation in the affected joints. These patients are thus classified as suffering from psoriatic arthritis.

Here's one of the important things to remember about psoriatic arthritis, if you have already been diagnosed with psoriasis, then you are at a much higher risk for developing psoriatic arthritis. This is particularly true if your arthritis has also impacted your joints. This condition can be quite painful and debilitating without active and aggressive treatment. It seems almost cruel in its onset since it doesn't seem to strike until later in life, sometimes not striking until you are in your 40s or 50s. And sorry ladies, you don't get off easy here, psoriatic arthritis is an equal opportunity invader and affects both men and women equally.

The majority of patients experience onset of the diseases at different times. It is common that patients develop psoriasis before experiencing symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. Approximately 80 per cent of psoriatic arthritis patients develop psoriasis before the arthritis.

But of course everything in life cannot follow a definite pattern, since in some patients, they actually get a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis before actually developing a skin condition. This can make diagnosing the condition a bit more difficult. Unfortunately far too many patients suffer with either the arthritis or the psoriasis for way too long before figuring out that they two go together.

Psoriatic arthritis is a systematic disease just like other forms of arthritis. With any systemic disease, other areas of the body can be attacked as well. So this simply means that you best be on the look out for problems with other body parts. For example, psoriatic arthritis patients can also be at risk for other problems with the kidneys and lungs. Patients may also experience problems with the heart, the eyes and the mouth. Systemic ... affecting other areas as well. The whole body is at risk.

In severe forms of the disease, other vital organs may also be affected. Like other forms of arthritis (especially reactive arthritis and spondylitis), psoriatic arthritis patients are more prone to experiencing inflammation in the spine.

What causes psoriatic arthritis? There are many theories, but the cause remains unknown. Most health professionals agree the disease is probably caused by a combination of various environmental factors. Immunity and genetic factors are probably involved as well. There is a gene marker-HLA-B27-that appears in many patients diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. However, it is not present in all cases.

With psoriatic arthritis, not only does the genetic marker HLA-B27 often show up with these patients, there are also other genetic alterations that may appear. Of course, this just continues to feed into the researchers belief that this variety of arthritis is based in the genes. Another one of the common denominators in the case of psoriatic arthritis is the changes that are seen in the immune system. While we don't know the exact basis of this, those changes are often seen. Also, remember that simple environmental factors may also be a key component behind the reason why people develop this health condition.

Psoriatic arthritis is a battle that many face each and every day. It really does not matter the reason why you developed this version of arthritis in the first place, what does matter is that you are ready to work cooperatively with your doctor in order to build a treatment plan that you can work with and one that is designed to give you the best level of health that you can enjoy. Psoriatic arthritis does not have to be a harness around your neck, but it certainly will become one if you are passive about it. Get to it and educate yourself about your own health condition.