Arthritis is a chronic condition that involves inflammation in the joints. Arthritis forms because the cartilage between joints wears down, leaving bones to rub against other bones, causing inflammation and pain. Apple cider vinegar is a traditional folk remedy for arthritis; however, there is no scientific research in support of this. Always consult your physician before trying any alternative remedy.
Arthritis is the most common disability in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, affecting nearly 21 million Americans. There are over 100 different types of arthritis that vary in severity, but osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, is the most common type. No cure has been found for arthritis but treatment for the painful condition helps relieve symptoms. Pain medication, physical therapy and surgery are some options for people with arthritis.
If you suffer from arthritis, ease your painful symptoms by eating plenty of foods and ingredients that naturally reduce inflammation, such as these foods that contain plenty of carotene. The carotenoids are a group of powerful antioxidant nutrients found in many fruits and vegetables. The best known is beta carotene (found in foods like cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, kale, butternut squash, and spinach), but its sister carotenoid, beta-cryptoxanthin, may also reduce the risk of developing inflammation-related disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers have found that people who ate diets high in beta-cryptoxanthin were half as likely to develop a form of inflammatory arthritis as those who ate very few; in fact, adding just one additional serving each day of a food high in beta-cryptoxanthin helped reduce the risk. Some of the best foods for beta cryptoxanthin include winter squash, pumpkin, persimmons, papaya, tangerines, red peppers, corn, oranges and apricots.
A diet high in antioxidants does more than just ward off cancer. It fights the free radicals responsible for arthritis and other joint diseases, lung problems like emphysema and bronchitis, and atherosclerosis, the leading cause of heart disease. Though you may think that antioxidant-rich foods are limited to expensive goji berries or exotic herbs, research is identifying some dirt-cheap sources of the disease-fighting, anti-inflammatory nutrients. And they cost a lot less than exotic superberries like goji or acai. -Black rice
Aloe vera is one of the most commonly used herbs in alternative medicine. Known for its healing properties, it is popular for treating small skin abrasions. You may already have a bottle of aloe vera gel in the medicine cabinet from a past experience with sunburn for pain relief. This same type of product may be applied topically to soothe achy joints. Like aloe vera, eucalyptus is widely available in western markets. It is used in oral medications, and topical oil extracts are used for a variety of conditions. Topical forms of eucalyptus leaves are used to treat arthritis pain. According to UMMC, these plant leaves contain tannins, which may be helpful in reducing swelling and the resulting pain that arthritis causes. Some users follow up with heat pads to maximize the effects of eucalyptus on swollen joints.
If you’re looking for an alternative to pills to treat joint pain and other common (and uncomfortable) aches, relief may be a yoga class away. A review of 20 years worth of studies conducted by researchers at Duke University Medical Center found that yoga is effective in the treatment of chronic pain, including osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and fibromyalgia.
In the studies reviewed, patients saw significant reductions in joint pain, muscle stiffness, and overall physical discomfort while greatly improving their flexibility, range of motion, and muscle strength.
Performed correctly, yoga’s fluid movements allow swollen or otherwise painful joints to glide smoothly over one another, increasing mobility and strength without excess wear and tear. Yoga is a safe alternative to weight-bearing exercises that could worsen weak joints because it strengthens the muscles around them, which reduces tension and increases mobility.
Arthritis is so common that many people have a misconception that it can be cured. However, the truth is currently, there is no curable treatment of arthritis. Only early diagnosis and treatment can help alleviate symptoms of arthritis and slow down the progression of joints damage and deformity.
You still can lead normal live by playing an active role in taking control of the disease. Today, a lot of treatment options are available to you, from drug medications, surgery, occupational or physical therapies. Some complimentary treatments like Yoga, Acupuncture, Aromatherapy, Tai Chi and herbal medicine are also getting popular. The benefits of these treatments help in improving joint function, reducing pain and hold-up the need for any joint surgery in advanced cases.
Though arthritis is manageable, the pain and discomfort can interfere with your daily work or domestic activities. As such, you may need to make some adjustments either to your environment or by using arthritis aids or equipments. As arthritis is a chronic condition, you need to be honest with the doctor on how arthritis has affected your personal life and emotional well-being. Only by actively participate in decisions of your arthritis care and gaining knowledge on “what is arthritis”, you can then enjoy your living with arthritis.
Horsetail’s cornucopia of minerals, including silicon, may nourish joint cartilage. Ample amounts of tissue-building minerals in your daily diet will keep bones healthy and may help prevent bone spurs, a common complication of arthritis. Researchers have reported that people with RA who follow a predominantly lacto-ovo vegetarian diet (includes eggs and dairy products but no meats) for one year notice significant improvements. In some people, arthritic conditions seem to be related to food allergies or sensitivities to common foods including wheat and dairy. Others believe that foods from the nightshade family, such as tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers, aggravate their condition, although others don’t notice any connection. If you think certain foods play a role in your arthritis symptoms, it is important to put them to the test. Eliminate suspect foods for one week and nightshades for several months. Add eliminated foods back into your diet, one at a time, every four days. Note any reactions. During such trial and error times, be careful to keep eating a nutritionally balanced diet to support your body’s healing efforts. It may be necessary to do a more extensive elimination or challenge to identify multiple allergenic foods. Consult a nutritionally oriented physician for guidance on how to attempt this safely and effectively.
Cold temperatures of water reduce blood flow, and therefore reduce tissue swelling. The first time you experience pain, apply an ice pack on the affected area every hour for the majority of the day for a duration of 15 minutes. The next day, apply the ice only four or five times, still for 15 minutes. This process is vital for joint pain relief. Remember, to avoid ice burns, do not place the ice directly on the skin, and instead wrap it in a towel or washcloth. Warm water will ease pressure on joints and muscles, so a nice warmth bath can do wonders for alleviating joint pain in your knees and hips. Immerse the affected area in the water and massage it in order to stimulate blood flow.
Regular exercise has enormous benefits for health. Most importantly, it will reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and premature death. And if that’s not enough for you, consider the many studies that link physical activity to protection against diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and fractures, depression, insomnia, dementia, colon cancer, breast cancer, and possibly prostate cancer.
Despite all these benefits, only about a third of American adults get the exercise they need. Couch potatoes have many excuses to explain their sedentary ways. Lack of time is the most common, and the belief that exercise is too hard is a close second. But since moderate exercise that can be built into daily life is all it takes to promote health, neither excuse is very convincing.
Another common excuse is a little harder to dispel. It’s the belief that exercise causes arthritis. Even if it were true, it might be wise to accept aching knees as the price for a healthy heart, brain, and metabolism. But studies show that exercise can be safe for joints, both in older, overweight folks and in athletes.
Warming up and cooling down will help protect your heart and your joints. Stretching exercises, good shoes, and good technique will also reduce your risk of musculoskeletal injuries. With these simple precautions and a dose of common sense, exercise will be safe for your joints.
Walking is good exercise for people with arthritis, but it isn’t the only one. A review of the benefits of exercise for people with osteoarthritis (the most common form of arthritis) found that strength training, water-based exercise, and balance therapy were the most helpful for reducing pain and improving function. “Swimming or bicycling tend to be better tolerated than other types of exercise among individuals with arthritis in the hips or knees,” says rheumatologist Dr. Robert H. Shmerling, associate professor of medicine at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Exercise programs aim to help people with arthritis:
• increase the range of motion in the affected joint
• strengthen muscles
• build endurance
• improve balance