Recommended Treatments for Arthritis

By: Mike Herman

Fortunately there are a number of ways to treat and manage arthritic pain. There are arthritic diets, exercise programs, over-the-counter and prescription medications, relaxation and positive emotion coping techniques. In addition to surgeries, supplements, numerous home remedies, and other alternative therapies.

ARTHRITIC DIETS & NUTRITIONAL HEALING

Doctors have known for a long time that diet a specific type of arthritic condition, gout, however what is unclear are the affects on other common types of arthritis such as rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.

While it is well known that dietary health is important and that being overweight can affect certain arthritic conditions, forcing joints to carry more of a load. This causes the overuse of some of your joints, especially the knees. So making sure arthritic sufferers eat god foods and get help from healthcare providers to create and follow a well-balanced dietary plan is advised.

HERBAL & OTHER NATURAL & HOME REMEDIES & SUPPLEMENTS

People have often tried traditional medications without success, and as a result seek relief through natural remedies. Also the increasing cost of prescription medication encourages many to look into alternatives as well..

A popular alternative treatment is acupuncture. Although the pain-relieving effects may be temporary, these sessions can be very beneficial for those who find that drugs or supplements are insufficient or have unacceptable side effects

Another treatment option is cayenne cream. Cayenne peppers contain an substance called capsaicin which is responsible for their spicy effect. This also causes a burning sensation when it comes in contact with skin, and inhibits the body's production of substance P which is heavily involved the relaying signals of pain to the brain. Apply the cream two to three times per day for at least one week before making a decision as to whether or not the cream is helping to reduce arthritis pain.

Many other natural remedies and supplements have been found to actually reduce cartilage deterioration and even rebuild a patient's lost cartilage. Be sure that before adding any to your list you talk with your healthcare advisor, as supplements can cause adverse reactions and may not be right for your situation. While some supplements may be fine for arthritic patients; some may not be.

The most well known and popular supplement are chondroitin, fish oil and glucosamine. Chondroitin draws fluid into the cartilage, improving shock-absorbing ability and weight control, as more weight equals more joint pressure. Fish oils help with controlling inflammation in the body. And recent studies have shown that the cartilage-building substance called glucosamine is effective for the long-term relief of osteoarthritis pain. In some people, glucosamine appears to even slow the deterioration of joints over time and reinforce joint cartilage. Whether or not it can actually reverse the disease is still unclear.

Ohers include:

&bull Ginger – Ginger is an antioxidant that acts as an inflammatory with no major side effects.

&bull Glucosamine sulfate – This builds cartilage with very few side effects.

&bull Magnets – Although magnets that are worn as jewelry or placed on bed linens have been reported by some to be effective pain relievers, results are still preliminary; doctors claim that these magnets are not strong enough.

&bull MSM – This organic sulfur is used in the reduction of inflammation.

&bull Nettle leaf – Nettles can reduce a patient's need for NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) by up to 70 percent.

&bull Vitamin E – This antioxidant is used primarily for osteoarthritis.

&bull Vitamin B is also an effective pain reliever. It works best on the knee and can help stop degeneration that is caused by free-radical molecules, not only in the joints but in other areas of the body as well

Additionally over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, can be very helpful in decreasing joint pain, but they do produce side effects and can cause problems

EXERCISES FOR ALL LEVELS

Exercise can be very beneficial for arthritis sufferers, often relieving stiffness in joints, strengthening muscles thereby reducing stress on joints, keeping bone and cartilage tissue strong and healthy, and increasing flexibility. A recommended 30-minute minimum of daily activity is the norm.

Exercises that work on your range of motion, such as dance or low-impact aerobics. These can relieve stiffness and increase flexibility. Also don't forget about walking as an exercise. Walking is a great exercise that improves the arthritic condition, and carrying weights as light as one pound and using your arms as you walk can involve the whole body.

Water is an excellent aid because it provides resistance that builds muscle in the entire body while reducing shock to the joints at the same time. As the whole body tends to become involved in aquatic exercise you have the added benefit of cardiovascular exercise. Find a heated pool to work out in since warm water is soothing helps the joints and increases your blood circulation.

Another form of treatment is yoga is and pose-oriented exercises. The forms of yoga are extremely beneficial toward achieving flexibility and relaxation. Check your local activities paper or section of your local paper to see if there are any yoga classes near you.

Whatever exercise program you choose, be sure to breath properly. Breathing is important to any exercise regimen as it promotes a healthy heart rate and reduces fatigue; additionally breathing and oxygenation helps circulation, which is vital to achieving the flexibility and strength that you are trying to achieve in fighting your arthritis. Also, listen to your body.

MEDICATIONS & OTCS (OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDS)

The most common OTC nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin. Use the right way, these drugs can help with pain relief, inflammation and fever reduction, and blood clot prevention. However, the misuse of some of these can cause blockage of an enzyme in the body that aids in the protection of the stomach lining and other areas.

Acetaminophen is the name of the active ingredient found in several well-known brand-name products; some Excedrin® products, Tylenol®, and Aspirin Free Anacin®. Although it does not help with arthritic inflammation and swelling, it can help with pain relief in mild cases. Use caution with dosages, however. Excess usage poses risk of liver damage, even death, especially for active drinkers (of alcoholic beverages).

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