Arthritis Treatments: The Natural Way Helping You With Arthritis

There are actually three common types of arthritis. The treatments..

Arthritis Treatments: The Natural Way Helping You With Arthritis

There are actually three common types of arthritis.

The treatments which you will need will depend on the type, so please read carefully.

The main type is Osteoarthritis which is the most common, affecting around 16 million Americans with an average age of 45.

It usually will attack weight bearing joints like knees, hips, and ankles but has been found in the fingers, neck and spine.

Each of our joints is cushioned by cartilage, a very dense, sponge-like substance.

Osteoarthritis attacks that cartilage and gradually wears it down.

Another type of arthritis is Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Extremely painful and inflammatory, it strikes the lining of the joints and actually attacks two million Americans in their twenties.

Psoriatic Arthritis is not as well known as the previous two. 

But actually eats away at the joints and can also manifest as psoriasis on the skin.

The term Arthritis literally translates to “joint inflammation.”

If you suffer from any of the different types of Arthritis listed above, chances are you have taken drugs to combat the effects or tried other “home remedies.”

If you haven’t yet tried “Urtication,” it might be helpful.

The term “Urtication” comes from the botanical name, Urtica dioica and dates back some 2,000 years to biblical times.

Urtica dioica is “Stinging Nettle.

The treatment is to grasp the nettles in a gloved hand and swat the sore joints with the nettles.

This may seem bizarre, but the practice has proven to be so effective for some sufferers of arthritis that they now maintain a nettle plant on their window sill.

Many arthritis sufferers have tried unusual and rather nasty ‘cures’ for their disease like enduring bee-stings or covering themselves in cow-manure.

The benefits must have been rather less spectacular than the cures or else everyone else would have done the same.

One arthritis cure

One arthritis cure suggests that half a glass of raw potato juice followed by chewing two or three juniper berries will do the trick!

While this may be so, many doctors and scientists researching arthritis have studied the benefits of taking nutritional substances like vitamins.

In fact, studies have shown that people with arthritis are mostly deficient in the B group of vitamins.

Though whether this is due to the disease or to the fact that taking aspirin depletes the body’s stores of this vitamin is not clear.

Vitamin C, E and beta-carotenes are powerful antioxidants that help to neutralize free radicals.

These oxygen-reactive free radical molecules are thought to contribute significantly to disease and tissue damage.

It has been found that cells from damaged knee cartilage can release great amounts of free radicals.

In fact, studies have shown that those who have a high Vitamin C intake have a two-thirds reduction in the risk of further damage to their knees.

Well-known scientist Dr. Linus Pauling recommends 18 grams of V-C per day as an arthritis preventative measure.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can cause thinning of the bones, and so can prednisone, often given to treat it.

It makes sense then to increase the amount of Vitamin D and calcium, both of which are bone-builders.

As far back as 1974, British scientists found that lack of vitamin D contributed to bone fractures in the elderly with arthritis.

Lack of sunlight and an unhealthy diet both contributed to the lack.

The recommended daily dose of Vitamin D is 400 IU or 600 IU if for those over the age of 60.

A daily dose of 1200 IU is the limit as this vitamin is toxic if too much is taken.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is also an antioxidant; working in a similar way to vitamin C. Studies in Germany have proven that it can help to reduce pain.

Good sources of this vitamin can be found in wheat germ, sunflower seed, corn oil, legumes and whole grains.

While some people swear by the arthritis cure that their copper bracelet brought, there is no scientific link to copper as being an aid to arthritis.

In fact the opposite is true.

Those with RA often have higher levels of copper in their blood.

Too much copper can make you sick.

Selenium deficiency can cause a particular type of arthritis called Kashin-Bek disease.

But it is more common where the soil is deficient in selenium, though sufferers of RA have less in their blood than others.

Fish, organ meats, whole grains, nuts and beans will provide selenium.

Zinc may help reduce pain, stiffness and swelling. Some trials showed this was true, though others gave conflicting results.

Oysters, cheese and tofu are all good sources of zinc.

The pain of arthritis can also be relieved by hot-packs, deliberately focusing on something else like pleasant music, humor, gentle exercise and losing weight.

Here are a few more herbs that are used effectively for the treatment of arthritis:

Black Cohosh

Also known as Black Snakeroot, Bugbane, Rattleroot, Rattleweed, Squawroot. The dried root is the part used.

This is a powerful relaxant as well as being extremely effective with easing painful menstrual cramps.Ovarian cramps will be relieved as well as bringing on a delayed menstrual cycle.

It is also effective in the treatment of arthritis, osteo-arthritis, rheumatic pain and neurological pan.

In small doses, appetite and digestion are greatly improved and is very beneficial for the nervous system in general.

Bogbean

Useful for treatment of rheumatism, osteo-arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Also has a stimulating effect on the walls of the colon and digestive juices.

Celery Seeds

Use dried ripe fruits to use as an anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, diuretic or anti-spasmodic. Great for treating rheumatism, arthritis and gout.

Chapparal

Very useful in cases of acne, arthritis, chronic backache, skin conditions of warts and blotches. Also one of the best cancer herbs.

Feverfew

Use the leaves to treat migraine headaches, arthritis, dizziness and tinnitus.

Nettle

The is the herb we referred to earlier and is another one of those “universal” plants. They are found all over the world and they strengthen the entire body.

Rheumatism, arthritis, eczema, nosebleeds, arteries, lessen blood pressure are just a few applications.

Nettles contain calcium, chlorine, iron, potassium, silicon, sodium and sulphur.

Saffron

A natural hydrochloric acid (utilizes sugar of fruits and oils), thus helping arthritics get rid of the uric acid which holds the calcium deposited in the joints.

Also reduces lactic acid build up. Good for measles, skin, scarlet fever and perspiration.

Yucca

Hope for arthritics.

The extract from the plant has been used with surprising success on arthritis and rheumatism sufferers.

Herbs mentioned

All of the herbs mentioned here should be available at your local health food store along with suggestions on how to prepare them for use.

Some applications will be to ingest in teas while others may facilitate creating a topical treatment.

No matter what natural remedies you choose please consult your physician to make certain that your course of treatment does not interfere with medications that your doctor subscribes for your treatment.

5 Natural Remedies

Take Proteolytic Enzymes

Proteolytic enzymes aid in digestion by helping provide important enzymes that are normally produced by your digestive organs to metabolize foods.

These enzymes can include trypsin and chymotrypsin (both produced by your pancreas), papain and bromelain.

Proteolytic enzymes are obtained from things like tropical fruits, including papaya, which contains papain, and pineapples, which contain bromelain.

Proteolytic enzymes have been found to have anti-inflammatory effects because they help improve overall gut health and immunity.

Some research shows they can decrease pain and swelling associated with rheumatoid arthritis, increase mobility in people with osteoarthritis and fight infections by controlling inflammatory responses.

Doses vary depending on the kind of enzymes, but recommendations are usually around 500 milligrams to 2,000 milligrams taken three times a day between meals.

Consume Ginger and Turmeric

Ginger contains chemicals that may have analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects on the body.

In research studies, ginger has been shown to lessen pain associated with arthritis and improve overall digestive/gut health.

A 2005 report published in the Journal of Medicinal Foods stated that ginger extract derived from Zingiber officinale and Alpina galanga plant species inhibits the induction of several genes involved in the inflammatory response.

These include genes encoding cytokines, chemokines and the inducible enzyme cyclooxygenase.

More than 100 active components have been isolated from turmeric, including special substances found in turmeric’s volatile oils called turmerone, curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, 5′-methoxycurcumin and dihydrocurcumin.

Turmeric is considered to be curcumin

The most active ingredient in turmeric is considered to be curcumin, which is known to be one of the most powerful natural anti-inflammatories there is. 

The potential anti-arthritic effects of turmeric include inhibition of joint inflammation, reduction in edema and/or swelling and slowed periarticular joint destruction.

Turmeric has been researched in dozens of studies, many investigating its painkilling effects in relation to inflammatory conditions.

One study conducted by Nirmala Medical Centre in India investigated the effects of turmeric supplements given to rheumatoid arthritis patients compared to use of conventional arthritis drugs (diclofenac sodium) or a combination of both together. 

The curcumin group showed the highest percentage of improvements overall, significantly better than the patients in the diclofenac sodium groups, and with practically no negative side effects.

Improve Your Diet

Foods for helping treat arthritis include:

  • Omega-3 foods: Omega-3s are powerful at lowering inflammation and also have other benefits. Wild-caught fish, including benefit-packed salmon, is your No. 1 food of choice. Other sources include grass-fed beef, flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts, which are all great choices.
  • Foods high in sulfur: Sulfur contains a form of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) that reduces joint inflammation and helps rebuild your tissues. MSM has been shown in studies to lower pain and function impairment compared to placebo-controlled groups. Sources include onions, garlic, asparagus and cabbage.
  • High-antioxidant foods (especially fruits and vegetables): Colorful fruits and veggies are packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, magnesium, potassium, digestive enzymes and anti-inflammatory compounds. Some of the best sources include leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, berries, melon, papaya, avocado and pineapple.
  • High-fiber foods: Fiber helps control your appetite, is beneficial for digestive health and lowers the risk for various other diseases and complications. The best high-fiber foods include vegetables, fruit, ancient grains, soaked legumes/beans and nuts and seeds like flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts.

 

To help keep inflammation levels low, try to avoid these foods as part of a healing arthritis diet: excess sugar; hydrogenated oils (soybean oil, cottonseed oil, even canola oil); refined conventional grains like gluten.

Flour products and wheat products; and if you have an autoimmune disease, then also nightshade vegetables like potatoes, eggplant and tomatoes.

Stay Active

People with arthritis tend to be less active than those without arthritis, likely due to the pain they feel when exercising and moving stiff body parts.

However, physical activity is important for joint health and in the long run, can actually help treat arthritis.

Exercise is beneficial for strengthening the muscles around the affected joint, which provides added support and less strain.

Most experts consider movement an essential part of any arthritis treatment plan, even stating that it’s “the most effective non-drug treatment for reducing pain and improving movement in patients with osteoarthritis.”

Regular activity has been shown to help lower inflammation, regulate hormones and can even help prevent unnecessary replacement surgeries.

Aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise every week

Exercises that are most appropriate for people with arthritis include:

  • daily stretches for improved range of motion and flexibility
  • brisk walking for cardiovascular and immune benefits
  • aerobic exercises for building strength and endurance, including aquatic exercises, walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming or using the elliptical machine
  • strength training using light weights, cables or your own bodyweight exercises for resistance

 

Get Chiropractic Care

Chiropractors are often able to alleviate some of the pain associated with osteoarthritis.

The type of treatment you get depends directly on the acuteness and severity of your specific case of osteoarthritis.

Chiropractic adjustments and treatments for arthritis can include manipulation (sometimes called osteopathic manipulation) in the neck or lower back, spinal manipulation, massage therapy, training in biofeeback and relaxation therapies to help control pain.

Similarly, studies have also found acupuncture to be helpful for reducing osteoarthritis pain.

Medical schools and the National Institutes of Health now recommend acupuncture as a natural treatment for low back pain and many other conditions, including osteoarthritis. 

Many chiropractic offices offer several additional holistic services, including acupuncture, herbal treatment, massage therapy and nutrition.


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Daniel Messer, RNutr, CPT

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