Saturday, August 10, 2013

Acupuncture and the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis, there is a very good chance that acupuncture can help you find relief from the pain and swelling associated with arthritis. Since pain is the primary complaint of people suffering from arthritis, acupuncture is recognized as effective form of pain control. Acupuncture is useful for treating other symptoms caused by arthritis and as a way to restore balance and health. Let's take a look at how we help in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and how acupuncture accomplishes this.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is classified as an auto-immune dis-ease. When RA occurs, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the membrane (cartilage) surrounding the joints causing pain, inflammation and stiffness in the joints. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, and a general feeling of malaise. Unlike other forms of arthritis, RA affects joints symmetrically - if one finger or wrist is affected, the other one will be as well.

Acupuncture decreases the pain by stimulating the release of various neurotransmitters in the brain. One of these is endorphins, sometimes referred to as the body's own natural opiates. Endorphins inhibit the perception of pain and are similar to morphine, which is used in Western medicine. And while the medications often prescribed for this condition have many side effects, there are none with acupuncture. Simply, the placement of tiny sterile stainless steel needles at specific locations stimulate the release of these chemicals, and this effectively blocks the transmission of pain signals to the brain. There is a misconception amongst the populace who think that acupuncture works on nerves, or that needles are inserted into nerves. Acupuncture works indirectly on the nervous system to produce this natural effect. The needles are inserted into muscle/soft tissue. Often, the muscles and tendon sheaths develop hard knots called trigger points, that are responsible for chronic pain. These trigger points can be reactive and tender and are often found in the belly of the muscles and around the joints themselves.

Acupuncture and moxibustion increase the circulation of qi, blood, and lymph, thus also decreasing the cycle of inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by inflammation, (pain, heat, swelling and redness) in and around joints. Inflammation fluctuates do to internal and external environment factors... Acupuncture is also useful in treating osteoarthritis, the gradual eroding away of cartilage in joints and the deposit of bony osteophytes on bone and in the joints as well. Acupuncture works indirectly to influence the endocrine system. It stimulates the adrenals to produce natural steroidal compounds which inhibit inflammation and they stimulate the parathyroid gland to help balance calcium deposits. Chinese herbal formula's have also been found to be extremely useful as well.

Stress, emotional states, lack of exercise and improper diet can exacerbate symptoms. Each person is evaluated on a case by case issue. Some people have mild symptoms that can be acute, while others have a more chronic profile.

By making healthy lifestyle changes and getting competent treatments by a trained acupuncturist, you can manage this and live a relatively pain free and mobile existence.

Hemp Seed Oil Can Help Treating Arthritis

Many people would dismiss arthritis as a simple and natural process of aging when in fact it is not. It is a crippling disease; slow yet decapitating. Arthritis has many forms and accompanying painful symptoms. Somehow, in the advent of modern-day technology and medical breakthroughs, we look for an organic alternative way of battling arthritis knowing that it is safer and economical yet effective.

Arthritis simply means inflammation of the joints. We have a variety of joints in our body and this condition pertains to the swelling and pain that occurs in the affected area of someone inflicted with it.

What happens to the affected area is coined as "cartilage and bone gravel." Due to the overstretching of muscles which cause damage to the joints, what is left of the bones as well as the cartilage, would forcefully rub against each other which causes throbbing pain as well as worsening the damage of the affected joints. This continues to happen over and over again; it becomes a painful cycle and it gets worse over time.

Although it seems to be a dead end, there are lots of alternative natural treatment options available and there is one that will suit your criteria perfectly.

In this context, we would like to recommend hemp seed oil capsule, which is said to be "nature's most perfectly balanced oil" and "the most nutritionally complete food source there is in the world". Its liquid formulation can be taken with a spoon and really tastes good. This is recommended for long-term use. It has advantage over its other counterparts because it has a perfectly balanced fatty acid profile.

Moreover, this also contains essential fatty acids (EFA's) and gamma linoleic acid (GLA), both of which are very vital to achieve overall optimum health.

GLA (Gamma-Linolenic Acid) studies have also proven that hemp oil lowers the risk of heart attack and strengthens the immune defenses. The essential fatty acids helps lower blood cholesterol, promote good blood flow, and helps improve overall organ function.

Cannabis sativa is referred as the most important of all crops as it has provided us with useful edible seeds, oil, and medicine. Imbalances in specific fatty acids seem to be correlated to common diseases such as arthritis, eczema, acne, and a lot more. This further promotes the use of hemp oil as it is rich in essential amino acids and essential fatty acids. It is also rich in protein.

It can also be used in cooking delectable and healthy dishes. It has a distinct nutty taste to it which makes it ideal to incorporate in your side dishes with veggies, which make this a must-have for vegetarians. It could also be taken as part of a sumptuous dips and salad dressings. Better yet, it can be taken in its natural form as a dietary supplement.

Muscle Arthritis - Symptoms and Treatment Explained

Myositis is the medical term for inflammation of muscle tissue and one type of muscle arthritis is dermatomyositis. (Without the rash, the condition is called polymyositis.) In this form, there is soreness and inflammation and pain in the muscles but there is also an accompanying dry rash affecting the skin. This rash is commonly seen on the face and neck, chest and back and the shoulders. Heart muscle may also be affected as well as the lung tissues. It is usually dusky and a purplish red color. This is an autoimmune condition and is treated with anti-inflammatory medications including steroids.

Another disease that can be considered muscle arthritis is called fibromyalgia. Along with muscle pain and aches, fibromyalgia can produce pain in the joints and other connective tissue like tendon and ligaments, as well as fatigue, depression, headache, anxiety, sleep problems and numbness in the extremities. To have this diagnosis, symptoms must last at least three months and at least 11 of the 18 trigger points associated with FM must be tender to the touch.

Treatment for FM has until very recently been simply medications directed at relieving pain and specifics for other symptoms, but now medications specifically for fibromyalgia have reached the market and can be prescribed. About 2% of the population has symptoms of FM.

Another muscle arthritis is the systematic illness called lupus. Usually joints are affected but some lupus patients also have muscle aches and pain associated with the condition. Lupus is treated with corticosteroids and other immune system modifiers. Symptoms of lupus can include a butterfly shaped rash across the face, fevers, fatigue, multiple joint arthritis and many other symptoms. Blood work can help to make the diagnosis. Lupus is also an autoimmune disease and the cause is not known. It is about ten times as common in men as it is in women.

Finally, there is polymyalgia rheumatica. The symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica are moderate to severe muscle pain and the location is almost always in or near the neck, shoulders and hips and can come on very suddenly. In virtually every case, a person with polymyalgia rheumatica will have an abnormally high red blood cell sedimentation rate. This disease is often associated with a serious vascular affliction called polyarteritis or sometimes giant cell arteritis in which blood vessels become inflamed. However, prompt treatment usually controls both conditions or polymyalgia rheumatica alone.

A corticosteroid like prednisone is usually given and will produce a remission which can last some time. If the condition recurs, the drug is restarted and can control symptoms. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications are also used. The disease may also go away on its own but this can take a year or more.

One last form of muscle arthritis is a side effect of drugs given to lower cholesterol called lipid reducing drugs or statins. While not common, this condition called rhabdomyolysis can have serious implications including kidney and heart damage. Persons taking statins need to report any unusual muscle aches and pains to their physicians at once.

While muscle arthritis can be painful and frightening, most forms of it do respond well to treatment. The most important thing is to report muscle pains to a physician, learn the cause, and to then use appropriate treatments for whichever condition is to blame.

Arthritis Flare-Ups: Don't Ignore Them!

Once you have been diagnosed with arthritis and you have chosen, with your doctor or naturopath, a course of action, you will probably enter a 'remission' phase (I did, thanks to my homeopath), after which, you may face a 'flare-up'. In fact, most forms of inflammatory arthritis, including ankylosing spondylitis, are made of these periods when the disease is either manageable or completely absent from your body.

What is a flare-up?

Simply put, it is a phase when your arthritis symptoms get significantly worse; if you have symptoms all the time then these may become unbearable during this phase; if you don't have symptoms most of the time, those phases are when you actually have symptoms. In severe cases, your joint stiffness and pain can be so bad that daily activities become unbearable; the affected joints may also become swollen and red and, to make matters worse, you may be 'hit' by severe fatigue. These flare-ups can appear suddenly and they can be very distressful. I remember I was on holiday in Las Vegas when once night I had such sudden, severe pain in my right knee that, the following days, it was practically impossible for me to walk: I was young and I was extremely distressed by the whole situation. When my knee became swollen like a balloon (it almost felt as if it was full of liquid), I took matters in my own hands and 'resolved' my rheumatoid arthritis.

What are the causes of a flare up?

Many 'specialists' maintain that the causes are still unclear or not fully understood. What we do know, is that it can be caused by 'triggers': the main trigger is stress, of course, and this can be almost undetected by you if it's some form of mild anxiety due to factors you may be overlooking: in my case my worst flare up was caused by my mother's visiting me for a long period (it was challenging at times). I had completely overlooked it but, when my homeopath persuaded me to write a chart of my 'worst phases', including the onset of the disease, it was clear that they were all linked to my mother and my relationship with her (and various events within this relationship). This helped my homeopath find the right course of action and now, I am delighted to say, my flare ups consist only of extremely mild sensations (I cannot call it 'pain', since it's far from painful) in my knee and, equally delightfully, they last only hours and disappear for weeks. I can still link those extremely mild events to stressful events or challenging times. For other people who may not suffer from stress at all, physical traumas (falling, illnesses or even pregnancies) can be the triggers.

Emergency home measures during these phases. What works for some may not work for others, of course, but many resort to a temporary use of painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication (the latter is probably even more important); they are not going to cure the disease nor even tackle the 'root' of the problem, but these two measures may make many sufferers feel better in the short-term. Eating food which has anti-inflammatory properties is also essential. Do not ignore these phases, though, because untreated inflammatory conditions of your joints will weaken them further, some times irreversibly. Although it may be tempting to avoid movement, lack of physical activity is always worse in the long run: low-impact exercises and activities are best for those severely hit by arthritis, such as swimming. At the same time, don't exert yourself doing things which bring no benefit to your body if you find them hard to do: if house keeping has become a struggle, delegate or get a cleaner a few times a week instead.

During these phases it is always important to see your rheumatologist and check if further deterioration of the affected area has taken place. Even if you are being treated by a naturopath or homeopath for your arthritis, checking your joints during a flare up is beneficial and a great way to monitor the progress and efficacy of the treatment received.

Arthritis Diet - Prevent Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis can be of two types: Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the condition that occurs due to ageing and it results in pain in the joints. People who are overweight are at a higher risk of suffering from joints disorders. Another condition called Rheumatoid arthritis can result in swelling in the joints and it can cause pain.

It may happen that after taking up a meal you feel pain in the joints and it has been found in various studies that proteins attacks certain foreign bodies present in the body but sometimes protein particles attack friendly bodies due to miscommunication. It is found that the intestine of people suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis have higher amount of antibodies that comes from the food products such as cow's milk, egg, pork, codfish and cereals.

To prevent arthritis one should monitor the diet and try to find out which particular diet is aggravating the condition. The various diets prescribed for arthritis by physicians has been contradictory. Some people were benefited by shifting from non vegetarian to vegetarian food and there are certain food products which can cause allergies and intolerance. Sometimes the effect is visible immediately on taking such diet. One should try to eliminate it from the diet.

There are certain food products which can be eliminated or included in the diet such as:

Sunflower oil and corn oils can be replaced by olive and canola for cooking.

Cod liver oil supplements can be taken. It is assumed that omega 6 fatty acids can cause inflammation but omega 3 fatty acid reduces inflammation and therefore, it can be taken.

Reduce intake of milk and dairy products and observe the changes.

Eliminate beef and pork from diet as it can aggravate the condition.

Include anti inflammatory herbs such as turmeric and ginger.

Increase intake of unsalted nuts which contain a good amount of vitamin E.

Certain vegetables can cause the problem such as potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes and capsicum.

Baked food and food containing a good amount of saturated fat should be eliminated from diet.

Food product low in carbohydrate and starch should be taken. One can eliminate wheat and cereals from diet and observe the changes.

Although there are no studies to support the claims but it is assumed that alkaline diet should be taken to prevent both Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. It is assumed that the condition is caused by excess intake of certain acids and one should eliminate food products such as coffee, sugar and citrus fruits from diet.

It is advised to reduce weight if one is overweight to ease pressure on the joints and research has been done to prove that vegetarian diet showed improvement in condition of people in four weeks. The follow ups indicated that the effect was visible even after one and two years.

Green tea is effective in the condition. It can be taken three to four times in a day. Even raisins and grapes have a good amount of anti inflammatory properties. It can be taken in regulated quantities.

Acupuncture and Arthritis Treatment

For centuries, the history of acupuncture treatment for arthritis has been with us. It provides many pain sufferers with an added or alternative form of relief of their pain. Even though it cannot purposefully succeed on its own, nevertheless it is tested and proven to give great relief to those who need it.

On every occasion when your joints feel like burning up or when you feel like they're starting to inflame and grow to be tender, start with your acupuncture therapy and see how it can greatly reduces the pain that you feel. Usually, patients who use both medication and acupuncture for arthritis state that they are easily alleviated from the discomfort as compared to that of using the drugs alone. For this reason, both acupuncture and arthritis medication treatment should be considered by the pain bearers.

Arthritis is an illness usually experienced by the aging population. Needle piercing is relatively popular among this age group for the reason that they say that it works best in relieving them of pain. Acupuncture knee arthritis and acupuncture osteoporosis are two of the recognized treatments sought after by the aging group.

Acupuncture osteoarthritis is performed for the purpose not to eliminate the disease but to control its symptoms. Take for example, if successive acupuncture osteoarthritis therapies are instituted, there would be more chances of pain relief. But if done sporadically, there would be smaller chances for you to get symptomatically healed.

Many people may find osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis confusing. To clarify it further, osteoarthrtiris more often than not targets the older age group and usually affects the hips most of the time. In contrast, rheumatoid arthritis targets the younger population and points to the small joints as the main problem. Even though both are bone problems, yet they are different when it comes to acupuncture treatment. The placement of the needles is also different for each of the classification, and the number of needles to be used is not the same as well. Besides, the sessions to be performed also vary greatly depending on the severity of the disease and depending on the required time by your therapists. Again, if it is done at regular sessions, there would be greater chances that you will get cured from the painful symptoms of arthritis.

In most cases, the effectiveness of acupuncture lies on the willingness of the person to get cured. If one is strong-minded enough to persevere on to complete the course of acupuncture and arthritis treatment, then it would be a lot easier to get cured from the pains of the disease.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Arthritis Treatment Overview

We use this title because not all arthritis treatment is, shall we say, enjoyable. If you suffer from the painful effects of this
debilitating condition though, very little can seem worse. The pain is often so
severe that the simplest movements can cause anguish and even tears. But, there
are treatments to help arthritis. Can they cure it? That is still to be seen,
but many have shown to be effective in fighting off the pain. First, there are
many different types of arthritis. The causes of each will help to determine the
treatment. But, here, we will talk mainly of the treatment options available and
then those that are quite possibly the best at treating rheumatoid arthritis.

The symptoms of any arthritis start with pain. There is pain in the joints in a
way that limits the amount of movement a person has. Now, remember, as well,
that arthritis can strike any individual, not necessarily just older people. So,
if a child stops using a limb complaining of pain, a doctor should be seen. On
top of this, if symptoms of pain are accompanied with fever a doctor should be
seen immediately as this can be a sign of a deadlier arthritis known as septic
arthritis. In all cases, arthritis is an inflammation in the joints. The problem
in rheumatoid arthritis is that, in trying to deal with the inflammation, the
immune system ends up attacking the cartilage in the joints. The end result is
pain and lessened use of the effected joint.

In order to stop this process,
arthritis treatments
can be anything from surgery to medications. There are some good notes about
medications, but in the end, they can not resolve the entire problem, only mask
the pain for a while. Surgery is invasive and costly. Physical treatment is
available and has shown good progress in helping some patients. There are also
herbal remedies that have shown good signs of helping as well. There is one
product that we would like to mention in a little more detail. What is so unique
about this product, though, is that it is a natural treatment that can be taken.

In the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in particular, collagen type II can be
just as good as a cure to some individuals. This natural substance is actually a
main component of cartilage itself. But, no injections are needed because this
is an oral treatment. You will take a pill, in other words. There are many
reasons why this medication works including the fact that it has an absorption
rate of 70 to 90 percent. This means more of it is used and fewer doses are
needed. There are other reasons why it works so well.

For instance, the immune system has a component of cells in the intestine called
the GALT. This is where proteins are recognized as food or "friend" and
therefore not treated as allergies or sensitivities by the digestive system.
When collagen type II is ingested, the GALT recognizes this amino acid as a
friendly protein. This action switches off the immune system's attack on
collagen elsewhere in the body as in arthritic joints. Instead of the immune
system fighting the inflammation and destroying the remaining good material, the
Galt simply tells it to stop. And, probably the most important aspect of this
natural arthritis treatment [] is that it can also help to rebuild the damaged and
destroyed cartilage. The combination of these two factors can help to restore a
normal way of life.

For more information visit our Herbal
Supplements [] site

Rheumatoid Arthritis - A Disabling and Horrible Disease

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a vicious disease that affects the joints of the body. It has been known to cause pain, swelling, and stiffness. If a single knee or hand has rumatoid arthritis, the other knee or hand will most likely develop it. Rheumatoid arthritis often occurs in more than a single joint and is capable of affecting any joint in the body. People diagnosed with rumatoid arthritis often get feelings of sickness and fatigue and are more prone to get fevers.
The length of rumatoid arthritis varies from a month to two years. After it has run its course, it leaves without leaving any damage . Many people experience times when the symptoms worsen (flares), and times when they improve (remissions). Others have a severe form of rumatoid arthritis that can last anywhere from a few months to a lifetime. This form of the disease can cause serious permanent joint damage.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of function in the joints. Some very common side effects include:

Joints are swollen, tender and warm

Joint inflammation often occurring in the wrist and finger joints closest to the hand

Joint inflammation affecting other areas such as neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, ankles and feet.

Fatigue, fevers and an overal feeling of unwellness

Pain and stiffness in joints lasting for more than 30 minutes in the morning or after a long sleep

These symptoms can last for years!

What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis?

The exact cause of rumatoid arthritis is unknown, but it is known that with this arthritis, a person's immune system attacks his or her own body tissues. Researchers are learning many things about why and how this happens. Things that may cause rumatoid arthritis are:

Genes (past on from parents): Researchers are discovering that certain genes may play in the role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis.

Environment: Some scientists believe that something must happen to trigger the disease process in people who have the genes that make them more likely to develop rumatoid arthritis.

Hormones: Other scientists and researchers believe a variety of other hormonal factors may also contribute to rumatoid arthritis.
Rheumtoid Arthritis Treatment:
There are many ways that doctors can treat rumatoid arthritis. The goals of treatment are to:

Reduce pain and swelling

Stop or slow down joint damage

Help people feel better and stay active

Treatment for rumatoid arthritis may involve:

Changes in lifestyle: Make sure to keep a good balance between exercise and rest, take care of your joints, eliminate stress from you life, and eating a health, well-balanced diet.

Medicine: A majority of people suffering from rumatoid arthritis take medicine for pain relief, to reduce swelling and to prevent the disease from getting worse.

Surgery: Many types of surgeries are available to those with severe joint damage.

Regular Doctor Visits: Visit your doctor on a regular basis so he/she can see if it getting worse, determine if the medicine is helping, and change the treatment if needed.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain Relief: Treating the Pain First

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic and systemic inflammatory disorder. It attacks synovial joints, but may attack other tissues and organs in the body. It causes swelling, stiffness, and pain, and eventually damages the bones, tendons, and cartilage. It causes deformities and limiting motions. Although less common compare to other arthritis, this debilitating disease is very painful that needs an immediate rheumatoid arthritis pain relief. It has a huge impact to the life a patient as it limits the body movement of a person, and deforms the bones.

Rheumatoid arthritis pain relief can be given for chronic or acute pain. Controlling the pain is more important that to cure the disease because it can cause anxiety to a patient. The medications enhance the mobility of a person and give comfort in the synovial joints. However, before trying to do any pain relief, always consulted doctor first. These drugs can cause side effects to the people using it, especially if prolonged use such as hypertension and gastrointestinal upset.

NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Non-inflammatory Drugs) and narcotic medication are powerful painkillers. NSAID examples are ibuprofen, naproxen, and Celebrex which treat mild to moderate pain, while for narcotic pain, which treats moderate to severe pain are killers are oxycodone and codein. However, the prescribed drugs only act as painkillers. It did not solve the underlying condition. Steroids are also prescribed by a doctor, which is not for painkiller, but to reduce inflammation. It gets rid of the redness and swelling of the joints. Non-drug can also be used to help rheumatoid arthritis pain relief such as hot and cold treatments, positive attitude, exercise, relaxation methods, acupuncture, and topical lotions.

Nutritional supplements and changes in lifestyle are more effective rheumatoid arthritis pain relief than those any other drugs and methods. Agony due to pain should not let anyone not to do things that a normal person does, nor to cancel the activities that were already planned. Rheumatoid arthritis pain relief is already here to ensure us that we enjoy the things that we did when we are young.

Bad Blood Circulation and RA - Is There a Link?

Rheumatoid arthritis is renowned for its galore of symptoms that manifest in many different ways. Bad blood circulation is yet another burning symptom that confines sufferers to their painful state while making them numb.

The link between bad blood circulation and rheumatoid arthritis is not very clear from a medical stand point. However, the number of complaints from rheumatoid arthritis sufferers alone stands as enough evidence to say that there is a clear link.

Bad circulation, as a matter of fact, can ruin your life forever if not treated properly. The common cause behind bad blood circulation is known as blockages in arteries. The arteries could block this way due to simple factors such as smoking and stress as well as due to eating habits that have to do with milk and carbohydrates. As a result, plaque deposits cause blood pressure to increase which can eventually result in fatigue and heart disease.

If you observe having rashes that don't heal and if you feel needles and pins in hands and feet or if you experience numbness after working on something, you are most likely experiencing bad blood circulation. If such conditions continue to occur on a daily basis or regularly after a particular activity, consulting a medical practitioner would be ideal.

Many people hold different beliefs about what can cure conditions such as bad blood circulation and rheumatoid arthritis. While the main focus lies in western medicine, more and more people seem to be drifting away from it to follow traditional medicinal remedies, nowadays.

If you've noticed symptoms of bad blood circulation for a while and if you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the same time, it may be a worthwhile effort to check out the alternative forms of cure.

When it comes to rheumatoid arthritis and bad blood circulation, many people believe that western medicine does not offer cures; rather it is a way of temporary relief. If you search the internet, you will find many website that sell alternative herbal remedies for rheumatoid arthritis and bad blood circulation. However, you should also be very careful in pursuing such treatment methods off hand because many claims made by websites on the internet cannot be taken for granted.

If you are focusing on alternative medicine, it is best to consult a qualified alternative medicine doctor. Expert knowledge always serves well in making decisions with regard to your health. This way, you could easily follow through advices, discuss about possible repercussions and decide on what you'd like to do about your condition.

Apart from professional assistance, other non-harmful home remedies can be put in to use in order to ease bad blood circulation and relieve your rheumatoid arthritis pain. Primrose oil, being one such component, is most famous for its anti inflammatory properties that combat rheumatoid arthritis. It also carries properties that can improve blood circulation while preventing inflammations of the arteries. Isn't it great to have a single remedy for both conditions? Well, for your information, primrose oil is not the only multifaceted component that can ease your pain. So maybe it's time that you consulted an alternative medicine doctor to explore your options in depth?

Bee Sting Therapy For Arthritis Pain Relief - Is This a Joke

As far back as around 400 B.C., Hippocrates - the Greek physician commonly referred to as the "father of medicine", used bee venom to treat joint pain and swelling, in fact bee venom therapy has been around for thousands of years.

Reference's to the treatment can be found in ancient Egypt and Greek medical writings.

Also known as apitherapy, the technique is more widely used in Eastern Europe, Asia and South America. Today many people still find the stings of honeybees helpful when addressing conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and osteoarthritis.

Honeybee venom contains many active substances one of which is 'Mellitin', an anti-inflammatory agent which is known to be more than one hundred times stronger than cortisone.

These substances stimulate the body's release of the hormone cortisol as well as neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin, all of which can help relieve the pain, stiffness and swelling of arthritis.

Caution.... Allergic Reactions

Yes it does sound like a quick fix for your arthritis pain, however, unfortunately bee stings are noted for triggering an allergic reactions called 'Anaphylaxis' or  Anaphylaxis shock.

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening type of allergic reaction, so caution should be shown if you are considering this course of treatment.

Is Bee Venom A Proven Technique?

Although bee venom therapy is largely an unproven technique, a small number of U.S physicians have reported good results using the substance to treat arthritic conditions.

Treatments of honeybee venom therapy, or 'Apitherapy' supposedly started after bee-keepers, who were stung many times, noticed their arthritis pains were relieved. Some practitioners still use live bee stings to deliver the venom.

Bee stings are by no means a cure-all & there's no way of knowing if they will work for you, without trying, which could be dangerous without the appropriate medical supervision. And to cap it all, we shouldn't forget bee stings are not pleasant.

If you do decide you would like to try bee stings, speak with your doctor.  It's important that you be prepared for a severe allergic reaction by having a bee sting allergy kit on hand - even if you've never reacted negatively to bee stings in the past. Although the side effects of bee-venom therapy usually are mild, an allergic reaction to a sting could potentially be deadly.

Is  Apitherapy a Viable Option For My Arthritis?

It's true that bee stings may help your arthritis, but in my opinion should probably be avoided, due to the risk involved. The good news is Less barbaric natural methods exist and could prove far more user friendly and even more effective in relieving all kinds of arthritis pain and inflammation

Written by Mark John

Best Treatment For Rheumatoid Arthritis

To keep up with the ever changing active lifestyle of today's generation, we need our healthiest and most active self to go with it. However, this is hindered by bouts of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. It is a good thing that treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is now readily available to alleviate the pain and discomfort.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that results to a chronic inflammation of the joints and tissues that surround the joints. This is categorized as an autoimmune disease because basically, autoimmune diseases occur when the tissues in our body are attacked by our own immune system.

The cause for rheumatoid arthritis and the reason why our own immune system attacks our own body is still elusive. Even with many years of research and studies, experts have only found out some potential causes. These potential causes are genetics and environmental infections.

In this disease, the immune system does not just attack the joints and the tissues that surround the joints but it can also affect some of the vital organs of your body such as the lungs and the liver. Many experts also believe that excessive tobacco smoking can trigger rheumatoid arthritis.

Depending on how severe the inflammation is, the symptoms of rheumatoid vary. When the tissues in our body are inflamed, this is the time that this disease is most active. The symptoms can also include chronic fatigue, lack of energy, lack of appetite, fever, and muscular and joint pains and stiffness.

There is remission when the tissues ease up and do not cause pain and discomfort. This can happen when there is religious treatment of this condition. These symptoms disappear and feelings of well being are promoted.

To make remission possible, there are a number of conventional treatments that a person can utilize. Generally, the use of drugs is involved on the treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. However, the use of potentially addictive drugs causes many people to shy away from this treatment.

It is a good thing that natural treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is available now and patronized by many people suffering from this condition.

One of the most popular natural treatments is the use of an herb called Devil's claw. The root of this herb can help reduce the inflammation of the tissues that connects our joints. In doing this, it drives away uric acid that causes inflammation.

Dandelion is also popular because it can also help banish the presence of uric acid and strengthen the tissues. You can take this in tea, capsule or juice form.

The juice of Dong Quai root can also relieve muscle and joint pains most especially during cold and damp season where the pain is more intense.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Arthritis Treatment: Psoriatic Arthritis - Background and Finally Getting Some Respect

One common form of arthritis that has been relatively ignored until recently is psoriatic arthritis. It is a systemic inflammatory destructive form of arthritis that is perhaps second only to rheumatoid arthritis in its ability to cause disability.

It is often described as a mixed disease since unlike rheumatoid arthritis which is purely a destructive breakdown disease that causes bone loss, joint erosions, and joint destruction, psoriatic arthritis (PA), also causes new bone formation.

The types of systemic features that accompany this condition are also unique in that inflammatory bowel disease, eye inflammation (uveitis), and psoriasis tend to accompany this type of arthritis.

Another unique feature of the disease is the presence of enthesopathy, a localized inflammation at the site where the tendons attach to bone. Areas where this commonly occurs are the Achilles tendon, lateral epicondyle of the elbow, iliac crest, patellar tendon of the knee, plantar fascia of the heel, and the lateral hip.

In addition, PA often presents with a peculiar condition called dactylitis. This occurs when the joints and tendon of a single digit or a few digits become acutely inflamed. This presentation is a hallmark of the disease.

Patients with PA also have co-morbid conditions that can affect the disease. Examples include, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, elevated lipids, and heart disease.

Treatments for psoriatic arthritis are not nearly as agreed upon as those for rheumatoid arthritis.

While non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSIADS) may be useful for early symptomatic relief, they are ineffective in regards to slowing disease progression.

Second line drugs, called disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS), while often used in a similar fashion to the way they're used in rheumatoid arthritis, are not nearly as effective. For example, the DMARD of choice in rheumatoid arthritis is methotrexate. While this drug works in some cases of psoriatic arthritis, its results are not as predictable. Also, it appears that patients with this condition may be at more risk for liver toxicity due to methotrexate.

Plaquenil, another DMARD that is used for RA, rarely is effective for the disease.

Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), has been used with some success but again, the results are not as predictable or dependable.

The only group of medicines that appears to work well for psoriatic arthritis in a predicable fashion are the TNF inhibitors. There is some debate that certain TNF inhibitors work better for the skin than others. This is the subject of continued investigation.

Other biologic treatments are in the pipeline.

How to Fight Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are over two million people in the US with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Those who suffer with it experience pain and inflammation in their joints, accompanied by swelling, stiffness, fever and fatigue. If left untreated, it can progress to total dysfunction of the joints. Relief does appear to be close at hand, with a new generation of treatments being trialed today.

The disease affects most people from middle age, but some children and young adults can face earlier onset (Juvenile Arthritis). Unlike Ankylosing Spondylitis, it affects double or more women than men. Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects both sides of the body, which is called having symmetrical symptoms. This means if a person has it in one knee, they will have it in the other as well. It commonly affects the wrists and finger joints, but can be in any part of the body.

Some symptoms that aren't in the joints are anemia, a decrease in the production of red blood cells, muscular neck pain and dry eyes and mouth and, in some rare cases, inflamed blood vessels and lining of the lungs or heart. Some people will have shorter flair ups of RA that last a month or two, while others can have longer periods with severe symptoms for years on end.

The longer Rheumatoid Arthritis is actively causing symptoms, it is also causing more irreparable damage and disability to its victims. Osteoporosis is more prominent in long-term sufferers, which often means their bones will fracture very easily. Muscles that are used to support the joints are either weakened or suffer from over-use, causing referred pain and disability. As Rheumatoid Arthritis starts causing its damage very early on, rapid diagnosis is becoming prominently important.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disease that affects the immune system, causing the body to turn against itself and attack healthy joint tissue. No specific cause has been identified, but it is believed that genetics, environment, hormones and stress levels can all have an impact. It is diagnosed with a combination of a physical examination of the joints, reflexes, muscle stability and appearance of the skin, a blood test for white blood cell count and an x-ray that will show up any long-term joint damage.

Some patients may require surgery. This would not be a first option for most people and is usually joint replacement or tendon reconstruction surgery. Otherwise, treatment focuses on the right medication, regular rest, regular, appropriate exercise, healthy eating, increased awareness and psychological support. The aim is to take away the pain, eliminate swelling, discontinue or disable tissue destruction, maintain flexibility and minimize fatigue and stress factors.

In the past, the only treatments available for Rheumatoid Arthritis were aspirin, paracetamol and anti-inflammatory drugs that often contain steroids. Specialists would wait until the disease progressed to more advanced stages before prescribing anything more powerful. As it is now known that the damage is started much earlier on in its course, stronger treatments and combinations are recommended to try to halt the progression and, hopefully, avoid disability later in life.

One powerful form of treatment is the Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), which reduce pain and decrease inflammation. They can cause side effects such as an upset stomach, peptic ulcers, excessive bleeding and renal failure and a patient cannot drink any alcohol due to the extra strain they can place on the liver. Some examples are Ibuprofen, Ketoprofen and Naproxen. These are also used to treat Ankylosing Spondylitis, Juvenile Arthritis and Psoriasis.

Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are also a common treatment and are known to reduce pain in swollen joints and retard joint damage. They can take between a few weeks or a few months to work and there are also side effects to consider.

Taking DMARDs can heighten the infection risk, cause loss of hair and possibly cause damage to the liver or kidneys. Methotrexate is a well-known DMARD and is administered orally or injected. It has been found especially effective when combined with the new generation treatment, ENBREL.

There have been countless medicines produced over the years in hope of helping those with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Juvenile Arthritis and Psoriasis, but it is these new drugs that appear to possibly be on the track to providing relief.

Biologic response modifiers are the current Rheumatic Arthritis drugs that have been showing great promise for patients. Clinical trials that have been underway have produced data which suggests they reduce inflammation and slow the progression of the disease and the damage it causes.

ENBREL (aka etanercept) works by stopping the over production of the body's cytokines, which is the protein the immune system has been using to kill the healthy joint tissue. It is usually administered with a fortnightly injection.

The drug is a Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitor. RA sufferers are known to have too much TNFa being produced (as do those with Ankylosing Spondylitis, Juvenile Arthritis and Psoriasis) and when ENBREL and TNFa blocker protein reduces the cytokine levels, patients feel remarkable improvements.

The main side effect of taking ENBREL is a weakening of the immune system, so infections could potentially be fatal. It is for this reason doctors have to apply very strict screening for trail admissions, as anyone with an already compromised immunity can not possibly take it.

ENBREL's more minor side effects could be a sore, burning in the throat and/or a rash where the needle entered and/or a blocked, runny nose. Otherwise it is proving itself to possibly be the new revolutionary treatment to stop the progression of the disease.

Over the past twenty years or so, a large amount of research has been done on Rheumatoid Arthritis. Through experts increased awareness of how the immune system works and the role of genetics and human biology, RA treatments are being viewed with new and excited eyes.

Scientists are finding that combinations of treatments are better than one alone, such as ENBREL and methotrexate, which can noticeably slow damage to joints. The aim for all involved in the search for the answer is to continue helping victims by relieving their pain, reducing inflammation and swelling, slow or stop damage to joints and restore their ability to function every day.

This can be achieved with ongoing monitoring of medication, lifestyle and side effect management. If the need for surgery can be avoided or delayed, this is definitely a step in the right direction.

Disclaimer: The information presented here should not be interpreted as or substituted for medical advice. Please talk to a qualified professional for more information about Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Common Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammation of the joints. This disease is categorized as an autoimmune disease because people suffering from this condition have antibodies in their blood that target their own body tissues. As a result, the joints are mistakenly attacked by the body's own immune system. The condition is likely to occur in people between the ages of 40 and 50. It is very common in the US and not less than 2 million Americans are diagnosed with this disease. In fact, it is the most common type of arthritis in the US. Women are more prone to rheumatoid arthritis than men at a ratio of 3:1.

Rheumatoid arthritis can attack various organs and tissues in the human body. However, it mainly attacks synovial joints in the hands, wrists, ankles, and knees. Common arthritis symptoms include fever, weight loss, malaise, as well as muscle ache and pain. People suffering from arthritis are also likely to experience the feeling of tiredness, lack of sleep, the inability to use the hand or walk properly, and difficulty in moving their joints especially in the morning.

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms include the ones mentioned previously as well as other specific signs which differentiate this type of arthritis from other types such as osteoarthritis and gouty arthritis. Besides the above mentioned symptoms, people with this disease will suffer from joint pain, joint stiffness, joint swelling and joint tenderness. They will also feel warmness around the affected joints. The pains are likely to occur symmetrically. For example, if you feel pain in one knee, you will also feel pain in the other. The sufferers can also find lumps under their skin, usually on the hands or elbows, which are called the rheumatoid nodules. This type of arthritis can also cause joint space narrowing and bone erosion as well. Other rheumatoid arthritis symptoms also include anemia, increasing ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), ulnar deviation, rheumatoid factor, swan neck, and hand deformity.

Hand deformity is a common occurrence in people suffering from this condition. Hand deformities in people with this disease occur when ulnar deviation happens. Ulnar deviation is the condition when the fingers deviate towards the ulna (the inner bone of the forearm). The disease can also prevent the fingers from functioning properly due to ruptured tendons. As mentioned before, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning that it can't be cured. However, surgery may be helpful to correct deformities caused by this disease.

Effective Ways Of Treating Arthritis Back Pain

Although arthritic conditions may not originate in the lumbar region, they can also affect the back and result in arthritis back pain. Commonly, there are a few types of arthritic conditions that may need back pain treatment as well, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. These conditions may not begin in the spine, but may ultimately travel to the lumbar region.

Osteoarthritis refers to the loss of protective cartilage that results in abnormalities surrounding the bone. Osteoarthritis strikes in two forms: primary, the most common, progressive type that sets in around age forty-five and the secondary form resulting from a trauma or injury. Osteoarthritis also affects the spine and it can be painful at any age. The condition commonly affects the small joints in the hands, the hip, the knee and the spine. A typical symptom of Osteoarthritis is pain without activity upon waking up. The pain subsides with movement and intensifies in damp weather. In addition, sitting for a prolonged period of time also causes the spine to hurt.

Typically, back pain patients suffering from Osteoarthritis are advised to maintain a regular regimen of gentle exercise and proper weight balance. In addition, they are also prescribed with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) which can help them to relieve the back pain and allow the recovery of weak muscles.

Another common arthritic condition that may lead to arthritis back pain is rheumatoid arthritis. This form of arthritis, usually affects the knee, hip, hand, neck and spine areas. It is usually more common in women than in men. The first symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is malaise and fatigue, including morning tenderness and prolonged stiffness of the joints, particularly in the hands and feet. As symptoms intensify, drug therapy is used to prevent irreversible cartilage loss or deformity. If joint swelling worsens, the inflammation process proceeds to the cartilage and bone. In the final stages, overgrowth of cartilage and destruction of the bone throw ligaments out of position.

One effective treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is to remain active during the day. You should exercise for at least twenty minutes a day to help build muscle strength. Besides this, NSAIDS are being used to reduce swelling and pain in the joints. If NSAIDS do not work, you may instead be given cortisone to reduce inflammation.

For more information on effective back pain remedies, quick cures for back pain or fun back pain exercises, you can visit this site: Back Pain Clinic

Eczema Home Remedy With Ice Therapy

An excellent home remedy for eczema is with the use of ice therapy. Ice has many cooling beneficial effects on your eczema skin. Eczema can be caused by allergens that inflame the skin. Applying ice onto an inflammation is like using water to douse the flames of a fire.

Eczema is a disorder that triggers rashes to appear on the skin. These rashes mostly develop in the hands, back, and limbs. They can really cause you great discomfort as they can be extremely itchy. However, the more you scratch it, the worse the condition gets. You can also cause your skin to bleed and introduce bacterial infections through your open wounds.

Ice therapy for eczema numbs your sore skin, causing you to relax with pain relief. The coldness of ice makes your veins contract, cutting down circulation. Once you remove the ice, your veins will start to dilate. Blood is rushed into the area that you are treating. The blood carries necessary nutrients to allow your damaged skin tissues to heal.

All you have to do is to put a few pieces of ice cubes in an ice pack or a small plastic bag wrapped in towel. Place it directly above the itchy area and move the ice under the towel in a circular motion. Try to feel how the cold sensation slowly eliminates the itch. You may find that the itchiness intensifying rather than subsiding when you first apply the ice. Just bear it for an instant. Very shortly, you will be relieved of the itch. If you are having a multiple eczema outbreak, you can work on a few minutes on each affected area.

Ice therapy for eczema is a home remedy that is effective and yet very inexpensive. However, before you start to freeze ice for the use of this therapy, be aware of the following precautions:

1. You should not apply ice directly onto your inflamed skin. Always use a towel to wrap the ice. Also, keep the ice moving over your skin.

2. Commercial cold packs should be used on your skin with extra care as they are generally a lot colder than the ice that you make in your freezer.

3. Do not use ice therapy for longer than 15 minutes over any affected part. You do not want to damage the nerves here.

4. Lastly, you should not use ice therapy if you also have rheumatoid arthritis, cold allergic conditions, paralysis or if you have blood circulation problems.

Overweight With Arthritis

As we get older many of us including myself suffer from some joint pain from time to time. Many times it could be overworked joints but sometimes it's a more serious condition like rheumatoid arthritis. Being overweight or even obese can really put extra stress on those joints and affect your quality of life. Everyday normal routines can become very painful and unbearable.

Recent studies conducted in Oslo, Norway show that being overweight can affect Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in some other ways as well. Patients with RA and who are obese are more likely to suffer greater pain, increased fatigue, decreased physical function and an overall worsened quality of life score. The

researchers tested over one thousand patients who had RA. They grouped them according to their body mass index levels and came up with three groups, normal weight,overweight and obesity. Over one hundred people fell into the obesity category while three hundred sixteen were in the overweight and the remaining were either normal or underweight. All the obese patients reported having higher levels of pain and feeling more fatigued and worse physical function than all those in the normal group.

Being overweight reduces the chance of RA going into remission. Remission helps reduce the long term affects of Ra because symptoms like inflammation go away. The researchers found after a 12 month study and treatments that 58 percent of the normal weight patients who were on a placebo went into remission while only 35 percent of overweight and 25 percent of obese patients were in remission.

Because fat tissue produces pro-inflammatory molecules, it puts overweight patients at an increased risk of inflammatory complications. The head doctor in the study used Remicade plus a combination of therapy. It was found that being overweight didn't seem to affect those taking Remicade plus therapy. She believes Remicade may act on the inflammatory molecules allowing obese people to be able to go into remission.

There's obviously more to be done to reach conclusive results, but one thing is for sure, being overweight can have many negative affects on our health and quality of life! The one thing we all can do for ourselves which will have a positive effect is to eat right and exercise and maybe we can end the need for such studies and research.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Arthmender - The Ayurvedic Cure for Arthritis and Its 6 Benefits

Millions of people suffer from arthritis, but can Arthmender - the ancient Ayurvedic formula - hold the key to a natural cure for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and other types of joint problems?

When we are born, we have 300 bones and as we grow older, the bones fuse together and we are left with 206 bones as an adult.

Our bones or the skeletal mainframe is the support system that keeps us afloat over the years, till we go old and our bones turn brittle and we die a natural death. But when we are here and still can, it is essential to maintain good bone health.

Arthritis or joint inflammation is a serious health issue because the bone inflammation keeps on damaging healthy tissues and this damage can adversely affect the joints by making movement hard and painful. Over 100 kinds of arthritic problem can affect different areas of the body and research studies show that children and adults alike are susceptible to this disease.

Health officials in USA estimate that by 2030, 294,000 children and 67,000,000 adults will suffer from arthritis. In such a situation, it is common sense to take preventive measures and not let arthritis affect you. Apart from conventional health medicines, the Ayurvedic formula in Arthmender is a supplement that promotes healing, reduction of joint inflammation and maintains long term joint health.

The benefits of Arthmender can be visible only after four to six months of regular consumption. Along with this arthritis cure, you need to follow a diet, exercise and lifestyle guidance plan for joint care. To bring your body back into equilibrium, you must lead a healthy lifestyle. The Singapore Health Services Authority, and the FDA of India and USA have certified that the botanicals used in arthritis supplement are not known to have any side effects. Further, the supplement works to prevent blood clotting in your body so if you are presently having any anti-coagulants, you should use Arthmender with caution. Even better - consult with your physician before adding Art mender.

Proven Benefits of Arthmender Supplement:

  • Makes your joints supple and protect against sudden injuries. In other words, you become more agile.

  • Reduces pain and inflammation from your joints, making you relax with relief

  • Ayurvedic herbs remove harmful free radicals from the system and detoxify your body. With detoxification, pain and inflammation subsides too.

  • Helps to build bone and muscle strength so that it is able to withstand pressure

  • Arthritis means you are bound to have broken tissues; the supplements accelerates tissue repair

  • Arthritis reduces your immunity level to a large extent and the Arthmender supplements counteracts this autoimmunity

The Arthmender proprietary supplement is made with 12 potent Ayurvedic herbal extracts that directly works on the musculoskeletal system and helps to regain your joint health. It consists of 269 natural phytonutrients that exert 514 synergistic activities on your skeletal system to reduce toxins, control free radical activity, prevent blood clotting, smooth the joint structures, relax the muscles, tone the muscles and improves calcium absorption in the body. Ayurvedic doctors suggest that the supplements should be taken twice a day and as said earlier, the dosage should continue for at least 6 months, if you want long term permanent benefits.

Apart from consuming this supplement, you can reverse the damage by increasing and decreasing the intake of Omega - 3 and Omega - 6 respectively. You should increase fiber concentration in your food and eat as many fruits rich in Vitamin C as possible. Always remember that prevention is better than cure!

Osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and giant cell arthritis are some of the common forms of joint pain that Arthmender helps you find relief from. Thousands of people all over the globe find Arthmender to be very helpful in preventing and even curing these conditions.

Osteoarthritis Vs Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you have aching, stiff joints, you may be thinking you have arthritis. There is more than one type of arthritis, and it's important to know which, if any, you have. The most common form of the condition is osteoarthritis, caused by wear and tear of the cartilage. Another form of the condition is rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory disease.


Joints may wear down as a natural part of aging, but your risk of developing osteoarthritis increases if you have injured a joint, practiced poor body mechanics and posture, performed repetitive movements over the years or if you're overweight.

The main symptom of osteoarthritis is pain and stiffness in one or more joints that is at its worst at the end of the day and after stretches of time in which you were inactive, such as when sleeping or sitting in a movie theater. The condition can affect any joint, but is most common in the knees, lumbar spine, hands and hips. For some people, pain and stiffness are minor and intermittent. For others, pain is severe and constant. Bone spurs may develop from the bones rubbing against one another; in the spine, these spurs can impinge on nerves that run through the spine, causing pain, tingling, numbness and/or weakness along the nerve pathway.

Standard treatments for osteoarthritis are centered around symptom management, as no methods have been proven to regenerate cartilage with rigorous scientific backing. However, stem cell therapy may develop into a mainstream treatment for osteoarthritis and other degenerative conditions in the coming years. Another potential for cartilage regeneration, and at the very least disease modification, is oral salmon calcitonin.

Generally, treatment of osteoarthritis is limited to physical therapy in which patients learn exercises that strengthen muscles surrounding affected joints and stretches that increase range of motion. Water therapy, such as swimming and water aerobics, are helpful to many with osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatic degeneration of joints is caused by inflammation. The exact cause of this inflammation is unknown, but it is theorized that genetics and environmental factors such as smoking may play a role. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder; the body's inflammatory response, part of the immune system, goes haywire and attacks joints.

Inflammation is an important part of normal healing. It is characterized by the delivery of white blood cells, chemicals and fluids that facilitate healing to an injured area. However, the body may overreact, causing too much inflammation or inflammation that lasts for too long. In cases like rheumatoid arthritis, the body sparks the inflammatory process even when no injury is present. Inappropriate levels and durations of inflammation lead to tissue damage, not to mention pain. In rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation invades the joint lining, causing it to break down. Bones may rub together or become damaged by the inflammation.

The main symptoms of this form of arthritis are pain, swelling, redness and warmth around joints. It's generally a symmetrical disease, affecting joints on both sides of the body, such as the feet and/or the hands. The inflammatory symptoms of swelling and redness combined with the symmetry of the disease can be used to distinguish it from osteoarthritis.

Typically, people with rheumatoid arthritis are treated with medications to control inflammation and/or slow the progression of the disease. NSAIDS are anti-inflammatories that can relieve pain and inflammation in the joints; prolonged use of these drugs can lead to heart and stomach problems. Drugs that suppress the immune system, and therefore the inflammatory response, are called biologics and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs); while they slow joint wear, these drugs also increase your risk of infection.

Management of symptoms is often pursued with conservative treatments like physical therapy and massage. Some people use steroid medications to manage the pain associated with flare-ups; these medications can lead to osteoporosis, diabetes and/or high blood pressure if used for a prolonged period of time. Though it hasn't been rigorously studies, an anti-inflammatory diet holds potential for reducing inflammation in the body and, therefore, arthritis symptoms. Learn more about such a diet at

If your joint pain comes with signs of inflammation like redness, swelling and warmth, this indicates rheumatoid arthritis. If not, you may have osteoarthritis. Whatever your condition, there are options available that can help you manage pain and perhaps even slow joint wear. Check for clinical trials at if you wish to receive experimental treatment such as stem cell therapy and contribute to the advancement of research.

The Important Facts That Everyone Should Know About Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

If you suffer with aches and pains that seem to persist and intensify, stiffness in your joints such as when you sit, stand, or use your hands, joints that are swollen and painful or inflamed, and other symptoms like these, then it could be that you are suffering with rheumatoid arthritis.

Of course, determining whether this is the case or not will require a medical professional. However, if you find that your aches and pains tend to worsen depending on the weather, you can count yourself along with more than 80 million people in the US, Australia, and England who go through the same thing.

Unfortunately for most of these people, they will come to the decision that this is simply the way things are. They will resign themselves to a life of pain and discomfort. What they do not know is that, over time, the pain will get worse, as will the other associated symptoms, making this a very difficult and debilitating condition to live with.

What rheumatoid arthritis treatment is known to be effective?

If you have decided that you refuse to simply accept the pain, and you want to do something about it, look no further than the green-lipped mussel found in the waters off the coast of New Zealand. Most of us know that nature has the answer for many of life's ailments and other health issues. Many of us have benefitted from the medicines that are derived from nature. Homeopathic medicine has long been the choice of many over conventional drugs, because they are natural and safe. Natural remedies also do not produce any unwanted or unpleasant side effects.

Why the green-lipped mussel?

This New Zealand mussel will not only help your discomfort that results from the arthritis. Your skin, immune system, and your nervous system will also benefit.

But the question is why?

The green-lipped mussel happens to be a complete food. Even more astounding is the fact that the minerals that the mussel contains are very similar to the minerals one would find in a healthy human being. Of course there is more to it but space does not permit too much detail here.

Should you use a product that contains the green-lipped mussel?

The answer is a resounding 'Yes!' if the research is anything to go by. However, whether you choose a product that contains this intriguing ingredient, or some other type of treatment, be sure to give the homeopathic avenue serious consideration. While we have a lot to thank the world of science for, the fact remains is that medications produce side effects. Also, while a medication might benefit you in one way, it might be doing damage to another part of your body.

"The green-lipped mussel is a complete food that aids in the relief of arthritic pain and discomfort."

Things To Know About Uveitis

Not a lot of people come across the term uveitis as it is quite a rare condition. However, awareness should be raised about it as it can hit anyone, even children. What is uveitis? It is the swelling and irritation of the uvea. The middle layer of the eye, the uvea is found right in the centre, in between the sclera and the retina;it functions as the supplier of blood to the latter.

Uveitis is rather uncommon and those who suffer from it are mostly middle-aged; however, 10% of those afflicted with the disease are, in fact, children. When left untreated, vision loss is a distinct possibility on account of the scars that develop on the retina and choroid. Uveitis can actually lead to other eye diseases such as cataract, glaucoma and macular oedema.

Most of the time, what caused uveitis in a person is not identified; it can even be idiopathic, occurring unexpectedly. There are, however, some factors that could increase the risk of developing the disease. For instance, if a person has autoimmune disorders such as psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis, then he or she is more prone to developing uveitis. Diseases that weaken the immune system, such as AIDS or cancer, can also affect the eye, hence the higher risk for uveitis. Other possible factors that may lead to the condition are eye infections and injuries.

Uveitis symptoms include blurred or cloudy vision, pain and redness in the eye, headaches caused by hypersensitivity to light, a change in the colour of the iris, loss of peripheral vision, and pupils that do not dilate or constrict. However, in case of juvenile onset of uveitis stemming from rheumatoid or idiopathic arthritis, the children usually do not experience any symptoms and their uveitis is not detected until they've already lost their eyesight.

Uveitis treatments may come in the form of steroids to deal with the irritation. In the presence of an infection, antibiotics would also be in order. When the uveitis has become chronic, the patient would usually have to go through immunosuppressant therapy.

The key to overcoming uveitis is swift and correct treatment. If you observe yourself or a loved one displaying any of the abovementioned symptoms, make an appointment with an eye doctor right away. In case of a positive diagnosis, make sure that you are treated by a physician who specialises in uveitis, preferably an ocular immunologist trained to treat with immunosuppressant medication.

Even if you feel that your eyes are perfectly healthy, it's best to make a habit of regularly going for an eye check-up. After all, early detection of any disease gives you much a better chance of defeating it.

Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment - What Are Your Options?

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that can develop in some people who experience the skin condition psoriasis. There are five main types of psoriatic arthritis- Symmetric arthritis, Asymmetric arthritis, Digital Interphalangeal Predominant (DIP) arthritis, Arthritis mutilans and Spondylitis. In this article we will examine treatments available.

Generally speaking, psoriatic arthritis treatment will be the same as treatment for any other form of arthritis. Your doctor will advise on treatment based on the type or types of the condition you have and the range and severity of symptoms. An early diagnosis will help to slow the progression of the disease and help to prevent further damage to the joints. Ideally treatment for psoriatic arthritis should go hand in hand with treatment of psoriasis.

Natural Treatments
Exercising can be beneficial as it will help to reduce stiffness and pain, and will strengthen the muscles around the joints. Your physiotherapist should be able to show you certain exercises designed to improve joint mobility and function. Low impact aerobic exercise, such as swimming and walking, can improve overall health and fitness, reduce excess weight and improve muscle strength and flexibility.

Physiotherapy can provide relief for some individuals, as can relaxation techniques of using electrotherapy, for example a TENS machine.

Use of ice packs to the affected joints can help to relieve swelling and joint pain.

There are also a number of prescription medications which can reduce symptoms.

Non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
NSAIDS can be prescribed early on to relieve inflammation and swelling. As they are largely aspirin based, they can cause irritation to the stomach so should be avoided if you are prone to stomach ulcers.

Steroids are strong anti-inflammatory drugs which may be prescribed if the symptoms are severe, or if the patient experiences a flare-up. If used in high doses, the condition of the skin should be monitored as steroids can affect psoriasis. Steroids are often used in lower doses to reduce the risk of these side effects whilst stabilizing the arthritis.

Steroids can also be administered in injection form directly to the joint. They can be particularly effective when only one joint is affected, but there is a risk of adverse side effects of injections are given too often.

Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) contain agents that target the specific occurrences within the body which cause both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. They can help to slow the progression of arthritis and help stop further joint tissue damage from occurring.

Systemic Medication
Cyclosporine is an immunosuppressive drug used to treat psoriasis that can also slow the progression of psoriatic arthritis. Prolonged use can cause kidney damage so regular blood tests should be undertaken.

Methotrexate can help prevent joint deterioration and relieve the symptoms of the condition. However, there are a number of potential side effects, including liver damage, so should be carefully monitored.

Sulfasalazine is an anti-inflammatory drug which has been proven effective in the treatment of the condition.

Antimalarial medication is usually used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, but has also been used to successfully treat psoriatic arthritis. As side effect scan include headaches and blurred vision, regular eye tests should be undertaken. Some antimalarial medication can also exacerbate symptoms of psoriasis.

If you think you may have psoriatic arthritis, you should see your doctor in the first instance for a diagnosis and to discuss possible treatment options.

Diet For Rheumatoid Arthritis - What Foods Are Bad For Joint Pain?

When it comes to developing an adequate diet for rheumatoid arthritis, the food you eat is less important than the foods you don't eat! Treating rheumatoid arthritis symptoms can be as simple as avoiding certain foods that are known to aggravate pain and inflammation.

First of all, make sure that you completely avoid any food you may have allergies to. Allergic reactions lower the amount of antioxidants in the body, leading to the release of antibodies which in turn lead to an inflammatory response. Many people are unknowingly allergic to gluten, so cutting it out of your diet may also prove beneficial. If you're not sure you have any allergies, you can find out by gradual eliminating certain foods to see if you notice a difference.

Next in line of importance is getting rid of saturated fats, which come primarily from meat and dairy products. It is particularly important to avoid steak, bacon, and hi-fat cuts of meat. Cream and butter can also be very unhealthy. These foods will increase inflammation in the body, so if you consume a lot of saturated fat, you may experience a great deal of relief by cutting it out entirely. It may even be worthwhile to become a vegetarian for a while to see if it alleviates your symptoms.

A diet for rheumatoid arthritis should also avoid refined sugar, processed foods, salt, MSG, and caffeine. Although alcohol consumption is generally discouraged, there is some evidence that moderate use may actually reduce the risk of developing arthritis.

Another food to avoid when forming your diet for rheumatoid arthritis, oddly enough, are the "night-shade" vegetables. These include tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers. Some people have a sensitivity to these types of vegetables that greatly aggravate their RA symptoms. Overly acidic fruits like oranges and lemons should also be avoided.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Using Fish Oil Supplements For Joint Pain Relief - Is This A Viable Option For Arthritis?

There are countless people using fish oil supplements for joint pain relief, but does it really work? Can a daily supplement honestly reduce joint pain? Many people swear by it, so I would imagine it does work, at least for some people.

Of course it could also be a placebo effect, but even if it is, so what? If taking a supplement means you experience less pain, then why not continue taking that supplement? Also, omega-3 rich fish oil is incredibly beneficial to one's health, so even if it does not reduce the pain in your joints, it is still going to benefit you in other ways.

It is also important to remember that joint pain can be caused by several things, with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis being two of the biggest culprits. To date, there has been a tremendous amount of research done in order to determine the effect fish oil has on these two diseases.

In one 12 week study, rheumatoid arthritis sufferers were given 3 grams of DHA and EPA fish oil per day for the duration of the study. All the volunteers reported a significant reduction in morning stiffness, and many were even able to come off their prescription drugs.

In a more recent study involving 250 osteoarthritis sufferers, the results were also very promising. Again, researchers focused primarily on DHA and EPA, both of which are essential fatty acids found in omega 3. Again, all volunteers reported a dramatic reduction in pain, and many were able to have their regular prescription drug dosages reduced.

The reason why fish oil tends to be effective is because it inhibits the body's ability to synthesize a substance which is known to cause inflammation. This also explains why it is more effective at treating rheumatoid arthritis than it is at treating osteoarthritis, which in essence is a disease which results in the breakdown of cartilage.

Many people remain skeptical about the effectiveness of fish oil supplements for joint pain relief. This is largely because the FDA has not yet endorsed the use of these supplements for treating diseases such as arthritis. However, there is a huge amount of research that shows omega-3 rich fish oil can in many cases reduce joint pain and especially in cases where the pain is being caused by inflammation.

In a nutshell, only you will know if your joint pain responds favorably to daily fish oil supplementation. The good thing is, you will be doing your body a big favor, even if you are still left with the pain.

Is Humira an Effective Psoriasis Treatment?

Humira is a drug that has recently been approved for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. It is of a class of drugs called "biologics" that act on a portion of the immune system, blocking the immune system response and lessening the autoimmune disease or other immune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Humira is somewhat related to Enbrel, a commonly used treatment in both rheumatic arthritis and psoriatic arthritis.

In a recent study on psoriasis patients, patients were given every other week injections of Humira for a total of 24 weeks (twelve to thirteen injections total). Of those given Humira, 42 percent of those with moderate to severe psoriasis had a ninety percent or better improvement in their psoriasis. About 65 percent of patients showed a 75 percent or greater reduction in the appearance of their psoriasis and in symptoms related to psoriasis. Almost all patients revealed that their experience of their quality of life was not affected by having psoriasis.

It is estimated that between 4 and 6 million patients in the US suffer from psoriasis, although most have mild to moderate plaque-type psoriasis involving the elbows and knees on the outer aspects. Milder cases are treated with coal tar preparations, Accutane or other retinoids, UVB and UVA light therapy, methotrexate, cyclosporine and topical corticosteroid creams. Each drug works to help psoriasis but most have some side effects that make it difficult to use over the long haul.

Biologics for psoriasis came along in 2003 and the drug called Amevive was the first to be used to treat severe psoriasis. More recently Raptiva came along with the same expectation that it help psoriasis victims with moderate to severe symptoms. Enbrel and Humira are also biologics approved for the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis. They work by targeting a specific protein known as TNF-alpha (tumor necrosis factor-alpha) which plays a big role in the inflammatory response that goes on to trigger psoriasis. Humira is just the latest of these amazing biologics that act on the problem at hand with fewer side effects from the other treatment modalities.

Humira and related drugs appear to control psoriasis for many weeks and months after stopping the therapy. This cuts down on the overall cost of therapy and the patient can be medication-free while having an improvement in their symptoms that lasts. Many patients find that Humira is the best medication for psoriasis that they have ever had.

In another study, patients received placebo or Humira at 40 mg injections every other week. After three months, the placebo patients were given Humira and both sets of patients completed a 6 month course. In the study, 64 percent of patients receiving the every-two-week injections reached a 75 percent improvement in the quality of their psoriasis and 40 percent of the patients receiving Humira stated that there was no impact of psoriasis on their life after 3-6 months of therapy. The side effects were practically nothing and the rest of their immune system appeared unaffected by having to take Humira. Only the psoriasis was improved and without major side effects.

Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis That You Should Know

Physical, occupational, nutritional therapies are the non-pharmacological ways to combat the disease. Analgesia or pain killers, anti-inflammatory drugs and disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs like azathioprine, gold salts, leflunomide, minocycline etc are being prescribed these days to control the progression of the disease. The disorder can also be tackled the natural way and through home based remedies.

The patient should carry out the treatment by balancing the commercial medicines along with natural remedies. This is to be done in order to escape to some extent the harmful side effects of toxins in the commercial medicines. Here are some natural ways to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

1. Light stretching exercise to mobilize affected joints is essential. Mobilization will reduce stiffness at the joint. If the joints attacked by rheumatoid arthritis are left idle and inactive, the problem of stiffness will only worsen. Heavy impact exercises like jumping, running, skiing etc are to be avoided.

2. Food items rich in Omega3 fatty acids, Gamma-linolenic acid should be consumed by rheumatoid arthritis patients. Cold water fishes like salmon, sardines, anchovies etc are rich in omega3 acids. Even fish oil capsules available in market can serve the purpose. Sea food diet thus is highly recommended as a cure for rheumatoid. Borage oil, black currant seed oil, primrose oil are rich sources of gamma-linolenic acids. Raw vegetable juices like that of celery, carrot, and beet can prove beneficial in reducing pain and inflammation.

3. Magnesium and copper supplements can prove beneficial.

4. Cupping therapy, a remarkable form of alternative treatment in Chinese medicine, proves to be an effective natural way of treating rheumatoid arthritis. The therapy reduces pain, inflammation, boosts up blood circulation and helps in getting rid of inflammation causing toxins.

5. Orthotic devices like braces, splints can be worn for acquiring easy mobility. They help in giving support to ailing joints.

6. Turmeric, dry ginger, boswellia, guggul are beneficial herbs that can treat the problem of pain and inflammation due to rheumatoid.

7. Green tea extracts may also bring some relief.

8. Ointments like Ben Gay and capsaicin creams may be rubbed on the ailing joints to get pain relief.

9. Smoking and consumption of caffeine are to be strictly avoided.

Rumatone Gold Capsules and Massage Oil are unique proprietary blend of natural ingredients to ease pain and stiffness due to rheumatoid arthritis. These supplements taken in a regular and disciplined way greatly help in relieving rheumatoid arthritis pain. As these supplements are made of plant-based herbal ingredients, they are safer and natural way to treat the problem.

Arthritis Treatment: How Does Gout Progress?

Gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in men past the age of 40. It is a metabolic condition due to an over-accumulation of uric acid. This situation occurs because of two factors. The first is an inability to excrete uric acid fast enough. The second is an overproduction of uric acid which is a byproduct of the metabolism of foods containing a substance called purines.

As one might imagine this process develops over time. Uric acid accumulates to the point where there is oversaturation of the substance in joint fluid and other body tissues. This oversaturation eventually causes deposits of monosodium urate to accumulate. Over the course of many years, these crystals form deposits called "microtophi" which are a mixture of monosodium urate, fibrous tissue, and different kinds of inflammatory cells. Theses microtophi form on the surface of the joint lining (synovium) as well as on the cartilage.

When a certain critical point is reached, the first gout attack occurs. This is the beginning of the phase termed "acute intermittent gout." Acute attacks are separated by a symptom free-interval. This symptom free interval is called the "intercritical period." The intercritical period can last for months to years.

Even though early gout attacks can be successfully treated, monosodium urate crystals still remain inside joints and cause low grade chronic inflammation. This causes damage to the joints.

As acute intermittent gout continues, the attacks become more frequent and tend to last longer. Other joints may become involved as well. The length of attacks can vary. Mild attacks last between a few hours up to a few days. Severe attacks can last many weeks. Obviously, the quicker the attacks can be diagnosed and treated, the shorter the attacks will last.

As further progression takes place, the intercritical period is no longer symptom free.

This has now become the stage of chronic gout. Patients have chronic stiffness and pain in many joints. When gout affects multiple joints, it can be mimic other types of arthritis. In fact when it affects multiple joints in a symmetric manner, it can be confused with rheumatoid arthritis. Significant joint damage and kidney damage can occur now.

Patients with chronic gout often have other associated conditions such as obesity, elevated blood levels, diabetes, and hypertension. This constellation of co-morbid conditions is referred to as the "metabolic syndrome."

Treatment of gout consists of aborting the acute attack as well as dealing with the consequences of uric acid overload by using medications that can suppress uric acid production.

Best Treatment For Arthritis

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States. It can occur at any age, and literally means pain within a joint. Arthritis is an umbrella term for a range of conditions which cause pain and swelling of the joints. Arthritis is a condition that occurs in various joints in the body, especially in the knees, hips and spine. It can affect any joint, but the shoulder is affected infrequently. When arthritis occurs the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones making up the joint breaks down and often flakes off into the joint. The joint becomes swollen and stiff and the lining tissue of the joint (the synovium) becomes overgrown. Frequently, spurs will develop around the margins of the joint and can, sometimes, break off inside.

These conditions occur as a result of damage or wear and tear on the body and are more prevalent over time. The body is a superb piece of machinery which works very well on a daily basis but like any machine, is prone to niggles and complications over time. One of these problems is arthritis.

The pain can vary from mild to very severe, depending upon many factors, including the severity of the disease, the type of arthritis. The condition may occur spontaneously or as a late result of previous trauma, such as fracture or dislocation. It also may occur as a result of an inflammatory disease such as rheumatoid arthritis.

What causes arthritis and how do you know if you have it?

Although it is thought that the sufferer's genetics play an important role in the development of this disease, unfortunately, the exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis has not yet been identified; what is known is that when it occurs, the body's immune system suddenly turns against itself destroying the tissues found in and around the joints. This is why the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can include extreme pain at the joints (this normally occurs in pairs, for example - both elbows, both knees, etc.).

Arthritis is on the increase, and the statistics show that this figure is growing fast. Therefore an understanding of what arthritis is and what the signs are is important, so that sufferers can get an early diagnosis and implement relevant lifestyle changes before the symptoms become too serious.

If you have a joint which becomes stiff, feels heavy and fatigues easily, then arthritis may be present. If you are unlucky and the doctor informs you that you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, the news can be quite devastating. However, understanding this disease is one way that you could come to terms with it, so that you know what to expect and can work out a plan of action to control it in the best manner you can.

Arthritis also called rheumatoid arthritis, shouldn't be confused with the term "rheumatism", which has taken on the meaning of any aches or pains related to aging, or weather. Some studies have demonstrated a link between arthritis and certain weather conditions with low barometric pressure and high humidity. There is a theory that low pressure systems, usually associated with damp or rainy conditions, could cause joints to swell. The swelling causes stiffness of the joints, as well as pain. High humidity may have an effect through other mechanisms.

We know that arthritis symptoms can be worse when the muscles around the joint aren't strong or supple enough. Cold weather stiffens muscles, so this may also worsen arthritis symptoms. Each person is different in how weather can affect them. Some people say they can predict rain based on their arthritis, and others say that they feel worse during or after a storm. This simply shows that the correlation between weather and arthritis is poorly understood.

So What Is The Best Treatment For Arthritis?

Although there is no cure for arthritis; there are treatment options available. Many advocate the benefits of natural, chemical and drug free treatments to ease pain.

Hand Surgery - A Useful Solution to Get Rid of Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis can be extremely painful and make every day activities become increasingly difficult and frustrating to deal with. It can strike at any age, but most commonly begins near the age of 40. There still is not a single cause that can be pinpointed, nor any guaranteed prevention methods. In fact, it usually isn't even detected until symptoms are already visible.

There are medications available that can help relieve the pain and there are some that can help stop the rapid progression of this disease; however, rheumatoid often causes major deformities of the hand, making mobility severely restricted. In these cases, sometimes the best answer is hand surgery.

Signs of rheumatoid arthritis, which most commonly occurs in the hands but can also affect the feet and other joints, usually begin with noticeable inflammation of the area. Most people find themselves waking up feeling stiffness or pain that lasts for up to an hour.

As arthritis progresses, the joints continue to deteriorate, making movement increasingly difficult and eventually causing deformation. The fingers often become twisted at odd angles although there is no one single pattern that may occur.

For some patients, if caught early on medication may be enough to treat symptoms; however, very severe and late stage rheumatoid arthritis can often benefit from surgery. Many people are able to return back to their former jobs or continue to do hobbies they enjoyed in the past that have become too painful or difficult to continue due to complications, such as art and exercise.

If you find that arthritis is adversely affecting your life and causing great physical pain as well as emotional distress, you may want to seek a consultation about possibly undergoing operation.

Hand surgery will vary depending on your specific problems or deformity, but commonly the tendons will be repaired, reconnected back properly so the fingers and hand can regain normal functioning and movement once again. If the joints have been significantly damaged, these may be replaced with prosthetics to improve aesthetic appearance as well as functionality.

Many patients find that their pain has been greatly reduced following procedure, the appearance of the hand is much more natural, and its functions are restored to a much better condition.

There are risks and complications involved with surgery, including infection, bleeding, blood clots, loss of sensation, and no improvement in the condition. Since this procedure has the potential to decrease mobility further, you should carefully consider all options. Most patients will find operation provides some degree of relief, much of the results depend on the preexisting state of the tendons and joints.

Surgeons differ on when during the progression of surgery is best performed, so you may want to consult with one as soon as you are diagnosed and research a few different views before making your own, well-informed decision.

Your general practitioner may be able to offer you referrals to specialists, and you will most likely want to visit with several before choosing which you feel most comfortable with.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Coping With the Pain of Ankle Arthritis

Patients who suffer from "ankle arthritis" are actually dealing with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis which has settled in the ankle joints. A lot of pressure is put on ankle joints, because they bear the brunt of the entire weight of the body. When you pile all of your weight on sore joints and take a step, there's bound to be pain. What's worse, ankle joints are ball joints which rotate in all directions, so the cartilage will deteriorate even faster than in other joints.

Ankle Pain Stemming from Other Causes

Never just assume that any pain you have in your ankles and feet is being caused by arthritis. These pains can be caused by many different things, including lower back and hip problems. Before just shrugging your shoulders and thinking, "Its only arthritis", make an appointment with your doctor for an exam. Only then will he be able to tell what's causing your infirmity.

The rarer diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis can be made by taking a simple blood test. If you are diagnosed with the more common osteoarthritis, it may mean that you'll be facing a regimen of intensive treatments for the rest of your life.

Sprained ankles are fairly common and cause sufferers a lot of pain, even more so that an actual break. To treat a sprain, doctors will prescribe 'RICE'. No, not the stuff you eat. In this case RICE means:
o Rest - and give your ankle a chance to heal.
o Ice Compression - use cold compresses to reduce inflammation and pain.
o Elevation - keep the leg raised to lessen swelling and pain.

You may be able to tell if you have ankle arthritis by watching for the following symptoms:
o Recurring pains without a reason
o Swelling and stiffness suddenly occurring
o Pain remedies won't stop the pain and stiffness
o A big toe that's very painful and wants to turn to the side
o Bunions that hurt badly even when not being touched

When a person first develops ankle arthritis, simple OTC pain medications will probably be all the treatment needed. The disease is incurable, though, and will progress over time. It may get to a stage where your doctor wants to treat the condition much more aggressively.

If you've tried everything looking for relief from arthritis pain, you may want to do what many others have done, and try some form of home remedy. Doctors and the FDA frown on such practices as herbal medicines and yoga, but there are a lot of people who swear by the treatments claiming they have stopped the progression of the disease and even caused some improvement.

Arthritis Treatment: Stem Cells And Scaffolds For the Treatment Of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis affecting more than 20 million Americans. It is a disease due to disordered cartilage.

Normal cartilage in the young healthy adult consists of a matrix constructed of a mixture of proteins and sugars (proteoglycans), water, as well as collagen. Within this matrix sit chondrocytes, cells that actually manufacture the matrix they sit in. Picture a bowl of gelatin with grapes sitting inside the gelatin and that is what cartilage looks like.

Under normal situation, cartilage is capable of withstanding both compressive forces as well as shear forces. It deforms when loads are placed on it and then rapidly expands to its normal contour once the load has been removed.

When cartilage is damaged as a result of trauma, injury, or other means, a change occurs in the normal functioning of cartilage. Chondrocytes begin to elaborate destructive enzymes; the underlying bone begins to deform, and the lining of the joint, the synovium, begins to produce cytokines, protein messengers that stimulate inflammation.

The end result is the gradual wearing away of cartilage accompanied by chronic inflammation, and deformity related to abnormal mechanics of the joint.

To date, the treatment of osteoarthritis has been palliative only. Symptomatic relief with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), physical therapy, and joint injections of either corticosteroid or hyaluronic acid have been among the measures employed.

The rapid development of stem cell science has provided a glimmer of hope that the treatment of osteoarthritis will also include the ability to restore cartilage integrity.

A caveat: The proper application of stem cells is not merely injecting stem cells into a joint and hoping for the best.

Multiple attempts by various laboratories have searched for a method of introducing stem cells along with a scaffold to enable stem cell propagation in an organized fashion that will best stimulate cartilage regeneration. A whole new branch of basic science, termed "tissue engineering" has been used to describe these ventures.

An excellent review of the current state of the science was published by the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.
(Willerth SM, Sakiyama-Elbert SE. Combining stem cells and biomaterial scaffolds for constructing tissues and cell delivery.)

The authors reviewed the literature regarding types of scaffold materials that had been studied.

These included natural biomaterials such as collagen, fibrin, silk, sugars, algae cell walls, hyaluronan, and chitin as well as synthetic platforms such as various polymers, peptides, and ceramics.

These scaffolds are generally "seeded" with growth factors that stimulate stem cell multiplication and division while protecting the stem cells in an undeniably hostile environment, the arthritic joint.

Currently, the use of autologous stem cells in clinical medicine requires the use of fat as a matrix scaffold. When combined with growth factors from blood components, the environment simulates the biomaterial scaffold models described above.