Saturday, August 24, 2013

Treat Your Arthritis With Miraculous Homeopathy

Skeleton, the body frame, the attached muscles, ligaments and sheaths form the basic structure of human beings. So, the disorders associated with these parts form the biggest malady in human beings.

Back: There is a statistical record that the disorders of back are the commonest cause of sickness related absence from work. Back problems can be roughly divided into:

1) Disorders related to vertebral column

2) disorders related to spinal musculature.

How Homoeopathy helps?

Homoeopathic remedies help to tackle the root cause of the disorder. They alleviate the pain as well as prevent further damage to the stressed ligaments, muscles and bones.

In cervical spondylosis, there is spinal disc degeneration in cervical, i.e., neck region. The symptoms may include neck pain, giddiness etc. Remedies like Rhus tox, Lachananthes, Gelsemium, etc. along with certain neck exercises can avoid inconvenient neck belts.

In case of lumbago (low back pain) one must rule out spinal pathology, kidney stones, white discharge in women due to pelvic inflammatory disease, prostate pathologies and chronic fatigue syndrome or paraspinal musculitis. The treatment must be directed to tackle the cause. For example, women who have undergone caesarean section with spinal anaesthesia often complain of lumbago (low back pain). Remedies like Hypericum, Ledum pal etc. help them to get rid of it. Other remedies like Sepia, kali carb, Rhus tox, Arsenicum album, Lucopodium etc. help to relieve lumbar pathologies.

Arthritis of various joints: Arthritis is an inevitable degenerative process that affects various joints with age.

1) Shoulder pain: Though there can be various causes of shoulder pain, the most common are traumatic, degenerative or inflammatory in origin. Remedies like Ferrum met, Sanguinaria, Arnica, etc. are helpful particularle in shoulder pain.

2) Hand and wrist pain: Remedies like Ruta, Actea spicata, Kalmia, etc. act particularly in wrist pathologies.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that mainly occurs as a result of aging process. It affects different joints including hip, knee, joints of hand, etc. There is aching type of pain usually provoked by the use of the joint. As the disease progresses, there can be limitation of movements and in later stages, there can be deformities.

Homoeopathic medicines like Ruta, Pulsatilla, Rhus tox, etc, act in 3 steps.

1) Alleviate pain

2) Arrest further progress of the disease and

3) Revert the pathology to certain extent. (Depending upon the individual response to drugs)

In Rheumatoid arthritis, RA factor, i.e., rheumatoid factor is positive. If it is an early rheumatoid arthritis, Homoeopathic remedies are capable of curing it completely. In later stages when deformities set in, Homoeopathic remedies arrest further damage and revert them to some extent. At least with these remedies, without any side effects, patients can carry out day-to-day activities without any hassles!

Arthritis Pain Relief - The Diet That Worked For Me

Arthritis sufferers today are continually seeking relief from their arthritis pain. I got rid of my arthritis symptoms and arthritis pain years ago by making a change in my diet and lifestyle.

Arthritis pain is most usually experienced whenever a stiff or swollen joint is used. Arthritis is usually found in the joints of the fingers, feet, knees, hips, and spine. In osteoarthritis, any one or more of the affected joints can experience a progressive loss of cartilage, which is the slippery material that cushions the ends of bones.

The combination of the collagen meshwork and high water content tightly bound by proteoglycans creates a resilient, slippery pad in the joint, which resists the compression between bones during muscle movement. Cartilage is the slippery tissue that coats the ends of the bones. Cartilage contains a high percentage of water and decreases with age.

An inflammatory response causes cytokines to gather in injured areas and cause inflammation and damage to body tissue and cells. It's known to play a role in a systemic form of arthritis - rheumatoid arthritis, and other muscle and joint problems associated with autoimmune diseases. Aging cells could be a significant factor in the development of arthritis and specifically osteoarthritis. Although osteoarthritis generally does go along with aging, osteoarthritic cartilage is chemically different from normal aged cartilage.

Natural arthritis treatment is usually a better choice - it's non-invasive and usually anti-inflammatory if living plant foods are consumed. I know quite a few people who are treating and relieving their arthritis pain by drinking tart cherry juice made from a concentrate; make sure it's the tart kind. Some of the foods and beverages to avoid that are inflammatory are: caffeine, salt, sugar, meat, dairy products, additives, soft drinks, white flour, white rice, alcoholic beverages, fast food, processed vegetable oils, refined, packaged and processed food.

Many people have told me that going off of dairy products and foods containing gluten, like wheat, barley and rye especially, relieved them of arthritis pain entirely. An acidic diet, that is any foods that are not alive, is considered to be inflammatory to one's joints. Try avoiding seven of the eight most allergic foods - wheat, which is the most allergenic, corn, eggs, milk, peanuts, fish and shellfish.

If you're not already doing so, make a big effort to change your diet. Watch your diet closely - load-bearing joints are affected by excessive weight; hips, knees, feet and spine.

Many people, including one well-known professional golfer, still wear copper bracelets and swear by them. And a recent study in Great Britain touted the beneficial effects of cod liver oil in osteoarthritis for relieving pain and stiffness, and beginning the reversal of the destruction of joint cartilage within 24 hours.

Stretching and warming up the joints should always be the first step in your exercise routine to make your joints more flexible. But be careful in the morning; you may need an hour or more of moving around first; you can start by moving your limbs around in bed a few minutes before you get out of bed. If you have pain and swelling in your fingers, try squeezing Thera-putty which is made for this purpose, or exercising them with two chime balls. Even the lightest exercise can go a long way to maintaining your joint mobility and overall good health. Fight arthritis through lots of movement and exercise!

The important exercises for arthritis include: range-of-motion exercises, isometrics, and some weight-bearing exercises. For arthritic fingers, a good exercise is to put your finger tips together, press hard and release, then repeat several times. Exercise all your affected joints every day, to keep them fluid and flexible.

Once you become completely informed about arthritis you'll be able to plan an arthritis treatment program that's right for you - natural or conventional or a combination of both. And only you know which arthritis treatments are best for you. Be aware that the use of pain relievers like NSAIDs or COX-2 inhibitors do not halt the progress of osteoarthritis and may even hasten the onset; additionally the side effects may outweigh any benefits.

But changing my diet totally to a raw diet of plant foods - that is fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds, stopped all my arthritis pain and stopped the damage to my joints to this day. The biggest secret to arthritis pain relief is a change in the diet; eat plant foods that are alive not cooked. Your treatment plan should include an anti-arthritis diet, movement, exercise, and a positive mental attitude. The right diet may stop the progression of your arthritis and stop the pain that goes with it.

Coming to Terms With Crippling Arthritis

The first hurdle is getting past the shock of hearing that diagnosis. Still today, when medical science has wrought huge improvements in the treatment and management of RA, the news comes as a shock. Even the doctors who must deliver that news are burdened by the knowledge of what lies ahead for their patients.

I will never forget seeing the expression on my rheumatologist's face one day when I asked what was troubling him and got this reply: 'The young man who left before you - I've just had to diagnose him.' Another day, I asked how he felt about a little boy out in the waiting room, and the experienced specialist told me: 'It's better with children, in a way. They've never known what it's like without RA. They accept it more easily than adults.'

  • Let me repeat here the Good News: the new medications, used early and in the correct dosage, have been proved to 'stop RA in its tracks.' That is to say, the destructive progression of the disease is slowed, although nobody in Medicine talks of a 'cure.' At least, not yet.

  • Research goes on, but funding is not so easily raised for:

  • a disease that is still seen as 'only affecting old people'

  • one which can't help but trigger the public's 'Compassion Fatigue' because of

  • its stop-and-start cycle of remission and relapse,combined with

  • its confusing jumble of symptoms, and

  • its lack of any clear prediction of a limit - the 'sentence length' a judge would hand out to the condemned in a court of law.

We, who know this condition at first hand, or through caring for someone we love who is afflicted, can tell our own stories of coping with it, and help others to understand it more. I've been persuaded to 'come out' for that reason so here's my personal recollection:

Like anyone who has been there, I vividly remember the day I first heard that news. As an energetic 25-year-old mother, actively involved with the community affairs of our small country town, the diagnosis shocked me. My invariable reaction to a crisis situation set in. Under cover of an icy-cool, businesslike manner, I held down the dread that I feared would overwhelm me if I let it show. In a brisk way, I asked: 'Well, how do we fix it?'

The doctor was very young, a new graduate, acting as locum for the regular GP, but he wasn't fooled. Rising from his chair, he walked around his desk to perch on the edge of it as he stared gravely at me. In all the years that followed, I came to know he was the only doctor who told me the unvarnished truth. What he said that day was: 'We can give you medications to deal with inflammation and help with the pain. But in reality, there's not much we can do until you are crippled. Then, surgery comes into it.'

My only clear memory, after leaving that office, was of sitting on the kitchen stool back home, wondering how I could break the news to my husband. He knew about the beloved grandmother I used to visit after she became confined to bed with this thing the doctors called RA. Through the devoted care of her younger daughter, my aunty Dorothy and her husband, my uncle Ranald, my grandmother survived for eight years. All of them lived from that bed.

  • For anyone newly diagnosed, there are a number of issues: shock, fear, dread of future disablity and incapacitation.

Everyone will deal with this first stage according to their innate character, and each of us will do it differently. If we're lucky enough, we may have good friends and family standing by as we come to terms with what's happened. Our expectations of life, any plans we had made, are now changed, forever. But we have to do that part of it - the coming to terms - on our own.

Once again, my hands have reached their limit of endurance at the keyboard, so I ask for you to excuse me until next time, when I will pass along some of the strategies that have worked best for me - and I'm sure will help you, too - in dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Fight Cancer, Help Rheumatoid Arthritis and Prevent Heart Disease - How Olives Can Help

It seems the olive tree predates us all. One of the earliest known references to it dates back more than 4000 years. Olives have been found in Egyptian tombs from 2,000 years BC. Here are some very good reasons why fresh black olives should be included in our healthy diets.

Olives are a good all natural source of dietary fibre. They're also rich in vitamin E a noted antioxidant. Olives seem to protect against breast cancer because they contain substances called poly phenols that are believed to help us to ward off cancer. Poly phenols give the olive its taste and aroma. They are good for digestion and even have anti-ageing properties.

Olives contain mono-unsaturated fatty acids which act as heart protectors, they have a good amount of vitamins A, E, D and K, and provide relief for rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Olives are rich in good fats, especially oleic acid, an omega-9 mono unsaturated fatty acid. They are also excellent sources of minerals (potassium, calcium, phosphorous, zinc, iron), vitamins and beta-carotene, flavanoids, and fibre.

People who regularly consume Olives were found to have a lower rate of cancer, especially breast cancer. Studies show that women who eat Olives more than once a day have a 45 percent reduced risk of developing breast cancer. Women living in countries bordering the Mediterranean, particularly Greece, Spain and Italy, are only about half as likely to die of breast cancer as women in Northern Europe and the United States.

Those who include fresh olives daily in their diets tend to have a decreased incidence of coronary heart disease and certain cancers. The mono unsaturated fatty acid content of olives can help to lower LDL (the "bad" cholesterol) levels and it also prevents the build up of dangerous arterial plaque on artery walls.

Black olives contain iron and have very few calories. Olives are thought to have laxative qualities and to stimulate the appetite and aid the liver.

Ripe, black olives are the healthiest, particularly those cured in water or with sea salt. Green, unripe olives do not have the same level of mineral content and also might be treated with lye. Ripe black olives contain high amounts of heart-healthy, oleic acid which is also thought to have rejuvenating qualities.

Rheumatoid Arthritis - 6 Tips To Fight The Pain

Living with rheumatoid arthritis can be a very painful affair. It might mean living with and enduring chronic pain, fatigue and joint stiffness for years. It can even make you miserable for the rest of your life!

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease where the white blood cells attack healthy tissues, specifically the joints and cartilages, for no apparent reason. If you happen to be afflicted with this disease, you might be in for a very difficult time. But as with all other diseases, you can adopt several measures to help ease the pain brought by the symptoms of this crippling disease. Here are a few suggestions that may help you in handling the pain when a rheumatoid arthritis attack is in the offing:

Live a healthier lifestyle. It is never too late to start living healthy. Losing weight can be good for your joints - the less you weigh, the lesser the pressure on the joints and hence, you will feel less pain. So, start eating a healthy diet and get enough sleep to keep your weight at a healthier range.

Pop in a pill to reduce the pain - No matter at what stage your rheumatoid arthritis might be in, taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen may help keep the pain and the inflammation under control. However, keep in mind that all drugs have a tendency to cause certain side effects. So, take caution in taking these drugs for they might just increase your risks of developing certain heart problems and may lead to gastrointestinal bleeding. Your best bet? Take acetaminophen. It can effectively do the job without the risks!

Stretch those joints! Stretching is an important part of any exercise routine because it greatly enhances your flexibility. When doing your stretches, stop whenever you feel a mild discomfort and hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds before proceeding.

Try weight lifting - Making exercise a regular part of your routine may bring you tons of benefits. Performing moderate exercises such as weight lifting and aerobics can help ease mild to moderate rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. In this case, weight lifting is an ideal exercise since it improves your flexibility, strength and balance thereby allowing you an increased capability in handling the symptoms of the disease.

Before doing your lifts, don't forget to do some stretching exercises. Start with 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions. You can even begin your training without using any weights at all! Weights may be gradually added as your routine progresses. Lift the weights slowly and evenly to prevent doing any more damage to the joints and cartilages. Take things easy. Take a rest when your joints flare up to avoid adding any more strain to your already aching joints.

Try alternative therapy - Some people swear by the positive results of aqua therapy and Tai Chi in relieving the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Just remember to find a qualified practitioner before embarking on these routines. And as always, consult with your doctor first before doing any exercises.

Strive to learn more about the disease - Knowledge is power. To increase your fighting chances against rheumatoid arthritis, try to learn as much as you can about this disease. A large number of online as well as offline sources can give you all the information that you might need. When in doubt, ask your doctor to provide you with some reference on where to look for additional help.

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Joint Pain and Inflammation

When Your Joints Say No!

You may ignore the stiffness in your joints until one morning your hands resemble a claw and your knees or elbows ache when you try to straighten them. You may continue to ignore what your body is telling you until you bend over to tie your shoes or wash your feet in the shower and your back remains in that bent over position.

When your joints say no to you, your life, once active, becomes a passive retreat. This is not a sign of entering the golden years. It's simply a message from your body to simply take a closer look at your lifestyle and nutritional habits. This message can save you from more potentially harmful diseases.

Toxic food elements in what you presently eat, along with excess stress, can cause joint inflammation, pain and a jarring halt to every day simple motion. When your joints say no, you may have Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic condition of inflammation of the joints that disturbs every part of your body, including your emotional state. The word itself means inflammation (itis) of the joints (arth).


Symptoms may include joint stiffness, pain ranging from dull to severe, weakness, fatigue and low-grade fever.


Scientific studies and an array of evidence have led to the conclusion that Rheumatoid Arthritis is a reaction in which certain antibodies within the body attack our own joints. Investigations of the culprit have led to speculation ranging from lifestyle to nutrition. The possibilities of interfering factors include food allergies, and bacterial and viral invasions caused by an imbalance in the bodies normal intestinal flora.

In most Rheumatoid Arthritis cases, digestive disorders including constipation contribute to the body's imbalance. If constipated, you may be absorbing toxic antigens through the intestinal wall that eventually become lodged in the joint tissue.

Constipation develops as the result of consuming empty foods such as refined white flour, refined white sugar, and foods with artificial additives and preservatives. These refined substances cause a sticky plaque on the lining of the intestinal wall as well as on the lining of blood vessels.

The consumption of refined products along with such products as coffee and alcohol create plaque and leach calcium from your bones. This calcium finds its way into weakened joints in the forum of calcium deposits, causing arthritic effects.

The refining processes of food strips beneficial nutrients that balance the foods' nourishing qualities and digestive abilities. Use of cows' dairy products cause an excess of mucous congestion and yeast products can aggravate and imbalance the normal intestinal flora, causing digestive disturbances.

Prescriptive Medicine

Many physicians prescribe drugs that block digestive secretions as a way to decrease pain in the stomach due to ulcers and an uncoordinated release of digestive juices. However, this method of symptom relief causes additional digestive disturbances that can lead to constipation and malnutrition due to poor and improper digestion.


A simple digestive enzyme supplement may be all you need to resume proper digestion and a good acidophilus product will restore your intestinal flora. Prolonged use of chemical antacids that decrease digestive secretions may damage normal secretory processes. Most nutritional experts agree that enzyme supplementation makes more sense when dealing with this type of disorder.

Friday, August 23, 2013

5 Tips to Reduce Arthritis Swelling and Pain

Arthritis swelling is just one of the symptoms of this chronic disease. It's also one of the ways to find out if you really have arthritis or a related disease. Pain and swelling also result in less range of motion for the limbs affected.

There are several ways to combat this condition:

1. Exercise:
Although exercise can often mean more pain at the beginning, it's really important because only through exercise can you increase the range of motion of the limbs and joints affected. Otherwise, you will find that you are becoming less and less flexible. If you're concerned that regular exercise is too painful, then try yoga for starters. This gentle exercise routine is excellent in improving flexibility. Afterwards you can move onto include regular exercise.

2. Warmth (possibly cold too):
Arthritis is a disease that affects people differently. Usually applying a warm pack to the affected area brings relief. However, if this doesn't work, try an ice pack and see what effect that has. If you have any problems with your circulation, then an ice pack isn't for you. It's trial and error but either warm or cold, this could definitely help reduce swelling and pain.

3. Ultrasound:
This produces gentle waves that penetrate deeply into your sore tissues and gives them warmth. It has been known to reduce pain and swelling as it increases blood flow, thus giving your body more oxygen.

4. Diet:
If you are overweight, make an effort to reduce those extra pounds. The more you weigh, the more pressure is put on your joints, so it makes perfect sense to relieve that pressure by reducing your weight. Also have a good look at the foods you eat in relation to your arthritis swelling and pain. Often zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant and even coffee produce more symptoms and pain. Just be more aware of what you eat and drink and how it affects your body and then reduce or eliminate the intake of that particular food or drink item.

5. Get Another Treatment Option - Drugs Or Natural Remedies
Visiting your doctor is always a good idea. He may prescribe a different medication for you to try. You can also visit your health food store and ask them if they can advise any supplements you can take to help with your pain and inflammation.

As you can see, you don't just have to put up with arthritis swelling and pain, there are often simple ways you can help yourself.

Neck Arthritis - Its Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Medicine has many names for neck arthritis. Doctors refer to this condition as cervical spondylosis or degenerative disk disease. But whichever name they have for it, it is very important that the nature of this disease is made known so that the proper way of treating it may be carried out.

Neck arthritis has a lot of causes. Although it is very hard for doctors to tell a patient exactly what made them acquire the disease, they can certainly instruct them what to do whenever the diseases strikes.

The Symptoms of Neck Arthritis

You probably have neck arthritis if you are suffering from severe neck and shoulder pains, as these are the body parts that neck arthritis commonly targets. Although such pains are concentrated in and around these areas, it is not impossible that you are going to suffer from episodes of headaches as well.

Aside from such unbearable pains, it is also common that neck arthritis patients experience a certain level of stiffness around their necks as well. This stiffness is characterized by the person's inability to bend or turn their necks and heads from one side to another.

Since neck arthritis affects the shoulders, the pain may possibly shoot down from the tips of the shoulder down in to a certain part of the arm. Along with that pain, there would also be weakness and numbness in the arm area. These two sensations are caused by neck arthritis. It is not a different type of problem altogether, although the arms are far from the neck. There are also instances that the symptoms are felt on both arms and cause the hands to be clumsy.

Unfortunately, the pain doesn't always end in the arms alone. More often than not, it also goes down into the legs as well. The same type of pain is felt. A decreased level of sensation and vibration will also be experienced around the leg and foot area, whenever neck arthritis attacks.

Another noticeable symptom of neck arthritis would be problems with urination. There are instances that the patients of this disease urinate a little too often than they used to. Some, on the other hand, have the need to urinate immediately. This is the reason why urinary incontinence in patients with neck arthritis is a little too common.

The Causes of Neck Arthritis

Neck arthritis is commonly caused by the changes in a person's cervical spine. A person's body changes as he ages. And this is the main reason why the instances of neck arthritis are rather common to elderly people. Following the same principle, calcium build ups and bony growths can also be the cause of this disease.

When a person's body changes, more particularly in these areas, certain nerves are affected. Some of them are inflamed, compressed, or pinched. These are the main reasons why the symptoms of neck arthritis show. Blood flow may also be affected due to this disease.

Treating Neck Arthritis

The primary treatment for neck arthritis is to restrict the movement of the neck. To do this, a cervical collar may be used. In certain cases that a collar is not sufficient to do the job, a brace has to be fitted around the neck. These devices become necessary to treat the disease.

But if mere treatment is not enough, there might be a need to perform a surgery. Usually, surgery becomes an option to the patients that complain of severe and unbearable pains. And if there are notable neurological deficits, surgery is very likely to be suggested by the doctor as well. Neurological deficits are characterized by difficulty in walking, total weakness of the hands, and problems in the bladder area. Any determined compression in the spinal cord is also enough reason to go for surgery.

These are the basic facts associated with arthritis in the neck. Knowing all of these would cause people to understand the disease better and act accordingly. Neck arthritis really is a very serious disease. Therefore, it has to be addressed the moment it is diagnosed.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Cure in Your Mind

We used to think that the cure to Rheumatoid Arthritis was either non-existent or totally relied on the use of heavy pharmaceuticals. Today the approach to removing symptoms of this arthritic disease or even sending it completely into 'remission' is very different.

Whilst many still rely on pharmaceuticals to treat certain symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis, such as inflammation, pain, swelling and stiffness, some are resorting more and more to the use of natural cures and this is bearing increasing success. The details of which natural supplements work best are on this further down this article.

Meanwhile, I want to explore what was suggested to me years ago, namely that the mind-boggling onset of Rheumatoid Arthritis (nobody in my family, immediate or distant, ever suffered from this disease) was in my case a psychological reaction to certain events taking place in my early teens (a nasty parents' divorce and an even nastier 'aftermath' in which my whole family ruptured and became highly dysfunctional). Don't get me wrong; it wasn't 'all in the mind': the symptoms were all there and the damage was real; I had X-Rays and other tests done at the early age of fourteen and they all showed I was suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis.

At the time it was only in my hands, but I was already beginning to have difficulty playing the piano or even writing. When I left home and went to University (and therefore left the dysfunctional family situation I was living in), my symptoms (which had not been treated at all) suddenly disappeared. Doctors believed that I had been suffering from Juvenile Arthritis and that it was perfectly normal for the symptoms to recede years later. I therefore went on with my life thinking the disease was gone.

But, years later, when I started visiting members of my family for prolonged periods, I began to suffer from severe knee pain which, months later, almost prevented me from walking normally. The knee was swollen, inflamed, extremely painful day and night and no amount of painkillers worked at all. Then my right elbow started to feel very stiff and painful; I became desperate and was ready to try anything and everything. I went to a reputable homeopath, who was convinced that my Rheumatoid Arthritis was triggered by certain familial events which were affecting my mind; with homeopathic remedies aimed at treating repressed anger, psychological pain and resentment (as well as disappointment and abandonment), 3 months later my knee and elbow pain was gone and I was able to resume my very active lifestyle (I am an outdoors person, I love to hike, swim and cycle) in full. Not once did I take any painkiller or pharmaceutical. This means that, in my case at least, my homeopath was correct in diagnosing my Rheumatoid Arthritis as mind-based.

Top 5 Exercise Tips For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Let's admit it! Even if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or not, exercising is one of those hardly liked activities for many of us unless we become addicted to it and have plenty of time to spare at a gym. Ordinary people with busy lifestyles tend to come up with a million excuses not to exercise as opposed to the healthy requirement of needing regular exercise.

The biggest excuse for such ordinary people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis is to think that exercises are not a healthy option for their joints. If you are one such person, making the same excuse; you are not to be blamed as it is quite reasonable to fear about your joints. But the truth of the matter is, regular exercise is a dire need, even for those who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. However, not every type of exercise will save your day! So let's explore the top 10 exercise tips that will make you fit without causing further damage to your body:

Tip 1: Stretching is the foremost safest type of exercise for people with rheumatoid arthritis. Starting your day off with stretching and progressing on to other types of physical exercises will boost your physical energy in a systematic way. Furthermore, stretching allows you to prepare your body for other types of exercises that will follow.

Tip 2: Similarly, Yoga has been recommended for a series of chronic illnesses, including rheumatoid arthritis. Yoga helps you improve in posture, introduces proper breathing techniques and allows flexibility. However, it is recommended to follow through a physician's advice on what type of yoga that you should practice as some postures may not support your current condition.

Tip 3: Tai Chi is one of the most effective alternative means of exercising recommended by the Arthritis Foundation that helps you improve mobility, relaxation and overall quality of life. This ancient methodology of using slow movements coupled up with mental concentration and breathing techniques are known to be very effective in relieving stiffness in arthritis sufferers.

Tip 4: Aerobics, commonly known as an aggressive method of exercise has now been formulated in to low impact movements to facilitate people suffering from arthritis. These movements put a very low impact on the joints and muscles therefore; people with rheumatoid arthritis can gain just the right amount of exercises needed. Low impact aerobics include riding on stationary bicycles, slow motion aerobic dances, water exercises and some walking.

Tip 5: Not quite so surprisingly, swimming is also good for rheumatoid arthritis, as it is for many other chronic conditions. In fact, swimming is one of the most effective means of exercise that you can practice because water supports your body while swimming giving away the lowest possible impact to muscles and joints.

Additionally to the top five tips presented herewith, stretching exercises are also recommended to stay healthy with rheumatoid arthritis. However, the type of stretching and the intensity up to which you exercise should be pre-agreed with your physician and a trained physiotherapist or trainer.

Arthritis: Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is the second major type of arthritis - exceeded in number of cases only by osteoarthritis. The type of arthritis known as rheumatoid is a very serious ailment caused by joint inflammation. This inflammation involves multiple nearby joints in a symmetrical pattern -- i.e., both sides of the body are affected.


It is not known what triggers the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. Regardless of the exact trigger, the result is an immune system that is geared up to promote inflammation in the joints and occasionally other tissues of the body.


The pain associated with the disease is at times so severe that it almost completely disables sufferers. It is significant of rheumatoid arthritis that affected joints frequently become red, swollen, painful, and tender. RA is known to affect women more often than men.


Rheumatoid arthritis advances in three stages:

1) Stage 1: This stage starts with painful swelling and stiffness of the joints.

2) Stage 2: In this stage, the pain aggravates and the bones and cartilage are severely affected thereby restricting the movement of the person altogether.

3) Stage 3: This is the chronic stage, which can be resistant to treatment


If you are a sufferer of rheumatoid arthritis, it is important that you seek treatment as early as you can, well BEFORE Stage 3 involvement. It is in your best interest to immediately consult a doctor, as soon as you have pain in the joints.


That's right -- don't wait for any other symptom to appear. Current treatment protocol dictates early treatment. Early treatment allows the rheumatoid arthritis sufferer to get help BEFORE joint deformity starts to limit physical activity and mobility. It also permits management of pain and improved physical function in a way that promotes greatest quality of life.


By seeking early treatment, you can reduce the severity of the disease's attack. It is advised to avoid treatment delay and to stringently follow treatment advice. Since there are a wide variety of treatment approaches, it is advocated that the RA sufferer be willing to be open-minded and flexible in selecting the modalities that can create highest individual success. Natural approaches that have proven effective for rheumatoid arthritis include: (a) stress-management techniques; (b) mindfulness meditation; (c) the remedies advocated by Edgar Cayce; and (d) consistent, regular exercise.

I urge you to seek early assistance and effective treatment for this debilitating disease. I invite you to seek help right now, today!

The Use Of Probiotic Supplements For Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis

It is not possible to diagnose the existence of rheumatoid arthritis beforehand. Although it is a hereditary disease, there are several factors, both environmental and biological, which may also trigger the onset of this debilitating disease. Similarly, the factors can be suppressed for sometime by the reversal of the relevant causes.

One of the most important and noteworthy causes of rheumatoid arthritis is the destruction of the gut bacteria which is healthy in a number of ways. Consuming too many antibiotics also leads to the disruption of friendly bacteria; emotional trauma is also one main cause. This is mainly due to the strong impact of stress on the gut. If these useful bacteria get imbalanced even once, it will take years to re-balance it. Furthermore, there must be something helpful and effective to fix this problem. If this re-balancing of gut bacteria takes place, it will initiate in lessening the symptoms and severity of rheumatoid arthritis. The only solution to fix this problem is to ensure intake of healthy bacteria through diet on a daily basis.

Foods containing live culture bacteria have healthy impact on the immune system of the body, which in turn prevents it from malfunctioning. Yoghurt containing live culture bacteria in it has a good deal of beneficial effects. There are an infinite number of sources which contain probiotics, and can also be artificially made by you without any difficulty. Thus, probiotics must be incorporated in your everyday diet. Dairy products are a good and easy source of probiotics. They can be consumed through yoghurt, kefir, and many other dairy products. Those who are not fond of dairy products can still get probiotic supplements through innumerable foods.

An important source of non-dairy probiotic supplement is available in most markets in the form of cultured coconut milk. Homemade cultured coconut milk, soy milk, and rice milk or fruit juice made from kefir grains is also a good source of probiotic supplements and as such, can be used for treating RA. Unpasteurised sauerkraut, sour pickles, vegetable ferments such as sour turnips, fermented radish, potato cheese are also healthy sources.

Probiotic food supplements are either made from an established culture which can be either bought or captured wild bacteria from the air such as sauerkraut, kim chee, sour pickles, other vegetable ferments, brines, and porridge. Thus, probiotic supplements are highly beneficial in balancing the gut flora and reversing the symptoms experienced by people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Arthritis and Back Treatment

Osteoarthritis (OA), Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), degenerative arthritis, osteophytes, arthrosis, spondylosis, hypertrophy, sclerosis, stenosis, sciatica, desiccation - and several other scary terms, all boil down to a single word - arthritis.

There are over 100 different forms of arthritis. The word comes from the Greek "arthro" for joint and the suffix "itis" indicating in pathology an inflammatory condition (bronchitis; gastritis; neuritis, etc.). So, arthritis means an inflamed joint. Inflammation itself is part of the complex biological response of vascular tissues evolved to help begin the healing process of any irritated or injured tissue, specifically by increased movement of white blood cells from the blood into the injured area. Regardless of the type of arthritis, the common symptoms for all arthritic disorders include varying levels of pain, swelling, and stiffness of the involved joints.

Diagnosis and treatment of a painful, swollen, and stiff joint depends upon its etiology (cause, origin). Rheumatoid arthritis is a disorder in which the body's own immune system starts to attack and destroy body tissues, not only the bone cells of the joints but also many other parts of the body. Gouty arthritis is a metabolic disorder resulting in a deposition of uric acid crystals into the joint causing inflammation typically of the first metatarsal or big toe joint. Even syphilis, a highly infectious bacterial STD, results in arthritic damage to joints in its later stages. Of course the treatment of each of these differs because immune system disorders, metabolic disorders, and infections are different causes, and there are many other types and causes of arthritis. However, the most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis which is sometimes referred to as "wear and tear" arthritis - a mechanical disorder, also requiring a different treatment. Any joint of the body is potentially subject to abnormal, repetitive, or excessive mechanical stress (injury) that could result in wear and tear to the cartilage and bone, although the weight bearing joints of the spine, hip, and knee are stressed most and are therefore most common. Osteoarthritis (OA) is also known as degenerative arthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD). When applied to the spine, use of these terms generally implies multiple osteoarthritic changes found at multiple vertebral levels.

Bone Spurs

It is easy to presume that if the bones are "catching" or "rubbing wrong" or any of the myriad of other phrases that patients use to describe the wear and tear they feel upon these joints that eventually the bone would wear down or wear away but, in fact, under mechanical stress the opposite occurs. Remember, bone is living tissue and like other living tissue such as the skin on the palm of a hand, for instance, it will build up when mechanically stressed. A buildup of skin cells we call a callous. Abnormal or excessive mechanical stress to bone causes it to respond in the same way as does skin - an initial inflammatory response followed by metabolic repair and a buildup of bone cells. A buildup of bone cells is called a bone spur or osteophyte. What confuses this issue is that arthritis (joint pain, swelling, and stiffness) caused by many immune disorders, metabolic disorders, and infectious diseases more often results in the net destruction of existing bone cells, not the formation of additional bone cells as occurs with mechanical stress. Regardless of the pathogenesis (cause) the resultant pain, swelling, and stiffness feel the same.

Obviously, a single bone cell or a single calcium molecule cannot be detected by x-ray but as the buildup progresses an area of density which shows up on x-ray as a bright whiteness is visible. Early on this is termed sclerosis (hardening), and is the same root word from which we get arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, but later as these calcium molecules continue to accumulate they eventually become numerous enough to form visible bone spurs or osteophytes. This buildup of bone where joints meet such as the facets at the back of the vertebra is termed arthrosis, and where ligament attaches to bone spondylosis. Often the supporting ligaments of the involved joints are themselves being stressed and rather than getting weaker as one might at first suppose they actually get stronger by the multiplication of these cells too which is called hypertrophy. All this is triggered by the inflammatory response resulting in varying levels of pain, swelling, and stiffness of the involved joints. Many different names that all boil down to a single word - arthritis, from the same cause - mechanical stress.

From Bad to Worse

Normal motion of the joint has already been restricted and is further inhibited by the patient's reluctance to force into motion (exercise) an already painful joint. Together this has a devastating effect on the spinal discs that depend upon normal motion which acts as a pumping action to circulate fluid through them. Less motion equals less pumping and the result is an insidious (gradual) drying out (desiccation) of the intervertebral disc(s). As the disc gets dryer and dryer it soon begins to lose height resulting in the vertebrae becoming closer together. A dry, thin disc can no longer adequately do its job of absorbing shock and allowing proper motion of the spinal segments compounding the stress upon the joint and accelerating the degenerative process. The space lost due to the thinning disc added to the thickening ligaments (hypertrophy) and growing calcium deposits results in a narrowing of the channels through which pass the spinal cord (in the central canal) and from which the spinal nerve roots exit (from the neural foramen). This narrowing is called spinal stenosis.

Before long the dry, brittle outside fibers (annular fibers) of the disc weaken and tear (annular tear) permitting the inside (nucleus) of the disc to bulge out (herniate or protrude) into the already narrowed channels resulting in nerve root compression (a pinched nerve). And now, there is not only pain, swelling, and stiffness of the involved spinal joints but also pain along the course of the pinched nerve (radiculopathy, neuritis, sciatica).

Spinal Decompression Treatment

In the past, a patient suffering from this degenerative process was usually given pain medications or injections, instructed to refrain from physical activities, referred for physical therapy, and when they weren't progressing they were sent for spinal surgery or simply told to learn to live with it. Since 2001 when the FDA finally approved non-surgical spinal decompression therapy, there is new hope for those who suffer from degenerative joint diseases. Spinal Decompression Therapy is a non-invasive, non-surgical treatment performed on a special, computer controlled table similar in some ways to an ordinary traction table. A single disc level is isolated and by utilizing specific traction and relaxation cycles throughout the treatment, along with proper positioning, negative pressure can actually be created within the disc. It works by gently separating the offending disc 5 to 7 millimeters creating negative pressure (or a vacuum) inside the disc to pull water, oxygen, and nutrients into the disc, thereby re-hydrating a degenerated disc and bringing in the nutrients needed to heal the torn fibers and halt the degenerative process. As the disc is re-hydrated the shock absorbing properties are restored and the stress on the joint is reduced and the inflammation subsides. Many times much of the lost height can be restored as well. Now a normal life can be resumed.

Natural Treatment For Arthritis - Some Natural Ways to Overcome the Pain

Arthritis is a common complaint among many people, most commonly the elderly, but it can affect younger people as well. There may be different types of arthritis but generally, arthritis involves pain, swelling or stiffness of the joints. Although there are medicines for this condition, it is helpful however to find some natural treatment for arthritis, which can at least help you avoid some side effects of medications.

Of course, you can do something about your arthritis. The first thing you can do is to know everything you can about the disease. As mentioned, there are different types of this disease and one of the most common types is the rheumatoid arthritis, which often affects the lining of the joints in the hands and feet that causes the swelling and the pain.

Aside from the pain and swelling in the joints, you may also feel fatigue and sometimes, it may come with fever. Weather changes may also aggravate your condition, especially during the cold months.

Another type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, but it commonly affects elderly people as the joints undergo wear and tear due to old age and those who have had injuries. If you are bothered by this painful condition, you can do something about it with some natural treatment for arthritis.

Massage is one thing that you can use as an alternative treatment to arthritis pain and swelling. It also helps you get rid of depression and stress which can help a lot in easing up the pain as well as in improving your immune system. To be able to make sure that you get the most out of your massage, it is important to get an expert massage therapist to be sure too.

Of course, watching your diet is also one natural treatment for arthritis. It is important to be informed about the foods that may aggravate your condition and thus, you should avoid them. Dairy products for example are among the foods that may not be friendly for arthritis sufferers. Caffeine, soft drinks as well as sugar may not also be good for your joint pains and swelling.

Acupuncture is also another known natural treatment for arthritis, also with acupressure. They are known to relieve you from the pain brought about by this condition. Both practices are of ancient Chinese origin and these have been practiced by many to relieve pain, get rid of stress and boost your mood. Acupuncture uses very fine needles while acupressure just simply uses the pressure of the fingers to stimulate those pressure points in the body.

There are also herbs and supplements that are used as treatment for this condition but even though they may come from natural herbs, it is always wise to check the label, seek expert advice and be extra careful in taking these supplements. It is always important to focus on having an overall healthy diet, enough rest, regular exercise and of course, maintain a healthy weight to be able to naturally avoid the pain of arthritis.

Indeed, a healthy lifestyle is very important to avoid unhealthy joints and promote a healthy body as a whole.

Physiotherapy in Osteo Arthritis

Role of Physiotherapy in Arthritis

The word 'Arthritis' literally means joint inflammation. The warning signs of arthritis are pain, swelling, joint stiffness, difficulty in moving one or more joints. Arthritis can be a life changing event which can affect your personal, social and work life unless it is well understood and treated in time.

There are 127 different kind of arthritis. The most common types are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is degenerative joint disease. It may be due to chronic wear and tear or due to injury.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which ones own immune system attacks cells in the joint capsule and associated chronic inflammation destroys cartilage, bone and ligaments, leading to deformity and disability. Physiotherapy plays a major role in treating both Osteo & Rheumatoid arthritis along with medicine or by itself.

Even though many other factors contribute the development of Osteo arthritis, the root cause may be deviation of normal body mechanics. By correcting the body mechanics the percentage of wear and tear can considerably reduced. Obesity, muscle wasting, poor muscle strength, prolonged standing and internal derangement of knee like ligament injury can also contribute to Osteo arthritis. Physiotherapist can assess these basic causes and helps to correct the pre disposing factors. If it is found and corrected early, Osteo arthritis can be controlled to a great extend. Some patients may need medicine along with Physiotherapy.

Major symptoms seen with Osteo arthritis are pain, restricted range of motion, swelling etc. Pain and swelling can be relieved with the use of hot packs or cold packs, Ultrasound therapy, laser therapy, use of TENS or interferential therapy, taping techniques etc. Range of motion and strengthening exercises can be given to achieve maximum functional independence at home and at work place.

Type of Exercise useful for Arthritic patients

1. Range of motion exercises: It helps to maintain normal joint movements and relieve stiffness. These are gentle stretching exercises which move each joint as far as possible in all directions. Normal daily house work or office work may not help to improve joint range of motion and are not a substitute for ROM exercise.

2. Strengthening Exercises: It helps to keep or increase the muscle strength, provide stability, support and protection to the joint, helps the joint to move more easily with less pain and helps to prevent deformity. Isometric, isotonic or isokinetic exercises can be used according to the condition of the patient. Isometric exercises involves tightening of muscle without joint movement which maintains muscle tone, prevents muscle wasting when joint range is impaired.

3. Endurance exercises: This helps to maintain cardiac fitness, ROM, to increase physical strength, to control body weight and to improve arthritic symptoms. Aerobic exercises like graded walking, use of bicycle or treadmill initially with the supervision of the physiotherapist may help to prevent complication.

How often people with arthritis should do Exercises?

ROM exercises can be done daily many times and should be done at least every other day. Strengthening exercises should be done every day unless you have severe pain or swelling in your joint and repeated daily.

Endurance exercises should be done 20 to 30 minutes at least 3 times a week unless you have severe pain or swelling in your joint. Before starting endurance exercises it is better to have a medical consultation to assess your medical fitness.

In case of rheumatoid arthritis prolonged medical treatment is required. Here Physiotherapy helps to maintain ROM, muscle strength and to prevent joint deformity. Once joint deformity is established the patient may develop severe ambulation problem. This can be prevented with medication and timely physiotherapy.

'Think positive about arthritis, Physiotherapist can guide you to lead a pain-free independent life'.

Can You Cure Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the leading debilitating diseases in the world caused by the inflammation of the joints in the specific parts of the body. The inflammation is caused by the body's auto immune system attacking the body itself.

The disease usually occurs earlier than that of osteoarthritis which is a degenerative disease that is caused by the normal wear and tear of the body. It is a chronic, inflammatory and autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack the joints. The extremely painful condition is the leading cause of the substantial loss of mobility.

Certain treatments have developed to prevent the progression of the disease that could worsen the joints. Drug medication is a traditional rheumatoid arthritis relief as well as the replacement strategy of surgeries. However, as people are becoming more aware of the general side effects of drug medication and the financial consideration of expensive surgical operations, natural ways to help ease the pain and cure the disease are often sought.

A pain management plan is one of the many ways modern man has discovered as rheumatoid arthritis relief. There are physicians who have invested much time and effort are now beginning to say that there are ways to have a pain-free life. Natural pain relief treatments of rheumatoid arthritis include massage, acupuncture, food supplements, including fish oil in the diet, simple exercises and heat applications and certain relaxation techniques.

In other cases where the chronic pain has greatly affected the emotional health and psychological condition of the person that cognitive behavioral therapy is used.

Natural supplements that have chondroitin and glucosamine sulfate which are natural ingredients that help draw fluid to the cartilage that helps joints move are effective and safe ways as rheumatoid arthritis relief. These chemicals are effectively absorbed at high levels which allow the joints to get more of the necessary nutrients to repair the cartilage and maintain its health. As dietary supplements they do not have side effects that drugs such as analgesics and cortisone-type drugs have.

The best thing that a person could do to determine the rheumatoid arthritis relief that should better suit him or her is by learning about rheumatoid arthritis, its cause and symptoms as well as the best available treatments. Some techniques may be a combination of the different strategies to relieve pain such as diet, exercise, therapy and massage.

Arthritis Treatment: Is There a Role for Sulfa Medicines in Treating Arthritis?

The approach to treating inflammatory forms of arthritis depends on several factors. These include the type of arthritis, the experience of the practitioner, the age of the patient, potential confounding factors such as allergies, length of time the patient has had the arthritis, previous drugs tried, and whether the drugs are to be used one at a time or "layered" on top of each other.

For example, a disease like rheumatoid arthritis demands aggressive treatment with a disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) such as methotrexate. Methotrexate tends to work well to slow disease. However, initiation of methotrexate is just the first step. This is quickly followed by either the addition of a biologic medicine or by adding other DMARDs.

In contrast, a disease like psoriatic arthritis may or may not respond to methotrexate. So a different disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug is required. And that's where a medicine like sulfasalazine has utility.

Sulfasalazine was manufactured originally by combining an antibiotic, sulfapyridine, with an anti-inflammatory drug 5-aminosalicylic acid. The latter, as the reader might surmise, is a form of aspirin.

This was done because many years ago it was felt that rheumatoid arthritis was an infectious disease so an antibiotic coupled with an anti-inflammatory drug made sense as a drug that would be useful to treat rheumatoid arthritis. And, it has been shown in a number of studies to be effective in rheumatoid arthritis acting as a DMARD. Its effects are relatively mild.

It is an oral drug taken daily. Roughly one-third of sulfasalazine is absorbed from the gut. The remainder is broken down into its component chemicals, sulfapyridine and 5-aminosalicylic acid. Sulfapyridine is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and the 5-aminosalicyclic acid is excreted.

Sulfasalazine (trade name, Azulfidine) has immunomodulatory effects on cells that propagate inflammation. Often sulfasalazine is combined with biologic therapy or it is sometimes combined with methotrexate and hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) or azathioprine (Imuran) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The exact use generally depends on the experience of the practitioner.

Where it seems to be more effective is in the other inflammatory forms of arthritis such as psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and certain forms of juvenile arthritis. Why this is, no one knows.

Sulfasalazine does have potential side effects including elevated liver function tests, bone marrow suppression, skin rashes, and lowered white blood cell count.

Because it is a sulfa based drug, it should not be used in patients with a sulfa allergy.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis - Early Diagnosis is Essential For Effective Treatment

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, also known as JRA, is considered a disease of the autoimmune system. Although no one cause has been determined as the cause of the disease in babies as young as six months to teens as old as 15, there are specific symptoms. An early diagnosis of these symptoms helps significantly in starting early treatment.

When pain, stiffness and swelling occurs in five or fewer joints of the body, the condition is called Oligoarticular JRA. This type of the disease is usually noticed because the iris of the eye becomes inflamed. Polyarticular Arthritis is the second type, more often affecting girls and causing swelling and pain in the small joints of the hand as well as the neck, hips, knees, ankles and feet. The third type of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis is systemic JRA and affects all of the body's joints with stiffness, pain and swelling, along with sudden high fevers and intermittent rashes.

If children complain of any of the symptoms of JRA, a complete medical examination by a physician is warranted. Tests may include x-rays, a complete blood count, examination of the bone marrow and tests that can determine whether or not the Rheumatoid factor or other antibodies are present in the blood, which is a distinguishing sign of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Once the symptoms have been diagnosed as being caused by some type of JRA, an effective treatment program can commence. This might include injections of corticosteriod medication directly into the body's joints, surgery, physical therapy or gentle exercise. Eating a diet rich in calcium to strengthen the bones has also been found to be effective in the treatment of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Arthritis Treatment: What TNF Inhibitors Are There for Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common inflammatory form of arthritis. It is a systemic autoimmune driven process that affects more than 2 million Americans.

While disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS) were our stalwarts through the 1980's and early 1990's, biologic drugs, specifically TNF inhibitors, have changed our whole way of looking at the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Using these drugs in combination with DMARDS, it has been possible to induce remission in many patients with RA.

TNF inhibitors block the effects of tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a protein messenger that drives the autoimmune process that causes the destructive potential of RA.

There are five TNF inhibitors that have been approved by the FDA. The first is Enbrel. This is a fusion protein with a receptor that binds to circulating TNF in the blood. By acting like a sponge it reduces the signs and symptoms of RA. It is generally best when used in combination with methotrexate. The drug is given by subcutaneous injection weekly.

Humira is a totally human monoclonal antibody directed against TNF. It also appears to be more effective when used in combination with methotrexate. It is administered by subcutaneous injection every two weeks.

Remicade is a chimeric antibody, meaning it's part human and part mouse. It's directed against TNF and also works best when given along with methotrexate. It is the only TNF inhibitor which is administered by intravenous infusion. Remicade can be given as often as every four to eight weeks.

Cimzia is a PEGylated TNF inhibitor. The pegylation keeps the drug around longer in the synovial tissue (joint lining). It's also given by subcutaneous injection once every two weeks.

Simponi is a human monoclonal antibody directed against TNF. It is given as a subcutaneous injection once a month.

Generally if a patient hasn't responded within twelve weeks, they are probably not going to respond. Also, some people respond initially but then begin to lose their response.

Patients who don't respond to one TNF inhibitor can be tried on another since some people respond to one and not the other.

There are many potential side effects that must be considered in patients treated with TNF inhibitors.

These include increased susceptibility to various infections, neurologic disorders, possible increased susceptibility to certain malignancies such as lymphoma, and many others. A much more in-depth discussion of potential risk factors is available on each manufacturer's website. Close observation and monitoring of patients taking these potent medicines is mandatory.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Energy Conservation For Our Patients Part 1

It is a common occurrence during the earlier stages of the rheumatoid arthritis disease that the patient with the new diagnoses will try to resume their previous tasks, roles and habits as much as possible, in a bid to return to normal. Often they end up trying too hard and injures or aggravates their affected joints.

Energy conservation, at all stages of rheumatoid arthritis is important, and when combined with the joint protection program, will result in better preserved and protected joints for the patient with rheumatoid arthritis.

Energy Conservation Program

1. in between tasks and activities for the waking day, at least 60 minutes should be purely for resting. This is best when scheduled right in the middle eg work 9 am to 1 pm, rest 1 - 2 pm, continue work from 2 pm - 6 pm.

2. the needs to be a balance struck between activity and rest, we can call this microbreaks eg working for 20 minutes continuous before taking a short stretch for 1-2 minutes to rest the joints and muscles

3. scheduling and pacing work, that there is an adequate mix of heavy and light work at a time, not a pure stretch of 2 hours of heavy work etc

4. whenever possible, use leverage to help. This can be in the form of technology such as using the computer to type instead of using pen and pencils, using a car to travel instead of walking long distances, or even asking for manual help when required to carry heavy objects

5. plan and arrange the physical environment eg at home or at the work place for equipment, materials, items to be within easy reach, waist height, not overly high or low to minimize climbing and crouching

6. it would be best if the patient with rheumatoid arthritis be allowed to continue her past occupations in a seated manner rather in standing manner, to preserve and protect her joints and energy as much as possible

7. patient should educated and understand that they should accept help whenever possible or necessary especially when it is heavy and difficult to maneuver

8. and to maintain focus primarily on the most important tasks of their jobs or roles, and to remove and eliminate tasks or activities that are not pertinent for them to do eg being a mother doesn't mean she has to help her children (assuming they're young) with their school work or carry their heavy bags or books

Arthritis Treatment: Should Steroids Be Used in Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic, chronic, progressive, autoimmune disorder that affects, roughly, two million Americans. While it preferentially attacks joints, it may affect other organ systems. These other areas include the lungs, heart, peripheral nervous system, skin, bone marrow, and eyes.

Early diagnosis is mandatory. If RA is suspected, a patient should be referred to a rheumatologist (arthritis specialist) as soon as possible. The current goal of RA therapy is to treat and control disease before any joint damage has occurred. The prognosis, both short as well as long term is improved if remission can be established quickly.

The strategy is to exert tight control over the disease while recognizing individual variability and response to treatment. A new concept of "treat to target" has gained popularity. What this means is following a patient carefully early on and making adjustments in medicines in order to effect a remission as soon as possible.

The role of disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARD) therapy is not in question. And the DMARD of choice is methotrexate which works relatively quickly, slows don progression of disease and is usually tolerated well.

However, there is debate when it comes to other therapies.

One such therapy is prednisone (P). P is an oral glucocorticoid, a synthetic drug that mimics the effects of naturally occurring hormones made by the adrenal glands. These medications have potent anti-inflammatory effects. A number of studies have shown that low doses of P (less than 10 mgs a day) reduces joint damage and slows down the progression of x-ray changes.

At our center, we rarely use disease higher than 5 mgs in RA patients. However, we do institute this low dose of P along with methotrexate as soon as the diagnosis is made. Adhering to the "treat to target" model, we also rapidly introduce a biologic therapy within 8-12 weeks if it appears that methotrexate is not going to be sufficient. Unlike other centers, we rarely push the methotrexate any higher than 15 mgs.

Low dose P is well tolerated and has very few side effects. Once the patient is in remission, we have found it relatively easy to taper the P and often are even able to discontinue it.

That isn't to say that patients shouldn't be counseled about P. We spend a great deal of time talking about the potential problems associated with this drug and monitor the patient carefully while they are on P.

Nonetheless, we have found the combination of low dose P along with methotrexate to be an effective one.

Natural Ways to Relieve Arthritis Pain Or Even Cure Your Arthritis

Arthritis could really be a burden especially for those with full-time jobs. Because of arthritis, they would have to endure back and leg pains all day long. It would be really difficult for them to deal with it without taking drugs that could relieve the pain. Arthritis is caused by a lot of factors. It could be due to overstressing the joints and could also be caused by the unavoidable circumstances of aging.

The development can not be avoided but it could be prevented from worsening. If taken care of immediately, arthritis could be stopped from spreading to other parts of the body and the pain could be eliminated entirely.

If you are on the verge of developing the disease yourself, you need not worry about taking drugs prescribed by your doctor that could have harmful effects on your body. There are natural arthritis pain relief methods that could help you. Drugs could eliminate the pain but taking drugs for long term would only make your body dependent on it and could cause damage to other areas of your body.

The best way to save yourself from the pain caused by arthritis of all types is to take natural dietary supplements specifically designed to get rid of pains in the joints and other body parts.

One sample of a natural arthritis pain relief is Cortaflex. This dietary supplement contains only natural ingredients that are guaranteed to be safe for your body. Unlike most drugs prescribed to heal arthritis, this natural dietary supplement would not have any side effects. It would only help in promoting good joint health that could last for a lifetime. Just make sure to take this regularly as a dietary supplement and you would never feel pain caused by arthritis.

Arthritis has many types but only three types are considered to be common. These are gout, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Out of the three, the most prevalent and seemingly unavoidable is osteoarthritis. It often attacks the cartilage, making it weak and causing the bones to rub against each other. The friction created because of the rubbing causes pain in the joints. By taking Cortaflex, the cartilage would always be healthy and you would not feel any pain at all.

There are other cures to arthritis and ways to prevent it from developing. The best way to save yourself from any disease is still to find out everything you can about it. By learning about a disease, you will know what to do in case you experience its early signs.

Methotrexate for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Methotrexate for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Methotrexate Side Effects

Methotrexate is one of the most common forms of treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis and is arguably the most important medicine used to treat RA today. It is the staple of RA treatment since it is effective at reducing disease activity for a large percentage of patients and most people with RA will go on this drug at some point or another.

Because of it is prescribed so frequently it is all too easy to forget that this is a serious toxic chemical. Let's take a quick look at 12 facts about Methotrexate so that you do not lose sight of what you are dealing with.

1. Methotrexate's brand names include Methoblastin, Trexall and Rheumatrex. It is called a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) and attmepts to decrease pain and swelling associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis. In doing so, Methotrexate can prevent damage to joints and therefore reduce the likelihood of disability. Symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis may improve within 3 weeks of starting treatment (which is precisely how long it took for me) but it may take 12 weeks or even 6 months of treatment for full benefit to be realized. Some patients do not see any benefit at all from Methotrexate.

2. Although Methotrexate was only approved for RA treatment in the US in 1988, it had already been used to treat cancer and psoriasis.

3. It still remains unclear exactly how methotrexate decreases arthritis activity. It is known that Methotrexate interferes with certain enzymes which play a role in immune system function. Methotrexate prohibits the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase, thereby affecting the production of a type of folic acid, which is required for actively growing cells.

4. Typically, Methotrexate is taken once day a week for RA. The starting dose for most adults with rheumatoid arthritis is 7.5 to 10 mg and this dose can be increased to 20 to 25 mg each week. Around 25mg/week tends to be towards the upper oral limit according the to Rheumatologists that I have consulted with. Methotrexate is also available in an injectable form which can be self-injected by the patient.

5. Folic acid supplementation is required if you take methotrexate. Doctors vary in their approach with how this is prescribed. Sometimes the Folic acid is taken daily, in other cases it is taken in a larger dose 8 hours before and 8 hours after the weekly methotrexate pill.

6. Methotrexate can cause an abnormal functioning of the liver. Therefore, it is very important to have blood tests on a regular basis to test for liver functionality. At a minimum, doctors will ask for blood tests every 8 to 12 weeks. However, there is a greater benefit to the patient if the tests are done as frequently as every month to allow not just the liver health to be reviewed, but the inflammation levels of CRP and ESR as well to view the overall disease activity. (Part of my strategy for curing my RA was to be copied on the monthly blood test results and using the CRP and ESR to guide me as to how my holistic methods were performing. I strongly recommend you get your blood tested monthly for this benefit alone!)

7. Avoid alcohol whilst taking Methotrexate since alcohol increases the risk of liver damage significantly.

8. Besides the aformentioned side-effects on the liver, Methotrexate may also cause fatigue, nausea and vomiting. Personally, I found the fatigue on Methotrexate to be quite severe so that I felt tired most of the time. However, side effects may be dose-dependent and some patients have reported no side effects at all.

9. Methotrexate should not be taken if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant. Methotrexate can cause birth defects and/or complications during pregnancy. Do not fall pregnant whilst on methotrexate and for at least 3 months after you stop taking methotrexate. In fact, to be sure it is best to wait even longer (my Rheumatologist told me to wait 6 months - that stuff is not to be messed with!).

10. Some medications may alter methotrexate function. So, tell your doctor of all the medications you take (both prescription and over the counter). Also, NSAIDs, though often prescribed together with methotrexate, can affect the level of drug activity.

11. If it works at first, it doesn't mean that it will work forever. Treatment for RA often needs to be changed because the body can build resistance to a treatment. Some people find success with methotrexate at first and then later find that it stops working. Then, alternative drugs are tested or even a combination therapy is proposed where more than one drug is used at the same time.

12. Whilst on Methotrexate it is still possible to heal your body through natural methods. This was something that I discovered myself, by remaining on Methotrexate whilst I implemented my holistic experiments until I was able to reduce my inflammation to zero. So the great news about Methotrexate - is that unlike NSAID's and antibiotic drugs, it doesn't seem to interfere too heavily (if at all) on the delicate environment of your intestines (which is where the real cause of Rheumatoid Arhthritis really lies). This means that your determined efforts to get well naturally whilst on Methotrexate will not be undermined by the drug side effects. Finally, some good news huh?!

I hope you enjoyed this article and I'm sending you wonderful vibes of healing!

"The best doctor gives the least medicines" - Benjamin Franklin

Permanent Solution To Cure Arthritis

Arthritis is a disorder of the joints. The word "arthritis" is a Greek Words "Arthon" which means joint and "Itis", which means inflammation.

That goes to mean that arthritis is the inflammation of joints which a lot of people will experience in their life time. There are hundred types of joint disorder and they are all related. This means everyone will experience joint pain at some time of their life but you may not know when it will be your turn.

Arthritis is usually characterized by pain, swelling and stiffness which can lead to deformity. Sometimes it can also be called rheumatism which is a term use commonly to describe aches and pains in muscles and joints.

A joint is where two bones meet. There are immobile and mobile joints. Immobile joints are referred to as inflexible and semi-inflexible joint of the body. These joints does not move much as they have no cavity, e.g. head and spinal cord.

Mobile joints are the flexible joints of the body; for example the shoulder, knee, waist, toe, finger, etc. They all have a cavity.

There are different type of Arthritis:

1. Osteoarthritis is the most common type that almost everyone will experience at some point of their lives. This is because it is a degeneration or wearing out of joint due to old age, over-exertion or injury. This type of arthritis affects the mobile joints of the body and can be due to wear and tear, heredity or excessive stress on dislocated joint, not properly healed injured joint and overweight that put extra weight on those hips and knees.

Those who stand for longer hours every day are prone to pain on the knees. And those whose occupation requires lifting heavy objects are prone to waist pain which is usually called lumbago.

2. Rheumatoid Arthritis
This is an inflammation of the same joints on the two sides of the body e.g. say you experience a pain in the right knee or shoulder on one side, it will still be showing up at the other side. The pain or symptoms tend to come and go. This is more common between the age of 25 and 55. Infants can also experience this type of arthritis.

This type is usually caused by viruses that live in the body for a long time undetected and never treated. It can be cause by immune-deficiency syndrome, a situation where the anti-bodies that was suppose to fight against foreign agents begin to attack the tissues of the joint which cause inflammation and pain.

Early Signs Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Pain and stiffness in one or two joints like the hands and feet and the pain come and go. It is usually worst in the morning and wears off during the day. As this progress, the pain and inflammation becomes more painful and starts to spread to other parts of the body such as the elbows, knees, hips, waist, ankles, shoulders and neck. It can make the person weak, tired, feverish and pale plus the eyes become dry due to a reduction in tears. The mouth also becomes dry due to reduction of salivary fluid and lack of appetite which can be followed by weight loss.

How To Eradicate Arthritis Pain

To treat arthritis and eradicate the pain, the aims are:
1. To strengthen the bones
2. Repair damaged joint tissues e.g. the cartilage
3. Strengthen the immune system against bacteria and viruses
4. Eradicate the pain symptoms

To achieve these aims, diet is very important. Processed or refined food and drinks like sugar, cold foods, biscuits and ice-cream or coffee must be avoided. Smoking and alcohol of all kinds must be avoided.

Take plenty of water upon rising up daily and use fruits for breakfast. Fruits and certain vegetables can help mops off uric acids deposited from the joints and help in the healing process.

Get the right bone supplements that can repair damaged cartilage (the damaging of the cartilage is what results in deformity or folding of body due to arthritis) and strengthen the immune system against bacteria and viruses.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Holistic Medicine For Treatment of Arthritis

Holistic medicine for treatment of arthritis is becoming more and more popular.

Arthritis is a disease which causes inflammation of the joints. If left untreated joint damage, joint limitations and deformities can occur.

Holistic medicine for treatment of arthritis offers arthritis suffers lasting relief from pain and inflammation. This approach states that arthritis is a disease that results from multiple causes. Contributing to all forms of arthritis is a number of underlying imbalances with physical, mental and environmental factors.

Holistic medicine believes that the cause of arthritis develops from a combination of several causes. It is important to understand the factors that went into creating arthritis in each person to properly treat the disease.

Holistic medicine employs a battery of diagnostic tools such as physical examination, dietary assessment, emotional evaluation, and test for immune/digestive function to help build an individual picture of the patient's condition. Physicians take the time to find the root cause of arthritis and the patient is actively involved with their treatment.

Holistic approaches for the treatment of arthritis draws upon a wide range of therapies to help treat and possibly prevent arthritis.

The primary factors to this treatment is through Chinese herbal medicine, proper diet and nutrition, stress reduction, detoxification and the repair of nerves and muscles with the use of acupuncture, chiropractic care, massage and exercise.

The belief of the Chinese medicine is that disease occurs when obstructions impede the flow of energy to the organs. Chinese herbs are used to restore energy and function to the system so that balance and health can be achieved. With holistic medicine it is also believed that diet and nutrition has a significant impact on pain and inflammation.

A vegetarian diet is believed to greatly reduce arthritis symptoms. Herbs, minerals, vitamins and other natural supplements can provide effective relief without the side effects of conventional drugs. Mind and body techniques such as meditation can also help to reduce stress. The removal of toxins in the body has also shown to be remarkably therapeutic for arthritis patients.

Holistic medicine for treatment of arthritis helps to restore health to the whole patient, rather than simply providing superficial symptom relief. The tests to detect any imbalance will focus on a physical and emotional evaluation, dietary assessment, immune response, and digestive and detoxification function.

How Can I Treat Arthritis Without Surgery?

Arthritis is a combination of disorders which mainly affects the muscles along the joints. The ligaments and tendons close to the joints get inflamed and the person may suffer from extreme pain due to arthritis. Sometimes, the inflammation is severe and the people find it difficult to move the joints. The main cause for arthritis is damage to the joints which can be caused either by external injury or infection. The slippery movement of bones along the joints is hindered due to wear and tear along the joints and the person suffers from pain. Some of the symptoms of arthritis are inability to walk, feeling tiredness, weight loss, fever, muscles aches and difficulty at joints.

People suffering from arthritis are asked to manage their routine and lifestyle to prevent pain to treat arthritis without surgery. In certain cases when the patient suffers from extreme pain, it may result in a condition where you will have to go for surgery to prevent pain and but even surgery does not ensures a complete solution to the condition.

Amazingly the popular system of medicines does not provide any sure shot solution to treat arthritis without surgery. The popular system of medicine recognizes more than 100 different types of conditions in arthritis and in the popular system of medicines doctors experiment the effect of different treatments on the patient to find out which treatment could get the best solution. Many patients who are not aware of the magical properties of herbal remedies silently suffer the pain as the prescription medicines are not only too harsh on body but it also causes many chemical reactions which can further deteriorate the condition. The prescription drugs and painkiller even have severe side effects such as dullness, pain, stomach disorders, inflammation and even sleepiness and even after taking it you may not get the desired treatment for arthritis without surgery.

Alternative method helps to treat arthritis without surgery and one of the best treatments in alternative system of medicines is Rumatone Gold capsule which is time tested remedy to treat arthritis without surgery and it has proved efficiency in many cases. The remedy Rumatone Gold capsule can completely treat arthritis without surgery if it is taken properly and regularly as per the instructions given by experts. It is surprising that many people do not believe in alternative method of treatments, although, it provides a low cost cure for various chronic condition.

The herbal remedies are natural products which contain complex components prepared by nature, and when you take these remedies it provides nutrition to the body to cure the inflammation and pain. Rumatone Gold capsule and oil can give relief from pain and also help you to manage the condition. These products provide you the effect which helps to treat arthritis without surgery. These products help to improve the symptoms of arthritis and improve the overall living style of the person. These products are old remedies to cure the symptoms of different types of arthritis and it does not have any side effect.

Daily Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, then you know how painful it can be to perform ordinary tasks. Even buttoning buttons or writing a letter can cause you a great deal of pain. Doctors have not yet found a cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but there are several things you can do to make yourself more comfortable as you go through the day. When you follow these simple tips, you can alleviate pain and enjoy your life to the fullest.

Keep a Positive Attitude

One of the best things that you can do to manage your pain is to think positively. A sunny outlook will help you to cope with your pain while also providing you with the ability to minimize the effects of stress. Stress can cause your body to react negatively, which may cause the inflammation and pain of your rheumatoid arthritis to get worse. Rather than getting mad or upset, do some deep breathing exercises. Picture yourself in a peaceful environment, and focus on relaxing and breathing deeply. Your heart rate will soon go back to its normal rate, and you will start to feel more peaceful. These exercises are ideal for people who notice that their pain gets worse when they are upset and stressed.

Stay Active

It is very important that you stay active despite your rheumatoid arthritis. The key is to determine which activities you can do freely and which cause you pain. Keep a pain journal so that you can make notes of how you feel before and after doing a new activity. If your pain worsens, avoid that activity or modify it so that you can do it without hurting.

Don't Overdo It

It is very easy to do more than you planned, which can cause you to be in pain before you realize what you have done. Schedule your housework over several days, and find ways to make it easier on yourself. Use a dumbwaiter to transfer loads of laundry or belongings between floors. Invest in a vacuum with a larger handle, and avoid gripping rags or brushes for long periods of time. Aim for one housecleaning task each day, and make sure that you pay attention to how your body feels. If it starts to hurt, then stop. If you do too much, then you will suffer for it long after your housework is finished.

Rheumatoid arthritis can be debilitating, and you may wonder if you will ever be able to enjoy your favorite activities. When you follow these tips, you may be able to manage it a little bit better so that you can still live an enjoyable lifestyle.

Symptoms and Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The causes of arthritis oftentimes are hard to determine as there are numerous factors which contribute to the growth of this disease. Arthritis includes breakdown of cartilages. Cartilage usually protects the joints, permitting for smooth movement. Also cartilages absorb shocks when pressure is applied on the joints, for example when you walk. And without the standard quantity of cartilage, bones rub together, which causes pain, stiffness and swelling.

You may have the joint swelling for a range of reasons, including:

* Infection

* Broken bone

* Common "wear and tear" of joints

* An autoimmune disease

Often, the swelling goes away after injury heals, disease is cured, or infection had been cleared. With few diseases and injuries, the swelling doesn't go away or the destruction results in deformity and long-term pain. When this occurs, you have persistent arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a most common kind and is more probable to take place as you age. Risk factor for osteoarthritis includes:

* Earlier injury in the affected joint

* Being overweight

* Using affected joint in some repetitive action which puts stress on joint (ballet dancers, construction workers, baseball players all are at risk)

Arthritis may occur in women and men of all ages. Other cause or types of this disease includes:

* Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (children)

* Rheumatoid arthritis (adults)

* Systemic lupus erythematosus

* Scleroderma

* Gout

* Ankylosing spondylitis

* Psoriatic arthritis

* Reiter's syndromes

* Adult Still's diseases

* Gonococcal

* Other bacterial infections

* Tertiary Lyme diseases

* Fungal infections like blastomycosis

If you have R.A., you may experience:

· Joint swelling

· Joint pain

· Stiffness, particularly in morning

· Redness of skin around the joint

· Warmth over the joint

· Reduced ability of moving the joint

Self-destructive resistant response of the R.A may be because of a mixture of an environmental trigger and genetic susceptibility. Changing hormones also may play a significant role in the disease, probably in response to infection of atmosphere.

More than one genetic material has been associated to the risks of R.A. Particular genes may add to the probability of a person increasing the disease, and can also partly decide how severe his condition is. Though, since not all individual with a genetic tendency to R.A. in reality have this disease, other factor must be important.

A particular environmental trigger is not found, but few researches suggest that infections by a bacterium or virus lead to R.A. in people hereditarily susceptible. That doesn't mean that R.A. is infectious. People with R.A. seem having more antibodies in synovial fluids in their joint, signifying that there can be a contamination. Low levels of the hormones of adrenal gland are widespread in people with R.A., but how the hormones interact with environmental and genetic factors is unidentified. Changes hormone may contribute to a progression of R.A.

R.A. may occur separately of other conditions; however its causes and the relationship with other disease are not well known. A different approach of the chronic arthritis may sometimes build up in R.A... It also is possible that infection or other environmental trigger exist which may cause R.A. in people who previously have a genetic material for the disease.There are numerous ways in which R.A. patients can get relief from symptoms of this disease.

Ginger For Arthritis Pain - Does It Work or Not?

With there being over 20 million Americans suffering from the effects of osteoarthritis, there has been a renewed interest in the use of traditional remedies and natural treatments. One of these is the use of ginger for arthritis pain. Here we'll look at some of the background to ginger as a medicinal product and evidence of whether it works in arthritis.

Ginger root is the knobbly rhizome of the tall reed-like perennial plant grown in the tropics. It is available in various forms including the fresh root, powdered, dried, and crystallized (candied).

Medicinally ginger is believed to have a number of properties which include stimulating digestion, reducing nausea and easing flatulence. It has antiseptic qualities and has been used as an expectorant to clear catarrh.

It has been a common constituent in Chinese and Ayuverdic medicine for centuries.

Ginger also contains products that have anti-inflammatory properties and that is why it is believed that it has a role to play in easing arthritis pain.

One study carried out at the University of Miami Medical School (published in 2001), looked at 250 patients suffering with moderate to severe pain. Some were given 255mg twice daily of ginger as dietary supplement, whilst the remainder were given a placebo.

The results showed that over two-thirds on the ginger reported reduced pain. This was significantly greater than the placebo group. Other positive results have also been found in other similar studies, but this is not universally the case.

If you wanted to try using ginger, what are your options? You could take dietary supplements containing 255mg of ginger twice daily. The advantage of taking a supplement is that you can control the amount of ginger that you are receiving each day. This level has been demonstrated to be beneficial when using ginger for arthritis pain.

Alternatively you could simply use more ginger in your normal diet. This may suit you if you don't like taking supplement pills. Try using fresh ginger in your cooking. It is quite a simple product to use. You simply have to peel the outer skin with a potato peeler or paring knife and then slice or chop the ginger.

If you cannot obtain fresh ginger you can use dried ginger, although this may have lower levels of the active ingredients in it. Ginger is a great addition to meals such as stews and soups. It is also popular in desserts such a ginger pancakes and gingerbread. You could also make your own ginger ale from fresh ginger.

Monday, August 19, 2013

An Introduction To Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is the second major type of arthritis - exceeded in number of cases only by osteoarthritis. It is a very serious ailment caused by inflammation of the joints. The pain associated with the disease is at times so severe that it almost completely disables sufferers. It affects women more often than men.

Rheumatoid arthritis advances in three stages starting with painful swelling and stiffness of the joints. In the second stage the pain aggravates and the bones and cartilage are severely affected thereby restricting the movement of the person altogether. By this time the diseases becomes chronic and just defies all treatment.

It is in your best interest to immediately consult a doctor as soon as you have pain in the joints. This means that don't wait for any other symptom appear. Also, you should never try treating the disease by taking over the counter medicines. Chances are that you may aggravate the ailment.

It is important that you ask your doctor to diagnose whether you are actually afflicted with Rheumatoid arthritis and if so, start taking the treatment that he prescribes. If you go by your doctor's advice you can save yourself a lot of damage by reducing the severity of the attack of the disease. Any delay in diagnosing and treating the disease may aggravate to an extent that you may have to undergo surgery. This will not only entail great pain, but also require huge costs of treatment.

Besides seeking a doctor's advice early, you may take general precautions like protecting your affected areas from stress of exertion. You should also try to reduce your weight if you are obese. Also contact your physiotherapist. Seek his or her advice about certain kind of exercises that may be specific to your kind of rheumatoid arthritis and take these exercises regularly as per the expert's advice.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Occupational Therapy Assessment

Usually by the time the patient with rheumatoid arthritis requires or opts for surgery, there would have been quite a bit of joint damage and some degrees of subluxation or deformity of the joints. Comprehensive occupational therapy assessment would include physical, physiological, psychological, social and environmental perspectives of the patient with rheumatoid arthritis. It is often at this stage also that many of the patients would probably have stopped any form of paid employment, except for housewives who would still be doing household chores.

The things that the hand occupational therapist will be looking out for includes power, presence of deformity, any signs of subluxation, skin temperature, pain and range of motions will be assessed. Given the fact that rheumatoid arthritis has its cycles of exarcebations and remissions, it'd be good to keep an assessment mindset over at least 3 sessions to ascertain the hand and its function. It'd be good also to breakdown the assessment over 2-4 sessions depending on patient's ability to tolerate each session, as not all patients would like to keep travelling to the clinic.

The hand occupational therapist would then perform a series of checks, one of them is the informal interview. The results of the informal interview may be rather inaccurate as the patient might refer to a time prior to the onset of the disease, and since the disease is progressive they might not be very accurate as well. It'd be best to combine a variety of assessment tools eq quantitative and qualitative approach to have a more holistic idea to their hand function.

Essentially, it is best for the hand occupational therapist to perform a practical assessment task on the patient, covering the activities of daily living (ADL).

The ADL activity assessment should include but is not limited to:

1. dressing: able to wear and take off own clothing, including undergarments and prostheses, if any
2. personal hygiene: brushing teeth, wiping/washing face, handwashing
3. toileting: ability to perform voiding activities
4. feeding: feeding and drinking during meal times
5. mobility: walking, stairs management, transfers
6. housework: cleaning, laundry, marketing, money management
7. communications: using a phone to SMS or make calls, writing, typing etc.

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease which usually affects middle aged persons, and is seen more in women than in men. Children too, may get affected. In this disease, the synovial membrane, or the covering tissue of the joints gets swollen, resulting in stiffness, pain and limitation of movement. In severe conditions, the joints may ultimately become deformed. A disturbed immune function is believed to be responsible for this disease.

In Ayurveda, rheumatoid arthritis is known as "Sandhi Vata". This is not to be confused with "Aam Vata" which is the name given to Rheumatic Fever, or the fever which causes pain and swelling in joints and also affect the heart.

Rheumatoid arthritis of recent origin usually responds well to standard anti-inflammatory treatment. However, by nature this is a chronic disease, and while symptoms can be controlled, there is presently no cure. Standard modern medicine may not be very helpful once the condition becomes chronic, or treatment may have significant side effects. It is in such patients that Ayurvedic herbal treatment may be very useful and effective. One major advantage of Ayurvedic herbal medicines in such an affliction is that medicines may be taken for long periods without any serious side-effects.

Ayurvedic treatment of rheumatoid arthritis consists of the following procedures:
(i) "Snehan" ( use of local and oral medicated lubricants)
(ii) "Swedan" (local fomentation)
(iii) "Lep" (Local application of medications)
(iv) "Anuloman" ( mild laxative treatment for prolonged periods)
(v) "Raktamokshan" (blood letting)
(vi) "Dahan" (local heat branding ) and
(vii) "Shaman" ( symptomatic oral treatment).

Mahanarayan oil( containing mainly Asparagus racemosus), Bala (Sida cordifolia) oil, Vishgarbha oil are some of the medications used for snehan procedures. While local application is quite simple, oral use of medicated lubricants is best done under the direct supervision of a qualified and experienced Ayurvedic practitioner.

While local fomentation can be done in several ways, "Naadi swedan" is the most effective. In this procedure, a jet of medicated steam is directed at the affected joints, usually after the snehan procedure. A decoction of Nirgundi (Vitex negundo) is usually used for this procedure.

Local medicated applications include Lepgoli, Dashang lep, and a mixture of Shrung, Daruharidra ( Berberis aristata), Alum, and Rakta Chandan (Santalum album). Several medicated herbal ointments are also available.

Local pain can be immediately reduced by blood-letting. This can be done by syringe or using leeches. About 50 ml. of blood is usually withdrawn from a vein near the affected joint. Local heat branding is used by some physicians to reduce acute tenderness of the joints. Various special metal instruments are used for this procedure.

Castor oil and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) treated with castor oil are used for mild, prolonged laxative treatment.

Oral medications include Maharasnadi decoction, Triphala Guggulu, Yograj Guggulu and Ashwagandharishta. Shallaki (Boswellia serrata) and Guggulu (Commiphora mukul) compounds are given for prolonged periods. Multiple herbal compounds containing Guggulu are available, which are used according to the presenting symptoms and the staging of the disease as done by the Ayurvedic practitioner.

It is advisable to avoid very sour, salty and cold (refrigerated) food products, as also fermented products. Using tolerable amounts of ginger and garlic in the daily diet is helpful. Some yogic asanas have been found to be useful in arthritis, and may be performed regularly under the supervision and advice of an expert in this field.