Saturday, September 14, 2013

Birth Control Methods and Their Effects on Women With Chronic Health Conditions

The most important thing for you, if you have a chronic condition, is to have an understanding of birth control methods and how they can affect your health. Some of these methods can present specific concerns for certain rheumatic conditions. If you have antiphospholipid syndrome or antiphospholipid antibodies in your blood, lupus or RA, here is what is known about the concerns and the appropriate birth control methods.

Antiphospholipid antibodies and antiphospholipid syndrome: APL or antiphospholipid antibodies are proteins that affect the balance in the blood between clotting and bleeding and are a risk factor for blood clots. APS or antiphospholipid syndrome, is an autoimmune disorder that is characterized by antiphospholipid antibodies, blood clotting, and miscarriages and the syndrome can happen alone or with lupus, even though you have the antibodies you may not have lupus.

If you have antiphospholipid antibodies you are more likely to develop blood clots if you have another risk factor for blood clotting such as a severe illness, surgery, prolonged bed rest, malignancy, or pregnancy or it can be a lifestyle risk factor such as smoking or using combination contraceptives. That's why this second risk factor can be one of the variants in the blood that makes clotting possible. When you have lupus and antiphospholipid antibodies you are more likely to have other medical risk factors for a stroke or heart attack, like migraines, atherosclerosis or clogged arteries, or elevated cholesterol levels.

Contraceptives with estrogen are know to increase the risk of blood clots and when you have moderate to high antiphospholipid antibodies you should stay away from combination hormonal contraceptives. If you have low or borderline levels of the antiphospholipid antibodies, it may depend on whether you have had other risk factors for blood clots, to determine if you should stay clear from the combination hormonal contraceptives. Progesterone-only contraception is a good alternative for you if you have antiphospholipid antibodies and are unable to safely take estrogen. This method is also an effective way to decrease the heavy menstrual flow if you are on blood-thinning medications like warfarin, also known as Coumadin, which is often used to treat APS, Antiphospholipid syndrome.

Systemic lupus erythematosus: It was thought for many years that estrogen increased disease activity in lupus. This assumption was based on the findings in laboratory animals, and the fact that lupus is found mostly in women, 4 out of 5 people with lupus are women, and the reports of birth control pills and pregnancy where women said their lupus got worse. There are early reports that suggested there was an increase risk of lupus flares with the use of contraceptives containing estrogen. But, there are more recent studies that were better-designed, using large numbers of participants and standardized methods of measuring flares that found that estrogen-containing contraceptives are safe in some women with lupus.

And there were two randomized clinical trials published at the end of 2005 that found combination birth control pills don't significantly increase the risk of flares in women with inactive or stable, moderate lupus. The Safety of Estrogens in Lupus Erythematosus National Assessment, or SELENA, trial included 183 women with inactive or stable, moderate lupus and compared the effects of a standard combination birth control pill with the effects of an inactive placebo pill. Women who had active lupus, a history of blood clots, or antiphospholipid antibodies couldn't take participant in the study and the number and severity of the lupus flares showed no difference in the two groups. There was another study of 162 women with stable mild-to-moderate lupus that also found no adverse effects on flare rates whether the women used a combination pill, a progesterone-only pill or a copper IUD.

Based on these studies, it would appear that combination pills are safe for you if you have inactive or stable, moderate lupus and don't have antiphospholipid antibodies. Remember, though, that you may not even be able to tell how active your lupus is and often lupus activity can only be detected through blood test or other tests. So if you have lupus and you want to use a combination pill, your rheumatologist must be involved in the decision making. Since about 1/3 of the women with lupus have antiphospholipid antibodies, you have lupus you should be screened for the antibodies before starting a combination birth control pill.

It seems that it would be smart for you if you have lupus to avoid the contraceptive patch, Ortho Evra, given the recent FDA warning that it increases the risk of blood clots above that of combination pills. There's also the birth control pills that contain drospirenone, Yasmin, Yaz, that are more likely to elevate blood levels of potassium, an important consideration for you if you have lupus-related kidney problems. The safety of IUDs, if you are taking immunosuppressive drugs to treat your lupus, is not certain, because the drugs and the IUDs can raise the risk of infection. If you have active lupus, barrier methods or progesterone-only contraceptives are your options. Depo-Provera injections may be a problem if you are taking corticosteroids, because both the Depo-Provera and the corticosteroids increase the risk of bone loss.

Rheumatoid arthritis: There are some who believe that if you have RA you might actually benefit from treatment with estrogen-containing birth control pills because your symptoms improve during pregnancy. But, there's little research into using the pill to treat RA and research does suggest that women with RA have normal estrogen levels but lower than normal androgen levels, so hormonal therapy attempts have focused on supplementing androgens (androgens are primarily male sex hormones, but women have small amounts of them), with mixed results and no clear benefit. Postmenopausal estrogen therapy has also been studied in women with RA but showed no effect on the activity of the RA, and although there are no grounds for saying that combination hormonal contraceptives reduce the activity in Ra, there's no evidence that suggest their use would make a flare more likely to happen. Combination pills or the patch, may be effective and convenient for you if you have RA, but there is a concern that the risk of blood clots from the patch is higher than the risk from the pill. Inserting a vaginal ring or a diaphragm may be difficult if you have severe RA and like with lupus, it's not sure how safe IUDs are if you are taking immunosuppressive drugs such as ethotrexate, corticosteroids, or cyclosporine to treat their RA. There are no studies that have addressed this question specifically with newer RA medicines such as the biologics, among them Enbrel, Remicade and Humira.

There are other concerns as well and they are the hormone containing contraceptives can interact with other medicines, and this can reduce your medicine's effectiveness or increase its side effects. Some of these medicines are used to treat arthritis and related conditions. Some anticonvulsants like anti-seizure medications that are used to treat seizures, headaches, or chronic pain disorders may decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills. There are also, corticosteroids, warfin, and cyclosporine that can interact with the contraceptives even though the interactions are weak. Other medications that are used to treat other health conditions, some antibiotics, may also interact with hormone containing contraceptives and if you are using one of these contraceptives you should always remind your doctor of that fact when your doctor prescribes you new medications.

When you have rheumatic conditions and you have to stay in bed for a while, maybe because of a flare-up of the condition, or after surgery you should stop using combination birth control pills, the patch and the vaginal ring. Also, and especially if you have antiphospholipid antibodies, your doctor should give you low doses of a blood-thinning medicine. If you are planning elective surgery, you should talk to your doctor about stopping you combination hormonal contraceptive two months in advance, because estrogen's effects on blood clotting takes up to six weeks to reverse.

There are so many different types of birth control available to you today that if you have a rheumatic condition you can choose a safe and effective method. There are also many factors that have to be taken into consideration and it's essential that you, your gynecologist, and your rheumatologist work together to decide which of these methods is best for you.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Smoking - Evidence That Smoking Increases Your Risk

Smoking or nonsmoking?

How many times have you been asked that question when you entered your favorite restaurant?
If you answered nonsmoking, you are directed to a smoke-free area where you can eat your food without the rancid smell of smoke to truly enjoy the flavor of your food. After all, you pay hard-earned money to go and enjoy a meal. You don't want someone else's smoking to interfere with your evening. Hopefully you will continue to choose the nonsmoking section because studies show that smoking increases your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, as well as many other different medical difficulties.

It used to be smoking was allowed in every public place, but that's simply not the case anymore. There are some states that ban smoking in public gathering places. Despite the money that is made from smoking, cities and states are banning together to read the facts about smoking and don't wish to remain vulnerable for potential lawsuits. The health industry is becoming quite successful at relaying the health hazards associated with smoking. You want the facts, right? Well, let's discover what smoking does to your body.

Smoking gives you...

- An empty wallet

- Bad breath

- Breathing difficulties

- Frequent colds and coughs

- Lung cancer

- Medical difficulties

- Prison-like addictions

- Risk of infections

- Smelly clothes

- Yellow fingertips and teeth

How can smoking make my rheumatoid arthritis worse?

Statistics show that cigarette smoking causes 87% of lung cancer deaths. Smokers are about twice as likely as a nonsmoker to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. If you already have rheumatoid arthritis, smoking can make the disease and pain worse. Smokers with rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to develop complications of rheumatoid arthritis that affect parts of the body other than joints than nonsmokers.

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis causes chronic inflammation and degeneration of the joints, especially the fingers, hands, shoulders, knees, feet, and ankles. It is easily recognizable by swollen joints, by x-rays revealing erosion around the affected joints, and by the presence of antibodies in the blood known as the rheumatoid factor.

What does rheumatoid arthritis cause?

Rheumatoid arthritis causes many medical deficiencies such as:

- Anemia

- Crippling pain

- Fatigue

- Fever

- Stiffness

- Swelling

- Uncontrollable weight loss

How can smoking cause rheumatoid arthritis?

Researchers aren't positive of the reason why smoking increases rheumatoid arthritis, but they are sure that smokers have worse rheumatoid arthritis than nonsmokers. The more years and more frequently you've smoked can dramatically increase your chance of worsening the symptoms of your rheumatoid arthritis.

How many people are afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis?

About 2.9 million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.

Which gender is more susceptible to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis?

Women are two to three times more susceptible than men to be diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

At what age do people acquire rheumatoid arthritis?

The typical age that people get rheumatoid arthritis is between the ages of 25-50.

Raynaud's Disease - Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Raynaud's disease is a condition which causes narrowing of the arteries, leading to numbness and coolness in the fingers, toes, tip of the nose and ears. This condition is more common in colder climates; and women are more likely to have Raynaud's disease than men. While the cause of this condition is unknown, it is believed that blood vessels over-react to cold temperatures and stress and go into spasms, thereby causing the symptoms. Primary Raynaud's, without any underlying medical condition, is called Raynaud's disease. Secondary Raynaud's is due to some other problem like scleroderma, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, repetitive trauma, smoking, injuries and medications.

The Ayurvedic treatment of Raynaud's disease is aimed at reducing the number and severity of attacks, preventing tissue damage and treating any underlying condition. To prevent the spasm of the arteries, medicines from the 'Rakta-Prasaadak' category are used in this condition. These include Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Chopchini (Smilax china), Suranjaan (Colchicum luteum)), Mundi (Sphaeranthus indicus), Khadeer (Acacia catechu), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Daruharidra (Berberis aristata), Mahamanjishthadi Qadha, Saarivasav, Arogya-Vardhini, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu and Kaishor-Guggulu.

To prevent an over-reaction of the blood-vessels to stress, medicines like Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi), Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis), Vacha (Acorus calamus) and Sarpagandha (Raulwofia serpentina) are used. From this category of medicines, the herb Mandukparni (Centella asiatica) deserves special mention, since it not only reduces stress, but also improves blood circulation in the extremities, thereby reducing spasm, and preventing or healing ulcers.

Treatment of the underlying condition in secondary Raynaud's condition is equally important, in order to reduce symptoms and prevent further complications; however, in such cases, more prolonged treatment needs to be given. It is important for all people with Raynaud's disease to adopt suitable life-style changes, and avoid known precipitating factors.

Common Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis Explained

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a multifactor disease usually developing in multiple joints leading to inflammation of the affected joint.

This gives rise to pain, swelling, redness and increase in the local temperature of the area.

The cause of Rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, but it is assumed that genetic factors, infective agents, some environmental factors have a predisposing role for developing it.

Awareness of the most common signs and symptoms of the Rheumatoid arthritis can help people as well as doctors to recognize this disease during its early stages.

It is an autoimmune disease described by inflammation in the articular surfaces of the joints.

It has an effect on more than two million people in the US between the ages of twenty and forty five. The disease can occur in all ethnic groups and races; women are affected three times more than men.

Generally the disease starts in the middle age with increasing incidence in older persons; it may develop among the children as well as the young adults.

The early symptoms generally include some obvious signs. Most commonly, it starts with one or two common symptoms and gradually advancement takes place over time.

The common symptoms for Rheumatoid arthritis vary from person to person. It is seen that there is no single test that can confirm the diagnosis of Rheumatoid arthritis.

In addition, it takes time for developing the full blown symptoms. Just a few indistinctive signs and symptoms may be present at the onset, making the task difficult of diagnosing Rheumatoid arthritis at its early stages.

So, the doctors use an array of means for the correct diagnosis of most common symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis and side by side ruling out other arthritic conditions.

The points doctors remember while diagnosing Rheumatoid arthritis by early sign and symptoms are- proper history taking, detailed medical examinations, categorically placed laboratory tests and different imaging modalities. All these are done to asses the degree of joint involvement.

Complaining of pain in the joint daily is, by far, the most common symptom for Rheumatoid arthritis [].

There are also reports of morning stiffness in and around the joint that lasts for an hour or two before improving, at least three involved joint with concurrent soft tissue swelling or increase in the synovial fluid including not less than one swollen joint area in the wrist, the middle joints of the finger or the knuckle.

Rheumatoid arthritis has a predisposition the wrist and joints of the finger closest to the hand. It is also seen that Rheumatoid arthritis affects other large joints like joints of the feet, ankles, knees, elbows and jaws.

Early diagnosis along with quick proper treatment is beneficial for the people suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis to live longer, healthy life. They will also suffer from fewer amounts of pain, joint damage and subsequently permanent disability.

It is unfortunate that early symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis fail to diagnose the case properly as they are very similar to other conditions, especially the other forms of arthritis like Lupus and Fibromyalgia.

Due to this, it is imperative that the patient communicates openly and in totality to the doctor and keep each other well informed about the disease.

Causes of High White Blood Cell Count

There are several possible causes for a high white blood cell count. This count is high when there are more disease-fighting cells in your body. The technical term for this condition is leukocytosis.

Different medical practices may have different limits by which they define high white blood cell count. A count of 10,500 leukocytes in one microliter of blood is widely accepted as a high count. The threshold may vary between sex and age.

White blood cells are categorized by five subtypes, and each type has a different activity in fighting disease. When you get the results of your white blood cell count, they will usually specify what the levels are of all the different types. Usually, a high count is only caused by an increase in one type of white blood cells.

A high white blood cell count is indicative of an immune system problem that increases their production; a disease in your bone marrow that causes high blood cell production; a reaction to some drug that is used to enhance cell production; or the increase expected when your body is fighting off an infection.

There are some more specific reasons why your white blood cell count may be high:

Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) is a cancer that lives in the bone marrow and blood. This disease is a rapidly progressive one. Children are more affected by this than any other type of cancer, although adults can develop the disease as well.

Drugs like epinephrine and corticosteroids can affect your white cell count.

Measles is an infection that affects mainly the respiratory tract. It is very contagious. The signs include skin rash, fever, sore throat, inflamed eyes, runny nose and cough. The measles vaccine is an excellent way to protect children against this disease, but outside of the civilized countries, many children are not vaccinated. This disease will spread rapidly among people who have not had the vaccination.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a serious type of arthritis from which you will experience joint damage and pain. It attacks your joints' lining and this causes swelling. In turn, that leads to throbbing, aching pain and possibly eventual deformity. Rheumatoid arthritis, also called RA, can make even the easiest of normal activities hard to accomplish.

Some of the other causes of high white blood cell count include:

Stress, be it emotional or physical
Tissue damage, like one receives with burns
Acute or chronic myelogenous leukemia
Chronic or acute lymphocytic leukemia
Whooping cough
Severe allergic reactions
Polycythemia vera
Other viral infections
Other bacterial infections

Arthritis Pain Relief with Aromatherapy

Arthritis pain relief is felt the most when aromatherapy is used in conjunction with other forms of therapy, including massage and occupational therapy. An advantage with using aromatherapy for arthritis pain relief is that unlike drug medications, aromatherapy is generally safe, all-natural, and produces very little or no side effects.

If you have arthritis, the pain from achy joints, swollen muscles, and overall stiffness can get you down. This is especially so that you find the pain so bad that even simple tasks such as dressing yourself up is not easy to accomplish on your own.

Aromatherapy uses plant and flower derived scents for treatment of health ailments. As a therapy that induces relaxation and overall well-being, it should not be scoffed at for the purposes of pain management. In fact, aromatherapy for arthritis pain relief has been shown to provide substantial therapeutic benefits for those that have tried it.

Aromatherapy can also be easily down from the home. You can now find specially blended aromatherapy oils specifically to treat the symptoms of arthritis, including for rheumatoid arthritis.

Most of these specially blended aromatherapy products are combined into a topical vegetable oil, cream, or lotion that can be applied to the skin. Essential oils are very powerful. They must always be blended into some kind of base before they are used. Most aromatherapy blends contain roughly 3 per cent essential oils in a 97 per cent base. Any more than this ratio can cause irritation. When you need to have some arthritis pain relief, simply apply the oil, cream or lotion onto the affected region.

Some of the best essential oils for treating the symptoms of arthritis are eucalyptus, camphor, thyme, lavender, rosemary, ginger, lemon, and angelica root. Try to find aromatherapy blends that contain one or more of these essential oils.

You can also find aromatherapy blends that are for steam inhalation, applied as compresses, or added to bath water for a relaxing and comforting hot bath. When used in hot compress treatment, you can help reduce feelings of inflammation, joint stiffness, and overall muscle tension.

Arthritis pain relief with aromatherapy is an option that you should really consider. Get these specially blended oils at your local health food store or order them through the web. There are several stores and sites that you can obtain your supplies from.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Natural Ways to Treat Arthritis

Any person who suffers from arthritis, or knows someone that does, is very aware of the discomfort and pain connected to arthritis and how difficult it can be to deal with it. These unfortunate people invariably try to relieve their suffering through use of over-the-counter treatments and medications. Even though these medications do help, there are alternative natural ways that are safe to treat arthritis.

A natural remedy is consuming raw juices - highly recommended are potato and green juices (for many years potato juice has provided relief to arthritis suffers). To prepare potato juice, thinly slice a potato leaving the skin on, put and leave the slices in a glass of cold water for a number of hours (better overnight) and then drink this juice.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids (present in most fish species) also help in treating arthritis. People who don't eat fish can take supplements containing Omega 3 Fatty Acids that can be purchased at health and drug stores. Omega 3 Fatty Acids offer relief from all arthritis forms but the most noticeable results are amongst rheumatoid arthritis suffers.

An effective and easy treatment is the massaging of warm olive oil over areas affected by arthritis (make sure it is not too hot as painful burns to the skin can result). Rosemary, sage or garlic can be added to olive oil - dilute at approximately ten parts olive oil to one part of the chosen additive. Relief is felt soon after application to the affected area.

Taking warm baths can offer relief from the discomfort and pain caused by arthritis as cold bathes may increase pain and discomfort. Many people also add Epson salts to warm bathwater - about three to four tablespoons. When taking such a bath make sure to stay in the water for a minimum of thirty minutes.

Limited exercise can also help with pain relief. Arthritis suffers should be cautious when exercising and must avoid over exertion which can exacerbate pain and discomfort. Simple exercises like walking, squeezing a stress ball, etc. are often effective.

Discovering an Alternative Osteoarthritis Treatment That Will Work

Osteoarthritis treatment can be as complex as the condition itself. Frequently, the response of doctors is prescribe NSAID drugs to address the pain of osteoarthritis; however, it is quite important to note that this damage that osteoarthritis can do to joints can be so great that joint replacement surgery can become necessary. Addressing the pain and potential consequences of osteoarthritis are of paramount importance.

First it is necessary to highlight the fact that losing weight and eating a healthy diet can play an important role in addressing osteoarthritis in general. Losing weight means less stress on the joints, and that can translate into improving your osteoarthritis symptoms and associated pain.

We know that bad food choices can impact health, and this counts for osteoarthritis as well. Foods that cause inflammation, such as processed foods, fast foods and foods from the "nightshade" category of plants should be off limits. These include tomatoes and eggplants among others. In general, a diet rich in most fruits and vegetables will help improve health, add to weight loss and may decrease osteoarthritis inflammation as well.

Discovering alternative approaches for osteoarthritis treatment is one part experimentation and one part giving alternative approaches the necessary time to take effect. Anti-inflammatory drugs work well and they work quickly, but the long term effects of using such drugs should give one pause. Alternative and natural approaches might take longer, but there is far less concern attached with using these approaches.

The spice ginger has long been valued for its ability to reduce inflammation. Spices were amongst the most valued of possessions in the ancient world and for good reason. Spices and herbs were the medicine of the ancient world, and their health benefits were firmly established in the minds of our ancestors. Today, medical research has varied that many spices do indeed have powerful health benefits.

Ginger can be consumed in a surprising number of ways. Ginger tea is, of course, very common and stands as one of the single most consumed beverages in the world. Ginger root can easily be incorporated into a diverse number of meals, and it can also be used to make fresh tea.

In addition to teas and use in meals, ginger is well suited to pill form and is sold as a means of helping with inflammation. Quite often ginger is paired or suggested to be paired with the other great natural anti-inflammatory agent, turmeric. Together these two spices can achieve impressive results.

It should also be noted that ginger and turmeric are two of the most widely used spices and both are considered quite safe. Give these natural options time to work, and you will likely find that they do help provide at least some relief and assistance with your osteoarthritis treatment.

Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are over one hundred different forms of arthritis, though most people are familiar with only a few of them. One of the most commonly heard terms is rheumatoid arthritis, which is an inflammatory disease that affects joints and causes them to become crooked and appear as if fingers are growing almost sideways. This type of arthritis affects over two million Americans every year.

While it's unknown exactly what causes rheumatoid arthritis, it is known that the condition damages the synovial tissue that connects bones and joints in the hands, feet, and anywhere else in the body where bending is allowed. With this condition, the synovial tissue, or membrane, losses its smooth surface and texture and begins to develop extra tissue that is called pannus. This formation causes an excess of enzymes that will eventually destroy surrounding cartilage, bone and other soft tissues associated with joints, and the result is painful.

Inflamed areas, especially in tendons, can cause shortening, and if tendons rupture, joint strength and stability is severely impaired. While in most cases, rheumatoid arthritis strikes older people, it is also found in those as young as twenty years old. Most cases of this type of arthritis develop between the ages of 20 and 45, though that's just the norm. In many scenarios, the condition runs in families, suggesting a strong genetic link.

Since many different types of arthritis mirror signs and symptoms, it's important to write down your symptoms, their duration, and the course of the symptoms as far as length of time you've been feeling them, in order to help your doctor determine which form of arthritis you may be suffering from. Most people don't realize they have developed rheumatoid arthritis because it starts off feeling like a flu bug.

However, eventually, multiple joints are affected, usually on one side of the body. The most common areas of attack are joints in the fingers, at the base of the fingers, wrist, elbows and knees. Ankle joints and bone joints of the feet may also be affected.

Many people who hit their forties feel morning stiffness that eases as the day progresses, but most types of arthritis also starts off that way. One of the best ways to distinguish normal aging and stiff joints from rheumatoid arthritis is experiencing warmth in the joint area.

Another indication that arthritis may be present is the appearance of reddened and swollen joints that feel tender and painful when touched. Flare-ups may last for several days, or several weeks, and may often grow worse in winter months.

Determining the course of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis depends on many different factors, such as symptoms and the stage of development of the disease. Taking an active part in the treatment of symptoms is one of the best things you can do if diagnosed with this type of arthritis.

Exercise and joint strengthening exercise throughout your life will help keep many forms of arthritis at bay, and mediations and other treatments may ease pain and swelling associated with rheumatoid arthritis. However, it's important for people to follow the course of action prescribed by a rheumatologist for optimum benefits.

Cure Arthritis With Turmeric: A Natural Way to Treat Arthritis (Including Rheumatoid Arthritis)

Scientific research is finding more and more ways in which this fantastic, delicious, natural ingredient is beneficial to our health in general and against this degenerative chronic condition in particular. This fabulous 'herb' or 'spice' is showing to be effective in the treatment of a number of diseases and health problems, such as arthritic and rheumatic conditions as well as various skin problems, weight problems and even depression. This natural ingredient can be taken as a supplement (any store - including online stores - selling natural health supplements will have it) or, as a spice. Let's find out why it is now regarded as a natural miracle against these chronic, degenerative conditions (against which there is still not much traditional medicine can do without negative side-effects):

1. Anti-Inflammatory
The anti-inflammatory properties of this natural ingredient are proven to highly beneficial against arthritic and rheumatic diseases (which, as we know, creates various inflammatory states throughout the body and, unfortunately, not only the joints).

Several studies have shown it has anti-inflammatory effects similar to those of many manufactured drugs; however, since this is a natural supplement, it creates no toxicity within your body and has no harmful side-effects.

How does it work? The anti-inflammatory properties of this natural ingredient stem from its inhibitory action against 2 enzymes (COX-2 and lipoxygenase), which are responsible for creating and maintaining a number of inflammatory mechanisms within our body. Moreover, this herb's health benefits also include its capacity to 'soothe' the body's inflammatory and allergic reaction to histamines, or to over/under activity, or trauma (of various kinds).

2. Anti-Oxidant
This ingredient has shown to be effective in protecting body cells from damage caused by oxidation (in the body, oxidation is a specific chemical reaction (triggered by a number of factors such as pollution, drugs, radiation, toxins, stress and even natural ageing) releasing the 'unstable' free radicals, which combine with other molecules to, eventually, destroy the cell). Anti-oxidants have the healthy property to neutralize free radicals and their destructive effects on the body.

Free radicals are the culprits of a series of skin problems (including premature ageing), as well as a number of diseases throughout the body, including cancer. With regards to arthritic and rheumatic conditions in particular, free radicals contribute to the inflammation and the damage caused to the joints and to other organs; thus, a potent anti-oxidant like turmeric will be highly beneficial, especially due to its own strong anti-inflammatory properties.

Arthritis Treatment: Four Drugs That Can Cause Excruciating Aches and Pains

One area that is overlooked when it comes to arthritis are drug-induced aches and pains. Here are four categories of medicines you might want to avoid.


Statin drugs cause a number of muscle problems. First, they can cause simple muscle aches and pains. This condition usually gets better once the drug is discontinued. The second problem statins cause is mild muscle inflammation along with weakness. The blood muscle enzyme, CPK, is mildly elevated. While this problem also gets better once the drug is stopped, it may take several months to resolve. Finally, statins can cause extreme muscle inflammation, damage leading to profound weakness. The CPK, is markedly elevated. When the muscles get this damaged, they release a protein called myoglobin into the blood. Myoglobin in large quantities can lead to kidney failure.

The risk of muscle injury is increased when a statin is used with other drugs that also affect muscles. When statins are combined with drugs like niacin or fenofibrate, the incidence of muscle damage is greatly increased.

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics:

Fluoroquinolone-induced tendon problems such as rupture, are described in the medical literature. The Achilles tendon is the commonly involved site, although other tendons can be affected. Usually, spontaneous tendon rupture happens during or shortly after a course of treatment, but symptoms can occur even months after taking these antibiotics. Whether fluoroquinolone antibiotics should be used in patients with a history of tendon problems or who have risk factors for the development of tendon ruptures basically depends on how serious the infection is and whether there are suitable alternatives.

People at the highest risk are those over the age of 60 years, people taking steroid drugs, and people who have had an organ transplant. Patients who exercise and already have tendon problems are also at risk.

Aromatase inhibitors:

A small number of women receiving estrogen-depleting treatment termed "aromatase inhibitors" will develop aches and pains. Symptoms are most prominent in the hands and can be so severe that patients ask to be taken off therapy. More than 25% of women can be affected by this syndrome which affects hands, knees, elbows, ankles, and a few other other areas.

Symptoms are usually transient and resolve when the aromatase inhibitor is discontinued.

There have been incidences reported in the literature of patients developing rheumatoid arthritis after treatment with these drugs. Therefore, assumptions regarding the cause of aches and pains with these drugs should not be made.

Symptomatic treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be helpful.


These drugs are used for osteoporosis treatment. Unfortunately they cause two types of pain syndromes. The first is the acute phase response which consists of fevers, chills, bone pain, muscle and joint pains that starts after initial administration of bisphosphonates. These symptoms tend to resolve within several days after discontinuation of the drug.

The second syndrome is experienced either within days of taking the bisphosphonate or it can occur after months, and even years of being on the drug. The pain is excruciating and incapacitating in many cases.
Some patients get better after stopping taking the bisphosphonate but there are others who do not.

Natural Solutions for Arthritis and Joint Pains

The inflammation of a joint, often accompanied by the breakage of a cartilage is known in medical terms as arthritis. Without a cartilage, that normally protects the joint; the bones touch each other in a rubbing movement that causes great pain and swelling. Arthritic conditions include rheumatoid arthritis or septic arthritis together with several others; this is a very complex disease that includes more than one hundred types of disorders. Very often, arthritis is accompanied by crippling, particularly when localized at the level of the hand or leg joints, and studies show that one in three Americans suffer from it. Lots of problems may be eliminated from the start in case arthritis is diagnosed immediately and treatment is used to regenerate the joint soft cartilage. Besides synthetic pharmaceutical products, there are also a handful of natural remedies that we really must pay attention to when in pain.

Shark cartilage is considered one of the most powerful active principles that regenerate the joint tissue re-creating mobility, reducing swelling and pain implicitly. In fact, this unique remedy brings the components necessary to the body to start rebuilding or repairing the joints reducing the process of breaking. Amazing results in the use of shark cartilage have been first noticed in the recovery of sportsmen who underwent a surgical procedure at the knee joint level. Doctors even recommend its administration in combination with glucosamine, an amino sugar that is normally a basic component of the joint cartilage. An associated treatment of these elements enjoys great achievements in the re-growth of natural joint tissue that eliminates arthritis for good.

Another herbal remedy that enjoys world-wide appreciation in the fight against arthritis is nettle leaf, with one of the longest tradition in the treatment of the rheumatoid arthritis. The use of topical nettle juice reduces swelling and pains, acting as a local anti-inflammatory. In the same category of inflammation alleviation enters Boswellia serrata, a plant growing in India and part of a long ayurvedic medical system; the aromatic resin in its composition significantly reduces pain. Last but not least, we can't leave out an anti-arthritic herb with one of the longest medical usages: ginger. The ginger rhizome is made of 4% volatile oils that represent the medical active principles used as pain relievers in anti-arthritic treatments. To learn further on more herbal remedies and homeopathic products, please subscribe to the silver bulletin e-news magazine HERE.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Living With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is also known as median neuropathy as it involves the median nerve of the upper limb. It occurs due to compression of the median nerve when it passes through the "carpal tunnel" in the wrist. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the most common "entrapment neuropathy".

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs more frequently in people whose job involves use of hands and wrists. A common cause is typing on a computer keyboards for many hours over a long period of time. It may also be caused due to other works like painting, writing, sewing, use of hand tools especially vibrating tools, sports like handball and tennis. Another cause may be forms of arthritis, autoimmune diseases like systemic sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, excess growth hormone in body, obesity, dialysis etc.

Carpal tunnel syndrome often presents with pain, tingling or numbness in thumb, index finger, middle finger and half of the ring finger and parts of the palm below these fingers. Pain and paresthesias sometimes may extend up to the elbow or even in upper arm. The symptoms are often worse at night. Also there may be complaints of weakness like weak grip or trouble in carrying bags and fine movements of finger. In severe forms, there may be even wasting of the muscles at the base of the thumb (called "thenar muscles").

Treatment of this neuropathy depends on the cause. Treatment is often necessary as untreated Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may result in permanent damage to median nerve distal to carpal tunnel and resulting in permanent symptoms not amenable to therapy. If Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs secondary to some other medical disorder, treating it often reverses the carpal tunnel syndrome. For example, in hypothyroid patients, treatment with levothyroxine often results in alleviation of symptoms of carpal tunnel. Similarly treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis with immunomodulator drugs often relieves the problem.

If the problem is due to improper pattern of hand use, then the treatment is mainly giving rest to the wrist by avoiding the precipitating factors. Neutral Position wrist splints are often tried. Patient may be given NSAID (like Iburprofen) for pain, and in severe cases, steroid injection in wrist may also be given. Local steroid injection reduces the swelling and thus eases the pressure on the nerve. Similarly anesthetic injection may be given to alleviate pain.

Surgery is done if the medical treatment fails to alleviate the symptoms and the problem persists or if patient presents with wasting/weakness of the thenar muscles of the hand. In surgery, the transverse carpal ligament is divided to enlarge the tunnel and create more room for the nerve. Surgery is often successful, but in certain cases it may not completely alleviate the symptoms if the compression has been severe and prolonged and permanent damage to nerve has occurred.

The History and Benefits of Ozone Therapy

Ozone is a gas made of three oxygen molecules whose unstable electron makes it a powerful oxidizer that is able to kill bacteria, viruses, fungi and other toxins. Commercially, ozone is used for water purification treatments, to help break down toxic wastes, to disinfect surfaces in the pharmaceutical field, and to preserve stored foods in the food industry.

The history of ozone use in medicine goes back to the early 1900's when Dr. Joachim Hansler invented the first reliable ozone machine. Ozone was then successfully used in World War I to treat German soldiers affected by gangrene due to infections that thrive in an environment without oxygen. Exposure to ozone, which was done by putting the affected extremity into an airtight bag and filling the bag with ozone, helped to destroy the harmful bacteria.

The first use of ozone intravenously (major autohemotherapy) was done in the 1940s and 1950s and its development is credited to Dr. H. Wolff. It is the most common ozone treatment today and is used by thousands of physicians worldwide in countries like Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, England and Canada as well as in Russia, Eastern Europe, Cuba and Mexico.

During a major autohemotherapy treatment, 200cc of blood is withdrawn from the body into a vacuum-sealed glass bottle using a closed sterile system. The blood is then mixed with precisely measured amounts of ozone and oxygen and reinfused back into the body.

Ozone can also be administered by colon or vaginal insufflation. With colon insufflation the ozone enters the hepatic plexus and can be used to treat not only diseases of the colon but also to increase the detoxification of the liver. Vaginal insufflation is useful to treat reproductive conditions and bladder infections. Another effective way to use ozone is in a minor autohemotherapy. This involves taking out a small amount of blood, ozonating it and injecting it into the muscle. This stimulates the body's immune system, especially the second line of defense and helps to eliminate chronic viruses, inflammation and other foreign substances from the body.

Ozone can also be infused into olive oil for topical application of fungal infections. Small doses can be used in the ear for the elimination of ear infections and chronic candidiasis. Ozone can also be used to treat non-healing wounds and skin infections by bagging the area and infusing it with the gas.

In addition to killing viruses, destroying bacteria and eliminating fungus, ozone therapy supports many of the body's basic functions. For example, by activating red blood cell metabolism, ozone leads to increased delivery of oxygen to all body tissues and, because it helps to dilate constricted blood vessels, allows for better blood flow.

Ozone also increases the efficiency of the body's own antioxidant system, helping to eliminate excess free radicals which are know to be the cause of many degenerative diseases. Perhaps the most powerful effect of ozone, however, is in boosting the immune system. By stimulating the production of white blood cells and the release of immune system messengers, called cytokines, ozone helps the body to fight multiple infections and inhibit tumor growth.

This combination of properties is why ozone is used to treat cancer, circulatory disorders, heart disease, wound healing disturbances, chronic fatigue, immune and autoimmune disorders, such as allergies, systemic lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Ozone therapy is extremely effective in fighting acute infections like colds, the flu, and upper respiratory infections as well as chronic conditions such as Hepatitis B and C, Epstein-Barr virus, Cytomegalovirus, Herpes simplex and Zoster viruses, Lyme disease, Streptococcal and Staphylococcal infections and Candidiasis.

Acupuncture And Massage Therapies For Arthritis

Affecting an approximately seventy million Americans, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Arthritis is complex disease that can hit at any virtually any age and featuring more than one hundred various conditions. Of the multitude of arthritis disorders, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common. For this reason the idea of acupuncture and massage therapies for arthritis treatment has suddenly become quite popular.

Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is the most common form of the disease in the United States. Stricking a record twenty-one million Americans, osteoarthritis is a systematic shutdown of the joint cartiledge that ultimately leads to severe pain and stiffness. The hips, knees, fingers, and spine are the most common comfort zones for osteoarthritis, with the wrists, elbows, shoulders, and ankles less commonly affected. When the disease deviates into a uncommon area of affliction it is typically due to an pre-existing injury. Work related injuries are frequent causes of the development of osteoarthritis. For example, professions where bending, kneeling, and squatting is the main attraction feature an elevated risk of osteoarthritis of the knee.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: In contrast to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis can actually affect various joint and some patients feel the disease's effects in other parts of the body, including the blood, the lungs, the tissue of the skin, as well as the heart. Rheumatoid arthritis, which can be long-term, is characterized by an inflammation of the joints called synovium, the inflammation causes joint swelling, stiffness, warmth, and redness. The affected joints may lose their shape, thus losing the ability to move normally.

Acupuncture and Massage Therapies for Arthritis Treatment

In recent years, the use of acupuncture and massage therapies for arthritis treatment have pointed to the therapies' potential as effective alternatives to mainstream medicines. And that's not all that the use of acupuncture and massage therapies for arthritis treatments have in common, both alternative treatments have beginnings that are deeply rooted in the mystical world of ancient medicine. Just take a look at acupuncture.

Acupuncture For Arthritis Treatment: Acupuncture, and other types of oriental medicines, have been wildly successful in treating the pain and inflammation affiliated with various types of arthritis. Ancient Chinese medicine custom fits acupuncture treatment according to the individual arthritis symptoms of patients with a unique combo of acupuncture therapy, Chinese herbs, body work, and lifestyle changes. Even dietary changes and energentic exercises are a big part of treating arthritis through acupuncture.

The acupuncture points used to treat arthritis aren't just located over the throbbing area, but rather in different areas located over the entire body. You may just find those tiny acupuncture needles placed in every area from your legs to your arms right on down to your baby toe! Don't let the needles frighten you, some people take their acupuncture session as an opportunity to catch up on a few Z's. Session last between five minutes and a half an hour, but arthritis patients may require multiple trips to their acupuncturist depending on the severity of the disease.

As a follow-up to your visit, your acupuncturist may also provide you with prescribed Chinese herbal formulas specifically designed to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis. Chinese herbs used to treat arthritis as a part of acupuncture therapy are:

  • Juan Bi Tang
  • Cinnamon Twig
  • Peony
  • Anjelica Pubescens
  • A Scadanavian study of thirty-two hip replacement/arthritis patients found that twenty-five percent of the patients who received acupuncture therapy experienced such surges in their functionability that they decide they didn't need that hip replaced after all.

    Massage Therapy for Arthritis: Both acupuncture and massage therapies for arthritis treatment are used as cutting edge alternatives to contemporary medicine, but did you know that they both got their start in the ancient world? It was the ancient Greek Hippocrates who first suggested that "rubbing" be used as a remedy for loosening a "hard joint-" that was over two thousand years ago. Massage therapy is believed to work in a few ways in combating arthritis:

  • Improving joint movement
  • Relaxing tense muscles
  • Stimulating blood flow to the skin
  • And if one form of massage therapy doesn't work for you, don't sweat it. There are several very popular massage therapy programs to choose from:

  • Swedish Massage
  • Deep Tissue Massage
  • Trigger Point Therapy
  • Acupressure
  • Reflexology
  • Treating Arthritis With Herbs, Spices, & Roots - Which Ones Are Most Effective?

    Herbs and spices have been used to treat various diseases and ailments for thousands of years, both herbs and spices are excellent antioxidants with many containing excellent anti-inflammatory properties.

    Listed bellow are some of the best herbs and spices known to help arthritics. You should try to incorporate some of these herbs into your everyday life. Herbs and spices should where possible be used in their natural form & taken as a tea, or added to food.

    In my opinion it is best not to take herbs & spices in capsule form, due to the diminished properties of the extract when diluted with additives, such as capsule binding agents.

    The following herbs & spices are listed in order of their superior properties when used to treat arthritis.

    Some herbs and spices are known to interfere with certain prescribed medications, it is therefore always wise to consult with your doctor or a professional, before introducing any of the following herbs into your diet.


    Has long been used to treat arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory property.

    Turmeric is also known to contain an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals.


    Asian & Indian have been using ginger to treat arthritis for over 2000 years due to its anti-inflammatory property.

    Why not try making tea with ginger, put one teaspoon of fresh grated ginger into a cup of boiling water allow to cool and drink.

    Devils Claw

    Devil's Claw native to parts of South Africa, where it is thought to have been used to treat arthritis for centuries, two active ingredients called Harpagoside and Beta sitosterol are found in devils claw which are thought to posses excellent anti-inflammatory properties.

    Devil's Claw is claimed to be beneficial for treating arthritis, rheumatism, arthritis and diseases of the liver, kidneys, gallbladder and bladder,.

    Cats Claw

    Cats claw has been used for over 2000 years by the the indigenous peoples of South and Central America to treat rheumatic disorders. Ingredients appear to act as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticancer agents. Cats claw is found in the tropical jungles of South and Central America. Research has also indicated cats claw may help in the treatment of intestinal ailments such as Crohn's disease, gastric ulcers and tumors, parasites, colitis, gastritis, diverticulitis and leaky bowel syndrome,

    Cayenne Pepper

    Known to support the body's immune system

    Used for treating: arthritis, backache, heart disease, ulcers, indigestion, pain, psoriasis, and shingles.

    Use caution when introducing cayenne pepper into your diet, although it is known to benefit many arthritics, in some cases it may actually trigger symptoms.


    Can kill intestinal parasites and act as an anti-microbial agent against fungi and bacteria.

    Helps relieve pain, digestive problems, and anti-fungal, antibacterial problems.

    Chewing a clove once a day may be beneficial to arthritics.

    Golden seal

    Known to contain a powerful detoxifier.


    Commonly used as a diuretic, & to reduce inflammation, treat rheumatism & arthritis, clear toxins in the body, inhibit tumor growth, & combat urinary tract problems.

    Licorice (root)

    Contains phytoestrogens. Used to treat ulcers & known to have anti-viral, anti-tumour, anti-inflammatory properties.

    Do not use licorice (root) if you have high blood pressure as large doses or prolonged use may increase blood pressure.

    Do not use if you retain water easily.

    When To Seek Out An Arthritis Doctor

    Dealing with the pain and difficulties arthritis can create is not a fun prospect. Many people, however, fear they are over-reacting if they choose to seek out assistance from an arthritis doctor. The simple fact of the matter is that arthritis can be a pretty debilitating condition, so professional advice might just be in order.

    While there is no known cure for any of the forms of arthritis, there are measures an arthritis doctor can take to help lessen the pain and reduce the swelling. A good doctor can even take steps to help prevent permanent damage if the form of arthritis present is one that can create it.

    Since arthritis has many forms and the symptoms and eventual effects can vary greatly, it's a very good idea to seek out an arthritis doctor at least for an initial diagnosis. Osteoarthritis, for example, can damage cartilage beyond use. Rheumatoid can even hurt the eyes and lungs, in addition to damaging joints. With these things in mind, seeking out medical advice is simply a smart thing to do.

    Here are some things to watch for to help you decide if an arthritis doctor visit is in order. Major symptoms of arthritis include such things as painful, swollen joints, fevers, redness in the affected area, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, creaking joints, loss of moment and so on. If any of these symptoms are present, and persistent, finding a doctor to check it out is important.

    While an arthritis doctor won't be able to cure the disease, he or she will be able to confirm its presence and type. This process will likely take a while as there isn't a single test for arthritis. Even still, it's important to stick with the process to find out if arthritis is the cause of the pain and what type is present if arthritis is the culprit.

    Once an arthritis doctor confirms a diagnosis, he or she will be able to help with managing the disease. Since there is no cure, management is the best the medical profession can offer, but this is often enough to help a person feel better and get on with their lives. What doctors tend to do in these cases is treat each symptom as it arises with a mind toward preventing permanent injury from the condition.

    Treatments an arthritis doctor might consider are such things as anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers, mild exercise to keep movement possible, injections and so on. Surgery in cases where deformities have occurred is sometimes a possibility, too. In general, these doctors will seek the least invasive treatment that might have an impact first. If these treatments aren't effective, they'll work up to other possibilities.

    While not everyone with the disease needs to see an arthritis doctor for regular treatments, the truth is it's not a bad idea to seek out medical advice for at the very least initial diagnosis. Anyone dealing with the pain of arthritis, even in its mildest forms, really should know what they are dealing with and the potential impacts of the type. This is where an arthritis doctor can be a vital.

    How Do I Know I Have Arthritis?

    There are pain syndromes like fibromyalgia and arthritis-related disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, that involve every part of the body. There are relatively mild forms of tendinitis (as in 'tennis elbow') and bursitis to crippling systemic forms, such as rheumatoid arthritis. There are forms of the disease, such as gout, which almost nobody connects with this condition, and there are other conditions - like osteoarthritis, the misnamed 'wear and tear' arthritis - that a good many people think is the only form of the disease.

    How do you know if you have arthritis? While symptoms and severity vary from person to person, the most common symptoms are: pain, swelling, stiffness, tenderness, redness and warmth. Osteoarthritis is characterized by progressive stiffness without swelling, chills or fever.

    Rheumatoid arthritis is the painful swelling, inflammation and stiffness in the fingers, arms, legs and wrists, which are prevalent on both sides of the body and are usually worse in the morning. Children with on-off fever, loss of appetite, weight loss and a blotchy rash on the arms and legs might have juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. You should call the doctor if symptoms appear suddenly, or if they are accompanied by a fever or rash.

    There are several common misconceptions about arthritis. Myth # 1 is that every day is the same for patients. In reality, this form of chronic pain comes and goes, which makes it difficult for diagnosis. Myth # 2 is that only older people have arthritis. However, in some cases, even children have this type of pain. Myth # 3 is that arthritis is caused by cold, wet weather or a poor diet.

    In reality, there are no easy cause-and-effect connections, but contributing factors include: age, weight, anatomy, infection of the joint and trauma. Lastly, some believe that joint replacement surgery (arthroplasty) should be avoided for as long as possible. Yet the surgery has helped millions of Americans and is seen as a viable option when exercise, physical therapy and medication fail.

    For treatment, Methotrexate slows the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and restores some function. For osteoarthritis sufferers, NSAIDs like ibuprofen are good at relieving short term pain and stiffness. Disease modifiers like Methotrexate, Leflunomide, Adalimumab, Etanercept or Infliximab can help long term effects and reduce joint damage.

    For people with gout, NSAIDs, Corticosteroids, Allopurinol and Probenecid are effective drugs. Be sure to see your doctor if you have been suffering with any symptom of chronic pain.

    Wednesday, September 11, 2013

    Mum's Knitting - A Natural Arthritis Treatment Story

    Arthritis can cause such a lot of discomfort in so many ways when you get older. It was one thing when mum started to lose her sight a bit as she got older; she still managed to knit things for all her grandchildren, and could do most of it from a good memory. However once arthritis started to cause her the discomfort that it typically does, her knitting needles became something which caused her pain and not pleasure.

    Mum has knitted things since she was younger than me. She knitted my school jumpers and I always had some striped something or other from socks to scarves from remnants! Her hands have always been nimble. Arthritis is strange because it makes your fingers painful but they can also swell and become stiff. It is very frustrating to watch somebody try to accomplish something that used to be so easy.

    That is when we starting trying some remedies to see if we could help her. I am the one in the family that is more inclined to try natural treatments so I looked into some of the remedies available. There are all different types of arthritis but two of the main ones are rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Not knowing which one mum had, as there is also another type which appears more with age which is degenerative arthritis, we thought we would try something which has helped many people with the symptoms, so I bought her some omega 3 fish oil. Most people do not get enough of this type of oil in their diet anyway so it was worth a try. Sure enough, it has helped her immensely.

    Now? Well she is no longer with us, but I know that she managed to knit right up until she couldn't sit up. The good part was, her quality of life was helped by a natural arthritis treatment. Who would have thought that a natural arthritis treatment using an oil supplement could bring somebody so much more pleasure and quality of life by relieving some of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis? I didn't, but now I endorse the use of natural products to all the people I care about who suffer from arthritis.

    Is Aromatherapy Effective for Arthritis?

    Ever since Marcel Proust wrote about the ability to transport one's emotions via smells in Remembrances of Things Past, the use of olfaction (smelling) stimulators has fascinated many people, including physicians.

    One type of alternative medical treatment is aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is the use of essential plant oils either massaged into the skin, added to bath water, inhaled directly or diffused into the surrounding environment.

    More conventional physicians are also beginning to look into the medical properties of aromatherapy in the treatment of diseases. There are more than 200 oils, which are often used in combination to treat different problems, including headaches and insomnia.

    The essential plant oils are obtained from the flowers, leaves, stems, buds, branches, or roots. The oils are extracted through a variety of methods such as steam distillation or cold-pressing.

    When an essential oil is inhaled, the molecules enter the nose and stimulate the limbic system of the brain. The limbic system influences emotions and memories and is complexly linked to other areas such as the adrenal glands, pituitary gland, and hypothalamus. Through these connections, it is possible to regulate heart rate, blood pressure, stress, memory, hormone balance, and breathing. The essential oils used in aroma therapy are then theoretically able to have physiologic effects that may alter emotions or pain perception.

    Essential oils can be toxic when taken internally so they should only be administered under the guidance of a qualified professional.

    Aromatherapy blends for the treatment of arthritis are usually made from pure essential oils, but also from hydrosols and -- more recently -- phytols. For application to the skin during massage they need to be mixed with vegetable oil, a cream base or a carrier lotion. Essential oils must always be used diluted when applied to the skin. A dilution of 3% essential oils in 97% base is generally regarded as very effective and safe.

    Examples of some oils which have been used to treat arthritis include:
    Benzoin, Chamomile, Camphor, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Juniper, Lavender, Hyssop, and Rosemary.

    Few well-controlled studies have been done to formally test aromatherapy in arthritis. One recent uncontrolled observation was made by an orthopedic surgeon in Japan.

    Dr. Nobumasa Shiba, director of orthopedic surgery at the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Hospital, became interested in aromatherapy as an alternative treatment for osteoarthritis in knee joints, which occurs when the cartilage in the joint wears away. About 1 million people in Japan have the degenerative condition.

    To test the effectiveness and safety of aromatherapy for patients, Shiba carried out an experiment on a group of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Thirty-six patients, aged 40 or older who had had physical symptoms for more than three months, were entered into the uncontrolled trial.

    The thirty-six patients massaged lavender oil, effective for pain, and rosemary camphor oil, to improve circulation, into their knees in the morning and evening for two weeks.

    More than 75 per cent of the patients said their symptoms, including pain, had lessened.

    The uncontrolled nature of this study obviously makes interpretation suspect.

    A form of aromatherapy used by thousands of people in the United States on a daily basis are menthol-based topical arthritis rubs.

    Aromatherapy needs to be studied more intensely before it can be formally recommended as a standard treatment for arthritis. It does seem to help with symptoms in some people. There is no evidence it has any effect on slowing the progression of arthritis.

    Facts About Arthritis

    My own problems started when my children picked up a virus at school. I soon contracted the same virus, but with devastating effects! Although the actual virus didn't seem to trouble me too much, just a rash and a little tiredness, the weeks after my recovery saw a gradual stiffening of my wrists, then my fingers, and toes. In fact gradually all my "small" joints seemed to be susceptible to the inflammation. Gradually things got worse and the diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis was the frightening consequence.

    For many years I took the prescribed painkillers and anti-inflammatories, before embarking on a journey of discovery, which in turn led me to the pain free life that I lead now. (without the aid of drugs or medicines)
    From a point of deep depression, I resolved to try and find a way to "cure" myself. I learnt many things about my condition, and the way that it could be treated. But best of all I found a way to rid my body of all the arthritic symptoms. There is no known cure for Arthritis in the medical world. The doctors will treat your condition accordingly with a cocktail of drugs. There are other ways to treat the condition, but the doctors seem to be totally reliant on the drug regime.

    The 2 most well known types of Arthritis are "Osteo" and "Rheumatoid". Rheumatoid is where the body's own immune system attacks the joint lining, and Osteo is where the lining of the joint is worn away, and you have "naked" bone rubbing together. (Usually the result of an injury to the joint. Maybe a sports injury.)

    In the U.S.A. alone, there are over 48 million sufferers of arthritis. This is an incredible figure, and is unfortunately increasing daily. It is a major cause of disability, and is second only to heart disease. In the work place it is a major cause of "work disability" and the relevant loss of revenue. In the U.K. it is a massive problem for the N.H.S. (National Health Service), as the number of cases rises, and the cost of the ever increasing dependency on drugs spirals almost out of control. Many people with arthritis think that they are beyond help and resign themselves to a life of pain and drug taking. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. A simple diet can help immensely, and in most cases eliminate the arthritis symptoms completely. You might think that this is too good to be true. I did as well! But "the proof of the pudding is in the eating" as they say. If you don't try you never will find out!

    Some of the other forms of arthritis include, Lupus, Gout, Fibromyalgia and Ankylosing Spondylitis. If you think that you have any form of arthritis, it is important to treat it as early as possible so that you can avoid the permanent joint damage that is possible. The easiest way to diagnose the problem is with a visit to your doctor, who should give you a routine blood test. Having been diagnosed, it is up to you whether you take the route that the doctors will suggest, one of drugs. Or take the healthy eating route which can eliminate all the symptoms and let you lead a normal pain free (and drug free) life.

    Cat Arthritis - Symptoms And Treatments

    Cat arthritis is a progressive disease characterized by the inflammation of the joints. It tends to be a chronic condition and its symptoms recur, becoming more severe over time. Cat arthritis usually appears in older or geriatric cats but it can also develop in younger pets. It's not very common, but it can be a very uncomfortable, even debilitating disease among our feline friends.

    There are several types of cat arthritis that your pet might develop. These include:


    This is the degenerative form of cat arthritis, a chronic condition that results from joint fatigue or wear and tear of the cartilage that protects the surface of the joint. When this happens, bones grind against each other and later becomes damaged from the friction. This usually appears on the shoulders and elbows.

    Traumatic Arthritis

    This usually results from a sprain or joint injury. Trauma or damaged sustained from accidents, falls, even fights can injure the joint and promote the development of cat arthritis.

    Progressive Polyarthritis

    This type of cat arthritis affects several joints at once and symptoms tend to worsen as the disease progresses. This results from the erosion of the protective cartilage, exposing the bones.

    Another factor that may lead to cat arthritis is a congenital joint problem, something that your cat was born with and will suffer from by virtue of his genes. Obesity may also contribute to the wear and tear of the joints due to excessive weight.

    Symptoms of Cat Arthritis

    Cats usually exhibit the signs and symptoms of cat arthritis when the disease has already progressed, which makes it difficult for us to detect the condition in its early stages. However, it's good to note any changes in your cat's behavior especially if he or she is advancing in age. Cats with arthritis also show limping or joint stiffness. They will be reluctant to move or play and will often resist touch especially if it involves the affected area. Since the condition is quite painful, cats often show signs of irritability.

    Is Prevention of Cat Arthritis Possible?

    It's difficult to prevent cat arthritis caused by age or at least to predict whether a cat's breed or size will contribute to the development of this disease. What is important is that the cat is treated when signs appear. Do not try unproven treatments or supplements without first consulting the veterinarian. Prompt diagnosis and proper care are best.

    Treatment for Cat Arthritis

    It is unclear whether cat arthritis may be prevented but it may be prudent to ensure that your cat is not overweight. Try to keep a balanced diet to ensure that your cat is well-nourished but that he does not gain too much weight. Proper exercise is also key to help cats maintain their weight so make sure your pet has enough opportunities to participate in physical activities.

    An early diagnosis of cat arthritis will be an important factor in helping minimize symptoms and prevent further damage. Regular medication may also be prescribed to relieve pain and inflammation. Some of the most common include painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, which are strictly available through prescription only. Supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin, which show promise in helping in the development and repair of cartilage, may also be used.

    Certain medications, such as Adequan, may be injected into the affected area in order to bring about relief in severe cases. Some medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids which are used to reduce inflammation and minimize pain, are used sparingly. The limited use is due to their side effects, especially to cats with liver, kidney or heart disease.

    Consult Your Veterinarian

    Once your cat has been diagnosed with arthritis, never, under any circumstances, try to treat the condition on your own using common painkillers. Aspirin, for example, may be tolerated in small doses, but cats lack the natural enzyme with which to process aspirin in their bodies and may not be able to excrete the drug efficiently. Other painkillers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen may even be fatal to cats.

    For severe cases of cat arthritis where joint malformation is already evident, surgery may sometimes be recommended. If the pain is untreatable, some owners may even choose to euthanize their pet in order to prevent further suffering.

    Cat arthritis tends to be a life-long condition and it is often best to seek the help of a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment if only to help prolong your cat's life. Try to keep your cat as comfortable as possible and be aware of any symptoms or side effects that treatments may produce. No one else can come to your cat's rescue except for you, so it's best to be fully aware.

    Arthritis: The Cause of Joint Replacement Surgery

    When searching for the main causes of joint replacement surgery, different types of arthritis come up time and again. If it's Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid arthritis, these main types of arthritis are the leading causes for joint replacement surgery, mainly hip, knee or wrist.

    Joint replacement surgery is performed when all other treatments have failed to help the patient and the pain has become intolerable, or he can no longer function normally on a daily basis. Patients reach this situation when the cartilage, which serves as a protective cushioning between two or more bones, becomes damaged and the tissues around the joint become inflamed. With time, the cartilage wears away, allowing the bones to rub against each other.

    As mentioned, surgery is never the first option in case of joint arthritis. The patient will first be treated with pain medication, physiotherapy or special activity exercises. Only when these are no longer efficient, will the orthopedist bring up the surgical options.

    The most common type of arthritis that leads to joint replacement surgery is Osteoarthritis. Also known as 'degenerative arthritis', osteoarthritis referrers to the degradation of the joints (mainly hip, knee, wrist and spine) and can cause them to swell up, become red, stiffen or become more tender. These symptoms usually appear gradually. Osteoarthritis is caused mainly by the aging process but can also be triggered by injury or obesity.

    Another main cause for joint replacement surgery is Rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammation disease. This is an auto-immune disease mainly targeting the lining of the joints. This kind of arthritis usually causes stiffness and swelling while the inflamed lining can invade and damage bone and cartilage.

    It is important to know that people live with arthritis and successfully manage the main with combined types of treatments. When it comes to rheumatoid arthritis, there are even encouraging statistics showing that small numbers of patients go into remission in the first stages of the disease. However, when symptoms start affecting the patient's day-to-day life and keep him from functioning normally, it is recommended they undergoes surgery.

    The term 'Joint Replacement Surgery' incorporates different types of surgery. The main types include knee and hip replacement but the term also referrers to wrist, ankle, foot, shoulder and elbow replacement surgery. The extent of your surgery will depend on the extent of the problem and severity of the arthritis.

    In a hip replacement surgery, there is a total hip or partial hip replacement, also known as Hip Resurfacing, in which only part of the joint is replaced. When there is arthritis in the knee, if not severe the orthopedic may suggest a torn meniscus surgery or knee arthroscopy (relatively minor surgeries). If the arthritis is severe, a Partial Knee Replacement operation - also might be the solution. This less invasive knee replacement requires decreased healing time and is considered less painful. The total knee replacement includes the complete removal of the entire cartilage; the partial replacement removes only the damaged area of the cartilage. The rest of the joint replacement surgeries basically have similar options of partial and total joint removal and replacements.

    When consulting your orthopedic specialist about surgery, it is important to not rush in to the operation without making sure you have tried all other non-surgical treatments, what type of procedure is recommended and why and how will this specific procedure help the problem.

    Magic Pain Reliever For RA Joint Pain

    So that joint pain is back in action again and you have run out of choices on what to do. But fellow rheumatoid arthritis sufferers seem to trust calendula oil to do miracles. So what would you do?

    Calendula is an ordinary plant that grows in any soil. However, it is widely found in Europe, USA and in Western parts of Asia. Known from its botanical name Calendula Officinalis, the plant belongs to the same family of daisies and ragweed.

    As per its medicinal value, the yellow-gold petals of calendula are known to perform miracles. If you haven't heard about Calendula, you would have probably heard of Garden marigold, pot marigold or poet's marigold. All these names are used to refer to the same plant.

    Rheumatoid arthritis and Calendula goes hand in hand because it acts as a perfect companion that relieves joint pain. Known from the early Persian and Greek societies, marigold carries an impeccable reputation for relieving swellings and pains. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory nature and anti septic qualities, it is also used for healing wounds.

    Although Calendula does not provide any cure or long term relief for rheumatoid arthritis, many people who use calendula infusions believe that it has magical properties to relieve joint pain. On a scientific level, using marigold as herb activates carotenes, polyphenols and phytosterols together with EFAs that act as a penetration formula that could drastically improve the blood and oxygen flow in the affected areas of your body.

    Although there are many novel means and methods of pain relief for rheumatoid arthritis joint pain, natural remedies based on topical ointments are known to be best for they carry little or no side effects. Another plus side of herbal remedies is that they usually provide a galore of healthy remedies as opposed to western medicine which tries to eliminate a single symptom.

    Furthermore, marigold can be used if you suffer from other painful conditions such as gastritis, burns or eczema. It is also used as a home remedy in some parts of the world to treat minor issues such as headaches, toothaches, ulcers, varicose veins and colitis.

    Marigold may be one in thousand natural products that work well for joint pain relief. So read up on the subject, as much as you can, before making a decision on using it. You should also beware of allergies that can be caused by natural products.

    While you search for products that include the essence of Calendula goodness, be cautious about so called herbal remedies that promise you a world full of relief. As you know through experience, joint pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis is not something that will easily go away or ameliorate. Therefore, don't let fake products and false promises put your hopes up only to leave you disappointed at the end. Speak to someone who has already experienced the magic of marigold before opting in for any products that claim to contain its goodness. First hand information always speaks much more genuinely than sales pages you find online.

    Tuesday, September 10, 2013

    Arthritis Treatment: Why Is Treating to Target So Important in Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment?

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common inflammatory form of arthritis, affecting almost two million Americans. It is a chronic, complex, autoimmune, systemic disease for which there is no known cure as of yet. It is characterized by joint inflammation and joint damage that eventually leads to functional disability causing significant limitations with activities of daily living.

    From many pieces of data, it is known that RA is also associated with a reduced life span as a result of its systemic effects. The most significant source for this shortened life span is the cardiovascular complications that can arise, such as heart attack and stroke. Other organ systems such as the lungs, eyes, bone marrow, peripheral nervous system, and others also can be affected and be responsible for excessive morbidity.

    In addition to the above-mentioned health complications, RA also results in lost work productivity. In fact, one study showed that more than one-third of patients with RA were work-disabled after having had their disease for more than 10 years.

    In recent years, the concept of treat-to-target has become the treatment approach of choice for patients with RA.

    The use of the treat-to-target approach has been bolstered by the new 2010 criteria established by the American College of Rheumatology and the European League Against Rheumatism were developed in order to make the diagnosis of earlier disease a priority. The older criteria from 1987 used irreversible x-ray changes as a criterion. By the time x-ray changes occur, it is evident now, the "horse is out of the barn."

    In this treat-to-target model, newly diagnosed patients are started on therapy with an intensive regimen of disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs such as methotrexate along with biologic drugs. The patient is then monitored closely at monthly intervals with adjustments in medications made until the patient is in remission.

    There are a number of validated methods for objectively measuring patient progress. These include the Disease Activity Score or DAS 28 and the Clinical Disease Activity Index.

    It has been demonstrated that this aggressive approach leads to less in the way of imaging changes seen on both x-ray as well as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). It is no surprise that patients treated in this fashion reach lower levels of disease activity and have an improved quality of life.

    So while the search for a cure remains, the potential for putting a patient with new onset RA into remission is not only a goal, it is a real probability.

    Effectively Dealing With Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Rheumatoid arthritis or RA is just one of the numerous types of arthritis. This painful and often debilitating condition happens when the immune system attacks the synovium that lines the joints. As a result, afflicted individuals experience pain and inflammation in the affected areas. Although to date it cannot be cured, managing RA's symptoms is highly possible.

    The number one complaint of those with RA is often the incapacitating pain that is experienced during flares. But this may also bug them during remissions, times when the condition isn't active, due to the damage incurred by the joints. NSAIDs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly prescribed for pain management. A rheumatologist may also advise the patient to take other drugs together with NSAIDs to help prevent further destruction of the synovium.

    Physical or occupational therapy is often part of the recommended treatment plan. Working with a therapist can help the individual to carry out everyday tasks at home or in the office. The goal is to make the person as independent as possible despite RA's presence. Joint and muscle movements are improved through physical exercises and other methods.

    An exercise plan will be created by a therapist, suited to a person's needs and fitness level. The goal is to increase flexibility and muscle strength. This part of RA management can help reduce the damage to the joints as the condition progresses.

    Heat application helps in alleviating the pain experienced. Hot moist packs provide superficial heating, especially effective on problem areas covered by little soft tissue. They are commonly applied on the hands and feet. Radiant heat through the use of lamps may be utilized especially if the individual has trouble tolerating the weight of hot moist packs.

    Deep heating is employed to increase the temperature at much deeper levels. To achieve such effect, ultrasound is used. It is also said to help in enhancing the effects of topical anti-inflammatory drugs or anesthetics. There are times when cryotherapy is done. The application of cold packs, coolant sprays or immersion of affected large body areas to cold water may be performed.

    Aquatic therapy pools can also be beneficial for people afflicted with RA. They help reduce the weight load of affected joints as various physical exercises are performed. Certain types may be installed at home, allowing rheumatoid arthritis sufferers to take advantage of the favorable effects without the need to go to a medical or sports facility where such is available.

    Natural Remedy For Arthritis - Treat The Cause Of Rheumatoid Arthritis!

    The crippling pain of arthritis is a major epidemic in the western world especially amongst older people. The lack of mobility and the constant pain caused by arthritis can damage a person's life not just physically but socially and mentally as their quality of life diminishes. To help with this condition many people take drugs that treat the symptoms but not the cause of rheumatoid arthritis, many people dissatisfied with this type of treatment have looked elsewhere for a natural remedy for arthritis and have been pleasantly surprised!

    Arthritis along with many other first worlds, western diseases that have seen a massive explosion in the modern era are almost reaching a crisis point and science and medicine seem helpless to stop this. Instead the medical profession focuses on pain reduction not cures and some of then more cynical amongst us put this down to the fact the drug companies want us to keep buying their medicine not stop a disease. So what can a natural remedy do that modern science cannot?

    The first thing to understand about arthritis is that no one agrees on its exact cause also complicated by the fact it is such a broad term for a number of conditions that are grouped under the arthritis umbrella. However it is known that similar conditions can be reversed by the most natural remedy of all, diet and exercise! The biggest problem with people's health today is that we eat too much unnatural food that pollutes our body and puts way to much acid in our system. This chemical imbalance is the cause of a great number of diseases including rheumatoid arthritis; the good news it you can change this naturally!

    To counteract the pollutions in your body the best treatment is to change your lifestyle and diet. The main offenders are such processed items such as cola and other soda products as well as overly sugary and salty foods like chips and chocolate bars. Add to this alcohol, cigarettes, pesticides, preservatives, chemicals and drugs and you can see how the body may not be able to handle all this even if you do not feel too unhealthy. Changing your diet to reflect what humans ate for so many years before our modern diets is a step in the direction of curing arthritis and being a healthier person in general. More vegetables, roots, fruits, nuts, seeds and others will help balance your body's chemicals and bring you much pain relief; add to this more exercise and you have a lifestyle that promotes wellbeing and health and can halt and reverse the effects of arthritis.

    While many people may need to continue treating the symptoms of arthritis to reduce the pain until they can purge their body of its toxins this natural remedy for arthritis is one you can do simply by living well without exotic herbs or acupuncture. Treat the cause of rheumatoid arthritis or any other arthritis for that matter and you can be pain free for life!

    Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms and Causes

    The cause or causes of arthritis are oftentimes difficult to determine because there are many factors that contribute to the development of this common disease.

    Arthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage. Cartilage normally protects the joint, allowing for smooth movement. Cartilage also absorbs shock when pressure is placed on the joint, like when you walk. Without the usual amount of cartilage, the bones rub together, causing pain, swelling (inflammation), and stiffness.

    You may have joint inflammation for a variety of reasons, including:

    * Broken bone
    * Infection (usually caused by bacteria or viruses)
    * An autoimmune disease (the body attacks itself because the immune system believes a body part is foreign)
    * General "wear and tear" on joints

    Often, the inflammation goes away after the injury has healed, the disease is treated, or the infection has been cleared.

    With some injuries and diseases, the inflammation does not go away or destruction results in long-term pain and deformity.

    When this happens, you have chronic arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type and is more likely to occur as you age.

    You may feel it in any of your joints, but most commonly in your hips, knees or fingers. Risk factors for osteoarthritis include:

    * Being overweight
    * Previously injuring the affected joint
    * Using the affected joint in a repetitive action that puts stress on the joint (baseball players, ballet dancers, and construction workers are all at risk)

    Arthritis can occur in men and women of all ages. About 37 million people in America have arthritis of some kind, which is almost 1 out of every 7 people.

    Other types or cause of arthritis include:

    * Rheumatoid arthritis (in adults)
    * Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (in children)
    * Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
    * Gout
    * Scleroderma
    * Psoriatic arthritis
    * Ankylosing spondylitis
    * Reiter's syndrome (reactive arthritis)
    * Adult Still's disease
    * Viral arthritis
    * Gonococcal arthritis
    * Other bacterial infections (non-gonococcal bacterial arthritis )
    * Tertiary Lyme disease (the late stage)
    * Tuberculous arthritis
    * Fungal infections such as blastomycosis

    Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptom

    If you have arthritis, you may experience:

    * Joint pain
    * Joint swelling
    * Stiffness, especially in the morning
    * Warmth around a joint
    * Redness of the skin around a joint
    * Reduced ability to move the joint

    Self-destructive immune response of R.A may be caused by a combination of genetic susceptibility and an environmental trigger. Changing hormones may also play an important role in disease, possibly in response to an infection of the environment.

    More than one gene has been linked to the risk of R.A. Specific genes may increase the likelihood of a person developing the disease, and could also partly determine how serious his condition is. However, because not all people with a genetic predisposition to rheumatoid arthritis actually have the disease, other factors should be important.

    A specific environmental trigger has not been found, but some research suggests that infection by a virus or bacterium leads to rheumatoid arthritis in people genetically susceptible. That does not mean that rheumatoid arthritis is contagious. People with rheumatoid arthritis appear to have more antibodies in the synovial fluid in their joints, suggesting that there may be an infection. Low levels of hormones of the adrenal gland are common in people with rheumatoid arthritis, but how hormones interact with genetic and environmental factors is unknown. Changes hormone can contribute to the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.

    Rheumatoid arthritis may occur independently of other conditions, but its causes and its relationship with other diseases are not well understood. A different way of chronic arthritis can sometimes develop in rheumatoid arthritis. It is also possible that infections or other environmental triggers exist that may cause rheumatoid arthritis in people who already have a gene for the disease.

    How to Treat Neck Arthritis and Painful Joints

    Neck arthritis or neck pain is caused by the joint pain conditions like rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and others. It is a joint pain condition where the cartilage in the joint wears down due to injury or aging process or combination of both.

    The common symptoms of neck arthritis are stiffness and pain in the neck. These symptoms can become severe when standing as compared to the lying down as that produces the effect of the gravity on the spine. Also at times sleeping at night worsens the situation. As neck muscles are in relax state and without the support of these muscles there is more pressure on already compressed nerves. This results in more inflammation and pain.

    The patients with neck pain also show signs of weakness, burning, numbness, tingling, electric pains down the arm, forearm and hand. The other sign of neck pain is headache that is experienced on the back side of the head.

    Neck arthritis is not reduced on doing nothing. Actually statistics have shown sedentary people suffer more than active ones. Few activities that will reduce neck pain are neck exercises, posture exercises, massage therapy and last resort medicines.

    There are typical postures and neck exercises that will bring back range of motion with relieve of pain and stiffness. For posture exercises set of exercise bands and exercise ball is needed. The neck exercises are learnt from therapist. The flexibility, circulation and mobility are increased by massage therapy. The relaxation produced helps in relieving pain.

    Alternative methods like homeopathy and acupuncture proves to be very effective in relieving the neck pain. In the grave situation when pain becomes unbearable pain killers are used to check neck pain. As pain killers have side effects their use should be the last option.

    One type of joint pain as discussed is due to degradation in the cartilage. On the other hand painful joints can be due to only pain without any physical deterioration of the body joints. Such a disorder is called arthralgia. This condition can spring up with little or no known causes. Painful joints may result from injury or loss of lubrication in the joint. The symptoms of arthralgia are very similar to arthritis with slight variation.

    The common causes of painful joints are different forms of arthritis. The other causes are fracture or accidental injury, diseases like fever, flu, hepatitis, chicken pox, and rubella that are infectious.

    What ever be the reason for joint pains in the body, light exercises under the guidance of able physical therapist will bring about a significant change in the state of body. This applies to neck arthritis also. To control the joint pains in your body is in your hands.

    Arthritis Knee Pain Treatment and Herbal Remedies - Relieve Pain and Inflammation

    Knee is one of the most commonly affected joint by arthritis, severe pain can hinder even the day-to-day activities and can cause lot of problem. Sometimes conditions get so deteriorated that a knee replacement surgery remains the only treatment left. Moving the affected joint at least few times in a day is very important for treating arthritis knee which is only possible when patient get relief for sometime from pain and inflammation. Medicines like steroids, narcotic pain medication and NSAID are recommended by the doctors for arthritis knee pain relief, all of these are effective without any doubt but their side effects are well known, NSAID are treated as having minimum side effects of all the three but its complete effects are still not known.

    Herbs are very effective ways to relieve arthritis knee pain and inflammation and of course they are free of side effects. Some herbs are effective when taken orally and some are for topical use. Cayenne cream is very popular herbal remedy for arthritis pain relief including knee due to its properties resembling the effects of NSAID. Cayenne cream's topical application on knee can reduce the signals of pain passing to the brain which makes the patient feel reduced or no pain for sometime. Ginger is an herb which can be used orally as well as externally for knee pain relief. Ginger has rich anti-oxidant properties and promotes blood flow in to the affected part.

    Warm mustard oil spread over madar leaf and tied to the knee relieves the pain and inflammation caused due to arthritis effectively. Ashwagandha or withania somnifera is a natural pain reliever and has been recommended in Ayurveda for arthritis pain relief. Some other popular herbs used for arthritis knee pain relief are nettle leaves, in some old medications the sting of nettle thorn was given directly on the knee for immediate relief from pain and inflammation. Massage of warm oregano oil is also helpful in treating the knee pain.

    If there is not acute inflammation and pain in the knee then moist heat is very effective to alleviate the arthritis pain. Soak a cloth in warm water and cover the knee till the temperature gets normal, repeat these compresses few times and 2-3 times in a day for pain relief. Hot and cold compresses are also effective for arthritis knee pain relief. In case of acute knee pain only cold compresses shall be applied. Exercises like water cycling is also an effective way to promote movement and blood circulation in the knee joint which reduces the frequency and intensity of the flares of pain. Mobilization therapy exercises are also effective in preventing arthritis knee pain and also alleviating it, however any exercise regimen shall not be chosen without medical opinion. Some yoga poses have been found very effective in relieving the knee pain and even preventing arthritis itself.

    Sun salutation is a series of seven yoga exercise which is good for musculoskeletal and cardio-vascular system. Some breathing exercises can promote blood flow in the body for arthritis pain relief and promoting endurance.

    Do It Yourself Arthritis Treatment

    Arthritis Treatment

    If you see your joints getting large, you must first dissolve the salt in your joints.
    Make a pair of little bags into which you can put your hands, or your feet, or get some thick stockings or socks.

    Prepare a poultice of onions and raw potatoes ground fine. Grind them with a vegetable grinder, then mix them and put enough into your bag or stocking so that there will still be room for your hands or feet. Tie it well above the ankle or wrist. Have a string through it like a sack, and draw it tight at the top. Then for something to keep the juice from coming through, use a paper bag for that. A twenty pound sugar bag will be all right. That will finish the job. Go off the bed and leave the wrapping on all night. Next morning take it off and wash the leg or arm thoroughly. Also wash out the bag and hang it on the line to dry. Do the same thing the next night again. Keep that up regularly.

    Arthritis is a very difficult disease to cure because you have to dissolved a deposit in your joints. When this is dissolving, you are going to have pains, as in rheumatism. Why? Because of the uric acid which was first eaten in food. This gave rheumatic pains.
    These were caused by acid then in your blood. Later, the acid settled in the joints. This uric acid slowly changed into urates, really salt by reason of age. The uric liquid has evaporated and left only the sediment of salt in the joints. If you choose to live on natural food and vegetable juices, the urates dissolve and are redeposited in the blood. You will perhaps blame the juice for giving you rheumatism, but oranges never gave anyone rheumatism. They only reliquify deposited urates in order to get them out of the system.

    But to get rid of arthritis, get plenty of exercise. Bathe daily. Stimulate the muscles to throw off the impurities collected there. The more you perspire the quicker you will get rid of your arthritis. You must get the waste matter out. Neither fever nor perspiration will take it out-nothing but living as nature intended you should. You must live on live foods and natural juices as beverages between meals. You must give your body the organic salt it needs.

    After two or three weeks of poulticing, change from monion-potato to flaxseed. Get some ground flax meal, put some into your bags, and dip into boiling hot water. Then take them out and let cool long enough so that you can comfortably put your hand into them. Tie just as you did the other poultice. Do that for two or three nights and then commence using half onion and potato, half flaxseed meal. The flaxseed poultice will furnish the lubricant and will take away the extreme skin dryness. Patience and endurance will be very essential, but you will be rewarded by complete freedom from arthritis.

    This reconstruction work may cause an affliction of the heart for the period of the elimination, because all blood that is saturated with uric and other wastes will also affect the heart. Do not be alarmed. The fresh juices and other raw foods will counteract this condition. Drink as much natural fruit juice as you care to. Choose quantity, as well as variety, by taste.