Referred to as the nation’s number one crippling disease and the most common chronic disease in people over 40, arthritis affects more than 40 million Americans. And this figure is expected to rise to 60 million by 2020, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Arthritis generally afflicts people between the ages of 20 and 50, but can affect all ages, even infants. The average age of onset is 47 and about three out of every five people with arthritis are under 65 years of age.
Arthritic expenditures for just one person due to lost wages, medical treatment and other related expenses can come to more than $150,000 in his or her lifetime. And doctors believe there are over 100 different forms of arthritis, all sharing one main characteristic: all forms cause joint inflammation.
What can be done for arthritis pain relief? Many things. For example, weight and nutrition are only a couple of factors that play a role in arthritic pain. And yet shedding even 10 pounds to relieve weight from knees and finding the right nutritional strategy can help relieve pain a lot.
There are many ways to effectively manage arthritic pain today to find relief. Available are arthritic diets, exercise programs, over-the-counter and prescription medications, relaxation and positive emotion coping techniques. Also available are surgeries, supplements, home remedies, natural and other alternative therapies. When arthritis is first suspected, it would be wise to seek a medical opinion first. Then as time and resources allow, check out the other options.
For people who suffer from arthritis, dependable pain relief is a vital concern. The agonizing sensations of simply walking up the stairs are discouraging and can drive patients into depression. When someone cannot function properly, their body is not in balance and often; they will become victims of their pain, forcing them to seek alternatives. These people have often tried traditional medications without success, they are often no eligible for surgery and as a result, they will see relieve through natural remedies.
Many people are also seeking natural remedies because of the increasing cost of prescription medication. Before discontinuing a prescription medication, consult a physician. However, with a doctor’s approval, there are many natural solutions, which may aid in managing arthritis. A popular alternative to medication for pain relief is acupuncture. Although the pain-relieving effects may be temporary, these sessions can be very beneficial for those who find that drugs or supplements are insufficient or have unacceptable side effects:
Cayenne Cream – apply the cayenne cream to painful areas. Cayenne peppers contain an substance called capsaicin which is responsible for their spicy effect. This also causes a burning sensation when it comes in contact with skin, and inhibits the body’s production of substance P which is heavily involved the relaying signals of pain to the brain. Apply the cream two to three times per day for at least one week before making a decision as to whether or not the cream is helping to reduce arthritis pain.
It’s understandable that many people experiencing pain and aching in a joint because of osteoarthritis reach for the aspirin or another conventional pain reliever. The problem is, these medications can be rough on your stomach, and they do nothing to slow the progress of your arthritis. Even the new COX-2 inhibitor drugs do not act to preserve the joint. [From the doctors of WholeHealthMD].
On the contrary, many natural remedies and supplements have been found to actually reduce cartilage deterioration and even rebuild a patient’s lost cartilage. However, before adding any to your daily routine, check with your healthcare advisor, as supplements can cause adverse reactions and may not be right for your situation. Note that dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration); i.e. do not need to be approved by them, and can include any of the following: plants, fats, proteins and animal organs and tissues as well as herbs, minerals and vitamins.
So some supplements may be fine for arthritic patients; however some may not be. Note also that manufacturers may very well promote that their products work great, but they do not have to use standardized ingredients or recipes, disclose side effects that have been reported, nor prove that the products are indeed effective. So use caution.
The most popular dietary supplements for arthritis sufferers are chondroitin, fish oil and glucosamine. Chondroitin can draw fluid into the cartilage, improving shock-absorbing ability and weight control, as more weight equals more joint pressure. Fish oils help with controlling inflammation in the body. And recent studies have shown that the cartilage-building substance called glucosamine is effective for the long-term relief of osteoarthritis pain.
In some people, glucosamine appears to even slow the deterioration of joints over time and reinforce joint cartilage. Whether or not it can actually reverse the disease is still unclear. In some instances, glucosamine can be used in conjunction with MSM, a substance that appears to slow down the degeneration but is not yet proven and approved.
In a nutshell:
Chondroitin – Helps draw fluid into cartilage, improving shock-absorbing ability.
Ginger Ginger is an antioxidant that acts as an inflammatory with no major side effects.
Glucosamine sulfate This builds cartilage with very few side effects.
Magnets Although magnets that are worn as jewelry or placed on bed linens have been reported by some to be effective pain relievers, results are still preliminary; doctors claim that these magnets are not strong enough.
MSM – This organic sulfur is used in the reduction of inflammation.
Nettle leaf – Nettles can reduce a patient’s need for NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) by up to 70 percent.
Vitamin E This antioxidant is used primarily for osteoarthritis.
Vitamin B is also an effective pain reliever. It works best on the knee and can help stop degeneration that is caused by free-radical molecules, not only in the joints but in other areas of the body as well
These are merely a few examples of what an arthritis sufferer can use when seeking pain relief from natural remedies. However, due to the lack of scientific study and testing on many of these alternate treatments, there is no proof of their effectiveness.
Nothing can cure osteoarthritis, but nutritional supplements, the application of heat or cold to affected joints, exercise, and weight loss can improve the function and flexibility of your joints, and perhaps even slow the progress of the disease. Conventional over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, can be very helpful in decreasing joint pain, but they do produce side effects and can cause problems in long-term users.
Unfortunately, there is no way to cure arthritis. However, you can delay the onset by maintaining a healthy weight. Exercise regularly and eat a healthy and avoid repetitious movements that cause you pain.