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Arthritis

In a healthy normal state, all joint movements are smooth, easy and are taken for granted. When you have difficulties getting out of bed, morning stiffness that lasts more than thirty minutes or you are struggling to open a lid on a jar, you may have arthritis.
Unfortunately, this is one of the most common problems that annoy people and affects millions of people of all ages around the world.

Arthritis is the inflammation of a joint which makes movement difficult and causes redness, swelling and sometimes warmth. It can occur in any joint but mainly it begins with the fingers, knees and hips.

Bones that meet at the joint don’t actually touch each other. They are separated by space referred to as synovial space that contains a membrane filled with fluid. This setup allows the movement in the joint. The end of the each bone is covered with smooth cartilage that helps to reduce the friction even more.





Arthritis condition can be caused by any of more than one hundred diseases that are all coming under the general heading of Arthritis. Arthritis pain varies greatly from person to person due to different physical activities, environmental conditions and emotional states. Chronic arthritis pain is long lasting and can range from weeks to a lifetime. It is necessary to manage the pain or it will drastically disrupt your daily life.

Arthritis occurs in various forms, the most frequent being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease which usually occurs in the older age-group. Rheumatoid arthritis is a serious disease which affects not only the joints of the fingers, wrists, hips, knees and feet, but also the muscles, tendons and other tissues of the body. The common denominator amongst all these conditions is joint and musculoskeletal pain, commonly known as arthritis pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis is when synovial membrane is inflamed due to autoimmune disorder where the body immune system isn’t functioning correctly. The inflammation creates additional tissue that causes distortion of the joint that can be noticeable from outside. Rheumatoid arthritis appears in a few joints in the body but mostly in the wrists.

Osteoarthritis is when the joints (especially in the fingers) themselves swell and become deformed. There is less inflammation with this type of arthritis. One of the main characteristics of osteoarthritis is that the affected joint is cool and hard to the touch compared to warm and spongy as in rheumatoid arthritis.
The wearing out and destruction of the cartilage is also common to osteoarthritis. Small bone sours then grow from the bone into the joint and decreasing the movement of the joint even more. Osteoarthritis tends to be hereditary. Keeping your weight at an acceptable level has shown to reduce the chance of developing this type of arthritis in the knees.

Infectious arthritis is the result of viral, bacterial, or fungal infection that can start from injury, surgery, or disease. In addition to the throbbing pain in the affected joint it is also accompanied with fever, chills and body aches. The pain and infection may spread to other joints. It may strike at any age.

Unfortunately, there are many more types of arthritis that we could not cover here but you are welcome to visit one of the following sites for more information.
Arthritis Treatment and Relief

Easy ways to reduce the pain

You can manage Arthritis pain applying lifestyle changes as per the following expert’s recommendations:

  • Exercise in waters - Most practitioners will recommend a regular activity and especially water activity, since it doesn't put additional pressure (weight pressure) on the joints. This activity must go together with rest periods.
  • Posture - Poor posture will distribute your weight unevenly and can intensify the problem on joints in your lower extremities.
  • Hot packs - applied to stiff joints help in decreasing morning stiffness.
  • Hot tubs and baths - Take a hot shower in the morning to help relieve morning stiffness.
  • Stress - Reduce stress in your life. Worry, anger, and similar emotions make your body weak and helps induce arthritic problems.
  • Dietary review - Many medical doctors recommend increasing the amount of whole, unprocessed foods in your diet. Some people with arthritis claim that a vegetarian diet can reduce the symptoms. Cutting back on coffee, alcohol, chocolate and dairy products might help you too, since these foods tend to promote inflammation. Sensitivity and allergy to specific type of foods can affect arthritis, and many people find some relief by eliminating certain foods such as the aubergines, tomatoes, peppers and potatoes.
  • Weight control – Overweight in relation to the size of your body frame and your bones thickness will overstress the joints of the lower extremities.

A few off the shelf supplement that can assist and relieving Arthritis:

  • B Vitamin - A few studies showed that especially vitamin B12 can provide some relief.
  • C & D Vitamins– May help for sufferers of osteoarthritis. The C vitamin is an essential ingredient for the body to make collagen. Collagen is an important component of the joints.
  • E Vitamin – May act as a pain relief from Arthritis
  • Calcium – It is an important component of the bone and it showed to decrease the amount of bone loss.
  • Glucosamine soleplate – This is the main ingredient in making the cartilage in the joints. Many people claim that it works wonders. It is not a pain reliever. It takes four to eight weeks before you feel results.

HERBAL REMEDIES

Cayenne and Other Peppers

Peppers contain a strong analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent known as capsaicin. This compound blocks a chemical in the body that acts as a pain signal. You can find capsaicin in many commercial creams and ointments for arthritis pain.

Typical dosage: a cream containing 0.25% to 0.75% capsaicin applied daily.

Caution: Some people experience a slight burning of the skin with capsaicin use. If you do, try a cream with a lower percentage of capsaicin.

Green gram

Green gram like peas is eaten in India as a green vegetable. The dried form of this vegetable is yellow or cream in color.
A soup made with half a cup of green gram, boiled, mashed well with 2-3 crushed cloves of garlic is a good seasonal remedy for pain in the joints.

Typical Dosage: a cupful of soup twice a day.

Evening Primrose

The seed of this plant contains the essential fatty acid gamma- linolenic acid (GLA) which has an effect on inflammation. This seed oil may significantly reduce arthritis pain, specifically pain related to rheumatoid arthritis.

Typical Dosage: up to 12 capsules per day of 540 milligram or 12 teaspoon of oil per day.

Other oils to keeping joints from creaking

The following oils also have high levels of either gamma-linolenic acid GLA) or the chemicals your body uses to make GLA but are lesss costly than Evening Primrose oil:

  • Borage seed oil
  • Blackcurrant seed oil
  • Fish oils
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Nut oils
  • Safflower oil

Pineapple juice

Pineapple juice reduces swelling and inflammation around the joints, which occurs in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The active ingredient is a substance called bromelain that has significant anti- inflammatory action.

Typical Dosage: A cupful (200 ml) of Pineapple juice taken daily.

Flax seed

The Iinoleic acid found in flaxseed oil alters how the body breaks down prostaglandins

(chemicals involved in inflammation), This is why it may also be beneficial for arthritis sufferers.

Typical Dosage: 2 tablespoons of oil per day in food (use on top of cereal or as a salad dressing).

Apple-cider vinegar

Vinegar made from apples has a substance called mallic acid that helps remove inorganic salt deposits on particular surfaces (especially with non­specific arthritis).

Typical Dosage: One tablespoonful mixed with a teaspoon of honey in a glass of warm water taken first thing in the morning. An extra tablespoon of honey is allowed for non overweight people.

Ginger

This root has been used in India traditionally to treat arthritis.
Gingerly (components of ginger) can inhibit the production of prostaglandins possibly more effectively than the arthritis drug indometacin.

Typical Dosage: up to eight capsules of per day of 500 to 6oo milligram or 12 to 1 teaspoon fresh ground root per day or 10 to 20 drops of tincture in water three times per day.

Caution: doses of ginger higher than these should not be used by people with diabetes, heart problems or bleeding problems.

Celery

This is another leafy vegetable which has high amounts of sodium and is used in for salads or soup seasoning. The sodium helps keep the balance of lime (calcium salt) and magnesium in solution, preventing for it to deposit on joint surfaces. Drinking the celery juice will assist in breaking down disease-producing unhealthy calcium deposits on the particular surfaces of the joints.
The stalk and leaves can both be used to make fresh juice. To make the juice tastier, add an equal amount of carrot juice.

Typical Dosage: A cupful of this mixture freshly prepared should be taken morning and evening.

Devil's Claw

This Africans herb has traditionally been used for most types of arthritis. The tubers contain a group of chemicals called irinoids that have anti-inflammatory activity.
There is a mix of studies results where some show improvement for Arthritis when three capsule of 500 milligram per day where taken, but at the same time other studies showed that devil's claw provides no relief for arthritis.
It may be best to find out for yourself.

Typical Dosage: up to six capsules of 400 or 500 milligram per day or 30 drops of tincture three times per day.

Caution: do not take if you have peptic ulcers.

Green Tea

The Eastern world has known green tea for centuries. Only recently has it become the favorite of medical research. It is now clear that green tea contains chemical called polyphenols that may help relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Black tea may also have the same effect.

Typical Dosage: several cups of green tea per day are safe (follow manufacturer's instructions for tea bags).

Caution: Due to the fact that green tea extracts vary widely in concentration between different manufacturers, follow manufacturer's recommendations on extracts dosages.

Beetroot juice

Drinking beetroot juice or eating a cupful raw or partially cooked diced beetroot is greatly effective on arthritis. The leaves of beetroot are also effective and can be cooked with diced onions. Beet roots are rich in potassium and have an alkalizing effect. This alkalinity takes part in dissolving a range of salt deposits on the different surfaces of the joints.
Note: After having beetroot, you may have a red or pink colored urine. There is no cause for worry since it is due to the red pigment in the beetroot that some people don’t metabolize well.

Feverfew

Usually used for relief of headaches, feverfew has also been used for arthritis. There are no conclusive human studies regarding this herb but in some laboratory studies extracts of feverfew stopped certain processes involved in rheumatoid arthritis.

Typical Dosage: up to three capsules of 300 or 400 milligram per day or two average-sized fresh leaves per day or 15 to 30 drops of tincture per day.

Caution: do not take if you are pregnant.

Potato Juice

The raw potato juice therapy has been used in folk medicine for centuries and is considered one of the most successful treatments for rheumatic and arthritic conditions. Wash thoroughly a potato, cut it to thin slices without peeling the skin and place the slices overnight in a large glass filled with cold water.

Typical Dosage: Drink the juice in the morning before breakfast.

Tumeric

A common Indian spice that is also used to treat arthritis. The active ingredient is curcumin that inhibits the production of prostaglandins. This anti-inflammatory effect has been confirmed in animal studies. Turmeric can be taken in food, or applied topically to the joint as a poultice to relieve pain.

Typical Dosage: up to three capsules of 250 to 500 milligrams per day or up to 1 teaspoon per day in food or 10 to 30 drops of tincture up to three times per day.

Sesame Seeds

Black sesame seed found to be beneficial in frequent joint pains relief.
Soak overnight 1 teaspoon of black sesame seeds in a quarter cup of water.
The water and the seeds should be taken first thing in the morning.

Ginger, Cumin and black pepper powders

The mix of these three ingredients has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Take equal quantities of dried ginger powder, cummin powder and add half the amount of black pepper powder. Grind together and store.

Typical Dosage: Take half a teaspoon of this mixture twice a day. It is best to have this with water or fresh buttermilk that is not sour.

Yucca

Some studies on humans have shown that an extract of yucca reduces the stiffness, swelling and pain related to arthritis but these studies where not conclusive. Native Americans use yucca as a food, especially the fruits of this plant. It has been also used as an arthritis remedy internally or externally on the joint.

Typical Dosage: up to four capsules per day of 490 milligram.

Lime

The citric acid found in lime acts as a solvent of uric acid which is the primary cause of some types of arthritis.

Typical Dosage: Dilute the juice of one lime with water drink first thing in the morning.

Castor Oil

Castor oil can be used to treat Arthritis following the procedure below:
Boil two tablespoons of castor oil over the stove. Pour the oil into a glass of fresh orange juice. Drink before breakfast every day until you feel better.
It is advised to take it for three weeks on and three weeks off while maintaining an alkaline diet. Without this diet the benefit of this treatment will be lost.

Asparagus seeds, fenugreek seeds and black cumin seeds

Asparagus as well as its seeds is beneficial to arthritis patients but especially for sufferers form gout.
Mix equal quantities of asparagus seeds, fenugreek seeds and black cummin seeds. Mill the mix and store it.

Typical Dosage: One leveled teaspoon taken every morning will relieve pain during the acute phase of the disease.

Willow

Willow is probably the oldest herb known to treat pain and inflammation. The inner bark of this plant contains salicin, which is changed to salicylic acid in the body. The compound in aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid, is derived from salicylic acid.

Typical Dosage: up to six 400 milligram capsules per day.

Rose hip

This is a great herb that actually does a good job at relieving pain while also strengthening the body tissue and your ligaments.

Typical Dosage: Follow the manufacture instruction.

Boswellia

Studies in India have documented the usefulness of this gum resin that is an Ayurvedic, as remedy for arthritis.
Boswellia is sometimes mixed with turmeric and another Ayurvedic remedy, ashwaganda.

Typical Dosage: up to three capsules per day of 400 milligram.

Garlic

A lot of people like to use garlic everywhere since garlic works for everything. Garlic is another effective remedy for arthritis. It contains an anti-inflammatory property which accounts for its effectiveness with this disease.
Garlic may be eaten raw or cooked according to your preference.
You can also make a garlic paste and apply it to your affected area (or you can eat it). This should relieve bad joint pains increase your bone strength.