One of the most common sources of physical suffering in our society is osteoarthritis. Known also as erosive or degenerative arthritis, it is a wearing away of cartilage between joints causing bone to scrape bone resulting in chronic inflammation. Learning to treat arthritis with natural remedies can mean the difference between permanent debilitation and a life lived normally to the fullest.
To illustrate the progression and treatment of arthritis, we’ll use the example of one of the most common and debilitating locations for it, the knee joint. In the joint, there is cartilage that pads it allowing the individual bone parts to move together freely with little friction.
Over time we get a lot of wear and tear in the cartilage that results in friction between the bones. This results in inflammation and irritation that culminates in arthritic pain and stiffness. What follows is a simple method of treating arthritis naturally.
CAUTION: Methods from this website should not be taken as professional medical advice. While the methods are derived directly from medical professionals, if you believe or know you have severe arthritis, or it has become debilitating, consult your physician before pursuing any self-treatment.
Controlling Arthritis Caused Inflammation First
The first place to start in improving your arthritic joint is to decrease the wear so it does not progress further. Not doing this means as you are working to improve symptoms, the condition is getting worse. Controlling inflammation is critical in this step.
When we think of inflammation it is almost always in relation to swelling and pain. But inflammation goes far beyond that. In this case it serves to cause further damage to the cartilage. According to many medical doctors and chiropractors, when inflammation becomes chronic, it is one of the leading causes of progressive cartilage damage.
Osteoarthritis is thought of as a wear and tear condition exclusively. While it is indeed a result of wear of joint tissue your body produces cells that repair damage to joints throughout your life. When the wear to the joint becomes such that the damage outstresses the repair, inflammation sets in and becomes part of the degenerative process.
If we can keep inflammation in check, we can significantly slow down the process in which damage occurs in the cartilage. That allows your body’s cells to produce cartilage repair fast enough to prevent further joint erosion.
Because we are discussing natural means of arthritis treatment, the place to start here is with Omega 3 fatty acids. These are known to be a source of anti-inflammatory treatment throughout the body. These fatty acids in combination with a clinically proven supplement such as Heal-N-Soothe taken long term can have a dramatic effect on inflammation, the resulting pain, and the damage produced.
Next, Lubricate The Arthritic Joint To Prevent Further Damage
Your body naturally produces a joint space fluid that builds up within the joint allowing the cartilage to slide freely during movement. This fluid is known as hyaluronic acid, or more easily remembered simply as H.A.
Hyaluronic acid has shown effectiveness when injected in arthritic joints. The lubrication it provides brings pain relief along with some help in reducing restriction on joints. Vitacost is one of the best suppliers of H.A. , well stocked with competitive prices.
Now H.A. is available in oral supplement form, though relatively new and not fully determined as to efficacy. It has shown promise and some positive effects though. This mind numbingly long evaluation of one study will give you some idea of how it may be used and whether it is something that might suit your situation. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3512263/]
To be clear, this substance is to be taken to provide smoother joint movement. If it is effective for your particular condition it will be for that particular effect. It is not a stand-alone rebuilding or pain relieving substance.
If you are taking medication or are currently under medical treatment for any condition, consult your physician before taking oral hyaluronic acid.
Add Protective Supplements For Joint Health
Glucosamine sulfate is the best known joint repair supplement known at this time. While others are touted by supplement sellers, this is the one with enough proof of efficacy to use as part of a long term lifestyle of natural arthritis treatment. Primary studies done have been on knee joints.
The best controlled studies show Glucosamine to be effective, more in stopping the further loss of cartilage than in building it.
Again, this is part of a comprehensive combination of all these elements including Glucosamine.
Sloan Kettering Cancer hospital provides results of significant studies done on this supplement. I have used a Glucosamine supplement for eight years at this writing. It has been a significant element in keeping my formerly injured shoulders working, mobile and strong.
At this point, it is important to point out that long term use of supplements is what makes them effective. It takes some time for your body to take full advantage of the nutrients it is supplied with. Once it gets acclimated to them, the great value is in their lasting, safe relief.
Exercise To Stimulate Cartilage And Tendon Repair And To Build Supporting Muscle
While there is a great deal of conflicting information on the exact effect of exercise for joint repair, one thing is universally accepted. Exercise is critical in keeping strong and mobile while dealing with most any joint condition including arthritis.
So, whatever exact, physiological effects it has, exercise for osteoarthritis definitely is the one factor that pulls together all the others listed.
Do all the others without exercise and you can expect your condition to stay stagnant or progress. To reverse the effects of arthritis or to significantly delay its onset, exercise is key to long term stregth and mobility.
Many times people who are already experiencing pain from arthritis avoid exercise thinking it will do damage because of the pain. In other words, exercise is counter intuitive to how they feel. But overcoming this counter intuitive “feeling” is critical for recovery and improvement.
According to age, the progression of arthritis, pain level, the level of exercise to start will vary widely. Your physician may be able to best give you the safest way to start and progress if your age is advanced or arthritis severe. But exercise is a must in any case.
Building supporting muscle around all joints is critical in keeping them protected, supple and working correctly.
For younger people just beginning to feel the effects of joint wear and inflammation, their efforts with the supplementation listed above along with exercise can produce satisfying long term results. That means long term results without invasive treatment or a forward lifetime of dangerous drugs.
Proven, natural anti-inflammatory supplements, joint lubrication, joint repair and sustenance supplements, and exercise. Your combination to lifestyle adjustments that may make a lifetime difference in your health and ability to keep moving ahead.
CLOSING NOTE: It should be made clear that these methods of lifestyle treatment are for osteoarthritis only. While some of these may apply, nothing here is meant to be suggested for rheumatoid arthritis which is a much more serious condition affecting the body’s immune system. Rheumatoid arthritis should only be treated under a doctor’s supervision.