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Beating Osteoarthritis by Reducing Joint Inflammation

One of the biggest myths concerning Osteoarthritis (OA) is that it is simply a “wear and tear” type of arthritis. In fact, the excessive stresses on the bones and joints can cause a sustained inflammatory and immune-mediated response within the joint itself. Medical professionals only consider inflammation as it relates to the cause and treatment of arthritis when considering medical conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lyme disease, and gout. The biggest mistake that health professionals make is underestimating the significant role that inflammation plays not only in the development of OA but in the deterioration and degeneration of the bone and joint over time.

Research has demonstrated that in OA there is an abundance of inflammatory and immune processes that occur in the joint, namely the synovium, which are cells that form the inner lining of the joint. The synovium is responsible for producing fluid called synovial fluid. It not only helps to lubricate the joint but also protects the cartilage and bone. With osteoarthritis, this synovium becomes inflamed (AKA synovitis). Studies have demonstrated that there is increased expression of proteins that increase inflammation as well as a lack of proteins that inhibit inflammation in the synovial fluid of those with OA. Examples of these pro-inflammatory proteins include interleukin-1, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and metalloproteinase (MMP). It is this continued synovitis that significantly contributes to the dramatic worsening of osteoarthritis .

This is why part of your arsenal to help prevent the worsening of OA should include the use of natural anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, including Turmeric, Arnica Montana, Omega 3 fish oil and Avocado extract. Your diet needs to be alkaline and anti-inflammatory. There is significant evidence that these natural substances decrease the expression of these pro-inflammatory proteins in the synovium itself which can not only reduce inflammation but also reduce pain and improve functionality of the bones and joints.

By: Rich Snyder, DO

References

  • Attur M, Samuels J et al. “Targeting the synovial tissue for treating osteoarthritis (OA): where is the evidence?” Best Practices and Research. Clinical Rheumatology. 2010 Feb;24(1):71-9.
  • Fernandes JC, Martel-Pellitier J et al. “The role of cytokines in osteoarthritis physiology. “ Biorheology. 2002;39(1-2):237-46.
  • Scanzello CR, Goldring SR. “The role of synovitis in osteoarthritis pathogenesis.” Bone. 2012 Aug;51(2):249-57.

Natural Treatment for Osteoarthritis

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3 Chronic Conditions Treated with Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy can be characterized simply by using hot and cold water, water pressure, and steam to stimulate relief from any number of conditions or ailments. It has been utilized in many treatment care plans with extremely positive results. 3 chronic conditions that can be treated successfully are migraines, osteoarthritis, and Fibromyalgia.

Migraines can easily be treated with simple hydrotherapeutic techniques at home with hot and cold water. Simply using a hot water foot bath and cold compress collectively can greatly reduce the symptoms of a migraine. Cold compress has been used for ages to help with the pain that migraine sufferer’s experience. Also, hot baths have been known to subdue nausea and tension which are also symptoms commonly associated with migraines.

Osteoarthritis utilizes hydrotherapy in a different way than its use in migraine treatment. The predominant use of hydrotherapy for Osteoarthritis is through water exercise and aerobics. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disorder that attacks the joints and causes major pain, stiffness, and discomfort. By incorporating exercise with the buoyancy of water, it creates a physical environment that is comparable to weightlessness. This lack of weight helps those with Osteoarthritis increase their range of motion in the joints while maintaining movement and strengthening.

Fibromyalgia is treated with hydrotherapy in a much more medicinal and scientific approach. New research suggests that including a hydrotherapeutic technique of colon cleansing can significantly reduce the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. The theory is that as the cleanse removes toxins, waste, and allergens, it increases the function of the immune system and decreases inflammation in the body. Increasing the immune system allows those with the disease to stay healthy and strong to better fight off infections which can be triggers for Fibromyalgia. Decreasing inflammation is thought to help keep the overall feelings of pain and fatigue at bay for most sufferers.

Hydrotherapy is a versatile and attainable therapy to treat many conditions and ailments. From a simple cold compress to a medical procedure designed to balance the body chemistry, Hydrotherapy can be utilized by anyone with just a bit of know-how or experienced professional with incredible results.

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How Dorothy Hamill Stays Active with Osteoarthritis

In 1976 Dorothy Hamill took a gold medal in figure skating at the green age of 19, now in her 50’s Hamill still manages to keep active despite having the chronic pain and discomfort of osteoarthritis. While exercising has always been seen as a chore for Hamill, she has found many other ways to stay active, keep skating, and maintain her pain management with Osteoarthritis.

Dorothy Hamill spends a lot of time on the ice still to this day, but she does admit that with her Osteoarthritis it takes more time to stretch, warm up, and get moving. Even with a vigorous warm up and stretching routine, Hamill says there is still stiffness in her neck, hip, and knees which renders her less flexible. While for many this would stop them from doing something like skating, for Hamill it motivated her to keep moving and to work through her symptoms. It’s not without purpose, however, she does follow some simple techniques to stay active and on the ice.

Walking everyday has been a big help for Dorothy Hamill. While she claims daily exercise routines is a chore for her, walking her dogs through her Baltimore neighborhood is something she actually enjoys and looks forward to. It keeps her loose and physically active while maintaining a low impact cardio routine that is essential for treatment in Osteoarthritis. She also spends more time warming up on the ice to really utilize the temperature differences on the rink from cold and hot to keep her muscles loose. Hamill spends more time using stretching and relaxation techniques while doing some yoga to keep as much flexibility as possible.

Dorothy Hamill uses skating as her motivation. It is her passion, income, and a way of life for her. Focusing on the goal of continuing that, Hamill has found a way to work through her symptoms and continue to skate. Keeping active, making healthy food choices, and add simple yoga to her daily routine have allowed Hamill to continue to be a driving force in the Olympic world and an inspiration for all.

Reference:

  • arthritistoday.org/what-you-can-do/arthritis-stories/athletes/dorothy-hamill.php
  • lef.org/magazine/mag2012/nov2012_Dorothy_Hammill_01.htm

Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/aapd418/8382749298/

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4 Remedies to Treat Osteoarthritis during Pregnancy

Osteoarthritis is painful and uncomfortable for the average person, but for a pregnant woman it is downright debilitating. With many narcotics, medications, and therapies being on the “no” list during pregnancy, it is easy to understand why many women that suffer from Osteoarthritis are hesitant to become pregnant. What most women don’t know is that there are many ways to help treat the symptoms Osteoarthritis that are completely natural and easily accessible. Here are 4 ways to treat Osteoarthritis during pregnancy.

Folic Acid – Folic acid is important in any pregnancy, but for women with Osteoarthritis, Folic acid plays a large role in the metabolism of nucleic and amino acids. This reaction helps to reduce the loss of red blood cells in the body and can help reduce disease activity. Folic acid supplements are safe to take during pregnancy as well can easily be added nutritionally with leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and chard.

Herbal Supplementation – There are numerous herbal supplements that are available that are completely safe during pregnancy and have shown huge success with treatment of Osteoarthritis. Some of these include Glucosamine sulphate and Boswellia. Both are easily accessible at most health food and big box retailers in a pill form. You may even be able to find liquid or powder versions of some supplements for easier digestion.

Exercise – It is important during pregnancy to maintain a light exercise routine to avoid being sedentary, it is even more important to when treating Osteoarthritis while pregnant. Light walking, jogging, yoga, and casual aerobics are a great way to keep muscles loose and reduce stiffness in joints. It also helps to keep energy levels maintained and supports digestion, which is often compromised during pregnancy.

Acupuncture – Acupuncture has a proven track record to aiding the treatment of Osteoarthritis. By changing the flow of energy and nerve stimulation from the therapy, many patients have seen remarkable results from Acupuncture. Not all Acupuncturists will work with pregnant women, so it is important to find someone that specializes in Pre-natal care.

All of these options are completely safe during a normal pregnancy, but it is important to consult an Obstetrician before adding anything new. Keeping the doctor in the loop is the safest way to ensure a healthy pregnancy while treating Osteoarthritis and also gives the added bonus of any resources that the doctor may have access to. The above methods are otherwise safe, natural, and easily incorporated treatment options for Osteoarthritis while pregnant.

Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/lululemonathletica/3740530315/

Natural Treatments for Osteoarthritis

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Using Diet and Detox to Treat Inflammation and Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, a chronic and degenerative condition that affects the joints, affects millions of people a day. However, with no cure in sight for the disorder many people are trying to find alternative treatments for the disease. One of the most successful approaches to treating Osteoarthritis alternatively is to treat both inflammation and the symptoms of the disease with detox and diet.

Detox – Incorporating a detox into your lifestyle may be difficult at first, but it is important to flush out the toxins that are put into the body so that your system can effectively utilize diet to combat osteoarthritis symptoms. A common detox measure is to add an herbal tea comprised of ginger, honey, and cinnamon in your morning routine. Ginger is a natural pain reliever, while honey and cinnamon have huge anti-inflammatory values. Together, this mixture helps flush environmental toxins from the body while assisting wiht pain management and inflammation.

Diet – While a detox can greatly increase comfort when dealing with inflammation and osteoarthritis symptoms, it must be followed up by adding some nutritional powerhouses to reap the full benefits of it. Add dark-pigmented fruits such as cherries, grapes, blackberries, and dark figs – all of which have huge anti-inflammatory properties. Nuts and fish high in Omega – 3 also help with inflammation and pain associated with Osteoarthritis. Finally, avoiding saturated fats, gluten, refined sugars, and most importantly hydrogenated oils and trans fats will greatly increase the effectiveness of diet change and detox for treatment of Osteoarthritis.

While medication and physical therapy can help decrease pain and increase range of motion for chronic inflammation and Osteoarthritis symptoms, many people have found the most relief from diet changes, weight loss, and overall healthy living. One of the biggest culprits contributing to symptom flare up is usually associated with diet. It’s not what you aren’t eating, but what you are that usually is causing the most problems. Removing certain trigger items and replacing them with a simple detox and healthy choices could be the difference between daily pain management and a lifetime of symptoms.

Reference:

  • womentowomen.com/inflammation/naturalantiinflammatories.aspx

Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/zest-pk/923930277/

Natural Treatments for Osteoarthritis

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Juicing to Treat Migraines, Fibromyalgia, and Osteoarthritis

Juicing – a health phenomenon that is trending across the nation – touts many health benefits towards a healthy lifestyle. With an easily digested arsenal of vitamins and minerals from different sources, juicing has allowed dieters and health nuts to benefit from delicious blends of nature’s energy drink. But more and more, juicing is being used to help treat chronic illnesses and disorders such as migraines, Fibromyalgia, and Osteoarthritis.

Migraines

Migraines and any other kind of headache for that matter can be enough to stop anyone in their tracks. The key to avoiding or treating major headaches and migraines is to include heavy doses of calcium and magnesium in your juice mix. Fennel carries large amounts of both, while ginger adds nice flavor and is a natural pain reliever. A mixture of Fennel, carrots, apples, pineapple, ginger, and cabbage in your juicer should be enough to ease the symptoms of a migraine and has a sweet taste from the apples and pineapple.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is best treated when juices incorporate high levels of antioxidants. When trying to treat the symptoms of Fibromyalgia it is important to incorporate high energy fruits and vegetables along with those high in antioxidants. Mixing cranberries, cherries, carrots, celery, and spinach will give you a large dose of antioxidants and high energy as well. Apples and ginger can also be added for taste and pain management.

Osteoarthritis

The secret to treating osteoarthritis by juicing is anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. These can come from a variety of sources of fresh fruits. Mix dark pigmented fruit such as cherries, blackberries, and red grapes with ginger, and honey. The dark pigmented fruit contain anthocyanins which have been documented to have both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory values. The ginger and honey make it more palatable and provide pain management.

Juicing is a quality source of vegetable and fruit nutrition in a manageable and enjoyable system. The key to any chronic illness management is to commit to a certain therapy and follow through with it. With some planning, these juicing ideas can be incorporated into any daily routine and begin to provide relief for migraines, Fibromyalgia, and Osteoarthritis.

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Using Supplements and Chiropractic Care to Aid with Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a debilitating disease that affects the joints and the connective tissues of the joints. There are a lot of holistic approaches that can be utilized that include therapy, stretching, yoga, and herbal supplements.

One combination that is growing in popularity is using chiropractic care and Glucosamine to treat the chronic symptoms that are prevalent with osteoarthritis. Chiropractic therapy utilizes spinal alignment to relieve pain, pressure, and tension in the body and joints. This therapy can be relaxing and yields high success for patients. Its success can be greatly enhanced when it is combined with a supplement called Glucosamine.

Glucosamine is supplement that helps the body produce glycosaminoglycan, a molecule used in the formation and repair of cartilage and other body tissues. This production has a notable and profound effect on the joints, especially when trying to combat the degenerative nature of osteoarthritis.

Another supplement that is often used with Glucosamine to help treat osteoarthritis is chondroitin sulfate, a molecule naturally present in cartilage. It is thought that chondroitin is helps create elasticity in cartilage and deters degeneration by enzymes that are present from osteoarthritis.

There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but pain management is possible with chiropractic care and supplementation. Combining these two therapies has been shown to improve pain, weakness, stiffness, range of motion, and mobility for those diagnosed with the disease. While it isn’t a quick fix for the symptoms, it certainly isn’t a band aid either. Over time and with continued therapy, chiropractic care and supplementation can and will improve osteoarthritis symptoms.

 

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How Chiropractic Care can Help Treat 3 Major Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative form of arthritis that attacks the joints of bones. It is often characterized by pain, tension, swelling of the joints, and stiffness. While most treatment plans include medications to reduce inflammation and swelling, chiropractic care may provide a better alternative to management of the disease. Here are 3 ways that chiropractic care can help osteoarthritis sufferers.

  • Pain Reduction – By using chiropractic care and aligning the spine, the spinal cord nerves send a signal to the brain. This signal causes the brain to properly balance chemical production which decreases how the body relays pain.
  • Muscle relaxation – Chiropractic care relieves tension in the muscles by reducing pressure that muscles may hold when the spine is not aligned properly. When the body is in proper alignment the muscles that are attached to the skeletal system stay relaxed and alleviate tension and pressure on the joints.
  • Increased Range of Motion – Proper spine alignment increases the motion range of the spine, hips, and shoulders. This motion increase helps the adjoining joints increase their own range of motion and helps to decrease stiffness throughout the body. Osteoarthritis can be debilitating, painful, and uncomfortable.

Chiropractic care, especially when used with Glucosamine as supplement, can provide ongoing relief for pain management. Chiropractors with experience with osteoarthritis will be able to create a treatment plan that doesn’t incorporate direct thrust or joint trauma, but will provide pain reduction, muscle relaxation, and increased range of motion.

Reference:

 

Holistic Health Therapies for Osteoarthritis

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Treating Arthritis with Hydrotherapy

Arthritis affects more than 20 million American and with treatment options becoming increasingly more expensive, many sufferers are looking for different approaches to treating arthritis symptoms. Treating both Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis symptoms with Hydrotherapy can be simple and incredibly successful when traditional therapies fall short on relief.

Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the lining of the joints, can often times be treated with Hydrotherapy in a multitude of ways. Working with a Hydrotherapist, patients can often find relief from RA symptoms by using water fitness programs to exercise and gain full motion of joints without the pressure or stiffness that is normally associated with RA. The gravitational force is lessened on the body, allowing patients to have a range of motion that they normally wouldn’t when not submerged. Simply soaking in warm water has shown a significant reduction in swelling and pain in the joints while reducing stiffness and improving motion. Warm jets of water have also shown to have a profound effect on circulation which delivers oxygen-rich blood to the joint area’s that need it.

Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease with chronic breakdown of cartilage, can also be effectively treated using hydrotherapy methods. Again, following a fitness routine under the supervision of a Hydrotherapist, aerobics and strength training has been shown to drastically reduce the pain and swelling associated with Osteoarthritis. Using a water fitness program, the buoyancy of the water allows for more range of motion, less pressure on the joints, and less weight bearing on affected areas.

Hydrotherapy can include any range of therapy that involves water and for those suffering from arthritis; it can provide a safe alternative treatment. With Hydrotherapy being readily available at most rehabilitation and athletic facilities, anyone suffering from arthritis can find a program to help treat their symptoms today.

Reference: 

  • altMED, LLC., 2013
    altmd.com/Articles/Hydrotherapy-for-Arthritis

Photo Credit: auraleisure.ie/letterkenny/swimming-pool-sessions/aqua-aerobics