Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Natural Arthritis Treatment

What is Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is the second most common form of arthritis. It is a systemic disease, which may also affect other body organs such as the lungs in addition to the joints. It usually affects the small joints of the hand and feet but can affect other joints as well.

Arthritis literally means joint inflammation and there are many different types of arthritis such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The main symptoms of arthritis are pain, stiffness and swelling around the joints, which result in impaired mobility.

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. This is a degenerative disorder in which cartilage, which is the natural shock absorber of the joint, begins to break down. Without its cushioning effect, the bones grind on each other and this causes pain and stiffness. Osteoarthritis mainly affects the hardest working joints that is the knees, hips, spine, but may also affect other joints.
Foods for Arthritis Treatment
These dietary measures should be part of a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains such as brown bread and brown rice taken with plenty of clean water.

Diets to ensure joint health are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin A, C, E, and selenium. These help reduce the inflammation in the joints. An antioxidant rich diet includes plenty of carrots, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons, and sunflower oil.

A diet rich in fatty acids is also beneficial for patients with arthritis. These can be obtained from fish especially the deep-sea fish, which provide the omega 3 fatty acids. Flaxseed oil also provides another type of anti-inflammatory fatty acids, which are important for joint mobility.

Eating fresh pineapple which contains bromelain, an enzyme which is excellent in reducing inflammation, is also beneficial in the natural treatment of arthritis though the pineapple must be fresh as freezing and caning destroy the enzymes.

Turmeric the yellow spice fromIndiais also effective in reducing the pain and inflammation of arthritis. This is because it contains curcumin, which is an anti-inflammatory substance. It should be used in moderation.
Still Life of Grapes and Pineapples

Nutritional Supplements for Arthritis
In addition to these nutritional supplements, one should also take a daily multivitamin and multimineral to ensure they get the full daily requirements of all the vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, which is needed by collagen and other connective tissues in the joints.

Supplements that help with the management of arthritis include glucosamine sulfate. This is a natural constituent of healthy cartilage which may help build cartilage and slow the progression of the disease.

Chondroitin sulphate is another supplement, which is also a natural constituent of healthy cartilage. Its ability to repair and maintain cartilage and connective tissue makes it an effective supplement for arthritis.

Calcium and vitamin D are also important nutrients for bone health. They can be obtained from dietary sources such as milk, yogurt, and cheese.
Physical Exercise for Arthritis
Strength training is also important in arthritis as it helps to strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments that support the joints and thus helps keep the joints stable.

Exercise is vital for joint health. Gentle stretching exercises help to maintain or increase the affected joint’s range of motion and to maintain flexibility. A hot shower before stretching, especially in the morning, can help loosen the stiff muscles and joints.

The best types of aerobic exercises for controlling arthritis are the low impact ones such as swimming and walking which don’t put a lot of strain on the joints. Swimming is particularly good since the water helps support ones body weight so the joints don’t have to bear it.

People with arthritis should avoid high impact activities that twist and turn the joints such as tennis, squash, and basketball.
Variety of Body Exercises Requiring No Special Apparatus That Will Keep Any Chap in Good Shape

Walking is also a good activity and it has a double benefit when done outdoors as the body synthesizes vitamin D on exposure to the sun. If one decides to take up walking they should invest in a good pair of walking shoes. These should be wide enough to accommodate the ball of the foot, have good arch support and a padded heel.

Lifestyle Modifications for Arthritis Treatment
Lifestyle modifications that can help in managing arthritis naturally include loosing weight. Excess weight places extra pressure on the knees, hips, and ankles. In overweight and obese patients, weight loss can significantly relieve pain, most likely by reducing the stress exerted on the joint during weight bearing activities such as walking.

Women are advised to avoid high-heeled shoes because they place greater compressive pressures on the knees than flat or low-heeled shoes. The higher the heel the greater the force on the knees.

Numerous studies have shown that prayer is effective in relieving the symptoms of many ailments and therefore developing a rich spiritual life may help alleviate some of the symptoms of arthritis.
Praying Hands, 1508, Point of Brush and Black Ink, Heightened with White, on Blue Prepared Paper

Stress Management and Arthritis
Stress management is also very important and can be accomplished by learning relaxation techniques.

Holistic Healthcare for Arthritis
Therefore, a combination of eating healthily for joint health, using joint supporting supplements wisely and various lifestyle modifications can help one gain some relief from all the aches and pains of arthritis. Note that the natural therapies described in this article should be used as part of your prescribed arthritis treatment.

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