Arthritis Cure Truths And Myths
Therapeutic massage for arthritis pain relief
The word arthritis may mean different things to different people and this is one of the reasons why there are so many myths surrounding this subject. However one thing is for sure, the many sufferers of this bone joint degenerative disease have to deal with chronic pains and the pain can be very severe and even crippling for some. So can arthritis be cured?
The word arthritis came from the Greek word "arthros", which means a joint and "itis", which means inflammation. So the disease is the result of inflammation of the joints. Since there are various bone structures and tissues surrounding a joint, as such the pain and swelling of a joint can be due to a diversity of diseases of the bones as well as other surrounding tissues in the affected areas.
There are more than 200 different known forms of arthritis known to us and the more commonly found ones are gout, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and septic arthritis. Therefore it is very important to have an accurate diagnosis of which type of arthritis one is suffering from as treatments may and do differ.
How Common Is Arthritis
It is estimated that up to about 50% of people by the age of 60 and above will have some form of arthritis, usually affecting the neck (cervical), back (lumbar), fingers, toes, hip and the knees. It is also estimated that around 5% to 6% of those suffering from the disease have severe chronic joint or muscle pain or even both simultaneously. They will hence live a life wrecked with pain and agony.
Since arthritis can be rather devastating for some people, then we should understand this disease better and hence here are some truths and myths about arthritis that we should be aware of.
1) Only Older People Are Affected By The Disease - Yes, although older people are much more susceptible to the disease, younger folks and even children are not risk free at all. It is estimated that one in about a thousand children suffers from juvenile chronic arthritis. The keyword here is chronic, meaning the disease is here to stay for good, even if the victim is only a child.
So when a child complains about joint pains, do not simply just brush it away since it may be the beginning of arthritis setting in. Do get the pain to be diagnosed by a doctor and if it is arthritis, then steps can be taken to prevent it from getting worse and worse with the inevitable passage of time.
2) Arthritis Is Caused By Cold And Wet Weather - The disease is not caused by cold or wet weather, as so declared by the medical community. This is pooh poohed away as an old wife's tale that was passed down from generation to generation in many cultures. The medical fraternity says that the fact is that people living in all types of weather conditions with differing temperatures do suffer from arthritis.
However, this supposed myth is in existence in almost, if not all cultures and traditions, so could there be some elements of truth to it? What if it is not really a myth after all? This question should be more thoroughly looked into again by the scientific and medical community so as to ascertain the answer once and for all and have the myth debunked conclusively if the present official position is correct, right?
3) Certain Diets And Drinks Can Cause Arthritis Or Even Make It Worse - With the only exception of gout, what you eat and drink are usually not associated with the causation or the exacerbation of arthritis. A couple of few rare individuals may have specific food allergies that aggravate their arthritic conditions, however this is more of an exception than the norm. There are some research which seem to point out that drinking too much soda beverages may reduce bone mass and bone density though. Phosphoric acid which is found in most sodas may be the cause of this bone degeneration condition according to Dr. Katherine Tucker, PhD.
However do avoid smoking as smokers do suffer worse symptoms such as more severe pain, joint damage and cartilage erosion than non smokers.
4) There Is No Cure For Arthritis At The Moment - Unfortunately, science says that this is not a myth, but some others do differ. Notwithstanding, fortunately there are many effective medicines and treatments that can control the pain and to prevent or at least slow down any further degeneration of the many arthritic conditions. On the other hand, this video claims that arthritis can be cured and teaches you how to cure your arthritis in 21 days. Could it be that the pharmaceutical industry is not telling us some things that we ought to know?
5) Arthritis Is Only A Minor Inconvenience - Although in many cases, arthritis causes just minor aches and pain, however, it can develop into a full blown severe debilitating stage rendering the afflicted victims being crippled, unable to tend to themselves or are even wheelchair bound. Therefore early diagnosis to arrest the degeneration is vitally important before it gets to this incapacitating stage.
6) There Are Effective Health Supplements To Treat Or Cure Arthritis - There is very little scientific evidence except some anecdotal testimonies to suggest that supplements such as royal jelly, ginseng, collagen, multivitamins etc are effective treatments with the exception of glucosamine combined with chondroitin sulphate which have some but not conclusive evidence of being somewhat effective in the treatment of a small percentage of arthritic conditions, especially those that affect the knees.
7) Patients Need To Take More Rest For Recovery - Although in the acute or severe stages of the disease, patients should rest their painful or swollen joints. However when the pain and swelling subside, patients should do more stretching and strengthening exercises with the help of physiotherapists, chiropractors or professional therapists. Do not let your arthritis pain affect your lifestyle rendering you bed-ridden or into being a couch potato for the rest of your life and preventing you from savoring the pleasures of life.
8) So What Can And Should Be Done Now? - Learn more about the disease by becoming members of well informed support groups. Learn about the latest available treatments and medications available, their efficacy and any side-effects. Without an accurate diagnosis and treatment, your arthritis may degenerate to a stage leading to the complete destruction of the joints affected by it. So take action before it is too late. Listen to this video about curing your arthritis in 21 days and see if it works for you.
If the treatments by your medical professionals do not work or your disease is getting worse by the day which is giving you excruciating pain or is affecting your mobility and your ability to perform your day to day chores, then you may want to ask your doctor to recommend to you an orthopedic surgeon for consultation as in regards to the surgical options that are available. However the surgical option to treat your arthritic condition should only be considered after all else has failed since any surgical procedures may come with the risk of serious negative side effects.
Now that we have discussed some of the myths about arthritis, we then need to touch on how to keep the disease at bay or at least to slow its ravages down and that is to keep your joints healthy. So here are eight ways to do so to keep joint pains and aches away.
1) Keep moving and be in constant motion - Many arthritis patients avoid physical activities and regular exercise because they are afraid that these activities may exacerbate their pain or do more damages to their already damaged joints. On the contrary, constant movement eases joint stiffness and as such reduces joint pain. Furthermore, regular exercise strengthens the muscles around the joints to support them and in turn easing the pain further.
The exceptions are to avoid high impact activities as they are jarring to the joints. Examples of activities to avoid are running, running down staircases, skipping and games like tennis, basket ball and football. Swimming, riding bicycle, chin ups, push ups and climbing up stairs are excellent exercises for your joint health.
2) Protect your joints - The objectives of protecting your joints are rather obvious. So be more alert to pain signals and avoid activities that contribute to these signals especially activities that put stress and extra weight on the joints.
Pay more attention to your posture and body mechanics. Avoid slouching and looking down too often. There is now a phrase called "text neck". This implies looking down on your mobile devices when sending or reading messages or playing games too often resulting in neck pain and misalignment of the cervical spine.
If you are overweight, you are stressing your joints in carrying those extra weight. So start losing weight with these weight loss tips.
3) Do regular low impact exercise - Some of these exercises are discussed in point 1. According to the Arthritis Foundation, low impact exercises that are those that easier on your joints and do not stress the joints. These include swimming, canoeing, walking, cycling and exercising on the elliptical cross trainer machine.
4) Strengthen the muscles around your joints - Those muscles that support your joints must be kept strong and sturdy. These muscles can be worked on by weight training or training with your body weight. If you are unsure, get a physiotherapist or a personal trainer who is familiar with training arthritic patients to teach you the right exercises to do.
5) Do wide range of motion exercises - Wider range of motion exercises can increase your flexibility and mobility so that you will not feel so stiff. Since arthritis can greatly restrict your range of motion, you should then try to overcome the range of motion limitation by performing these exercises. Range of motion exercises will improve your stiffness, joint mobility and functionality. Your chiropractor or physiotherapist can help you in this.
6) Eat more anti-inflammatory foods and supplements - Arthritis is caused by joint inflammation. So by consuming anti-inflammatory foods and supplements will reduce the inflammation resulting in less pain and better joint mobility. Some examples of these foods are green leafy vegetables, berries, oranges, cherries, salmon, tuna, sardines, almonds, tomatoes and turmeric curcumin spice.
Certain diets such as The Paleo Diet and the Mediterranean Diet are also considered good in helping to suppress inflammation.
7) Take vitamin D and calcium supplements - Vitamin D and calcium are micro-nutrients needed for having healthy development of teeth and bones. You will need vitamin D for the purpose of calcium absorption. People with low calcium levels have higher risks of decreased bone density and bone fractures. You can also naturally produce more vitamin D by frequent sunlight exposure. So get out under the sun more often than not.
8) Quit Smoking - Many people are unaware that smoking has negative effects on your bones and joints besides other health issues. Regular smoking can drastically increase your risk of getting osteoporosis, bone fractures, bursitis and tendonitis. It is also a fact that smokers have a higher susceptibility to getting back pain and rheumatoid arthritis.
There you have it, the myths and truths about arthritis.
Watch Dr Josh Axe on natural home remedies you can use to treat your arthritis condition in this video.
This diagram shows the differences between Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Osteoarthritis (OA) so that you can identify which form of arthritis is afflicting you and treat it accordingly and more effectively.