Archive for the ‘Arthritis’ Category

Living With Osteoarthritis

There is no definitive cure for osteoarthritis. However, it doesn’t need to get worse, there are many treatments and exercises that can help ease the pain and discomfort so you can continue to enjoy life. This article will look at various osteoarthritis treatments and explore how simple life style changes can dramatically reduce pain and discomfort.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting 1 million people in the UK every year. Osteoarthritis most commonly affects the knees, hips and the small joints of the hands and toes, but any joint can be affected. The main symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain of the joints, stiffness and difficulty moving. Despite there being no cure, there are ways of preventing arthritis conditions and a wide variety of osteoarthritis treatments that reduce pain and discomfort, helping those affected live a normal life.

The most important decision one can make is to adopt a healthy life style. This can be one of the easiest and most effective treatments for osteoarthritis and arthritic conditions. If implemented early enough in life, a healthy life style can prevent these types of conditions later in life. However, even if diagnosed, a well balanced diet and regular exercise can make a huge difference to the amount of pain and discomfort experienced with these conditions.

– In many cases weight is identified as a cause for osteoarthritis, in these cases simply losing weight can reduce and cease the symptoms experienced. Swimming has been identified as an extremely good form of exercise for helping with arthritis. Running can also help by strengthening your muscles as well as helping you to lose weight that may be directly causing your condition.

Another vital step to take in order to live with osteoarthritis is to take your medication. Some people stop taking medication if they feel symptoms have got better or ceased. With long term conditions such as osteoarthritis it is important to take your medication as prescribed. You should also speak to your local GP if you are thinking of taking over the counter osteoarthritis treatment such as pain killers and nutritional symptoms, as these can sometimes interfere with your prescribed medication.

As with any long term condition it is important to visit you local GP regularly for checkups and review. This will also help you develop a trustworthy and personal relationship with your GP, this can be extremely helpful and comforting when dealing with a condition such as arthritis and osteoarthritis. Regular reviews will also allow your GP to assess your condition and suggest other osteoarthritis treatment such as exercise, weights lose or in more serious cases injections and surgery.

Finally it is important to look after yourself. Those suffering with osteoarthritis are often encouraged to get a yearly flu vaccination as well as an anti-pneumococcal vaccination, which helps fight against a serious chest infection called pneumococcal pneumonia.

To conclude, osteoarthritis is a condition that is most common as you get older. It can be a painful and uncomfortable condition but it need not ruin your life. There are many osteoarthritis treatments out there, by finding the treatment that works for you, you can dramatically reduce the pain and disc.

Chiropractic Manipulation Helps Osteoarthritis of the Hip

Osteoarthritis of the hip is a common joint disorder, which can cause pain, inflammation, and stiffness. Age is a top contributing factor for the disorder. Other factors include family history, obesity, overuse, or a previous fracture or injury. Hip pain caused by osteoarthritis is often combined with stiffness, swelling, limited range of motion, and difficulty walking or sitting for extended periods of time.

Positive lifestyle changes can help reduce the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis. Maintaining a healthy diet and weight, getting ample rest, getting your alignment checked and exercising regularly can help limit your pain and stiffness. Exercise helps with strength and movement of the joints. Swimming is particularly beneficial since it can help improve strength and mobility of the joints but is non-weight bearing.

Chiropractic care for osteoarthritis of the hip has been studied and has been recommended as an effective treatment. In a major study, “Comparison of manual therapy and exercise therapy in osteoarthritis of the hip: a randomized clinical trial,” researchers compared the effectiveness of chiropractic mobilizations and manipulations of the hip joint with an exercise only program (no manipulations or mobilizations).1 The study followed more than one hundred patients with osteoarthritis of the hip in a single-blind, randomized clinical trial. Half of the participants received the chiropractic manual therapy and the other half received the exercise program. Success rates for the manual therapy group were 81% compared to only 50% for the exercise group. “The manual therapy group had significantly better outcomes on pain, stiffness, hip function, and range of motion.”1

The research showed that while exercise can be beneficial for patients with osteoarthritis of the hip, that manual therapy provided by a chiropractor is superior to exercise alone and can greatly improve a patient’s quality of life.

Chiropractic is a natural form of healing that uses manual therapies (commonly adjustments) and other physiotherapy modalities. A chiropractic adjustment is one of the most common forms of manual therapy used by chiropractors. In this study, adjustments were made to the hip and spine (manipulation or mobilization). A manipulation is a high velocity action performed with specific, directed force, which helps to move the joint beyond the patient’s passive (or resting) range of motion to achieve its full range of movement. Mobilization is a low velocity action applied within the patient’s normal (active) range of motion.

Chiropractic adjustments are intended to restore proper body alignment, range, and quality of motion. The patients in this study who received the adjustments experienced a better outcome in managing their hip pain. Further, more than six months after the adjustments, the patients were still experiencing the positive benefits of the manual therapy, suggesting the long- term effects of the therapy.

Chiropractic care is a safe and cost effective alternative to surgery. While some patients with osteoarthritis of the hip will inevitably need surgery, it is well worth the effort to a visit to a chiropractor first. Hip adjustments by a chiropractor may help you avoid or at least delay the need for surgery.

Diseases That Result From High Uric Acid Symptoms

High uric acid symptoms normally come in the form of diseases. An example of this is Gout, a disease in which there is swelling in the joints, most times in the arms and legs. This causes people great pain, where even the slightest amount of pressure, like that of a blanket can cause pain in the joint.

The most common place to develop Gout is in your big toe. Symptoms of Gout are swollen, warm areas around the joint, with white lumps under the skin. The white lumps are urate crystals (also known as tophi), and so this is where the high uric acid level comes into play.

Normally, the excess uric acid goes through the kidneys and out of your body in your urine. However, when there is a build up of this acid, because your body is not getting rid of it quick enough, then Gout can develop. The build up of uric acid can also lead to other problems such as kidney stones. This is when urate crystals collect in the urinary system, which can lead to other problems such as infection or damage to the kidneys. When the pain of kidney stones is severe, it is known as renal colic.
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The two basic causes of these two diseases are that your kidneys are not getting rid of the uric acid fast enough, or too much is being produced. There are certain ways though that its high levels can be avoided: drinking less alcohol can improve your urinary system; having a balanced diet where you don’t eat too much red meat or seafood and generally staying at a healthy weight.

However, there are certain unavoidable characteristics that can increase your chances of having a high level or uric acid, such as being a man between the age of 30 and 60; being a woman who has gone through the menopause; and having a family history of Gout or other uric acid related diseases. There are medicines around that can help to relieve the pains in joints, such as flexcin.

It may be worth reading some flexcin reviews and perhaps others that are on the market. It is worth checking that they comply with your medical conditions. Alternatively, you can keep your joint raised and rested. If you go to a doctor, you may be able to get support for the joint. It is better however if you can support whilst keeping the joint uncovered. Apply wrapped up ice to the joint to reduce swelling.

Do not try to participate in any excessive physical activity. The best thing to do would be to go to a doctor and let him check it out, because it may turn out to be something totally different, such as a fracture in the joint.

Arthritis Cures – Using Fish Oil for Arthritis

Fish oil is an unsaturated fatty acid chemical that is known to help with the health condition of arthritis. Many sufferers, who take a omega 3 fats regularly, find that it greatly helps with their joint pain. Research has shown and proven the benefits of omega 3 essential fatty acids and many doctors and health care experts recommend it for arthritis sufferers.

The main reason why fish oil actually helps relieve the symptoms of arthritis is because of the conversion process it goes through when in the body. Studies show that the fatty acids, mainly DHA, contained in fish oil convert into a powerful, and highly effective, anti-inflammatory chemical known as resolvin D2. Of course arthritis (particularly rheumatoid) is heavily associated with inflammation of the joints so this will obviously help. This property of fish oil has made it very useful in treating many diseases, from inflammation in the body to certain heart conditions.

The figures show that the UK recognizes the importance of fish oil and health benefits associated with consuming it on a regular basis. The UK spends an estimated £63 million every year on fish oil supplements.

This is due to research having shown that fish oil can be useful for the brain, bones, heart, eyes and even fights against cancer. The main role of omega-3 fatty acids in preventing cancer is due to the anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, chronic inflammation can lead to autoimmune disorders that are responsible for a lot of health conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and IBS.

Many doctors even prescribe fish oil supplements in serious cases of rheumatoid arthritis, which is an auto-immune disorder, as its benefits are so well known and proven. The resolvin D2 anti-inflammatory chemical is said to be very powerful and can greatly reduce the degree of inflammation, so it is effective in such diseases.

Arthritis can be a very painful and severe disease and requires that the medicine used to treat it to often be very strong. This can be quite dangerous in some cases, as the side effects in consuming strong prescription medicines are quite high.

Using good quality fish oil to control and treat the arthritis can reduce the amount of medicine that the patient needs to use, thereby reducing the risk of adverse side effects. Of course, not every patient with arthritis will respond the same to fish oil supplements but if you are taking a good quality fish oil supplement and the correct dosage there is no reason you will not see some positive change;

I have a friend who had high blood pressure and cholesterol levels and his slender frame actually belied this problem. He began to use omega 3 supplements primarily for these health conditions. Over months of use, he says he has seen a substantial reduction in his cholesterol levels but the change in his blood pressure levels has been almost insignificant.

So as you see, some will feel a better right away and some will feel just the same for extended periods of time. But studies have shown its benefits are great for people suffering from arthritis and it should definitely be explored as an option if you are a sufferer yourself or if you know anyone who is suffering from it.

The advantage with trying the omega 3 fatty acids is that unlike medicines that are prescribed, these dietary supplements do not have any adverse side effects. However, it is always better to check with your health practitioner, before deciding on the dosage of the omega 3 capsules, if you plan to add them to your daily diet.

It is also important that you consume omega 3 supplements that are pure and that they contain the optimum amount of DHA and EPA components. So be sure to check the ingredients and dosage recommendations before you purchase them.

How To Deal With Elevated Cholesterol

Twenty years ago, rheumatoid arthritis was a condition that was generally progressive leading to increased disability and even early death.

With the advent of newer biologic therapies approximately seventeen years ago, most patients with rheumatoid arthritis will eventually achieve remission.

However, with that success comes a price. Because of the unique mechanism of action of biologic therapies- targeting specific points in the immune system- one of the logical problems has been side effects related to immune dysfunction.

Among these are an increased susceptibility to infection, increased chance of reactivation of tuberculosis, neurologic syndromes, increased insulin sensitivity in diabetics, elevation of blood lipids, and others.

One of the newer class of compounds that will be arriving on the biologic scene are the protein kinase inhibitor drugs. An example is the JAK – 3 group. These drugs block the signaling that occurs between the surface of immune cells and the nucleus of those cells. The end result is a “crippling” of the ability of the immune cell to over react.

What has been encouraging about these drugs are the following:

• They are oral
• They have an entirely different mode of action compared with the other biologics
• They also appear to work in patients that have failed tumor necrosis factor inhibitors

Probably, the JAK-3 drug that appears to be furthest along towards the FDA approval process is Pfizer’s tofacitinib.

There are drawbacks, as expected. Tofacitinib has been associated with changes in liver and kidney function, elevated blood pressure, reduction in white blood cell counts, and elevation of blood lipids. The latter is not surprising since inflammation and lipid metabolism are intimately associated with each other.

The issue has been… “What do you do about it?”

The answer comes from a study done at the University of Glasgow. Professor Iain McInnes, professor of experimental medicine and rheumatology presented a study in which 111 patients with rheumatoid arthritis enrolled in a tofacitinib study were followed. During the open label part of the trial, patients taking tofacitinib received a cholesterol lowering statin drug. The group who received the stain drug had a 35 per cent lowering of blood lipids versus a 5.8 per cent increase in the placebo group.

The findings of the study were underscored by Dr. McInnes assertion that the elevation of lipids seen with tofacitinib could be reversed by adding the statin.

This is similar to the situation where it is sometimes necessary to add a statin to patients taking another rheumatoid arthritis drug, tocilizumab (Actemra), which also elevates lipids.

Biofreeze: Provides Quick Relief From Arthritis Pain

In today’s time, when things have become a complex combination of work and time, people are finding it difficult to cope up with their health conditions. Increased pressures of work in this stressful life have left people with no time for their personal healthcare. However, in order to match the steps of the fast changing world, we need to consume proper nutrients required by the body. There are several healthcare products manufacturing brands available in the market that have come up with ultimate and effective collection of health products. But, before approaching any of the health products manufacturing brand, one needs to consult the doctor to know the perfect type of product or nutrient required by the body.

Today, when everything has become advanced, so people have also switched their lifestyle to a much comfortable level. However, things worsen when their body parts stop cooperating with their lifestyles. One of the major problems arising these days is of arthritis – a form of joint disorder involving inflammation of one or more joints. Thus, Biofreeze, a cold therapy pain relief acted as a saviour to the people suffering from arthritis. This manufacturer creates formulas that consist of the active ingredient menthol with a synergistic blend of inactive ingredients. The formula formed by a medical professional, looking for a way to help his grandmother manage her arthritis pain, offered quick, effective pain relief without the use of prescription drugs. As a result, today, the products of this manufacturer relieve the arthritis sufferers from pain by its cooling formulation that comforts to sore muscles and muscle sprains. Its products also relive people from back, shoulder and neck pain, knee pain, hip and elbow joints pain.

Another brand energising people’s life is Jay Robb. The company is named after a clinical nutritionist who is the CEO of the company and have over three decades of experience as a professional in his field. It was founded in the year 1988 and has been known for manufacturing the best testing protein powders. The mission statement of the company is to provide help to every willing man, woman and child to get in the best shape of his or her life. The company follows three major steps in getting the body into its perfect shape. The three steps are called as shape your thinking, shape your eating and shape your body. Therefore, if one is looking for a healthier lifestyle, then jump on to this company and get your body into perfect shape at much reasonable prices.

Arthritis Relief With Food

One of the natural arthritis treatments that experts have found to be effective is diet modification. Yes, you can actually get pain relief by eating. How cool is that? To help you with an arthritis diet, here are foods that you should eat to treat your arthritis:

1. Omega-3 foods: Omega-3 is known to be an essential fatty acid that is a fighter for inflammation. This prevents the production of cytokines and other enzymes that can damage our cartilage and this can also reduce the inflammation. You can find this in fish oils such as in salmon and other sea foods. This can also be found in flaxseed, soybean, raw tofu and walnut.

2. Extra-virgin olive oil: The monosaturated fats that you can find in olive oil are good for inflammation. This can reduce the level of symptoms of arthritis.

3. Foods rich in vitamin C: Eating a lot of vitamin C rich foods can prevent against inflammation. A certain study has found that those who consume only little amounts of vitamin C are more prone to inflammation than those who consume higher amounts. But, it is advised that you should get vitamin C in foods not supplements. You can find this in papaya, kiwifruit, grapes, boiled kale, broccoli, strawberries, guava, oranges, tomatoes, cantaloupe, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and yellow, green and red bell peppers.

4. Selenium rich food: It has been found that people that are suffering from arthritis have lower levels of selenium in their body compared to those that don’t have arthritis. Selenium is a mineral that is present in Brazil nuts, baked or boiled halibut, tuna, salmon, shrimp, cod, snapper and braised calf’s liver. You can also find this in sunflower seeds, whole egg, garlic, lamb loin, tofu, brown rice, whole grain oats, beef tenderloin, chicken breast and barley.

5. Rich in carotene foods: A group of antioxidants called the carotenoids are good in preventing arthritis. These are in kale, butternut squash, sweet red pepper, sweet potato, pumpkin and others.

6. Foods rich in quercetin and anthocyanidins: Quercetin and anthocyanidins are anti-oxidants that you can find in cocoa powder, broccoli, blueberries, apricots, apples, plums, strawberries and others.

Can Stem Cells Prevent The Need For Joint Replacement Surgery For Arthritis?

The underlying thread behind all stem cell research is the hope that stem cells (SC) may someday be able to manufacture normal mature tissue to replace worn out parts.

Efforts to get embryonic SC research are stalled for a variety of reasons. And allogeneic (donor) stem cell studies are finding difficulty getting untracked.

The bright light is the application of autologous stem cells (ASCs)- a patient’s own SCs.

These cells have opened up a whole new field of treatment- regenerative medicine. And more data is being accumulated regarding the utility of this form of treatment particularly in disorders related to soft tissue (ligaments, tendons) an cartilage.

The source for autologous stem cells can be either bone marrow or fat. Once removed, the patients’ cells are concentrated. While some centers process these cells outside the body using various growth factors, the FDA is not particularly fond of cell manipulation outside the body.

At our center, we see no need to process these cells. There are plenty of autologous growth factors that can be used that do not require special processing outside the body.

Also, the performance of a SC procedure does not consist of merely injecting stem cells into a diseased joint. It’s critical that the area of joint damage be located. This location is accomplished using a combination of imaging procedures such as plain x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging, and diagnostic ultrasound.

The reason, it’s important to locate the diseased area is that the initial part of an ASC procedure involves the induction of acute injury. This acute injury, performed with special instruments, is what initiates inflammation in the area of concern and is the first step in the healing cascade.

SCs and autologus growth factors are immediately introduced into the area of injury and the healing process begins.

If the Holy Grail of regenerative medicine can be achieved, which is the generation of normal functioning cartilage, it is quite possible that joint replacement therapy might be postponed indefinitely.

There are a number of questions that still need to be answered. First and foremost: Are ASCs going to be the answer? Do they really require incubation with factors outside the body? What is the character of the connective tissue and cartilage made? Is it sufficiently strong to withstand the rigors that will be placed on it? What degree of biomechanical abnormality can be overcome and what is the degree at which a joint replacement is more advisable?

Foods to Avoid When You Have Gout

Gout is a form of arthritis where intense pain is experienced due to the formation of crystallized uric acid deposits on the joints throughout the body. These crystallized formations cause irritation and inflammation that can last for quiet some time and in many cases is most severe at night or during periods of rest where activity levels are low.

There are certain types of food that can increase the risk of experiencing gout symptoms. One particular food group that can do so is meats. Meats, especially those which are high in fat content, contain higher levels of purines which when consumed can lead to the build up of uric acid within the body. When the body is unable to process and remove the elevated amounts of uric acid from the body, crystallized deposits can begin to form.

Seafood is another type of food that is known to be high in purines. It too can lead to the buildup of uric acid crystal deposits on the joints of the body if too much is consumed. This is another type of food that should be avoided or at least consumed at a minimum if you want to prevent or reduce gout symptoms.

One thing worth noting is that there are foods which contain elevated levels of purines but do not seem to cause or increase gout symptoms. Some of these foods include cauliflower, beans, spinach, mushrooms, and many others. Foods that can help lower the risk of experiencing gout symptoms include the items mentioned above as well as low fat dairy items.

As far as foods to avoid when you have gout goes, there are a number of items that you should be aware of. These items typically are high in purines and other items that can lead to the buildup of excess uric acid in the body. One thing worth mentioning is that many of the items listed below can also be linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Obesity is another health issue that can be experienced when uric acid levels are too high in the blood stream.

Here is a listing of foods that are known to be high in purines, thus increasing the risk of experiencing gout symptoms:

– sardines

– liver

– salmon

– turkey

– bacon

– trout

– haddock

– anchovies

– veal

– goose

– mussels

– herring

Maintaining a healthy and well balanced diet is a good strategy for addressing any gout issues that you may be experiencing. Not only does keeping a good diet for gout help reduce the risk of experiencing gout symptoms, but it also can help reduce the risk of experiencing other more serious health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, and more.

Osteoarthritis and the Free Market of Healthcare

The mainstream medical decree that there is in fact no cure for Osteoarthritis. There is also little doubt in my mind that some people will see me as just another wacko talking nonsense from outside this consensus view. However facts are facts and the truth is indeed out there if one is willing to look. Given the outcomes demonstrated statistically by the trends in our mainstream model of healthcare, there is certainly room for scepticism about its efficacy. Despite the upbeat claims made in the media – ever heralding new technologies, research, vaccines and drugs – the statistics and our recent social history tell a very different story. More drugs, more questionable surgeries, more cost, more iatrogenic illness and deaths, as well as ever increasing numbers of people suffering what’s become known as the kaleidoscope diseases pervade our current social reality.

The very fact that the word – healthcare – is used to describe the current system has always seemed somewhat odd to me. The word – health – implies a condition that is free of disease. If you attempt to re-establish health by masking symptoms with drugs or simply start cutting out effected pieces of the body, can we honestly call this a valid means of returning to health or for that matter living up to the caring part of health-care? For that matter, when was the last time you heard about any major diseases actually being cured? It’s curious that despite tens of billions of dollars of research spent over the last century all the solutions come in the form of management and/or replacement. One can’t help but to take note of the fact that these two modalities just happen to lend themselves quite nicely to corporate profitability. In the never ending drive for profit the simple truth is that to the pharmaceutical corporations there is no gain to be had from a healthy population. To lend more context one should also take note of the fact that these same corporations occupy the top spots of the fortune 500 companies.

The way Osteoarthritis is dealt with by mainstream medicine is just another example of treatment reflecting profitability and as such is looked at as an independently arising disease. In their view your joints have simply worn out and must be eventually replaced. By refusing to look at your body as a system requiring balance, the affected areas can be immediately targeted with the most technologically expensive solutions available. In the case of Osteoarthritis this takes the form of shiny new mechanical joints. Although an impressive technological feat, is it always really necessary?

When sufferers go to their doctor in the beginning stages of Osteoarthritis the doctor is trained to see a course of treatment leading to eventual joint replacement. The patient will no doubt be told to exercise through the discomfort so as to stave of muscle deterioration. Muscle groups are still required to support you with your new joints. On top of this they will probably be given a prescription for one of the many non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). There are numerous negative side effects attributed to these drugs but there is one that I find particularly emblematic. It has been known in the scientific literature for at least 30 years that NSAIDs contribute to accelerated cartilage loss. Although, I can see that if one is only looking at replacement as an option this point may be of little consequence other than to contribute to the necessity for replacement.

In the spirit of planned obsolescence the mechanical joints that you eventually receive wear out after about ten to fifteen years necessitating further rounds of drugs, surgery and rehab. Given the ever increasing costs of such treatment you might want to consider your ability to keep paying through successive rounds of this mainstream approach. Make no mistake that once you start down this road there is no return and therein lays the profitability of cutting and drugging.

None of us including myself want to consider a health-care system with such a callous pursuit of profit used as a mode for developing treatments but when the facts are viewed as a whole there is certainly enough evidence to be of concern. It seems that as a culture we have been taught to give ourselves over to whatever form of treatment is mandated from on high to service our ails. After all it’s the doctor that knows what’s best for us after a five minute consultation. Not to mention the convenience of simply taking a pill or having the offending part removed rather than facing up to the consequences of our poor diets, lifestyle choices and bio-accumulated environmental toxins.