Joint Pain & Inflammation
Joint pain & Inflammation: Looking after your joints
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints characterised by swelling, warmth, redness of the overlying skin, pain and restriction of motion.
There are over 200 diseases that may cause arthritis including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriatic arthritis and other infections. The most commonly affected areas are the hands and weight-bearing joints such as knees, hips, feet and the back.
Diet & Lifestyle Factors
Natural Therapies takes into consideration that a poor diet over an extended period of time, lack of assimilation of nutrition and toxins forming around the joint that cannot get away can contribute to the symptoms of Arthritis.
Chinese medicine views arthritis as a cold condition particularly rheumatoid arthritis which tends to create a lot of stiffness and pain, so improving circulation to the joints via gentle exercise and herbal medicine can be helpful in removing toxins in the joints & reducing the symptoms of inflammation.
Movement and exercise that is non-weight bearing such as swimming, yoga and stretching can assist in the improvement of the symptoms of arthritis.
Detoxification of these easily congested tissues is an important aim in the treatment of arthritis. Excessive caffeine, alcohol, refined foods such as sugar and preservatives put extra loads on the body’s ability to remove everyday metabolic toxins from the organs.
When the body becomes toxic, the body tissues become more acidic, which can have a detrimental effect on the sensitive tissues, linings, cartilage and fluid of the joints. The more acidic the body tissue the more chance of degeneration, inflammation and pain in the joints.
A balanced diet that consists of 75-80% of “Alkalising Forming Foods” like fruits and vegetables, combined with 20-25% “Acid forming foods” such as meats, dairy and grains, nuts and seeds is helpful in balancing Acid/Alkaline Ph of the body.
A Naturopath’s Top Remedies for Joint Pain and Inflammation
1. Glucosamine and chondroitin help with cartilage repair and reduce inflammation.
2. Vitamin C may protect against cartilage erosion and may promote the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans thus working in synergy with Glucosamine and chondroitin.
3. The combination of Gotu Kola, Grape Seed, Ginkgo, vitamin C and zinc provides support for tissue healing and normal development of connective tissue by increasing blood flow, particularly micro-circulation.
4. St John’s Wort may be beneficial where there is pain resulting from nerve entrapment. It is a traditional treatment for inflamed nerves. St John’s Wort also has anti-inflammatory activity, nourishes the nervous system and acts as an antidepressant where required.
5. Boswellia, Turmeric, Celery Seed and Ginger have proven anti-inflammatory activity. Turmeric is an antioxidant and Ginger is a circulatory stimulant aiding the transport of active constituents to target organs. Celery Seed has a strong traditional use for the treatment of arthritic conditions.
6. White Willow Bark (Salix alba) – is one of the oldest herbal remedies for pain and inflammation. It has been used by ancient Egyptian, Roman, Greek and Indian civilizations as an analgesic remedy.
7. Pycnogenol (Maritime Pine Bark) has been used for 2000 years and among some of its uses as an anti-inflammatory agent, it has been used in the treatment of pain from arthritic conditions in athletes as well as in degenerative diseases of all kinds.
Looking after your joints is a bit like looking after your car – they need servicing regularly with good oil, fuel, water and movement daily, so that they continue to work properly, and they serve you for a long time. The importance of good nutrition is a vital element to good health and wellbeing particularly the health of your joints.
Always consult with your healthcare professional or speak to us in-store before taking new supplements.
Peter Rule N.D. Naturopath
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