Arthritis Introduction

The word 'arthritis' means 'inflammation of joints.' It comes from two Greek words, athron meaning joints and itis meaning inflammation. It is a chronic disease process. In the early stages, the whole body is usually involved and one or two joints may become completely deformed, leaving the patient handicapped and somewhat weakened. It is mostly seen in the elderly. Inflammation is the main feature of arthritis, which is a reaction of the joint tissues to some form of damage or injury and it highly affects joints and bones.

Types of Arthritis

There are more than 150 different types of arthritis and all affect joints and bones. The most common forms of arthritis are:

1. Osteoarthritis

2. Rheumatoid arthritis and

3. Gout.

Osteo-arthritis:- it is the most common degenerative joint disease and occurs after the age of 40. In this the bones increase in size and the space between them decreases, making the bones rub against each other, causing pain. It also results from structure changes in the particular cartilage, in the joints, mainly of spine and knees.

Rheumatoid Arthritis:- It is a serious disease that can occur at any stage of life. It is more disastrous then osteoarthritis as it destroys the ligaments and tendons that join the bones and muscles. It affects not only the joints of the fingers, wrists, hips, knees and feet but also the muscles, tendons and other tissues of the body. It is an autoimmune disorder where synovial membranes that line the joints, get inflamed and thickened, leading to pain and deformity of joints.

Gout:- It is caused by an excess of uric acid that accumulates in the system forming crystals that are caught in the spaces between the joints and cause inflammation and irritation. An excruciating pain is created in thumb, knee or elbow and most commonly the big toe.

Arthritis Symptoms

Arthritis refers to the more than 100 distinct diseases that cause pain and swelling, and limit movement in joints and connective tissue. It is the main cause of severe pain and disability, which limits physical activity. The main symptoms of arthritis are:

1. Joint pain

2. Joint stiffness

3. Inability to move the joint freely and

4. Joint swelling

Other symptoms can include fever, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, lower extremity rash, and nodules.

Arthritis Causes

Many are of a view that living in a damp, cold climate increases the possibility of becoming afflicted with this very painful and debilitating condition and others ascribe it to overuse, for example typists whose fingers become knotted, athletes with swollen knees and troublesome hips, ballerinas with painful feet. It can also be caused by bad fall, a severe jolt or the trauma of an accident. The variety of other factors that cause arthritis are :

1. Joint instability:- Severe or recurrent joint injury from heavy physical activity, excess overweight-excessive body weight, exercise activities such as long-distance running, basketball, etc. performed over many years will result in the development of arthritis

2. Age related changes

3. Hormonal factors:- higher proportion of women suffer from this disease as compare to men and this is the result of hormonal changes which take place during the menopause.

4. Environmental factors:- like some are of the view that damp conditions increases the possibility of arthritis.

5. Psychological factors:- like stress that disturbs the body's hormonal balance and makes the immune system weak.

6. Food allergy:- a diet rich in animal products, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and wheat.

7. Nutrient deficiency:- calcium, magnesium, manganese, protein, essential fatty acids.

Arthritis Treatment - Home Remedies for Arthritis

1. Try a red flannel wrapped gently around painful joint and leave it overnight.

2. A gentle massage with warm live oil as soon as the pain starts is cheap and effective. One of the good home remedies for arthritis.

3. Garlic, juniper, lavender, cajuput, sage, rosemary, thyme, or sassafras Any one of these oils diluted in the proportions of one part to 10 parts of olive oil and used to massage the painful joint will bring immense relief. One of the well liked home remedies for arthritis.

4. The patient should be given a lukewarm enema for a few days to cleanse the bowels as the first step to prevent arthritis is to relieve constipation.

5. Steam baths and massage once a week are beneficial in the treatment of arthritis.

6. All general cold-water treatments, such as cold baths and cold sprays, should be avoided.

7. An extra supplement of calcium, zinc and vitamin C is often recommended and is worth trying at an early stage.

8. Sea bathing is considered beneficial in the treatment of arthritis.

9. The water should be drunk in the morning with an empty stomach. Fresh juice can also be extracted from potatoes and dilute it with water on 50:50 basis make it the first thing in the morning. One of the well liked home remedies for arthritis.

10. Dandalion is the remedy of choice--its leaf has diuretic quality that increases output from the kidneys, while its root is a mild laxative and liver tonic that enhances bowel movement.

11. Circulation around the joints can be improved through tissue-cleansing properties of essential oils, of Juniper, Cypress and Lemon, whereas oils of lavender, Rosemary and Chamomile have mild analgesic and high anti-inflammatory properties.

12. Take 1-2 capsules of cold liver oil daily, use hot/cold water according to local weather conditions.

13. Take four peeled pieces of garlic, and two grams of Sprague. Powder both and dip in 30 grams of mustard oil and heat slowly. Massage daily with this oil on pains. One of the effective home remedies for arthritis.

14. Take 10 grams of camphor and 200 grams of mustard oil. Mix in a glass bottle and close with a tight cork and keep the bottle in the sun till the camphor dissolves. Massage the affected area daily. One of the best home remedies for arthritis.

15. With feet massage eyesight improves and dryness, swelling and Oil massage should be done at least four times a mouth.

16. The patient suffering from arthritis should not sit idle nor over-exert himself or herself. Immobility may lead to stiffness of joints and over-exertion may be lead to damage of ligaments.

17. Epsom salts (4 TBSP) should be added to bathing water, to reduce inflammation and stiffness of joints.

18. The body should be kept warm at all times. Joints should not be bandaged tightly as this limits movement and interferes with the free circulation of blood.

19. The patient should relax for 30 minutes every night in a tub of warm water in which cupful of sea salt has been mixed.

Arthritis Diet

The diet can go a long way in curing diseases. The diet of the arthritis patient should be planned along alkaline lines and should include fruits and vegetables for protection, proteins and carbohydrates for energy. Red meat and dairy products are destructive whereas a vegetarian diet, or one including fish, with plenty or raw fruit and vegetables can do miracles. Cabbage, carrot, celery, cucumber, lettuce, onion, radishes, tomatoes and watercress may be used for raw salad. The cooked vegetables may include asparagus, beets, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, celery, brinjal, mushroom, onions, peas, beans, spinach, tomatoes, squash and turnips.

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