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COMPLEMENTARY MEDICAL TREATMENTS FOR ARTHRITIS

Arthritis is the medical term for inflammation of a joint. Arthritis is divided into acute and chronic, depending on the longevity of the discomfort. Pain may be a dull ache or a sharp and severe pain. The joints may be inflamed and deformed or show no external changes at all.

Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are the most common forms. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease whereby the body attacks its own joints. It is uncertain why this happens but the possibilities are discussed in the section on autoimmune disease .

Osteoarthritis is an ageing process created simply by wear and tear on joints. Individuals who have sporting and active lives often struggle with osteoarthritis more so than those who are sedentary because of repeated small injuries to the joints. It is worth noting that studies have shown that smoking worsens arthritis. Another study has shown less arthritis in women who wear gold.

Acute arthritis

Acute arthritic conditions are triggered by infections such as viruses, bacteria and other parasites but certain drugs and, of course, injuries can all cause an acute attack.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Ice wrapped in a flannel applied to the joint reduces the inflammation temporarily without influencing the healing ability of the body. If ice does not ease the discomfort, try a heated application instead.

Homeopathic remedies such as Arnica if the joint is better for resting or Rhus Toxicodendron if the joint is better for motion and warm applications should be used.

Application of an Arnica cream several times a day can be beneficial.

As a general rule, rest the joint until improvement is certain.

Persisting discomfort in a joint should be reviewed by a complementary practitioner with knowledge of osteopathy, chiropractic and especially acupuncture, which can be instantly relieving.

Avoid anti-inflammatories and cortisone injections because these will remove the pain but allow movement, which in turn can increase the damage. Anti-inflammatory treatment can also prevent healing from taking place.

Painkillers with low anti-inflammatory effect, such as paracetemol and acetominophen, may be used to take down the pain. If this and the naturopathic recommendations are not working, then consider using anti-inflammatories.

Chronic arthritis

This is a persistence of pain in a joint or joints. The causes can be loosely divided into: persistence of injury or infection, rheumatoid arthritis, other autoimmune diseases, and osteoarthritis.

Pay special attention to the possibility of food allergies, which should be tested for in all cases of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is the progressive decay of joints that is associated with overuse and ageing. All joints will have some evidence of osteoarthritis as we age and all joints will show some stiffness. Treatment can be useful at all stages of arthritis from stiffness to pain.

RECOMMENDATIONS

FOR ALL CHRONIC ARTHRITIS

Take selenium , vitamin C , vitamin E and evening primrose oil . These can all be reduced as improvement is forthcoming.

Vitamin B5 and vitamin B3 can be taken but not at night.

Chicken cartilage is a Russian treatment. The cartilage from a chicken carcass should be eaten once a day. This includes the mobile part of the breast bone and the cartilage of the wing and leg joints. There is currently no preparation of this and a friendly butcher or chicken farmer needs to be approached.

Copper bracelets may be effective but only if the level of copper is normal in the body. Each individual has his/her own normal copper level so a copper bracelet needs to be used with copper supplements to be effective.

Six drops of rosemary and chamomile essential oils can be added to a bath or can be applied directly if mixed into almond oil. Sesame oil can be effective by itself when rubbed in and may be even more effective if the oil is slightly heated with cayenne or ginger.

The juice of an avocado daily or eaten whole may be protective.

Homeopathy is undoubtedly useful and the choice of remedy should be made on the symptoms of the arthritis. A homeopathic prescriber is best utilized but attention can be paid to the remedies Rhus toxicodendron, Bryonia, Apis and Pulsatilla.

Test for hydrochloric acid production in the stomach and, if low, supplement with hydrochloric acid tablets. 1 Wear gold next to the skin in the form of jewellery, such as a wedding ring. ‘ Reflexology, especially in conjunction with massage, is beneficial.

Yoga and Qi Gong are of long-term benefit. 1 Aspirins, NSAIDs and steroids are first-line orthodox treatments and should be left until last because of the high incidence of side effects.

RECOMMENDATIONS

FOR RHEUMATOID AND AUTOIMMUNE ARTHRITIS OR OSTEOARTHRITIS SHOWING JOINT DESTRUCTION

Use the recommendations above.

Glucosamine sulphate can be taken with each meal. Chondritin may be used as well.

Avoid members of the solanum plant family, specifically potatoes, peppers and tomatoes.

Avoid all tobacco, which is a solanum.

If improvement is not forthcoming, avoid wheat, corn and animal proteins and consider food allergy testing. / have noticed that tea may exacerbate arthritic conditions and should be avoided for three or four weeks and reintroduced as an experiment if an improvement has been noted. If the discomfort returns, then tea may be a culprit.

A six-day water-only fast has shown efficacy in acute arthritis affecting chronic sufferers. This should be done under complementary medical supervision.

Orthodox treatment is not curative. All drugs are geared towards relieving the pain but not helping to improve the structure of the joint. They should be used only as a last resort.

Under medical supervision only, use lOg of fish oil per day. Patients and their clinicians must be aware of a slightly increased risk of brain haemorrhages and the white blood cell count must be monitored. This treatment should only be encouraged in very severe and non-relenting arthritis.

If the above do not show improvements, then surgery may be considered as an option for large joints.

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