Arthritis is the inflammation of joints. It tends to be very painful, accompanied with swelling and decreased range of motion. Long term inflammation can lead to deterioration of the joint. Osteoarthritis is a result of previous injury or trauma to a joint. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a systemic, autoimmune condition and can affect practically every joint in the body. Naturopathically speaking, RA requires additional support to the whole body.
Complementary treatment for Arthritis
There are lots of things you can do to slow down this process and reduce swelling and pain in joints.
This is the cornerstone of all arthritis treatment plans. Having observed the effect of food on inflammation for many years, I can assure you it really can make the level of pain, stiffness and swelling alter dramatically.
Start the day with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in warm water.
Adopt a diet rich in oily fish, vegetables, unrefined whole grains, beans and water. Regularly have celery based vegetable juices. Eat fruit moderately, but avoid oranges and most fruit juices.
Ginger and turmeric have unique antiinflammatory properties, so use liberally in your cooking.
Use flaxseed oil on salads.
Avoid – nightshade vegetables (potato, tomato, capsicum, chilli – also tobacco is a member of this family), meat, flour, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine.
How much pain and deterioration (and deterioration of the joints ultimately means surgery is your ONLY long term solution) do you need to convince you to change your diet?
Evidence based medicine encourages the following lifestyle advise for arthritis
Maintain a healthy weight, excess weight increases the load on your joints.
‘Use it or loose it’ – be active everyday (try tai chi, hydrotherapy or yoga if you are able)
Long term use of glucosamine sulphate has been shown to regrow cartilage and decrease joint-space narrowing. (nb: glucosamine is derived from fish)
Chronic pain is taxing to your nervous system. Get adequate sleep and rest. Consider meditation. Try Epsom salts baths for aches and pains.
Herbal medicine, biofeedback and acupuncture can be very useful in maintaining arthritis and decreasing pain.