Arthritis, Pain and Inflammation ruins Lives
Simple things that many of us take for granted such as brushing our hair, opening jars or even getting out of bed are painful activities for some people. Painful conditions such as Arthritis, Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis can affect your job, relationships, moods and your ability to live a full and happy life. The good news is that these painful symptoms can be a thing of the past using a comprehensive natural therapies treatment strategy to help resolve pain, swelling, reduce inflammation and help restore your quality of life.
I recently went to a seminar on treating Pain, Inflammation and Immune driven conditions and how using natural remedies can have a significant role in reducing or eliminating pain and inflammation. By supporting the body’s own natural anti-inflammatory systems, removing pro-inflammatory drivers, restoring proper digestive function and providing nutrients to reduce inflammation … quite literally miracles can happen. I have seen people in my clinic recently become pain free by using these strategies.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is the term used to describe over 100 conditions that affects the joints and cartilage of the body. The most common joints affected are the hands, feet, hips, knees, neck and spine.
The most common forms of Arthritis include:
- Osetoarthritis – Non autoimmune Arthritis which is mainly due to degeneration of the joint or cartiliage
- Rhematoid Arthritis – Autoimmune driven. Its where you own immune system attacks the joints and cartiliage
- Gout – characterized by high levels of uric acid. Often starts in the big toe and is very painful. Was common amongst kings of old.
- Ankylosing Spondolitis – Form of Arthritis that attacks the spine particularly where the spine meets the pelvis
The most common symptoms associated with Arthritis are:
- Stiffness or restricted movement
What is the main driver of Arthritis?
Inflammation is the main driver behind all forms of Arthritis. Although acute inflammation is somewhat protective and helps to neutralize threat to tissues, overcome damage and restore function … chronic unresolved inflammation ceases to be protective for the body and itself becomes the threat driving tissue damage and destruction, pain, stiffness and the deformity associated with Arthritis. The key is in the body’s ability to allow the acute inflammation necessary with infection or injury to continue but to then resolve this inflammation before it continues to become chronic and therefore damaging.
Research now recognizes that rather than treating the inflammation itself that the best way to affect change and permanent reduction of symptoms is to support the bodies ability to restore the inflammatory process back to its correct functionality and hereby reduce pain and future tissue damage.
How do we ‘Restore’ Inflammation properly and use this concept to treat Arthritis?
Most Arthritis clients are suffering from pain, stiffness, swelling and weakness and therefore it’s important to reduce these symptoms first. Natural anti-inflammatory herbs such as Turmeric, Boswellia, Jamacian Dogwood, Corydalis or Devil’s Claw will reduce pain and swelling quickly and effectively. These herbs have also been shown to ‘restore’ inflammation to its natural function.
I think its so clever how nature automatically does the things which are required by the body to heal itself and which often takes medical research decades to fall in line with.
Using pure super high strength liquid fish oils has been proven to reduce the inflammatory cascade and to reduce the pro-inflammatory activity in the cell membranes which are often the precursor to Arthritic activity. Fish oils will take between 4 – 6 weeks for their main anti-inflammatory effect to reach its peak but their benefits are enormous and worth persevering with.
Zinc is one of the most important minerals in our body and is used in over 300 different processes. It helps to balance the immune system and helps to reduce inflammation amongst its many and varied roles. It is one of the key minerals used by the body in the restoration of the inflammatory process.
There are also a number of natural substances that are tissue specific anti-inflammatory agents. Nutrients such as Glucosamine, MSM, Bovine Cartilige and gelatin all help to reduce inflammation in the joints and cartilage and help to restore functionality. I have used these substances time and time again to reduce pain and increase mobility.
Restoring proper digestive function
The digestive tract contains roughly 60% of all immune related activity. Now with inflammation being an immune driven activity doesn’t it make sense to ensure you have optimum gut health and that your digestive tract is supporting your anti-inflammatory quest rather than driving the unwanted pro-inflammatory one.
The best way to think of this is that the food you eat is like messages to your body. If you eat foods such as as nuts, seeds, avocado, turmeric, ginger etc.. that contain are anti-inflammatory messages then your body will reduce its inflammatory responses. However if you eat food that contain pro-inflammatory messages such as Grains, dairy, fried food, high sugar containing foods then your body will respond by increasing its inflammatory response. Therefore to assist your body to reduce your pain symptoms its best to eat lean meats, fish, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables and avoid dairy, grains, fried foods and heavy sugary products.
Many people with arthritis also find that eliminating foods from the deadly nightshade family help reduce their pain levels. Foods from the deadly nightshade family include Tomatoes, Eggplants, Potatoes, Goji Berries, peppers and tobacco.
Personally I like clients to do a food intolerance test and eliminate the foods that are also driving their inflammatory and irritating their digestive tract. I have seen a number of clients ‘Arthritis’ completely resolve itself once they eliminate the foods that their body doesn’t like. For more information on Food Intolerances Click Here.
Treating Auto-Immune driven Arthritis.
Auto immune driven arthritis is essentially treated the same way as listed above. This is because the main focus is on balancing the immune system which we have noted is primarily located in the digestive tract. Therefore with conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis it is even more imperative to treat the gut, remove inflammatory foods and food intolerances and restore optimal functionality to this area.
Additionally there are herbs and other natural remedies which can be used to down regulate the excessive activity of the immune system and help to restore it to homeostasis.
Arthritis can be a very painful and debilitating condition which can rob people of their quality of life. With the right support and lifestyle changes incredible changes can occur which can result in a new future outlook
Written by Award Winning Naturopath Tony Daniel ND