What is arthritis? In simple words, arthritis is commonly a joint disorder that causes inflammation of one or more joints. A joint functions to make movement of the body parts it connects. As per the US National Library of Medicine, if a person feels any kind of periodic and regular pain or stiffness in the body then he could be suffering from arthritis. In most of the cases, the disease causes pain and swelling in the joint area and in rare cases, problems in the patient’s eyes, skin or other areas can also be seen. The disease has been classified as one of the rheumatic diseases.
There could be many forms of arthritis which could range from the ones related to wear and tear of cartilage to those associated with inflammation due to an overactive immune system. Different forms of arthritis lead to the most common chronic illness in the United States. Anyone can suffer from the disease including men, women, adult or children.
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Some Arthritis Facts
- About 1 in every 5 American adults suffer from arthritis.
- It is a term which covers almost 100 medical conditions.
- Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, infectious arthritis and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis are some most common forms of arthritis.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the prescribed drugs for the patients
Sometimes physical therapy could slow down the intervention of any surgeries in most advanced cases.
Most of the arthritis types are caused due to a combination of factors which includes genetics, any previous injury, infection, allergies, certain foods and obesity.
What causes arthritis?
Few forms of arthritis are caused due to a reduction in the normal amount of cartilage tissue. The cartilage, which is a flexible, connective tissue in joints absorbing pressure and shock created through running or walking movements. Osteoarthritis, is one of the common type of arthritis known by the name of wear and tear arthritis. Being associated with the breakdown of cartilage in joints, the risk slightly increases for the disease, if you have some family history for the same. Another arthritis form is rheumatoid that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks other tissues of the body. Due to these attacks, synovial is affected which secretes a fluid nourishing the cartilage and lubricating joints. Rheumatoid arthritis eventually may destroy both bone and cartilage inside the joint.
To treat arthritis, doctors may prescribe some anti inflammatory medicines and painkillers. The medicines could cause side effects, so here are some natural ways for treating arthritis.
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Natural ways for arthritis relief
- Lose extra weight- Our weight plays a big role if ever we suffer from arthritis. Extra weight puts a little more pressure on the joints, especially in the knee area, hips and feet. If we reduce putting stress on the joints by losing weight, then this will improve the mobility, decrease pain and prevent future damage to the joints.
- Exercise more often- Exercising has much more benefits than weight loss. Exercising often or regular movements maintains the flexibility of the joints. Sometimes, weight bearing exercises such as running or walking could be damaging so in this case one could try some low impact exercises like water aerobics or swimming which would flex the joints without adding much stress.
- Hot and cold therapy- Simple hot and cold therapies are the easiest way to relieve arthritis pain. You could try having long and warm showers in the morning, which may help ease stiffness in the joints. Also, using an electric blanket or heating pad at night keeps joints loose. As for those opting for cold treatments, can wrap a gel ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables in a towel and apply it on the painful joints for better relief.
- Arthritis supplements- There are many herbal supplements available in the market that claims to reduce joint pain. Some herbs for arthritis pain are: devil’s claw, stinging nettle, ginkgo and bromelain. But make sure to consult your doctor before trying any herbal arthritis supplement, so that any unwanted side effects or dangerous drug interactions can be prevented.
Tried natural remedies for quick arthritis relief? Now the next step would be to change the eating plan. Yes, patients suffering from arthritis should consider anti inflammatory foods which would provide quick relief from the pains.
Foods that fight arthritis
- You could try having cherries and berries which aren’t just sweet treats, but also are loaded with natural pain relievers and joint healing substances. Also, they are found to be the nature’s richest source of anthocyanins, which are a group of antioxidants named flavonoids and posses exceptional anti inflammatory properties. Fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and cherries are on the top list for antiarthritis.
- Fishes are another great super food known for its numerous health benefits. Certain fish varieties like scallops, sardines and salmon posses some natural compounds that heal inflammation and provide quick relief. In order to prevent or avoid arthritis, it is very much recommended that one should eat healthy and keep bones strong.
- Flaxseeds are another great food that may fight that may fight arthritis. They do look tiny but the arthritis fighting properties are recommendable due to the rich supply of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA). ALA is one of the omega-3 fatty acids having the potency to make cold water fish such a powerful joint protector. Flaxseed has undoubtedly been the best plant source of healing omega-3s. Having just two tablespoons of ground flaxseed would provide with 140% of the daily recommendation for omega3 fatty acids.
- Next come yogurt, another healthy food item known as a potent inflammation-fighter with well-documented curative effects for fighting arthritis finger pain and stiffness. Yogurt’s beneficial bacteria not only help to reduce inflammation, but they could also strengthen the entire immune system. Having yogurts tends to improve the body’s efficiency in absorbing essential nutrients such as calcium.
- Brazil nut or two each day is good for fighting arthritis. The nut contains contain more of the trace mineral selenium as compared to any other food. Selenium is very much important for people experiencing arthritis as low levels of this antioxidant could actually cause more damage to the joints. Those eating selenium rich foods are able to limit free radical damage thereby helping to relieve arthritis symptoms.
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Diet is utmost important to prevent arthritis as discussed, but there are also some other preventive measures which can be followed. Here we go,
How to avoid arthritis
- The best way to prevent arthritis pain is by maintaining a proper healthy diet along with complex carbs, low salt, sugar, fat, protein and regular exercise to make joints strong.
- It’s better to go for treatment as soon as you get diagnosed with arthritis, do not wait for long and prevent unwanted damage to the joint.
- Have more of fresh fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C as it will reduce the risk of getting inflammatory arthritis.
- Consider more of green tea, which could help in preventing arthritis damage by reducing the inflammation and slows down the cartilage breakdown.
- Doing breast feeding may avoid the rheumatoid arthritis in many women.
- Always prevent injuries during an accident or while playing sports because so that cartilage in the knee do not get damaged. Use proper safety equipments and know the correct techniques for exercise.