Arthritis affects about 40% of Americans and about 50% of
people worldwide. This ailment is more common than cancer and
heart problems and dates back thousands years. It is believed
that the famous Roman baths were created not only for hygiene
purposes, but to help ancient people ease the aches and pains
in the joints.
What is happening and why?
There are two most common forms of arthritis: Rheumatoid
Arthritis and Osteoarthritis. RA is an autoimmune disorder when
the body attacks its own cells, which often results in joint
destruction. OA is wear and tear arthritis that comes with age
or because of improper diet or lifestyle.
Cartilage, the joint lining, that acts as a shock absorber
consists of water and though protein fibers, collagen. Collagen
matrix, that gives cartilage its strength and shape, is
insulated by a net of proteglucans. They are filled with water
to protect and nourish the cartilage. Proteglucans are long
molecular chains that include glucosamine and chondroitin
sulfate – two important building blocks.
Glucosamine is essential to production of water-binding
proteins in cartilage, and chondroitin sulfates draw fluids
that provide the ease of movement and attract nutrients for
cartilage repair. Injury, wear, corrosive enzymes can damage
this protection, and cartilage loses the ability to repair
itself. It gradually deteriorates and forms clefs and crevices
that impede movement and cause pain.
Traditional approach to treating joint pain is well known: the
pain is suppressed with NASDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.).
Calming the symptoms, these drugs simply mask the problem,
while the joints keep deteriorating.
Luckily, there are other ways to deal with arthritis. Research
shows that supplementing your body with the two important
cartilage building elements – Glucosamine and Chondroitin – can
aid in joint restoration.
Another useful nutrient is MSM (methyl-sulfonyl-methane) – a
form of sulfur found in many common foods: fruits, vegetables,
meat, fish, milk and eggs. MSM helps to relieve pain and
inflammation in joints and muscles. In addition, it boosts
blood supply, lessens muscle spasms and softens scar tissue.
Capsium – cayenne pepper extract (Yes! That hot spice!) has
been found to be helpful in arthritis pain relief.
Emu Oil – due to its small molecular weight, Emu Oil easily
penetrates skin membrane and delivers its soothing relief to
sore joints. Its anti-inflammatory properties make preparations
with Emu Oil more and more popular among health professionals
Last but not least, your lifestyle and habits can help you
avoid the discomfort. Folks who maintain their body in shape
and enjoy an active lifestyle have much smaller risk to develop
osteoarthritis. OA hits weight-bearing joints first. If joints
have to manage extra weight, the cartilage is worn out faster
than it can repair itself.
Despite the belief that osteoarthritis sufferers should not
exercise, research proves the opposite. Moderate exercise helps
to keep joints healthy. Even if they are already affected by
arthritis, making them work stimulates the restoration process.
Here is a small exercise you can do to keep your knee joints
Bend your knees as if you were going to do at sit-up. Keeping
your knees close together, move them in circular motions
clockwise and then in reverse direction.
You might not feel like moving when your arthritis reminds of
itself with burning pain, but a combination of diet, moderate
exercise, supplements and topical preparations can prevent it
and allow you to enjoy your favorite activities.
The above statements were not evaluated by the FDA. Always
consult your doctor for professional advice.
By Natalie Katsman