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Treating Arthritis with Naturopathic Methods

Dr. Matthew Marturano By Dr. Matthew Marturano, Naturopathic Physician
Friday, September 7, 2012
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Arthritis is a disease that affects the bones and cartilage. As anyone who suffers from arthritis knows, it can cause a great deal of pain and joint stiffness throughout the body.

There are many different types of arthritis and most affect the hands, shoulders, hips, spine and knees. Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative condition which typically results from overuse of joints coupled with impaired regenerative capabilities of the body, while rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition which results from the immune system inappropriately attacking the joints.

Supplements for Treating Arthritis
A growing number of people with arthritis are turning to naturopathic treatment methods. Naturopathic medicine is aimed at treating the cause to provide long-term relief from the symptoms of arthritis. Instead of covering up the painful symptoms temporarily, naturopathic medicine works to restore the innate healing ability of the body via alternative forms of therapy.

There are a number of specific nutrients which are required in order for the body to repair and replace cartilage and the lubricating fluids found in joints, including:
Found both in capsule or tablet form as well as in topical treatments like creams and lotions, these nutrients can correct the body's deficit(s) when taken in supplement form on their own or in a combination. Essential fatty acids are another key nutrient to make sure you're getting in your diet. Try eating more foods with omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, avocados or nuts, or try a supplement.

Herbs for Treating Arthritis
Herbs are also a great alternative therapy. Whether you add them to your diet, take them in supplement form or look for a topical treatment containing them, herbs can help reduce inflammation and pain, improve circulation and provide additional nutrients to help the body repair and replace cartilage and joint fluids as well. Generally speaking, herbal medicines don't cause the same degree of side effects as pharmaceuticals. Be sure to opt for herbal supplements that don’t include synthetic fillers or binders when possible.

Herbs beneficial for treating osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, include:
  • Black cohosh
  • Alfalfa
  • Yucca
  • Burdock
  • Devil’s claw
  • Boswellia
Essential Oils for Treating Arthritis
A variety of conditions can be treated using essential oils, including arthritis. In particular, clove bud, lavender, peppermint, lemon and rosemary can help relieve pain and inflammation and stimulate circulation. Essential oils should never be taken orally, but should only be applied via lotions, creams, massage oils or diluted into bath water. Since essential oils are absorbed into the bloodstream directly, they work quickly and only a few drops are needed at a time. Never apply essential oils without first properly diluting them, or find a pre-diluted formula.

Exercise for Treating Arthritis
Staying active is essential for managing and even alleviating the symptoms of arthritis. By moving the body’s joints through physical activities on a daily basis, they'll stay more mobile and the surrounding muscles will strengthen and provide additional joint support. Exercise is also very effective in increasing nutrient transportation throughout the body and for eliminating waste, which improves cartilage health, among other benefits.

Exercises that increase range of motion are ideal for treating arthritis. With a combination of strength and endurance exercises, it’s possible to significantly improve one’s range of motion and overall joint health. Yoga, walking, water exercises, bicycling, Tai Chi, weightlifting and jogging are a few types of exercises that can reduce symptoms.The type of daily physical activity depends on the current level of health, but the key is to be consistent with an exercise routine for results.

The right combination of treatments can be life changing. Managing your arthritis naturally is possible, so don’t become a prisoner to your pain.


Products you may like:

Now Foods Extra Strength Glucosamine and Chondroitin  Now Foods Extra Strength Glucosamine and Chondroitin 
Why you may like this product? One of the most trusted combinations for improving joint health, glucosamine and chondroitin helps to reduce pain and improve flexibility and range of motion. Just two tablets a day can help you find relief.
New Chapter Zyflamend Whole Body  New Chapter Zyflamend Whole Body 
Why you may like this product? This unique blend of herbal extracts from New Chapter helps reduce inflammation throughout the entire body. As a result, pain is reduced and movement improves. Key herbs in this blend include holy basil and Hu Zhang.
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