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Arthritis and Natural Therapies

Ouch! Arthritis is a pain, literally and figuratively. It’s causes joint pain, swelling, and stiffness resulting in a disability. Arthritis affects about 16% (over 15 years of age) of Canadians according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.  Arthritis comes in different types including:

  • Osteoarthritis (or wear & tear arthritis);
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA and other autoimmune arthritis);
  • Juvenile Arthritis;
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (or SLE) arthritis;
  • Gout (arthritis).

The pain and joint damage associated with arthritis are caused by the presence of uncontrolled inflammation and degeneration of our bones cartilage. So, the aim of all arthritis treatments are to reduce inflammation and promote joint healing. Other than painkillers, there are some natural therapies that offer pain relief as follows:

Exercise

Yes, plain old exercise has been shown to improve the amount of pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis, as it allows you to maintain a healthy body weight. Less weight puts less stress on your joints, helps to strengthen muscles that support joints, and keeps you flexible and improves your range of motion.

Fish Oils

The omega-2 fatty acids found in fish oils (EPA for eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA for docosahexaenoic acid) contain powerful anti-inflammatory nutrients. Together they block pro-inflammatory enzymes to produce anti-inflammatory chemicals in the body.

NEM and Boswellia and Curcumin

NEM or Natural Eggshell Membrane has been shown to improve joint pain and reduce stiffness associated with osteoarthritis. Supplements with 500 mg of NEM for 8 weeks are shown to reduce knee pain and stiffness. Boswellia, more commonly known as frankincense (or frankincense extract), has been shown to reduce the inflammation associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. Curcumin is an extract of turmeric that’s shown to decrease the inflammation markers in people who suffer from arthritis, reducing joint pain, stiffness, range of motion, and improving the distance people were able to walk.

Probiotics

Those who suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) should consider taking probiotics supplements, helping also in maintain good insulin levels and blood glucose levels.

And, good old Vitamin D

Especially for those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, which affects bone health, Vitamin D helps to significantly tide the loss of cartilage volume.

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