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Natural remedies for arthritis

By on Nov 4, 2010

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natural remedies for arthritisArthritis is a common condition that affects both men and women equally. It is described as an inflammation of one or more joints which causes pain and stiffness. This leads to limited use of the joint and can have a considerable effect on the quality of life. Although traditional medicines can help, there are many recommended natural remedies for arthritis.

The two most common types of arthritis are Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid Arthritis is less common of the two, and is an auto-immune condition. This is where the body’s immune system attacks itself. This form of arthritis affects approximately 350,000 people in the U.K. Osteoarthritis is more common and affects around 8 Million people in the U.K. This condition is usually caused by wear and tear of the larger joints and injuries. It can start at any age but Osteoarthritis usually develops after the age of 50.

Arthritis is usually treated with NSAID’s (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen and Diclofenac. Steroids such as Prednisolone are also prescribed in more severe cases. Toxic medications such as Methotrexate are also being increasingly prescribed to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis. All these medicines have a number of side-effects which can lead to other medication being prescribed.

There are a number of natural medicines and supplements that can be taken to reduce the pain and inflammation without the side effects of conventional drugs.

Glucosamine. There have been a number of trials to support this natural supplement. Glucosamine provides nutritional support to strengthen the joints, cartilage, ligaments and tendons. Glucosamine Sulphate is derived from shellfish and so will not be suitable for a vegetarian diet. Glucosamine Hydrochloride is a vegetarian version which has been shown to have an equal effect.

Fish Oils. Fish oils from fish such as salmon, mackeral, herring and cod are a very good source of omega 3 essential fatty acids. These act as a very efficient natural anti-inflammatory supplement and can increase the movement of the joints. They also provide essential fatty acids that are deficient in arthritic joints.

Flax Seed Oil. This is a good vegetarian source of omega 3 essential fatty acids.

Bromelain. This is a poweful natural anti-inflammatory that is found in pineapples. It also helps in the digestion of protein when taken with meals.

Ginger / Curcumin. These natural herbs are known to reduce inflammation and pain in arthritis.

Rose Hip. This has been shown to be three times more efective than paracetamol in reducing pain in arthritis sufferers. Rose hip is a rich source of Vitamin C and is useful for maintaining strong and healthy blood vessels.

There are also some homeopathic remedies that are beneficial in treating arthritis. These homeopathic remedies can be taken as an alternative to conventional painkillers or along side them. The remedies should be taken three times a day and in the 30c potency, for up to three weeks. After this a homeopath or homeopathic pharmacy should be contacted.

Arnica. This natural homeopathic remedy is the number one remedy to taken following an injury or fall. Arnica is a natural anti-inflammatory remedy that also improves blood flow and circulation.

Rhus Tox. This remedy should be taken when the joint pains are worse first thing in the morning and are better for warmth. Rhus Tox should be taken if the joint pains are relived with continued movement.

Bryonia. This should be taken if the pain is aggravated by any movement and heat. Bryonia is recommended if the joint pains are relieved by cold applications.

Other homeopathic remedies that are useful for arthritis are Ruta Grav, Calc Phos and Ledum.

There are also some very effective natural creams and lotions that can be used to reduce pain and inflammation.

Arnica Massage Balm (Weleda)
Arnica Cream
Rhus Tox Cream / Ointment
Ruta Grav Cream / Ointment

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