Joy for your Joints
The severity of the disease and the effect it has on your life can vary dramatically, ranging from mild stiffness in the morning, to a severe crippling disease. In this article you’ll learn more about what actually causes joint pain and degeneration and the different approaches available to help reduce the symptoms.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis literary means ‘joint inflammation’ and it is the body’s natural response to injury. Joint inflammation can be triggered by trauma, such as an accident; an illness, such as an autoimmune disease; or simply by the wear and tear of the joints as we age.
It is the complex process of inflammation which usually causes joint pain and damage. This process causes swelling, redness and warmth as the body tries to heal itself from injury. This can lead to the breakdown or thinning of the cartilage, causing friction at the ends of the joints, eventually leading to the bones rubbing together. In more serious cases the bones begin to lose shape and eventually fuse, leading to complete loss of function. Inflammation can also affect other areas of the joint such as the tendons or ligaments leading to severe stiffness and loss of movement.
There are many different forms of arthritis but the most common is Osteoarthritis. This is thought to be brought on mainly by wear and tear and is most common in people over 60. The second most common form is Rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks itself, and most commonly occurs between the ages of 25 and 55.
If you have joint pain it is recommended that you visit your doctor to get a full diagnosis. In the past you would probably have been recommended an anti-inflammatory painkiller such as Ibuprofen or Aspirin. These are effective in the short term but in the long term they have been shown to actually increase the rate of joint degeneration and be an irritant to the stomach, potentially leading to stomach ulcers. More recently another class of drugs known as COX-2 inhibitors with brand names such as Vioxx, Celebrex or Bextra were the drugs of choice for arthritis as these were originally thought to have fewer side effects. Unfortunately this was not the case and after only a few years they were found to have even more severe side effects, such as increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. They were quickly withdrawn from the market.
The Natural Alternatives
Luckily there are now a number of safer natural alternatives on the market to help with arthritis. These help control the problem in a number of different ways:
• Glucosamine is the most popular joint supplement. It has proven very effective at repairing and stimulating the growth of cartilage within the joint and is frequently recommended by doctors and consultants.
• Chondroitin is another popular supplement which works well in combination with Glucosamine and is thought to help maintain the mobility of the joint by increasing fluid retention. It also helps to stop cartilage damage by blocking one of the enzymes responsible for destroying cartilage during inflammation.
• MSM is a natural sulphur compound that helps to keep cells flexible, optimising joint mobility and helping to build the connective tissue that supports the joint.
• Collagen, a natural protein, is a vital constituent of cartilage as well as the tendons and ligaments that support the joints. Taking Collagen supplements, particularly the type known as Collagen 2 has been shown to help with both Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis.
• Inflamol® is an excellent product that has recently come onto the market. It contains the herbs Chinese Skullcap and Acacia Extract and has proven to be very effective at providing fast relief from arthritic pain by reducing inflammation.
• Devil’s Claw is an herb which has been used traditionally for hundreds of years to reduce inflammatory conditions and nowadays many people take it on a regular basis to reduce arthritic symptoms. In addition to taking specific supplements to rebuild and support the joints, many people find taking a combination of supplements that help to get to the root of the problem can be very effective.
Choose the supplement that suits you
There’s a good chance that most people will experience some form of arthritic pain, due to injury or disease, at some stage in their life. In the past, conventional treatments available had risky side effects. Luckily nowadays there are natural supplements such as Inflamol® to help reduce pain and inflammation as well as supplements to help maintain the health of the cartilage such as Glucosamine and Chondroitin. Millions of people around the world now find taking these supplements enables them to reduce the severity of their arthritis and help them lead a full and active life.