When you develop arthritis (disease usually occurring in middle age), slowly your joints lose their cartilage - a gel-like, smooth, shock absorbing substance that averts the adjoining bones from touching one another. When you have arthritis, fingers, knees, neck, hips and the spine are the most commonly affected body parts. As the cartilage continues to erode, the patient suffers acute pain and joint unsteadiness owing to the friction caused by bones rubbing against other bones.
Several decades of wear and tear of the joints may result in arthritis. In addition, you may also develop this painful condition owing to genetic issues, excess weight and damages in the ability of the body to restore cartilage. A number of instances of arthritis are related to a particular cause, for instance any joint injury sustained previously, congenital or inherent flaw in joint structure or the excessive use of a joint for occupational reasons or athletically. In case you feel that you have developed arthritis, it is advisable that you talk to a doctor for appropriate advice.
Supplements and herbs
Although there is no remedy that is certain to cure arthritis, a sugar compound that helps in building cartilage and known as glucosamine might possibly facilitate in alleviating the pain caused by arthritis. While glucosamine appears to inhibit the damage of the joint over a period of time, it is still not clear whether this substance has the capability to reverse the medical condition. In order to augment the efficacy of glucosamine, you may try using it with another supplement listed below. In addition, wait for a minimum of three months for the results to be evident and then judge the effectiveness of the remedy. However, if you find that glucosamine is not yielding the desired results even after three months, you may use a different supplements with it and see if things work better. It may be noted that the supplements listed below may be used for a prolonged period and may also be used in conjugation with pain relievers, for instance acetaminophen and/ or aspirin. People who are enduring diabetes ought to be careful while using glucosamine for it may significantly shoot up the blood sugar levels.
Currently, many major studies are appraising the influence of glucosamine when the compound is used in combination with one other cartilage-building compound called chondroitin. Some experts are of the view that chondroitin is not absorbed by the body appropriately and is, therefore, effective only to some extent. Additional supplements which you may take in combination with glucosamine, comprises niacinamide, a compound that may possibly be effective especially in alleviating knee pain; resin from boswellia (a sticky tree) that is likely to slow down inflammation as well as build cartilage, and sea cucumber, a Chinese medication that may possibly, although by means of unidentified methods, lessen pain and rigidity and, at the same time, perk up grip strength. A form of amino acid methionine known as SAMe (S-adenosyl methionine) possesses anti-inflammatory attributes which as akin to those of ibuprofen and has exhibited that it has the aptitude to restore cartilage. You may also try another supplement called gelatin, enclosing the amino acids proline ad glycine as well as additional nutrients that facilitate building joints, if all other supplements fail to yield the desired results or alleviate your symptoms. However, till date, very little is known regarding the efficacy of gelatin.
Any of the remedies may be employed together with cayenne cream, which is applied topically to alleviate pain. Capsaicin enclosed by cayenne slows down the production of the substance P, a chemical compound that is concerned in transmitting messages to the brain. However, when you are applying this cream for the first few times, it may result in a burning sensation.
Commonly used essential oils for arthritis:
A few suggestions regarding use of the essential oils for treating arthritis are mentioned below.
Mix the essential oil with suitable carrier oil and massage the blend into the affected areas or the joints affected by arthritis.
Alternately, you may add about 10 drops of essential oil to a temperate bath and soak the affected joints in the water for about 15 minutes.
Here is a word of caution: Never massage on top of the joints that are either swollen or inflamed.
Homeopathy is also an effective means of treating arthritis and when the patient is enduring more severe phases, homeopathic medications may be given several times according to the severity of the symptoms. The remedies may be given every hour, once in every two hour, or even less frequently.
When the patient is undergoing advanced case of arthritis, usually remedies having low potencies work excellently when they are taken over a prolonged period. However, this can be changes is some cases. For instance, Calc. fluor. may be used in a potency of 3x or 6x and taken two times daily for many months.
Arthritis - acute
This homeopathic remedy is given to patients enduring acute arthritis and experiencing cutting, blazing and moving pains. In such cases, the affected areas include the knees and shoulders. Usually, the patient has immense swelling in the region of the joints, which appear rosy red or waxy and somewhat transparent. The patient feels awkward and often drops things. They are always busy, restive and anxious. At the same time, people suffering from acute arthritis and require Apis generally become jealous and bad-tempered. Their condition worsens when they are exposed to heat and pressure or touched by someone. They feel better while sitting straight and on cold application.
This homeopathic remedy is given to those patients suffering from acute arthritis who also suffer from headaches, fever, eye inflammation and throbbing pulse. Such patients experience unexpected and extreme onset of red, hot, pulsating and painful sensation in the region of the affected joint, which is usually swollen. The pains may be of burning nature accompanied by spasms and cramps. They are mostly nervous and restive. The condition of such patients deteriorates when they are moving, owing to touch, jarring and during night when they feel cold. They feel better when they are relaxing or taking rest.
Patients suffering from acute arthritis and requiring Bryonia experience stitching pains at the affected joints. In this case the affected joints become red, hot, distended and may have a light red tinge or appear shiny. They usually become tetchy and seek solitude. Anxiety regarding their business, finances and future grip such patients. The pain intensifies even when they have the minimum motion, stretching, walking or turning. Their condition deteriorates in the morning, when someone touches them or due to jarring. They feel better when they are resting, or when there is localized heat and/ or pressure in the region of the affected areas.
Dulcamara is given to patients who suffer from maladies caused or potently influenced by cold or clammy conditions, moist weather conditions, air conditioning, cellars, warm turning to cold or dry changing to damp suddenly. People who require this homeopathic remedy most endure stiffness of the muscles, soreness as well as rheumatism - more so in the muscles. They may also have hives and eczema. The condition of these patients worsens when they are exposed to moist weather, cold and during night. Even taking rest deteriorates their condition. They feel better when they are in motion, when there is pressure and warmth.
The homeopathic remedy Pulsatilla is suitable for patients enduring shifting pain. People who responsd best to this medication are those who experience sudden pain that subsides slowly or as suddenly as it came. Pulsatilla is effective for people who are suffering acute arthritis where the large joint, such as the hip is affected. The condition of such patients deteriorates when they are in motion, exposed to heat and during evening. They feel better when they are in gentle motion, in the open air and when cold compresses are applied to the affected areas. Usually, such patients are gentle, reticent, sensitive and poignant. They are also depressed and weepy type of people.
- Rhus. tox.
Rhus. tox. is the most appropriate homeopathic remedy for rheumatism following the patient's exposure to moist climatic conditions, several strains, excessive fatigue, becoming cold after getting overheated. Such patients usually have reddened and swollen, hot and cracking joints. They experience burning, ripping and drawing pains accompanied by heavy limbs and debility. They are also restless or restive most of the times. The patients generally experience rigidity of muscles and aches after taking rest and feel better when they are loosening up and becoming warm. Their condition deteriorates when they are exposed to dampness, cold and during the night. The conditions improve when the patients are wrapping up, stretching and massaging.
Arthritis - chronic
- Calc. carb.
The homeopathic remedy Calc. carb. is given to patients who are enduring rheumatism owing to repeated stress, moistness, abrasion as well as old injuries. Patients who response to this medication well are those who endure rigidity, feebleness and lameness of the affected joints and their contractions. The nodes of these patients are painful, weak and lacking stamina. They also have flaccid muscles and sloppy ligaments and are generally susceptible to dampness. Such patients feel cold and their sweat has a disagreeable sour smell. Although such patients are responsible, they feel insecure and suffer from several worries. The condition of these patients deteriorates when they are in motion, and when exposed to cold and moistness. They feel better when they are lying down, relaxing and being massaged. Exposure to warmth also improves their condition.
- Calc. fluor.
This is the ideal homeopathic remedy for chronic or persistent arthritis accompanied by overgrowth of bones and hard nodules at the locations of the sprains. In this case, the patients endure rigidity of the joints and feel restive and feeble owing to over-stretched joints and muscles. They have cracking and creaking joints and they are always apprehensive regarding their property. They are usually unstable and often make mistakes. The condition of these patients deteriorates mainly owing to motion and rest and when they are exposed to cold and moisture. However, they feel better when they are loosening up, massaged or exposed to warmth.
The homeopathic remedy Causticum is appropriate for chronic arthritis patients who are undergoing stiff, contracted, deformed and partly fused joints. They are always restive, feeble and have shrivelled muscles that need to be stretched. They also suffer from twitches and numbness. They feel cold and have effects of scars and burns. Their suffering is chronic and they are sensitive to injustice. The condition of such patients worsens when they are lying down, resting, in motion or during the night and when exposed to cold arid wind. The patients feel better when they are exposed to damp weather conditions and warmth.
Ledum is an effective homeopathic remedy for treating gout, arthritis and rheumatism that moves upwards from one joint to another. In such cases of chronic arthritis, the small joints, hips, elbows, ankles, knees, feet and heels are affected. In addition, joints in the upper and lower right areas are also affected. Such patients have cracking and bony nodules; rigid, swollen, cold, hot or distended and/ or pale joints. These patients enduring chronic arthritis feel heat in the limbs, but their condition deteriorates when they are in a hot bed. They have gout in the large toe and usually want to keep away from people. Their condition worsens when touched by someone, when they are in motion, exposed to warmth, feel any type of pressure and during night. They feel better when cold compress is applied to the affected areas/ joints.
Chronic arthritis patients who suffer from sores all over their body and experience shooting, electric shock like pains need this homeopathic remedy most. Such patients are always restive and feel exhausted. The pains move from one area to another of the body and the patients endure swollen, red, hot joints. All over their body, they experience stiffness. Their restlessness worsens when they are in motion. They are generally indifferent and do not have any shame. The condition of such patients deteriorates when they are in motion, during night, when they are exposed to cold and under pressure. Their condition improves or they feel better when they take rest, are in a dry and warm situation.
Additional things you may do
Besides using herbs and supplements, aromatherapy and homeopathic remedies, you may do a few additional things to alleviate your symptoms of arthritis. For instance, take part in restrained low-impact work-outs like walking or swimming with a view to reinforce your muscles as well as enhance the general condition of the joints.
You may also apply ice or heat to the affected joints for about 20 minutes each time, thrice every day to alleviate the pain caused by arthritis.
The standard dosage of some of the remedies to arthritis is mentioned briefly below.
- Glucosamine is an herbal supplement which should be taken in dosage of 500 mg glucosamine sulphate thrice every day along with other supplements. Glucosamine should always be taken along with food. This herbal remedy should not be given to people enduring diabetes, as it may increase the blood sugar levels significantly.
- Usually chondroitin is sold along with glucosamine and this supplement should be taken in the dosage of 400 mg chondroitin sulphate thrice every day.
- The standard dosage of niacinamide is 1,000 mg taken thrice every day. People taking this supplement should be cautious, as high doses of the remedy may result in damaged liver as well as additional side effects. It is essential that a qualified medical practitioner should monitor the patient taking niacinamide.
- Cayenne cream
- This herbal cream is applied topically to the affected joints of arthritis patients many times daily. This cream has been standardized to enclose 0.025 per cent to 0.075 per cent capsaicin, which helps to provide relief from pain caused by arthritis.
- Boswellia is available in pill form and each pill has been homogenized to contain 150 mg boswellic acid. The standard dosage of this remedy is taking one pill thrice every day.
- Sea cucumber
- Sea cucumber is a Chinese remedy and the standard dosage of this medication is 1,000 mg taken daily. It is also known as bêche-de-mer.
- The usual dosage of SAMe ((S-adenosyl methionine) is 400 mg taken twice daily for two weeks and subsequently 200 mg taken twice every day in the form of a maintenance dose. People taking this remedy may experience gentle gastrointestinal side effects and it should never be given to people having manic-depressive ailment or bipolar disorder.
Other beneficial herbs