29 Ingredients to fight Arthritis that is completely Vegan!
According to the Arthritis Foundation,
the condition affects over 50 million adults and 300,000 children
in the United States. Natural remedies, such as herbs and supplements have
been studied, tested, and shown to help Arthritis.
Arthritis is a term that includes at least 25 different ailments; the main
symptoms are inflammation of the joints and pain. Arthritis
(Osteoarthritis), is much more than just the deterioration of cartilage, as
most people think. Here is the skinny on Arthritis in a nutshell: Cartilage
is the bodies' shock absorber. When the cartilage breaks down, the bones
start to rub together. Muscles, however, support the joints, when the
muscles get weak they quit supporting the joints, which leads to tears in
the tendons. Bones, on the other hand, send out spurs and other odd
growths, which cause major discomfort when the cartilage begins to erode.
But when changes in the bone take place first, thus affecting the shape of
the joint, this will trigger a breakdown in cartilage.*
Tendons and ligaments connect and anchor muscles and bones that provide
strength and support for the joints. When the tendons and ligaments become
weak, the cartilage is forced to bear more weight, thus causing the
expediting of the collapsing of the cartilage. Along with this comes inflammation, as the cartilage degrades, immune cells engulf and destroy
the dying tissue. In their zeal, they will even attack healthy tissue. And
if that is not enough to battle, research from scientists all over the
world are finding that over 50% of all people suffering from arthritis are
born with mutations in their genes that control cartilage formation and
destruction, which means that cartilage will be weaker, to begin with, and
degrade faster than it should. Now they are finding that Arthritis actually
starts with most people in their 20's 30's and 40's.*
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What Is Arthritis?
The word arthritis literally means joint inflammation, but it is often used
to refer to a group of more than 100 rheumatic diseases that can cause
pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. These diseases may affect not
only the joints but also other parts of the body, including important
supporting structures such as muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments, as
well as some internal organs. This article focuses on pain caused by two of
the most common forms of arthritis--osteoarthritis and rheumatoid
What Is Pain Really?
Pain is the body's warning system, alerting you that something is wrong.
The International Association for the Study of Pain defines it as an
unpleasant experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage to
a person's body. Specialized nervous system cells (neurons) that transmit
pain signals are found throughout the skin and other body tissues. These
cells respond to things such as injury or tissue damage. For example, when
a harmful agent such as a sharp knife comes in contact with your skin,
chemical signals travel from neurons in the skin through nerves in the
spinal cord to your brain, where they are interpreted as pain.*
Most forms of arthritis are associated with pain that can be divided into
two general categories: acute and chronic. Acute pain is temporary. It can
last a few seconds or longer but wanes as healing occurs. Some examples of
things that cause acute pain include burns, cuts, and fractures. Chronic
pain, such as that seen in people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid
arthritis, ranges from mild to severe and can last weeks, months, and years
to a lifetime.*
What Causes Arthritis Pain? Why Is It So Variable?
The pain of arthritis may come from different sources. These may include
inflammation of the synovial membrane (tissue that lines the joints), the
tendons or the ligaments, muscle strain, and fatigue. A combination of
these factors contributes to the intensity of the pain.
The pain of arthritis varies greatly from person to person, for reasons
that doctors do not yet understand completely. Factors that contribute to
the pain include swelling within the joint, the amount of heat or redness
present, or damage that has occurred within the joint. In addition,
activities affect pain differently so that some patients note pain in their
joints after first getting out of bed in the morning, whereas others
develop pain after prolonged use of the joint. Each individual has a
different threshold and tolerance for pain, often affected by both physical
and emotional factors. These can include depression, anxiety, and even
hypersensitivity at the affected sites due to inflammation and tissue
injury. This increased sensitivity appears to affect the amount of pain
perceived by the individual. Social support networks can make an important
contribution to pain management.
* Below is information and breakdowns and frequently asked questions that
are a must-read for all who suffer from any arthritic discomfort of any
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the United States,
affecting millions of Americans. In osteoarthritis, cartilage (the tissue
that covers and protects the ends of bones) gradually deteriorates, causing
pain, inflammation, and stiffness in the joints of the knee, hip, back,
hand, or wrist. A variety of factors can increase your risk of developing
Age: Age is the strongest risk factor for osteoarthritis. Although
osteoarthritis can appear in young adulthood, you're at higher risk if
you're over 45.
Gender: Osteoarthritis is more common in women than in men. Heredity People
who are born with defective cartilage or with joints that don't fit
together properly are more likely to develop osteoarthritis.
Joint injury or overuse traumatic injury to the knee or hip increases your
risk for developing osteoarthritis in those joints. And joints that are
used repeatedly in certain occupations or sports may be more likely to
develop osteoarthritis because of injury or overuse.
Overweight: Carrying excess weight during or after midlife is the strongest
risk factor for osteoarthritis of the knee.
Rheumatoid arthritis changes the normal structure and function of
cartilage, making joints more prone to develop osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis usually begins in the cartilage of a joint and can gradually
affect the bone and soft tissue surrounding the joint. As cartilage breaks
down, the body tries to repair the damage by making new bone. The ends of
the bones in the joint thicken, and the new bone can result in obvious
lumps, especially around the small joints of the hands.
Rheumatoid arthritis is thought to be an autoimmune disease, meaning that
the body's own immune system attacks the joint. The resulting inflammation
causes the characteristic of pain, stiffness, swelling, warmth, and
redness. The affected joint may also lose its shape, resulting in a loss of
In adult rheumatoid arthritis, symptoms can appear and disappear repeatedly
over time. In some people, rheumatoid arthritis may affect other parts of
the body in addition to the joints, including the blood, the lungs, and the
heart. People with rheumatoid arthritis may also suffer from appetite loss,
fever, and lack of energy, and lumps of tissue may form under the skin.
Unlike osteoarthritis, which is limited to the joints, adult rheumatoid
arthritis can affect the entire body. Typically, the first symptoms of
rheumatoid arthritis are fatigue, soreness, stiffness, and aching. The
wrists, hands, and feet tend to be most affected, but the elbows,
shoulders, neck, knees, hips, and ankles can become painful as well.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects millions of Americans. Like osteoarthritis,
rheumatoid arthritis occurs more frequently in women than in men. Adult
rheumatoid arthritis can occur in people in their 20s and 30s, though it
appears more commonly in those over 45 years of age.
Researchers now believe that treating rheumatoid arthritis early and
aggressively not only may control joint pain, inflammation, and stiffness,
but also may slow the progression of the disease.
Your credo is simple: An active life is a full life. Whether your passion
is for hiking, cycling, running, or just enjoying a game of hoops, you know
that knee pain can keep you on the sidelines. And that's not your style.
But you can do something about it. Step one: Learn the cause.
Is my knee pain due to arthritis?
Knee pain can have many causes, including injuries such as torn ligaments.
Knee pain also can be a warning sign of arthritis. You may have arthritis
of the knee if you experience any of the following: Pain, achiness,
stiffness, and/or swelling in the knee; you may have pain all around the
knee or just in one particular place. Reduced knee motion, Morning
stiffness that lessens after moving around.
The knee joint is the junction of three bones-the thigh bone, the shinbone,
and the kneecap.
Here is what you can do to help this process of healing your knee:
In the meantime, you can take these steps to minimize your knee pain and
lessen the chance of injury:
Balance rest and activity. Keep using your knee, but rest it when it
becomes painful. Fatigue or a pressured pace may increase the risk of
accidents. Rest when you can, and give yourself a break.
Keep the knee warm. Warmth can help relieve pain and stiffness. A hot
bath or hot-water bottle can bring relief.
Distribute the pressure. Carry heavy loads close to your body, using
both hands if necessary.
Move the knee. Make sure you don't keep your leg in the same position
for long periods of time. Doing so may ease your pain for a while, but
if you do it regularly, it will weaken the leg muscles.
Cushion the knee. Wear well-fitting training shoes as much as possible
for shock absorption.
Be prepared. Keeping fit is important for everyone, including people
with arthritis. Talk to your doctor about an exercise program that's
right for you.
Plan ahead. Consider the time and energy you'll need for any task.
Organize your activities. Have the tools for each job conveniently at
What is arthritis of the knee?
Arthritis of the knee is most often osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease
in which cartilage in the joint gradually wears away. Osteoarthritis of the
knee may be caused by everyday "wear and tear," as well as by excess stress
on the joint, as from repeated injury or being overweight. Osteoarthritis
also progresses more quickly in knees that are stressed by misalignment.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that also can affect the
knees. In rheumatoid arthritis, the joint becomes inflamed, and cartilage
may be destroyed. Both knees are usually affected.
Hip pain can keep you from both the things you need to do and the things
you want to do. But you can do something about it. Step one:
Learn the cause.
Is my hip pain due to arthritis?
Hip pain can be a sign of arthritis.
You may have arthritis of the hip if you experience any of the
following signs and symptoms:
Stiffness in the groin, buttock, or thigh upon waking
Hip pain that worsens as the joint is used and subsides with rest
Limping to avoid the pain
Eventually, resting may fail to relieve the pain in your hip.
Losing protective cartilage can cause the bones to rub directly against
each other, resulting in hard bumps, called bone spurs that reduce
motion and cause pain.
The hip joint is the ball-and-socket structure that gives us the
ability to walk.
What is arthritis of the hip?
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis of the hip. It occurs
when the smooth cartilage that covers the hipbone and the head of the
thighbone thins out, increasing joint friction. Joints that are used often,
such as the hip, are generally more prone to becoming arthritic. And
arthritis in a weight-bearing joint such as the hip, spine, or knee tends
to be more painful than in the wrist or hand.
It's a sure thing that hand and wrist pain keeps you from playing your best
game. You can't give it everything you've got if your hands won't let you.
Want to get a grip on the problem? The first step is to learn the cause.
Is my hand pain due to arthritis?
- Pain in the joints of the hand or the wrist can be a sign of arthritis.
The joints in the hand and wrist that are used often are sometimes prone to wear and tear, which may lead to osteoarthritis. You may have arthritis of
the hand or wrist if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Pain, stiffness, and/or swelling in the hand or wrist
- Tenderness or warmth in the joints of the hand or wrist
Diminished grip strength
Reduced hand or wrist motion
- In some cases, osteoarthritis can lead to the formation of bony nodules
at the affected joints. The hand and its fingers contain 27 bones, which
come together to form several different types of joints glossary-1003.asp -
What is arthritis of the hand or wrist?
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common forms of
arthritis of the hand or wrist. Like osteoarthritis in any other joint, the
smooth, protective cartilage of the hand or wrist bones can wear thin from
injury or overuse, causing pain, stiffness, and weakness. Osteoarthritis of
the hand appears primarily in three places: The base of the thumb, where
the thumb and wrist meet, the middle joint of a finger, and the tip of a
In contrast to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis usually affects many
joints on both hands, although it's most common in the wrist and knuckles.
In rheumatoid arthritis, the lining of the joints swells and may stretch
the ligaments so the joints lose their strength and stability. Rheumatoid
arthritis can also affect tendons, further compounding the loss of joint
How Can You Cope With Arthritis Pain?
The long-term goal of pain management is to help you cope with a chronic,
often disabling disease. You may be caught in a cycle of pain, depression,
and stress. To break out of this cycle, you need to be an active
participant with the doctor and other health care professionals in managing
your pain. This may include physical therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy,
occupational therapy, biofeedback, relaxation techniques (for example, deep
breathing and meditation), and family counseling therapy.*
The Multipurpose Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases Center at Stanford
University, supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and
Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), has developed an Arthritis
Self-Help Course that teaches people with arthritis how to take a more
active part in their arthritis care. The Arthritis Self-Help Course is
taught by the Arthritis Foundation and consists of a 12- to 15-hour program
that includes lectures on osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis,
exercise, pain management, nutrition, medication, doctor-patient
relationships, and nontraditional treatment.*
Things You Can Do To Manage Arthritis Pain:
Eat a healthy diet.
Drink Lots of water.
Take your supplements methodically. The same time every day.
Get 8 to 10 hours of sleep at night.
Keep a daily diary of pain and mood changes to share with your
Choose a caring physician.
What Research Is Being Conducted on Arthritis Pain?
The NIAMS, part of the National Institutes of Health, is sponsoring
research that will increase understanding of the specific ways to diagnose,
treat, and possibly prevent arthritis pain. As part of its commitment to
pain research, the Institute joined with many other NIH institutes and
offices in 1998 in a special announcement to encourage more studies on
At the Specialized Center of Research in Osteoarthritis at
Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois,
researchers are studying the human knee and analyzing how injury in one
joint may affect other joints. In addition, they are analyzing the effect
of pain and analgesics on gait (walking) and compare pain and gait before
and after surgical treatment for knee osteoarthritis.
At the University of Maryland Pain Center in Baltimore, NIAMS researchers
are evaluating the use of acupuncture on patients with osteoarthritis of
the knee. Preliminary findings suggest that traditional Chinese acupuncture
is both safe and effective as an additional therapy for osteoarthritis, and
it significantly reduces pain and improves physical function.
At Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, NIAMS researchers have
developed cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) involving both patients and
their spouses. The goal of CBT for arthritis pain is to help patients cope
more effectively with the long-term demands of a chronic and potentially
disabling disease. Researchers are studying whether aerobic fitness, coping
abilities, and spousal responses to pain behaviors diminish the patient's
pain and disability.
NIAMS-supported research on arthritis pain also includes projects in the
Institute's Multipurpose Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases Centers. At
the University of California at San Francisco, researchers are studying
stress factors, including pains that are associated with rheumatoid
arthritis. Findings from this study will be used to develop patient
education programs that will improve a person's ability to deal with
rheumatoid arthritis and enhance the quality of life. At the Indiana
University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, health care professionals
are looking at the causes of pain and joint disability in patients with
osteoarthritis. The goal of the project is to improve doctor-patient
communication about pain management and increase patient satisfaction.
The list of pain studies continues. A NIAMS-funded project at Stanford
University in California is evaluating the effects of a patient education
program that uses a book and videotape to control chronic pain. At Indiana
University in Indianapolis, Institute-supported scientists are determining
whether strength training can diminish the risk of severe pain from knee
osteoarthritis. And a multi-center study funded by the National Center for
Complementary and Alternative Medicine and NIAMS, and coordinated by the
University Of Utah School Of Medicine, is investigating the effects of the
dietary supplements glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate for knee
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: When I play basketball with the guys from work on the weekends, I pay
the price afterward. My knees are really achy. I keep telling myself it was
just a tough game, but could it be arthritis?
A: This symptom may represent a strain on the soft tissues surrounding the
joint, but it may also represent the early stages of osteoarthritis (OA).
If this symptom persists or worsens, or if the knees become swollen, it
would be wise to consult with your physician.
Q: My neighbor lost 20 pounds and said her arthritis went away. Is this
A: Weight loss can reduce your risk of developing osteoarthritis, slow the
progression of the existing disease and reduce the symptoms of the existing
disease. Your neighbor's arthritis did not go away, but her symptoms may
have lessened significantly or completely.
Q: I'd swear my shoulder can tell me when it's about to rain. Does the
weather really affect arthritis?
A: The pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis are frequently worsened in
cool, damp or rainy weather. This association is blamed on atmospheric
pressure changes that alter the pressure within a person's joints.
Q: My father had painful arthritis in his hands for as long as I can
remember. Does this mean I'm going to get arthritis, too?
A: A study published in the British Medical Journal in 1996 demonstrated
that the chance of inheriting OA of the hands may run as high as 65
percent. However, there are likely to be multiple genes involved as well as
environmental factors, so I would not consider this to be a foregone
Q: I am in my late 20s and have recently noticed that my joints crack a lot
more than they used to. Why might this be happening? Is it age-related? Can
you recommend any dietary supplements or exercises that would help?
A: Cracking and popping of joints are actually normal and nothing to be
concerned about. Strangely enough, the exact reason joints pop and snap is
not totally understood. One theory is that the ligaments (tethers that hold
the bones together) make these noises as they get tight rapidly when the
joint is moving. In some instances, popping may be due to a tendon snapping
over or around the joint. Another theory is that nitrogen bubbles in the
fluid inside the joint are rapidly brought into or out of solution when the
joint is manipulated, such as cracking the knuckles in the hand. Whatever
the cause, these sounds do not need to be specifically treated. There is
no long-term silencing of these noises, and there is no basis for the
admonition to not crack your knuckles because it can lead to arthritis.
There are no supplements or exercises to prevent these noises. The only
time to worry about cracking or popping of a joint is if there is a pain
when the joint pops. Swelling is not normal and should be evaluated if it
accompanies the noises. If the joint gets locked or stuck when it pops or
cracks, then it may indicate a joint problem that should be evaluated.
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