Arthritis is very common & unfortunately, most people over the age of 60 (or even younger) expect to have some kind of joint pain. Pharmaceutical pain killers are usually the first option for pain relief, but natural supplements are at least as effective at relieving pain & far better at treating the disease itself, of which there are 2 main types: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
This is usually the less severe of the two and is characterised by worn or brittle joint cartilage. Symptoms include joint pain and ‘clunking’, muscle weakness and reduced range of movement. There are factors which increase the risk of this condition:
- Past damage or injury to the joint.
- Repetitive strain, such as occupational movements or sports related injury.
- Overweight or obesity.
It’s very important to minimise cartilage loss early on to prevent the condition worsening. Correct diet, appropriate exercise of the joint to keep it moving and supplements like minerals, fish oils and anti-inflammatory herbs can slow damage progression.
Caused by activation of the immune system against joint tissue and cartilage, rheumatoid arthritis can be challenging to manage. It creates a great deal of inflammation in the joints, resulting in deformation of the area and severely reduced mobility. Treatment early on is essential to manage and slow progression of the disease. Autoimmune conditions like this one are not fully understood, and sometimes the medications can be worse than the disease itself. Methotrexate is one of these drugs, and is well-known to cause some nasty side effects including mouth ulcers, hair loss, liver damage and bone toxicity.
Natural options are available
Nature has provided us with highly effective herbs and nutrients to help combat both types of arthritis. Boswellia, Tumeric and Ginger are all fantastic for improving circulation and reducing inflammation to the affected areas. Fish oils, minerals like silica, calcium and magnesium that form the basis for joints and bones provide structural support. Vitamin C is anti-inflammatory and is required for synthesis and repair of collagen fibre.
Controlling inflammation is the key to producing symptomatic relief, whilst providing nutrients to assist production of collagen and cartilage offers structural support. Immune modulating herbs like Rehmannia & Bupleurum reduce the autoimmune response characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis.
Please feel free to speak to us at your next consultation if you would like advice on any of our natural treatments for arthritis.
Nepean Naturopathic Centre – making health easy