Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints and is characterized by acute pain and swelling. Swelling of the joints accompanied by debilitating pain is a sure sign of arthritis. The treatment of arthritis, therefore, aims to reduce the swelling as well as the pain. The term arthritis is a combination of two Greek words: artho, which means bones and itis, which means inflammation.
Causes of Arthritis
Why the joints? Wherever there is a meeting point of the bones, you will find a rubbery layer that works as a form of protection for the bones. There is so much wear and tear in the joints that it proves too much even for cartilage alone. It is ably assisted by the synovial fluid which is produced by the synovium, the aforementioned rubbery layer. The wearing out of the cartilage triggers off an inflammation in the synovium and this can cause osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Treatment of arthritis is primarily to ease the severe pain caused by this inflammation. Excess weight puts additional strain on the lower joints of the body and so treatment of arthritis almost always entails a weight loss program.
There are different kinds of arthritis, which affect joints in different parts of the body. Osteoarthritis is the painful deterioration of the cartilage that cushions the bodys joints. Arthritis of the big toe is called gout. Arthritis afflicts people of all ages, even children, when it is called juvenile arthritis. Statistics show that about one third of the American population afflicted with this ailment seeks treatment or relief. Of this percentage, three quarters are women.
Treatment of Arthritis
Today, there is a need for more aggressive treatment of arthritis pain. All treatment of arthritis should begin with a comprehensive assessment of pain and function. Alternative therapies for treatment range from A (acupuncture) to Z (zinc sulfate), with much in between – from copper bracelets and magnets to glucosamine and yoga. The efficacy of most of the alternative therapies in the treatment of arthritis has yet to be proven however.
Herbs and Vitamins
There is ongoing research in an effort to find the most effective treatment of arthritis. Natural cures are being sought after as a long-term treatment of arthritis. A good diet, which keeps the bones well oiled, is the best start in the natural treatment of arthritis. The Omega-3 treatment stresses the importance of consuming foods rich in Omega-3 including plenty of fish, as this nutrient keeps the joints well oiled and reduces pain. Flaxseed is a good alternative source of Omega-3 for those who dont like eating fish, and flaxseed powder is often used in supplements or natural remedies for arthritis. Preventive action can be taken by ensuring the adequate intake of Vitamins C and D and Calcium. Caffeine and alcohol should be avoided for effective treatment of arthritis.
A healthy diet coupled with an exercise regimen is an integral part of the treatment of arthritis. Small steps such as a daily brisk walk or early morning stretches go a long way in aiding the treatment of arthritis. Stretches should be done slowly and with a fluidity of movement so as not to hurt the joints that you are actually trying to heal. You should consult with a doctor before doing stretches as a part of the treatment of arthritis.
The saying Prevention is better than cure holds good in the treatment of arthritis. Preventive measures, if taken in good time, make future treatment of arthritis easier. The better way of course would be to take care of your body so well that no treatment of arthritis is necessary.