The most important recurring factor in arthritis is inflammation. This is what causes other symptoms like pain, swelling and stiffness, which are characteristic of this condition. There are many natural products that have anti-inflammatory properties through which arthritis can be contained.
Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium). This plant was used in ancient times for the treatment of pain and headaches. In laboratory studies, extracts of feverfew have been able to stop certain processes involved in rheumatoid arthritis. This herb should not be taken during pregnancy.Boswellia (Boswellia serratas). It is a gum-resin, used for a long time by the Indians. Boswellia is sometimes mixed with turmeric and another herb known as ashwaganda in the treatment of arthritis.
Ginger. Fresh ginger powder has anti-inflammatory properties and can also decrease pain associated with arthritis.
Green tea. Polyphenols are antioxidants found in green tea and studies have shown that they can prevent rheumatoid arthritis and reduce the severity of the disease. They reduce the inflammation of arthritis and also decrease the rate of cartilage breakdown. Green tea is by far the healthiest drink that can be consumed due to its action on arthritis and other health problems. Drinking three to five cups of green tea a day can prevent arthritis and decrease its severity in someone who already has rheumatoid arthritis. Making green tea a part of your diet is a very wise thing to do.
Omega 3. It is an essential fatty acid found in cold water fish such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines, etc. and seeds such as flax seeds. Omega 3s have important anti-inflammatory properties that make them useful throughout the body, including the joints. It relieves painful joints and alleviates joint stiffness that occurs after a period of rest or sleep. Omega 3 also maintains healthy joint cells and by removing plaque from arteries all over the body, it increases blood supply to joints and other parts of the body. As a prevention against arthritis, include omega 3 fish oils, seeds and nuts that contain fatty acids in your diet. Omega 3s can also be taken in supplement form, but as usual, care should be taken if you are taking blood thinners and antihypertensives.
Pomegranate extract and peel contain antioxidants that can fight inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. They can also repair damaged cells in the joints. You can eat the fruit where it is available or take it as a supplement. Pomegranate which can be consumed in the form of tea can be found in health food stores.
Other natural food products that are effective for arthritis are the enzyme bromelain, which is commonly found in pineapple, nettle, and devil’s claw. They can all reduce inflammation and pain, and increase mobility in the stiff joint.
Lifestyle changes in the management of arthritis.
Weight loss for obese people. Arthritis and its severity are directly proportional to an individual’s weight and the joints commonly affected in these patients are the spine, hip, knee and ankle joints. So it stands to reason that weight reduction will go a long way in managing arthritis. Weight loss in obese patients should be one of the first considerations. Drink enough water daily and change the diet to a diet low in carbohydrates and protein with good fats, omega 3 and 6. Refined and processed food products should be avoided; products such as white flower products, white sugar, white rice and hydrogenated fats. As usual, the main rest of the diet should consist of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.
Exercise. Another lifestyle change that people with arthritis should make is exercise. The benefits of exercise for an arthritis patient are weight control, increased joint flexibility and strength, increased bone and muscle strength, and reduced pain in the affected joint. In addition, there is the development of new capillaries and an increase in the blood supply to the joints when an individual exercises. With the increase in blood supply, there is a concomitant increase in the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the joints.
There are different exercises to choose from depending on the affected joint. Types of exercise include aerobics, range of motion, and strengthening exercises. Consult your doctor or physiotherapist before embarking on any exercise.