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Treatment of Arthritis

Homeopathic Treatment of Arthritis


Arthritis is a joint disorder featuring inflammation. A joint is an area of the body where two different bones meet. A joint functions to move the body parts connected by its bones. Arthritis literally means inflammation of one or more joints.

Arthritis is not a single disease - it is a term that covers over 100 medical conditions. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and generally affects elderly patients. Some forms of arthritis can affect people at a very early age.

Arthritis affects the musculoskeletal system, specifically the joints. It is the main cause of disability among people over fifty-five years of age in industrialized countries.

Determining the cause of arthritis can be difficult, because often several factors contribute to an individual developing this common problem.

Osteoarthritis is usually caused by normal wear and tear, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. Other types of arthritis can be caused by uric acid crystals, infections or even an underlying disease, such as psoriasis or lupus.

Treatments vary depending on the type of arthritis. The main goals of arthritis treatments are to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.

Causes of Arthritis:

1.Genetics:

Exactly how much heredity or genetics contributes to the cause of arthritis is not well understood. However, there are likely genetic variations that can contribute to the cause of arthritis.

2.Age:

Cartilage becomes more brittle with age and has less of a capacity to repair itself. As people grow older they are more likely to develop arthritis.

4.Weight:

Because joint damage is partly dependent on the load the joint has to support, excess body weight can lead to arthritis. This is especially true of the hips and knees that can be worn quickly in heavier patients.

5.Previous Injury:

Joint damage can cause irregularities in the normal smooth joint surface. Previous major injuries can be part of the cause of arthritis. An example of an injury leading to arthritis is a tibial plateau fracture, where the broken area of bone enters the cartilage of the knee joint.

6.Occupational Hazards:

Workers in some specific occupations seem to have a higher risk of developing arthritis than other jobs. These are primarily high demand jobs such as assembly line workers and heavy construction.

7.Some High-Level Sports:

It is difficult to determine how much sports participation contributes to development of arthritis. Certainly, sports participation can lead to joint injury and subsequent arthritis. However, the benefits of activity likely outweigh any risk of arthritis.

 

8.Illness or Infection:

People who experience a joint infection (septic joint), multiple episodes of gout, or other medical conditions, can develop arthritis of the joint.

Types of Arthritis:

1.Osteoarthritis - cartilage loses its elasticity. If the cartilage is stiff it becomes damaged more easily. The cartilage, which acts as a shock absorber, will gradually wear away in some areas. As the cartilage becomes damaged tendons and ligaments become stretched, causing pain. Eventually the bones may rub against each other causing very severe pain.

2.Rheumatoid arthritis - this is an inflammatory form of arthritis. The synovial membrane (synovium) is attacked, resulting in swelling and pain. If left untreated the arthritis can lead to deformity. Rheumatoid arthritis is significantly more common in women than men and generally strikes when the patient is aged between 40 and 60. However, children and much older people may also be affected.

3.Infectious arthritis (septic arthritic) - an infection in the synovial fluid and tissues of a joint. It is usually caused by bacteria, but could also be caused by fungi or viruses. Bacteria, fungi or viruses may spread through the bloodstream from infected tissue nearby, and infect a joint. Most susceptible people are those who already have some form of arthritis and develop an infection that travels in the bloodstream.

4.Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) - means arthritis that affects a person aged 16 or less. JRA can be various forms of arthritis; it basically means that a child has it. There are three main types:

a. Pauciarticular JRA, the most common and mildest. The child experiences pain in up to 4 joints.

b. Polyarticular JRA affects more joints and is more severe. As time goes by it tends to get worse.

c. Systemic JRA is the least common. Pain is experienced in many joints. It can spread to organs. This can be the most serious JRA.

5.Lupus Arthritis:

Lupus arthritis is the most common manifestation of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, or SLE. SLE, like rheumatoid arthritis, is an auto-immune condition where the body's immune system causes damage to the joints. The most commonly affected joints in SLE are the hands, wrists, and knees.

6.Psoriatic arthritis:

Psoriatic arthritis is a systemic rheumatic disease that also can cause inflammation in body tissues away from the joints other than the skin, such as in the eyes, heart, lungs, and kidneys.Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic disease characterized by a form of inflammation of the skin (psoriasis) and joints (arthritis). Approximately 10% of patients who have psoriasis also develop an associated inflammation of their joints. Patients who have inflammatory arthritis and psoriasis are diagnosed as having psoriatic arthritis.

Symptoms of Arthritis:

The most common signs and symptoms of arthritis involve the joints.

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Decreased range of motion

The symptoms of arthritis depend on the type of arthritis.

  • Osteoarthritis - The symptoms develop slowly and get worse as time goes by. There is pain in a joint, either during or after use, or after a period of inactivity. There will be tenderness when pressure is applied to the joint. The joint will be stiff, especially first thing in the morning. The patient may find it harder to use the joint - it loses its flexibility. Some patients experience a grating sensation when they use the joint. Hard lumps, or bone spurs may appear around the joint. In some cases the joint might swell. The most common affected joints are in the hips, hands, knees and spine.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis - The patient often finds the same joints in each side of the body are painfully swollen, inflamed, and stiff. The fingers, arms, legs and wrists are most commonly affected. Symptoms are usually worst on waking up in the morning and the stiffness can last for 30 minutes at this time. The joint is tender when touched. Hands may be red and puffy. There may be rheumatoid nodules (bumps of tissue under the skin of the patient's arms). Many patients with rheumatoid arthritis feel tired most of the time. Weight loss is common.

The smaller joints are usually noticeably affected first. Experts say patients with rheumatoid arthritis have problems with several joints at the same time. As the arthritis progresses it spreads from the smaller joints in your hands, wrists, ankles and feet to your elbows, knees, hips, neck, shoulders and jaw.

  • Infectious arthritis - The patient has a fever, joint inflammation and swelling. He will feel tenderness and/or a sharp pain. Often these symptoms are linked to an injury or another illness. Most commonly affected areas are the knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist and finger. In the majority of cases, just one joint is affected.
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis - The patient is a child. He will experience intermittent fevers which tend to peak in the evening and then suddenly disappear. His appetite will be poor and he will lose weight. There may be blotchy rashes on his arms and legs. Anemia is also common. The child may limp or have a sore wrist, finger, or knee. A joint may suddenly swell and stay larger than it usually is. The child may experience a stiff neck, hips or some other joint.

 

Treatment of Arthritis:

Arthritis treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and improving joint function.

Medications:

The medications used to treat arthritis vary depending on the type of arthritis. Commonly used arthritis medications include:

  • Analgesics: These types of medications help reduce pain, but have no effect on inflammation.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): NSAIDs reduce both pain and inflammation. Over-the-counter NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen (Aleve). Some NSAIDs are also available as creams or gels, which can be rubbed on joints.
  • Counterirritants: Some varieties of creams and ointments contain menthol or capsaicin, the ingredient that makes hot peppers spicy. Rubbing these preparations on the skin over your aching joint may interfere with the transmission of pain signals from the joint itself.
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs): Often used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, DMARDs slow or stop your immune system from attacking your joints.
  • Biologics: Typically used in conjunction with DMARDs, biologic response modifiers are genetically engineered drugs that target various protein molecules that are involved in the immune response. Examples include etanercept (Enbrel) and infliximab (Remicade).
  • Corticosteroids: This class of drug, which includes prednisone and cortisone, reduces inflammation and suppresses the immune system. Corticosteroids can be taken orally or be injected directly into the painful joint.

Therapy for Arthritis:

Physical therapy can be helpful for some types of arthritis. Exercises can improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles surrounding joints. In some cases, splints or braces may be warranted.

Surgery for Arthritis:

If conservative measures don't help, doctor may suggest surgery, such as:

 

  • Joint replacement: This procedure removes your damaged joint and replaces it with an artificial one. Joints most commonly replaced are hips and knees.
  • Joint fusion: This procedure is more often used for smaller joints, such as those in the wrist, ankle and fingers. It removes the ends of the two bones in the joint and then locks those ends together until they heal into one rigid unit.

Homeopathic Treatment of Arthritis:

Homeopathy offers excellent treatment for the cases of Arthritis, especially for those who have not developed joint deformities. The pain control is very effective with homeopathy and this is without any side effects whatsoever. The treatment can also have a role to play in controlling the progress of the condition to some extent and in delaying the onset of complications. Homeopathy is very strongly suggested for all cases Arthritis. But to achieve a maximum and long term result you need to decide on an individualized Constitutional Homeopathic treatment.

Role of Hypnotherapy in Arthritis:

With hypnotherapy you gain a distinct advantage in managing and even reversing the effects and limitations of arthritis. A few sessions with a hypnotherapist quickly familiarizes you with the process of deep relaxation and how you can then plant rapidly growing seeds of healthy change.

We all have remarkable self-healing abilities. Hypnosis is an excellent way to jumpstart your return to a healthier happier life. You improve your nutrition, comfort and mobility. You sleep better, get stronger and have a better outlook on life.

Pain is often the biggest issue with arthritis. Some pain, however, is necessary; it acts as a warning system telling us that something isn't right. The responsible approach with hypnosis is to only reduce unnecessary pain, leaving intact the body's ability to signal us and protect us from further injury.

Many of the body’s systems and functions are controlled by the part of the mind called the subconscious. The subconscious is responsible for the control of circulatory, muscular, hormonal and chemical functions. These functions directly affect the health of joints and healthy cartilage grows from the production of chondrocytes cells which hypnosis can help control. Hypnosis can also regulate the flow of endorphin chemicals which the body uses for relaxation and comfort.

The hypnotherapist will also make the client control their pain and sensitivity by influencing the subconscious to perceive it as something they can turn down (in the same way a volume control reduces noise). The pain can also be redirected away from the affected area to a less sensitive area of the body such as the fingertips. Pain sensations can also be altered, for instance from sharp and acute pain to a dull ache that subsides. Using hypnotherapy, arthritis sufferers can learn to manage their condition and start to live a healthier and more positive life.