Arthritis and Alternative Therapies

Arthritis is a chronic type of pain and there is a large amount of people who suffer from such pain daily, over 40 million Americans to be more precise. Some people can function normally with the pain but there are many that are limited in daily activities due to the pain and inflammation. Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints affecting the wrists, shoulders, elbows, hips, feet and knees. There are two types of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid. Each type has different degrees of pain. Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis tend to be more chronic conditions. Both can also affect more than just the joint including the ligaments, muscles and tendons.

The cause of arthritis is still not known, however there are ways to reduce arthritic pain and its debilitating effects. Statistics say that one is most likely to develop arthritis if it is in your family history. Since we cannot determine what causes arthritis, we can determine some risk factors that can contribute to arthritis. Such as over working, diet, stress…to name a few… There are some topical homeopathic creams that may help the people with osteoarthritis but those that suffer from more severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis would need a different approach to treatment, something a bit more effective such as acupuncture, electrical stimulation, food therapy to name a few.

The pain can affect our daily activities such as drive our car, walk, sit and lay down, house clean, preparing dinner. It can stem from the inflammation of the joints, tendons or ligament. There can be muscle strains and overall fatigue. There is also a level of hypersensitivity in the surrounding area of inflammation which tends to get worse when it affects the amount of pain the person is feeling around the swollen area. Pain can occur in the morning or afternoon, some rheumatoid arthritis suffers have more pain in the morning than any other time of the day. Each person has a different tolerance for pain and each has a different threshold for pain as well. Some people can get upset or frustrated and so tired of living with the constant pain that they become depressed and suffer from anxiety.

Some western medications one can take to help with the inflammation is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. These are medications that can reduce both osteoarthritic pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. Medications with Aspirin in them such as Bayer, Advil and Motrin help most people. Sometimes you can develop some minor side effects from consuming NSAID’S such as an upset stomach, diarrhea, cramping and maybe some bleeding if used for a long period of time. Other types of medications that may help with arthritic pain are cortisone injections. Oral cortisone can’t help people who have osetoarthritis but the injection into the joint can alleviate the pain almost immediately, but only lasts a short time before the pain and inflammation returns. The injection will reduce the inflammation and help with the joint pain, but a homeopathic injection to help reduce inflammation will be a better approach, last longer and not stop the bodies natural inflammatory response to healing.

Those that don’t like to take pills can and should try alternative treatments. These types of medicine can work and be effective on arthritis. One type of alternative therapy is the topical kind. The creams and ointments are said to work very well. There are no side effects such as diarrhea or upset stomach because you do not ingest the topical creams. They may not be as strong as the pills but in some cases of arthritis it can help take the pain away even if for a short time, depending on how long the patient has been diagnosed with arthritis. Some of the most popular brands that say they can help relieve the pain of arthritis are over the counter creams. Capsaicin is one of them; the way it works is that the cream is set to block the pain that is in transit to a substance called substance P to the brain. Capsaicin is also found naturally in hot peppers, which are said to help reduce some pain. Other forms of topical creams are brands like Camphor that contain menthol and eucalyptus, both of which are great for aches and pains of the body and can be found in such products as Icy Hot. These are good for pain but they don’t work on severe arthritis pain.

For many severe pain sufferers of arthritis topical pain relievers are not the answer. The topical creams are for the people who have very mild arthritis and who don’t deal with constant and severe pain. There is no real cure for the pain of arthritis; the pain can be managed through medications, food therapy, some lifestyle changes and some physical therapy. For short-term relief there are medications, heat and cold applications, joint protection, TENS or Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, massage therapies, acupuncture can help. Acupuncture is also great for people who are under a lot of stress and after they have a treatment they swear by it.

If you suffer from arthritis and would like to try an alternative approach to managing your pain, call Four Seasons Acupuncture today for a complimentary consultation. We are n the Central Orlando area, serving the residents of Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Altamonte Springs, Long Wood, Lake Mary….321-662-4871…110 N. Orlando Ave Suite 3 Maitland, Florida 32751…www.4seasonsacupuncture.com

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