Arthritis affects over 70 million Americans according to a recent report submitted by the Centers for Disease Care and Prevention (CDC). That means one out of three people in the United States suffer from the painful symptoms and stiffness associated with arthritis.
Natural Arthritis Treatment
The good news is that, while medical scientists are working on finding a cure for arthritis, many treatment methods are available to help patients cope with the disorder. And if traditional drug therapies, comprised of either NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs) or narcotic pain relievers, are not enough, then here are natural arthritis treatments that have withstood the test of time. Note that the natural arthritis treatments featured here have no conclusive scientific evidence to prove their medical claims. Therefore, you are strongly advised to consult your doctor before you resort to any of these natural arthritis treatments. Remember that staying informed may well be your path to finding the right solution to your problem as it would help you form better decisions.
Chiropractic therapy is one of the common forms of natural arthritis treatments used for patients suffering from this disorder. It emphasizes the relationship between the spinal column and the central nervous system, both of which affects the overall health of a person. Chiropractic arthritis treatments were founded in 1895 by a Canadian-American, Donald David Palmer, who was said to cure a deaf janitor by putting one of his vertebrae back into its normal position. Since then, Palmer continued to refine his work, expanding the coverage of the therapy to include such chronic diseases as arthritis. By properly aligning the vertebrae of the spine, it is believed that the normal functioning of the nervous system has been restored, thus enabling the body to heal itself.
Also known as CMO or CM, Cetyl Myristoleate is another common form of natural arthritis treatments. The first complete human study on the effectiveness of Cetyl Myristoleate, headed by Dr. Len Sands of the San Diego Clinic, was made in 1995. The subjects were 48 arthritic patients, 80% of whom showed significant articular mobility while 70% showed pain reduction. Another study was a double-blind, conducted by Dr. H. Siemandi two years later under the auspices of the Joint European Hospital Studies Program. The results were all positive, showing that Cetyl Myristoleate may be one of the most effective natural arthritis treatments available.
As one of the many natural arthritis treatments, chondroitin is a substance naturally found in the human cartilage, as well as animal. Besides arthritis, chondroitin is also used to treat several diseases, among which are psoriasis and cancer. The substance is actually a type of glycosaminoglycan (GAG), one of the most plentiful among that group. It comprises about 5-20% of cartilage tissue, occurring mostly as a sulfate composed of repeating disaccharide units. It has been used for over 30 years in the treatment of arthritis, psoriasis, and cancer. By taking in supplements of chondroitin, you are providing your body with chemical components needed to maintain structural integrity of the cartilage and prevent its degeneration.
The response, side effects, and adverse reactions to these arthritis medications vary from the individual patient to another. That is why it is important for the patient to be knowledgeable about arthritis medications from determining what their options are to making informed decisions with the help of their doctors. Below are profiles of arthritis medications in common usage today:
NSAIDs are Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs that are commonly prescribed as arthritis medications for patients suffering joint pains and rheumatic conditions. Specifically, these arthritis medications work as analgesics (or painkilling), anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic or fever reducing. The drugs’ main target is cyclooxygenase, the enzyme that catalyzes arachidonic acid to prostaglandins and leukotrienes. When the membrane phospholipids of our cells are exposed to inflammatory stimuli, they release arachidonic acid which is then catalyzed by cyclooxygenase into prostaglandins. This creates the biological response of inflammation. By interfering with the prostaglandin production and inhibiting the release of cyclooxygenase, NSAIDs can prevent an inflammatory response, a common symptom of arthritis.
Unlike NSAIDs, BRMs or Biologic Response Modifiers are arthritis medications that stimulate, not inhibit, the ability of the immune system to fight arthritis and rheumatic diseases. These arthritis medications are based on compounds that are manufactured by the body’s living cells, such as monoclonal antibodies, interferon, interleukin-2, and various types of colony-stimulating factors. BRMs are slower acting compared to NSAIDs but if applied properly, they could be effective in halting disease progression.
Otherwise known as Disease Modifying Anti Rheumatic Drugs, DMARDs are actually immunosuppressants – that is, they suppress the response of a defective immune system as is the case of patients suffering from rheumatic arthritis. They are used as second line arthritis medications specifically for rheumatic arthritis, one of the common forms of arthritis if NSAIDs and aspirin fail. Although these arthritis medications have been used to decrease inflammation, they are not categorized under anti inflammatory drugs. They do not affect prostaglandin production, unlike NSAIDs, however, they do relieve pain and inflammation by “modifying” the immune system in some way. As such, these arthritis medications thus help in slowing the disease process though they seldom lead to a complete remission. There are, of course, several more arthritis medications that will help arthritis patients cope with their condition. The ones featured above are the most common and easily recognizable out of the hundreds out there.
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