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Joints: What is the Best Pain Relief Treatment In Knees, Fingers and Other Joints
Through the process of aging, inadequate diet and other factors leading to a number of health conditions, you may be one of many people who has damaged joints. Pain is the key indicator for joint damage. Arthritus is the number one cause. Although it is unknown what causes Arthritis many experts believe it has to do with diet. There have been so many stories of people who, after changing their diets, experienced joints pain relief. Whatever the cause may be, it is important, once symtoms develop, to seek a solution before permanent damage occurs.
A good example to use for joint pain is the knee. The knee is known as a hinge joint which is formed by two bones (femur and tibia) and is held together by four ligaments. Articular cartilage is a slippery surface at the ends of the femur and tibia and underside of the kneecap which allows friction-free, painfree movement of the knee.
The normal knee joint is surrounded by a membrane (the synovium which produces a small amount of thick fluid (synovial fluid). The synovial fluid helps to nourish the cartilage and keep it slippery. The synovium also has a tough outer layer (the joint capsule) which protects and supports the joint.
When the body begins to attack its own joints this is known as rheumatoid arthritus. Inflammation of the synovium is caused by agents of the immune system(white blood cells). The inflamed synovium causes warmth, redness, swelling, and pain. The synovium thickens and makes the joint swollen and puffy. As this process continues abnormal synovial cells invade and erode cartilage and bone within the join, which causes surrounding muscles, ligaments, and tendons weaken.
Next comes spurring of the bone and erosion of the cartilage. As the cartlidge begins to break down and wear away, the bones under the cartilage begin to rub together. The result is pain, swelling and loss of motion. Over time the joint may lose its shape and become deformed. Bone spurs can develop along the edges of the joint. Pieces of bone and cartilage can break off and float inside the joint resulting in more damage and pain.
Dr. Gurkipal Singh has stated there is a "impending health disaster." He was describing a growing problem that he calls the "gastroprotection gap." With the number of people developing arthritis on the rise due to the aging of the baby boom generation, the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) has increased among older Americans.
Older NSAIDs, such as aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen and naproxen, are known for causing gastrointestinal problems, such as ulcers. Besides the pain of ulcers is the problem of the ulcers beginning to bleed. This is a great concern especially amoung the elderly. Bleeding ulcers can be fatal, so preventing them is important.
The natural approach to treating and preventing joint pain is the safer, more beneficial approach. Unfortunately, many people do not understand how natural remedies work. If results are not seen within 1/2 hour after consumption they conclude that the product doesn't work. Unlike prescription drugs and over the counter medications which just mask the problem and provide temporary pain relief, natural remedies work over time to give the body the ability to self- heal. This process may take anywhere from one week to a couple of months.
The following natural remedies for joint pain and inflammation have become very popular and are widely used today:
Glucosamine - Most of the research on glucosamine has focused on its ability to stop the progression of osteoarthritis. For example, in a 2001 double-blind, placebo-controlled study in Lancet, 212 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee randomly took 1,500 mg of glucosamine daily for three years. At the end of the study, the placebo group showed a significant loss of cartilage, but the glucosamine patients did not. Studies also show that glucosamine reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Tumeric - treats mild osteoarthritis pain and inflammation. Only animal studies have proven its ability to reduce joint inflammation, but the herb has a long history of being used for inflammation in Ayurveda, the traditional medical system of India.
Ginger - has long been used in traditional medical practices to decrease inflammation. In fact, many health care professionals today use ginger to help treat health problems associated with inflammation, such as arthritis. In a study of 261 people with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, those who received a ginger extract twice daily experienced less pain and required fewer pain-killing medications compared to those who received placebo.
Vitamin C - Researchers compared the diets of 73 participants who developed inflammatory polyarthritis during an eight-year period, and 146 who remained arthritis-free. After analysis, researchers concluded that people who developed arthritis ate fewer fruits and vegetables than those who did not develop the disease. Participants who ate the least fruits and vegetables had twice the risk of developing inflammatory arthritis. There was also a significant difference in how much vitamin C people with arthritis consumed compared to those who did not develop arthritis. Participants who consumed the lowest amounts of vitamin C were three times more likely to develop the arthritic condition than those who consumed the highest amounts of vitamin C.
White Willow Bark - In a German study, the effectiveness of a willow bark extract providing 240 mg of salicin a day was compared to placebo in a 2-week randomized controlled trial in 78 people with osteoarthritis. After two weeks, the willow bark patients' pain scores were reduced by 14% compared to the placebo group, which had a 2% increase in pain scores.
Bromelain - The effectiveness of bromelain as an arthritis pain treatment has been well recorded in many clinical studies and experimental models. It is best to take bromelain on an empty stomach (between meals).
Quercetin - Quercetin is one of the most powerful and effective herbal anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant supplements on the market today. Quercetin has been found to prevent the development of a variety of conditions related to inflammation and free-radical damage, including arthritis, allergies, macular degeneration, heart disease, gout, and various forms of cancer.
While instant relief from joint pain is desirable, the destructive side effects and health risks make drug treatments and unwise choice for joint pain. The benefits of natural remedies which allow the body to repair itself far outweigh the added time it takes to see results. If you are suffering from joint pain you owe it to yourself to get proper relief from