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Natural Treatment Options for Arthritis E-mail
Written by Jeff Behar, MS, MBA   
 

What is Arthritis?


Arthritis (from Greek arthro-, joint + -itis, inflammation; plural: arthritides) is a group of conditions involving damage (inflammation) to the joints of the body. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in people older than fifty-five years.  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.

Who is Affected by Arthritis?

Arthritis sufferers include men and women, children and adults. Approximately 350 million people worldwide have arthritis. Nearly 40 million persons in the United States are affected by arthritis, including over a quarter million children!

More than 21 million Americans have osteoarthritis.

Approximately 2.1 million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.

More than half of those with arthritis are under 65 years of age. Nearly 60% of Americans with arthritis are women. 

Treatment Goals

The goals of arthritis treatment are to:

  • Decrease arthritis symptoms
  • Slow progression of the disease
  • Prevent or minimize joint damage and deformities
  • Maintain joint function
  • Preserve mobility and range-of-motion
Treatment Options 

An effective arthritis treatment regimen can help manage the disease and minimize discomfort and worsening of the disease.

There are many different treatment options, and not all treatment options work the same for everyone or the different variants of the disease.  Over time, it is not uncommon to try several different treatments and change a treatment plan. Finding the best treatment for  can be a long process.

Natural Treatments

Some people are more interested in natural treatments than traditional medications. If you prefer a natural approach to treating arthritis, it's still imperative that you tell your doctor what you are taking or what you want to try. There are many natural treatment options, also referred to as alternative treatments, which are popular but not fully endorsed for effectiveness and safety. Be aware.

  • Acupuncture / Acupressure
  • Biofeedback
  • Chiropractic
  • Magnets
  • Massage
  • Supplements such as fish oil, glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM
  • Tai Chi
  • Yoga

Complementary Medicine

The terms complementary medicine and alternative medicine are sometimes used interchangeably. The difference is that complementary treatments are used together with your usual treatment regimen. Alternative treatments imply that they are used instead of your usual treatment.

  • Regular exercise. Regular exercise can reduce pain and improve physical function, muscle strength, and quality of life for people with arthritis.
  • Healthy eating . Eating a nutritious diet is important for maintaining ideal weight and for bone health too. There is no known diet which can cure arthritis, but eating well is important.
  • Stress management may also be useful as a complementary treatment. Reducing stress helps to reduce pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.


 

 

 

 

 
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