Posts Tagged 'osteoarthritis'

Common Arthritis Symptoms

Friday, February 26th, 2010 No Commented
Under: Arthritis

Did you know there are over 100 different types of arthritis? Shocking, isn’t it? Today, we’re going to take a look at the four most common types of arthritis and their symptoms. If your type of arthritis isn’t covered, conduct research via the Internet. Just type in “arthritis symptoms” at your favorite search engine and you’ll be well on your way to finding more answers.

Osteoarthritis falls into the category of Degenerative Arthritis. Also referred to as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD); osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage (cushion) in a joint breaks down. When the cushion becomes too thin, it causes friction and inflammation in the tissue surrounding the joint. Osteoarthritis commonly affects the feet, knees, hips, and fingers.

As with any disease, symptoms vary from person to person. Osteoporosis is a progressive disease and symptoms oftentimes go unnoticed until the disease is fairly advanced. The primary symptom is pain in the joints. Other symptoms include stiffness and swelling in the joints; a “snapping” or “clicking” noise of the joints; and bony growths at the joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis falls into the category of Autoimmune Disease, or Autoimmunity. Autoimmune disease is believed to be caused by an over-production of cytokines – a communication device devised for cells to talk to each other. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause severe joint damage. It frequently causes fingers and toes to become deformed and can be excruciatingly painful. Rheumatoid arthritis affects the entire body. Symptoms include chronic inflammation and pain in the joints or entire body, chronic fatigue, weight loss and anemia.

Juvenile arthritis affects children before the age of 16. It is a chronic condition that causes inflammation in one or more joints. There are three types of Juvenile arthritis; each with their own set of symptoms:

  • Systemic onset type – Begins with high fevers and frequently accompanied by a skin rash.
  • Pauciarticular onset disease – Swelling, inflammation or pain affecting fewer than five joints. This type of arthritis affects about 50 percent of all children with arthritis.
  • Polyarticular disease – Swelling, inflammation or pain affecting five or more joints.

Cervical arthritis affects the upper spine and cervical vertebrae. Either through age, injury, or disease; the cervical vertebrae begin to degenerate. Additionally, the shock-absorbing disks that float between each vertebra begin to degenerate. Over the course of time, the nerves that connect the spinal cord to the neck become compressed. The compression causes the nerves to become inflamed, which produces neck pain that may radiate through the arms and to the fingers.
Health articles online
The most common symptoms of cervical arthritis include: chronic neck pain; muscle weakness; numbness in the neck, arms and hands; limited range-of-motion; headaches; and loss of balance.

Exercise Therapy for Arthritis

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009 No Commented
Under: Arthritis

Arthritis is a disease that affects the body’s joints, making them painful to move or to put force onto. There are over 150 different types of arthritis but the most common types are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in the joint breaks down and causes the bones to rub together. There is generally little inflammation but the joint loses shape and the bone ends thicken and develop bony growths that rub against each other. Osteoarthritis normally develops in weight-bearing joints like the hips, knees, spine, or feet.

Rheumatoid Arthritis occurs when the synovial lining of the joint becomes inflamed and causes damage to the bone and cartilage. The joints lose shape and can vary from slight inflammation to gross deformation of the joint. Fingers, knees, wrists, and shoulders are the most common sites to be affected.

Arthritis is common as a person ages and their joints naturally degenerate and break down. It is common in obese individuals as added stress is placed on their joints. It is also common in past sports people, especially those who played high impact sports such as football or basketball where repeated stress is placed on the joints.

Exercise Tips

Exercise will not cure arthritis but it can slow the process down a lot.
Spend large amounts of time warming up and cooling down. Spend at least ten minutes slowly warming the joints with gentle movements.
Use isometric exercises when first starting. These are exercises that do not require any movement, such as pushing against a brick wall. After a few weeks, introduce exercises that require movement.
Use machine weights instead of free weights when in the gym. Machine weights place less stress on the joints.
– Do not lift weights that are too heavy.
Aerobic exercises, such as swimming and cycling, are best as they are low impact exercises that do not place much strain on the joints.
Rest during periods of severe flaring in the joints. Working through the pain does not help and will cause further pain and discomfort.

With arthritis there is a fine line between the right amount of exercise and doing too much. If any pain is experienced while exercising reduce the intensity of the workout and do what is possible. A light exercise workout is more beneficial than a hard one that leaves you in agony for a few weeks.

Osteoarthritis Pain Management

Friday, December 11th, 2009 No Commented
Under: Arthritis, Pain Management

Millions of people suffer with osteoarthritis pain and many spend their later years in chronic pain because of osteoarthritis, believing painkillers to be the only solution. So can sufferers expect an improved quality of life and at least reduce their osteoarthritis pain or will they to just have to knuckle down and make the best of it.

Advice from the medical profession varies so much. One GP can be an angel sent from heaven and another can be a complete waste of time. I have personally spoken to hundreds of people who have been suffering with osteoarthritis pain and some say the doctors are marvelous and others just throw away lines like, it’s just wear and tear, it’s your age, there’s nothing you can do but take pain killers.

Since I am not a doctor nor am I willing to stand in judgment I have to believe that most doctors are diligent hard working, caring people, who are doing their best to cope with a massive workload and they just don’t know all the answers. None of us knows all the answers but I believe we are all free to look for alternative ways to improve our own situation, especially where our health is concerned.

I am happy to tell you that my own father is alive and well and looking like emulating his father who reached the grand age of 93. Unfortunately Dad is going to reach that age with all his original parts. When he was in his mid fifties he had a painful calcium spur on his shoulder. His doctor told him he had too much calcium in his blood. They would do keyhole surgery and take the spur off but he must cut down on calcium.

Even then with my limited knowledge of alternative therapies and remedies I knew this was the opposite of the truth. I said Dad, you have too little calcium in your blood, not too much and its leaching what it needs from your bones. But my Dad comes from a generation who believe the doctor knows everything about the human body and is one of the few people in society that cannot be questioned. Believe it or not his bank manager is another. Well he cut down his already low calcium intake despite my advising him to supplement his diet with Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D for maximum absorption. By 65 he was the recipient of two new knees and since they were done 6 months apart he hardly walked for best part of his retirement year. And do you know Dad is eternally grateful for the wonderful job the doctors have done even though he fully expects to have them done again when 10 years has passed. And he still thinks he’s got too much calcium in his blood.

I guess what I am saying is, you are your own doctor first and foremost. Nobody knows how your body feels like you do. If you took a supplement for a month or six weeks and it made no difference you may have wasted a few pounds but you could just stop taking it, it certainly won’t hurt you. But what if it did make a difference, then you’d feel the benefit and be glad to pay for it, wouldn’t you? Only do buy a decent one, you get what you pay for. I pay 40GBP a month for my supplement regime, I have done for years and it has been worth every penny.

So eat right and take supplements. A lot of older people just don’t feel like cooking a meal, especially if they are on their own and so the quality of the building blocks they give the bodies to repair itself is often poor. Their circulation system is not what it used to be so the goodness they do get doesn’t get to the parts that need it.

The lymphatic system is the wonderful mechanism that keeps our bodies clean right from a cellular level but as we get older and especially if movement becomes painful the whole system slows down. This can leave toxins in the body and as they build up a downward spiral begins. More pain, less desire to exercise, less lymphatic drainage, more toxins. Where toxins are left in the joints they can crystalize and exacerbate the problem.

It is important for osteoarthritis patients to get exercise although they don’t always feel like it and often they really can’t manage it. The goal is to keep the joints mobile and functioning properly. Regular exercise also wards off muscle loss and may be key to managing osteoarthritis pain. Patients should consult with a physical therapist or qualified personal trainer which they would find at a good fitness centre. They will always tell them to check first with the doctor before starting a fitness program and that is good advice.

One therapy I like to use myself and to recommend to our customers is a powerful electric massage that was discovered 60 years ago and has been used all over the world in hospitals and clinics and in hundreds of thousands of private homes too. Because it aids the circulation and increases the throughput of blood in the muscle being massaged it acts as a kind of passive exercise. We have been in the health business for 14 years and mainly providing condition specific herbs and vitamin supplements but when we discovered this massage it revolutionized our business because of how quickly the benefits to customers were felt.

I have personally applied it to hundreds of people some of whom could hardly walk without extreme pain. In a 20 minute massage many have experienced amazing relief. Some have even cried as they told me it is years since they felt that good. Cycloidal Massage definitely works for at least 80% of osteoarthritis sufferers. It improves the circulation, relaxes the muscles around the joints and enhances lymphatic drainage.

There are a couple of drawbacks though. First it can be a little difficult for a person alone to treat themselves with the hand unit that I use to demonstrate the therapy. Even when there is a couple they tend to do it every day at first but eventually the partner starts to find it tiresome. Of course it loses its benefit if it is not done regularly and the benefits are cumulative if it is. At least 20 minutes three times a day is recommended.

That’s why I use Cycloidal Massage built into a rise and recline type chair. Many of my clients find it hard to get out of an ordinary chair so there are extra reasons for the rise and reline. The chair has multiple massage motors built into the electrically adjustable footstool, the seat and the back so the whole body can be treated while the client watches TV. The second drawback is the cost of course, they certainly don’t suit every budget. Unfortunately cheaper alternatives do not contain the deeply penetrating therapy that Cycloidal Massage provides. It’s probably best to take advantage of trial massage at home and then measure the benefits against the cost. Some customers who could not afford the cash price have found it is worth the 25 pounds a week or so that it costs to buy on a finance deal.

Cycloidal Massage Therapy is available in most countries and I am sure there will be someone willing to demonstrate the benefits without obligation wherever the need arises. Certainly I have traveled the length and breadth of Northern England and Southern Scotland doing just that. Our reputation is very important to us, so we do a massage in the customers home and only if they feel a marked difference in the affected parts to we recommend a purchase.

A marked difference means greatly reduced pain or even no pain at all, together with increased functionality and movement in the affected joints.

There are lots of things a sufferer can do to help themselves at least to manage the pain of osteoarthritis. To remain dependent on the medical profession is a matter of choice but my philosophy is help yourself first, seek expert medical advice as soon as symptoms are noticed in order to maintain good health and if the problem does reach crisis level don’t just go straight for the surgery. Carefully think through alternatives, look at what others have tried successfully and try it yourself.
Robert Channings founded Aglow Health in 1992 to supply condition specific herbal remedies and vitamin supplements. The business did well and became Aglow Health UK Limited in January 2001. The supplements whilst good did not meet all the needs of our clients so we partnered with one of the worlds largest manufacturers of therapy beds and chairs becoming agents for Northern England. They have been producing Cycloidal Massage Therapy Equipment for 60 years and have been building that therapy into Electrically Operated Beds and Chairs and other therapy equipment since 1970. All our therapy beds and chairs are manufactured in the UK.