Fight Arthritis With These Simple Tips And Tricks 3

Fight Arthritis With These Simple Tips And Tricks

With well over 100 different types of arthritis, it is little wonder that millions upon millions of people are diagnosed with the condition every year all over the world. The information found in this selection of arthritis tips and tricks will shine some light on the mysteries of arthritis and its symptoms.

Arthritis can be a strain, both physically and mentally. Make sure you are getting enough help and do not feel isolated because of your illness. Go see the same doctor regularly, talk to your friends and family about your issues, and look for new friends with similar issues if your family is not helping you enough.

Smoking can increase your risk for different forms of arthritis which means you should cut back or quit altogether. The health benefits of quitting smoking are important overall of course, however, the prevention of potential joint damage or other more severe symptoms associated with arthritis are good reasons to drop the habit.

If you have been having trouble turning door knobs, consider having your door hardware switched out for handles instead of knobs. When you are dealing with arthritis flare ups, you can use your elbow and forearm to do the work of opening the door saving your hands the trouble.

To relieve your arthritis pain, consider a hot wax bath for your problem joints. Because the wax surrounds a joint completely and provides intense, penetrating heat, many arthritis sufferers find wax baths highly effective. These baths are available at most drug stores. You can try one out for yourself to see if this is the solution to your arthritis woes.

Fish oil is known to ease pain and inflammation. Fish oil by itself tastes horrible, but you can take it in pills. You should take at least four grams of fish oil a day. This product is harmless and will help relieve the pain as efficiently as medications such as ibuprofen.

Go to a local yoga class. Yoga is beneficial to both the mind and body, as it increases flexibility in both areas. Yoga can teach you tricks on how to manage your symptoms effectively. Even if you cannot get out to a yoga class, you may want to try doing it at home.

Buy heated slippers. Most people who suffer from arthritis will have it in there feet, as well as other locations. For comfortable pain relief in the feet, get some heated slippers online, and use them whenever you find it necessary. These can quickly help to relieve inflammation and swelling, and most of them are easily slipped in the microwave.

Learn as much as you can about your condition if you have arthritis. The old adage that knowledge is power is especially true in this case. The more you learn about your form of arthritis and its treatments, the better chance you have of living a full and active life in spite of your condition.

If you or someone that you are close to suffers from arthritis, you should know that it is very important to stay positive. While there is no cure for arthritis, following the advice in this article will offer you some insight into the various options available for the treatment and management of the disease.

Have A Cracker With Chiropractors

Have A Cracker With Chiropractors

Chiropractic healing is a kind of healing that taps the body’s ‘inner intelligence’ – that innate sense of balance the body has when a person is physically, emotionally and mentally healthy. A healing art that was developed in the United States , chiropractic healing operates on the belief that the body can heal itself if there is an uninterrupted flow of energy or nerve impulses from the brain to the rest of the body.

It’s interesting to note that chiropractic healing came to the fore when David Palmer was able to cure deafness by manipulating a misaligned vertebra. This miraculous healing led more and more researches into the field of chiropractic healing. Modern chiropractors trace the beginnings of this art of healing to Hippocrates, who said, “Get knowledge of the spine, this is the requisite for many diseases”.

Chiropractors work primarily with the joints that lie along the spinal column. They believe that when the vertebrae and adjoining bones are misaligned in relation to the joints, the flow of impulses from the nerve is impeded or blocked. This in turn drains the body of its ability to stay healthy. What chiropractic healing does is quite evident from the name itself; ‘cheir’ means “hand” and ‘practikos’ means “done by” – healing manipulations that seek to correctly align the bones of the vertebra to restore total health. Chiropractic philosophy grew out of a ‘wholism’ which considers the body to be a single unified organ.

During therapy, a patient may hear his joints crack however the sessions are pain-free and quite refreshing too. This ‘crack’ is actually a vacuum-created nitrogen bubble that is bursting within the joint. The actual manipulations are often very gentle, and make use of a technique called ‘non-force’. Depending upon the nature of the problem and its longevity, multiple sessions may be needed. These techniques have been found to be very effective not only in restoring strength to the spine and vertebra, but also in restoring good health so that there is vigorous flow of energy throughout the body.

Chiropractic healing is an effective treatment for muscle, joint and bone problems. It is very effective when used to treat conditions such as headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome. It is the single most effective treatment for lower back pain. In fact, it has been so effective that it is the third largest health care profession after medicine and dentistry. Of the 36+ million Americans visiting chiropractors every year, 70% are treated for back pain, 20% for head and neck disorders and the rest are treated for other disorders. Chiropractic healing even soothes colicky babies, thereby giving harassed mothers a well-deserved break.

Chiropractic healing may also help people who are partially paralyzed. Therapy is not contained to the paralyzed parts of the body. Many confined individuals suffer from excessive shoulder and arm related injuries that come from the stress of using a wheelchair. Strengthening exercises help to prevent future injuries and harden the areas that are prone to over-use.

While one branch of Chiropractic healing keeps itself strictly within the parameters of hand-manipulation, another branch called Osteopathy actively uses heat, massage, nutrition and other therapies to achieve the same results. Chiropractic healing coaxes the body to heal itself, thus it is a great adjunct to traditional medicine.

Glucosamine – The Arthritis Cure?

Glucosamine – The Arthritis Cure?

Glucosamine sulphate has been around a long time now and as each year goes by more and more claims are made telling us about this miracle joint lubricant. Are all the claims true? Will it cure Arthritis? What is Glucosamine anyway? And what about Chondroitin?
Glucosamine is a naturally produced amino sugar which is found in small amounts in foods. It plays an important role in maintaining the cartilage gel-like material between our joints. The body also produces a carbohydrate called Chondroitin, which is thought to promote water retention and elasticity as well as blocking the enzymes that break down cartilage.
As we get older the body's ability to manufacture and synthesize Glucosamine and Chondroitin decreases. This probably contributes to the joint problems we have all come to associate with growing old, a fact that health food companies did not take long to latch on to.
Although studies have been carried out in numerous countries to try to prove conclusively that Glucosamine is effective in treating arthritis and joint problems there have been an equal number of questions raised about the methodology of many of these studies. One such study, in Europe, took X-rays to measure the size of the gap in the knee joint before and after taking Glucosamine. Even though the results showed that the size of the gap was significantly larger, in a group of people taking Glucosamine compared to a group taking NSAIDs, critics said that the study was not large enough to draw firm conclusions. They also claimed the X-ray evidence was too difficult to interpret.
Many Vets and pet owners have been using Glucosamine to treat joint problems in horses and dogs for a number of years now. They swear by the effectiveness of this form of treatment for their animals. While there is no placebo effect in animals it is equally difficult to find well documented, and conclusive, scientific evidence to confirm the effectiveness of Glucosamine.
While there might be limited good, accredited, scientific proof as to the effectiveness of Glucosamine there is an abundance of people as well as pet owners who swear by the effectiveness of Glucosamine. Even though Glucosamine is often used in combination with other supplements, or treatments, the general feeling among most users is that it does help. Results of empirical studies in various countries have shown that arthritis sufferers report significant improvements when taking Glucosamine supplements. The same is also true for people who have other types of joint injuries or back problems. Some countries now sanction Glucosamine as a treatment for people with mild to moderately severe osteoarthritis.
To date no study has found any serious side effects from either Glucosamine or Chondroitin when taken as a supplement in humans. However people with diabetes are advised to keep a check on their blood-sugar level. While there have been no reports of allergic reactions to Glucosamine, since it's made from shellfish shells, it may not be suitable for people with seafood allergies. It may also increase a person's daily salt intake level – something people with high blood pressure may want to watch. Chondroitin on the other hand may sometimes cause bleeding in people with bleeding disorders or taking blood-thinning drugs. Like many supplements insufficient data is available about the long term effects and hence it should be not be taken by children, or pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.
The United States Food and Drug Administration embarked on a study involving 1500 people earlier in 2005 to determine the effects of Glucosamine and Chondroitin on people with arthritic problems.
There are many claims that taking Glucosamine will slow and possibly halt osteoarthritis-related damage to joints, speed healing of strains and sprains, control back pain and help promote healthy aging. Whether this is true or not, the overall rhetorical evidence is probably stacked in favour of the use of Glucosamine as a supplement – so maybe it's worth a try – for a trial period anyway!
This information in this article should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease. You should always consult with your health care professional especially relating suitability of supplements or drugs and on all health matters that may require diagnosis or medical attention.

Issues Regarding Gout Treatment

Issues Regarding Gout Treatment

Due to improper diet, sedentary lifestyle and obesity, many people suffer from gout these days. Gout predominantly affects men and the disease is most likely to occur at a more advanced age. Men with ages over 50 usually develop forms of gout. In some cases, women can also develop the disease after the age of 60.

There are many factors that facilitate the development of gout, but the actual cause of the disease seems to be the body’s excessive secretion of a substance called uric acid. Uric acid is a residual product that is excreted from the body through urine. The surplus of uric acid inside the body leads to its accumulation in the form of uric crystals. These crystals deposit in different regions of the organism, causing inflammation. Gout mainly affects joints, especially those of the lower body limbs. Gout causes inflammation, swelling and intense pain of the affected areas.

Although the disease can be corrected through an appropriate gout treatment, there is no specific cure for it. Many medicines prescribed for gout usually control its symptoms, rather than the actual causes. However, some of the causes of gout can be overcome through the means of a good, healthy diet. It is very important to reduce the consumption of alcohol when suffering from gout, as it interferes with renal activity. Smoking is known to cause damage to arteries and it can also slow down the process of healing.

Gout usually involves intense pain of the joints. Pain episodes tend to become more intense during the night and sometimes people with gout have trouble sleeping. Although some medicines don’t prevent pain attacks from reoccurring, they are effective for temporarily reducing it. Common medicines prescribed in gout treatments are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (indomethacin, ketoprofen, diclofenac, ibuprofen, and naproxen). They are efficient in calming the inflammation and also ameliorate the pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs are usually well-tolerated by the body. They are administered orally, in the quantities prescribed by the doctor.

Another substance used in gout treatment is Colchicine. Although it considerably reduces pain and discomfort of the regions affected by gout, it also has a lot of side effects. Due to this fact, Colchicine is only administered to patients suffering from acute gout or to those who don’t respond well to gout treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Corticosteroids are also used in some gout treatments. They quickly relief the pain and they can usually be injected directly into the affected joint. However, they are used only in extreme cases, due to their multiple side effects.

Although proper diet and drinking larger quantities of water are a natural way of getting rid of the surplus of uric acid from the body, some medicines can also help to normalize the levels of the substance. Such medicines are usually used in chronic gout treatment. Allopurinol is an inhibitor that decreases the quantities of uric acid secreted by the body. Uricosuric Agents like probenecid and sulfinpyrazone improve the activity of the kidneys, aiding the process of excretion.

Many symptoms of gout can be ameliorated by following an appropriate gout treatment. However, when suffering from chronic forms of gout the symptoms reappear after certain periods of time and ongoing treatment is necessary.

Alternative Approaches to Pain Relief

Alternative Approaches to Pain Relief

Pain. The great leveler. The rich feel it. So do the poor, the happy, the sad, tall, and short. And, of course, article writers, too. It’s therefore not surprising to note that since the dawn of time, humans have attempted to discover ways to reduce pain. In some respect, our ability to experience pain, and seek ways to solve it, connects us more than anything else. But what exactly is pain and how do we deal with it?
Pain is a message sent by the body to the brain, signaling the presence of disease, injury or strain. Without pain, you would be unaware of many problems – from torn ligaments to appendicitis. Pain is simply, Mother Nature's way of telling you something is wrong.
Many of us kill the messenger with narcotics, anti-depressants and tranquilizers that take care of the symptoms, but not the cause of the pain. This kind of treatment cannot only mask symptoms of serious disease, but can also create a cycle of chronic pain.
Not all pain though, serves a useful function. While acute pain, as described above can alert us to a serious problem, chronic pain can linger long after an ailment or injury has healed in the body. Examples of chronic pain include backache, migraines and arthritis. In these cases, pain management, as opposed to a cure, may become the goal of treatment.
The psychological effects that accompany recovery from a disease or injury heighten chronic pain. A loss of confidence is often triggered by prolonged periods of rest and inactivity that cause a loss of physical strength, endurance and flexibility. If the injury has prevented you from performing your usual duties, you may succumb to frustration and depression. Impatience is chronic pain's best friend as many individuals overexert themselves before they have completely healed, thus triggering more pain.
Various treatments can help alleviate chronic pain. Some treatments do so on a purely physical level by interfering with signals from the nerves to the brain or desensitizing the nerves. The following sections are meant to introduce you to some of the ways of dealing with pain without relying on non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, narcotics, tranquilizers or anti-depressants.
For many people, particularly those in the western world, pain relief solutions such as acupuncture, and herbal medicine are novel concepts. However, the rest of the world is probably wondering what the fuss is about, because these traditional approaches to pain relief have been around for thousands of years; Traditional Chinese Medicine, which relies on various techniques and herbs in order to balance the body’s internal energy, is over 5,000 years old.
Acupuncture: the ancient Chinese Practice of acupuncture is based on the belief that health is determined by the level of chi (vital life energy) that is in t he body. This energy is thought to move through the body through pathways called meridians, which connect to specific organs in the body. Acupuncturists insert needles into points on the body that connect to these channels to release blocked “chi” that might be the cause of pain. During acupuncture treatment, the acupuncturist inserts thin needles for anywhere from a few minutes to a half an hour into specific points on the body. This practice is thought to stimulate endorphins, the body's natural painkillers and is useful for the treatment of a variety of disorders including backache, sinus pain, jaw pain, spinal disorders, withdrawal and mental disorders.
Herbs: another important part of traditional Chinese medicine is herbal medicine. Herbs have been used for centuries for their pain relieving qualities. Here are some herbs that are recommended for common disorders:
Cramps & Spasms: angelica, cramp bar, kava, rosemary, valerian root.
Nerve Pain: capsaicin, chamomile, gotu kola, licorice, white willow.
Back Pain: hops, wood betony, passionflower.
Migraine: feverfew, linden, skullcap.
Headaches: peppermint, spearmint.
Joint pain: ginger, sea cucumber.
Meditation: meditation, which has also been practiced for thousands of years, is a conscious attempt to calm the mind so that it is not cluttered with thoughts and anxieties that might be contributing to an unnecessary belief in the existence of pain. There are hundreds of different meditation techniques, but mostly they all into three categories: concentrative, mindful and transcendental meditation. During concentrative meditation, focusing on a single sound, object or one's breath, produces tranquil mind that facilitates the production of pain-relieving endorphins. During mindful meditations, the mind is encouraged to become aware of, but not reactive to thoughts, feelings and sensations in order to achieve a tranquil state of mind.
Nutrition: eating a well balanced diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables is thought to be the best way raise your pain threshold or resistance to pain. A deficiency in any of the main vitamins (A, B, C, D or E) can cause chronic pain. Vitamin E is used to treat joint pain. A deficiency in calcium, iron, magnesium and other minerals may also lower your pain threshold. A calcium magnesium supplement taken in a 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium is thought to relieve joint pain and headaches. Manganese is a vitamin that is sometimes used for chronic headaches and neuralgia. A deficiency of the B vitamins is also thought to cause nervousness, headaches and chronic pain.
Aromatherapy: sniffing or applying essential oils is thought to change an individual's brain chemistry so that pleasurable neuro-transmitters called endorphins are released to relieve pain. Geranium, jasmine, juniper, lavender, peppermint, rose, rosemary and thyme are oils commonly used for this purpose.
Guided Imagery: research has indicated that bodily functions that were previously thought to be beyond conscious control, such as chronic pain, can be controlled thorough the use of visualization. Guided imagery encourages the sufferer to think in pictures that eliminate negative thoughts thus raising levels of pleasurable brain chemicals, such as serotonin, decreasing anxiety and increasing the effectiveness of the immune system. Through guided imagery, the mind conjures up mental scenes in order to better direct the body's energy. For instance, if an individual is suffering from a stabbing pain, he or she might want to imagine a knife being removed from the spot and a subsequent glowing feeling of relief. Guided imagery has been used successfully to manage the pain of headaches, sinus problems, arthritis and cancer.
Biofeedback combines a variety of relaxation methods, such as guided imagery and meditation with the use of instruments that monitor the individual's responses to the therapy. After many treatments, biofeedback is thought to train the individual to consciously regulate autonomic functions such as heart rate, blood pressure and other processes that are commonly believed to be out of our control. During a session, electrodes connected to a monitoring unit are taped to the skin. The monitor measures skin temperature, pulse, blood pressure, muscle tension and brain activity to determine the success of the relaxation technique. Eventually, over time, biofeedback can train an individual to control the pain of such disorders as TMJ, headaches and migraines.
It is difficult to imagine a world without pain; where would our poetry come from? What would divas sing about? Given that pain is probably always going to be a part of our world, it is of critical importance that we understand the various methods that exist to manage that pain. For some of us, that remedy may lie in the traditional realm, while for others it will be through prescription drugs or some other alternative. Regardless of what remedy you choose, make sure you inform yourself of the various pain treatment options open to you, and by doing so, you may just reduce the amount of suffering in your life. And isn’t that, in some respect, the goal that we all strive towards?
It is important to note that the above suggestions do not represent cures for conditions, but more represent strategies and opportunities to manage your chronic pain. It is also recommended that you consult with your health practitioner before embarking on any new pain management program.

Fibromyalgia Treatment: Acupuncture

Fibromyalgia Treatment: Acupuncture

Did you know that Fibromyalgia is a disorder that had affected thousands of people and still there is no cure for the disorder? There are only treatments to offer you some temporary pain relief. With the plain in your muscles, you will find that there is pain in your joints that will cause you to have many problems like stiffness, sleeping problems, and even fatigue. Even though you may be eager to try some alternative medicine, you will find that the Chinese Acupuncture will help you the best. There are many with the disorder who have found success with the acupuncture and other traditional treatments. If you are someone who you love happens to suffer from fibromyalgia to help relieve the symptoms.

Acupuncture is well tolerated with minimal side effects, so patients who participate in this medical treatment will at least leave the doctor’s office no worse than when they arrived. With needles with the thickness of hair, acupuncturists will use the needles to stimulate the body You may feel a slight pinch as they are inserted, but when done properly, acupuncture is both safe and painless. That is why you are going to need a professional.

Fibromyalgia patients receive treatment specifically to help their condition. Not only will the acupuncturist use the needles, but they will also use cupping and warming techniques to help the energies that cause the joint pain. This process takes a relatively short amount of time, and many patients have said that they feel instantly relieved of pain after a treatment. Others, however, seem to feel no relief at all. It can be expensive for you to have acupuncture so you will want to make sure that it is something that will be right for you. Many patients have said that this technique works best with repeated treatments, so realize this could be an expense that you must include in your weekly budget.

Acupuncture is something that could help you with fibromyalgia, however, there is little proof other than the opinions of the patients who have tried it. The studies are simply just difficult to carry out because it can be a mind over matter thing. There are people who have believed that it works to relieve the pain and that is the reason why they have been able to find the relief. Before you go out finding an acupuncturist, you may want to speak with your family doctor and see what they think about the acupuncture. They will give you all the information that you need to find a certified acupuncture practitioner, but also about all the procedures.

Remedies for Gout Relief

Remedies for Gout Relief

There is no cure for gout, but it can be controlled and treated. Usually, the pain associated with gout will subside within 24 hours after treatment has begun. The main objectives of treatment are pain relieving and prevent future attacks of gout.

Although gout is well known, it is not a typical arthritic condition. Gout is caused by an accumulation of uric acid crystals in joints, causing joint pain and inflammation.

Colchicine is a traditional drug used since the 1800's as a treatment for gout. Although Colhicine produces desirable results, it does have side effects of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) are also used to treat gout, which does not have the side effects of colhicine. Indomethacin is a widely used NSAID in the treatment of gout. Patients should avoid Aspirin and aspirin-containing products during the attack of gout.

Those people who have had multiple attacks or developed tophi or kidney stones should stabilize uric acid level in the blood. Probenecid is an important drug, which helps the kidney, eliminate uric acid. Another drug called Alopurinol is used to block the excess production of uric acid by the body. The drug of choice between these types of drugs depends upon the quantity of uric acid excreted through urine.

Zyloprim, is a potent treatment for gout, and is usually prescribe for gout patients with kidney stones or other kidney problems. This drug slows down the rate of production of uric acid by the body. The patients who took this drug showed side effects such as skin rashes and stomach upset. Both of these symptoms usually go away as the body began accustomed to the drug.

As we know, prevention is better than treatment; avoiding the intake of food high in uric acid can readily prevent the occurrence of gout. Reducing alcohol consumption is also often helpful.

Alcoholic beverages should not exceed 3 ounces per day. Reduce or eliminate the purine-containing foods such as organ meats (sweet breads, liver, and kidneys), shrimp, sardines, dried legumes, and anchovies.

There are many natural products available in the market. Incorporate flax seed or omega 3 oil into your diet to help reduce inflammation and tissue damage. Burdock root can help rid the body of acidic waste build up and help supports normal uric acid levels in the body.

If you suffer from gout, see your doctor and discuss a pain relief program and a correct diet to reduce gout occurrences. With correct treatment and diet, gout outbreaks can be well controlled.

Copaxone

Copaxone

There is no cure for Multiple Sclerosis. There are several medications thought to slow the progression of the disease. In some people, these medications can reduce the frequency and severity of flare-ups, and may help reduce the number of brain and spinal cord lesions. These medications are fairly new, so it is unknown if they help reduce the extent of disability from MS

One of these medications is Copaxone. This injectable medication is used to treat Relapsing-Remitting MS. It has no effect on the three other types of Multiple Sclerosis.

Researchers are not completely sure how Copaxone works to slow MS progression. It is believed that the drug prevents damage causing cells from forming, and at the same time stimulating the beneficial cells to help reduce the damage in the areas with lesions.

Those who choose Copaxone therapy for MS give themselves a subcutaneous injection (shot under the skin) every day. The medication is dispensed in pre-filled syringes. Measuring is not necessary. Patients using this therapy will be taught how to give injections and for most people the entire procedure takes less than one minute.

As with any medication, there are side effects associated with Copaxone. The most common side effects are swelling, redness, pain, itching or a lump at the injection site. Some people experience a break down of the fatty tissue in the area they take injections.

Just as common are general body reactions like chest pain, weakness, nausea, joint pain, anxiety, muscle stiffness, and feeling flushed. According to the makers of Copaxone, these effects are mild and do not usually require medical treatment.

Less common, but more severe side effects include hives, skin rash with irritation, dizziness, sweating, chest pain, trouble breathing, severe injection site pain and general painful or uncomfortable changes in your overall health. Patients experiencing the above side effects should stop taking injections and call their doctor immediately.
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A Look at Pain Relief for Fibromyalgia

A Look at Pain Relief for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic disease that affects the musculoskeletal system. Symptoms vary widely among sufferers, but generally include muscle and joint aches, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches and tenderness in several of eighteen specific areas, or “trigger points” on the body. Fibromyalgia is often overlooked by sufferers as the inevitable result of a busy schedule and everyday stress. When patients do seek treatment, doctors often misdiagnose fibromyalgia as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, or another musculoskeletal condition. It affects women far more often than men, at a ratio of about ten to one. While some cases result from a specific trauma, more often the exact cause is unknown.

The first step to fibromyalgia pain relief is being properly diagnosed. The condition is not completely understood by the medical community, and there is no specific course of treatment. Most advice given to patients reads like a weight-loss program, recommending low-intensity exercise, drinking lots of water, and reducing mental and physical stresses such as those caused by saturated fats, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, meat and sugar.

Anti-depressants are often prescribed as part of the treatment, which elevate the mood of the patient. Muscle relaxants and sleep aids may also be recommended. Since fibromyalgia sufferers are often found to be low in manganese and magnesium, both of which help balance thyroid function, nutritional supplements may prove beneficial as well.

Physical therapy is another essential component for fibromyalgia pain relief, as it teaches patients methods of walking, stretching, and exercise that reduce muscle tension and fatigue. A physical therapist will also teach patients how to make use of ergonomic tools in their daily life, like padded chairs and special keyboards designed to minimize muscle strain.

Some patients choose to incorporate alternative treatments such as acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage therapy into their treatment. While the efficacy of these natural treatments has not been carefully studied and quantified, testimonials of fibromyalgia sufferers indicate that all of these alternative treatments may help alleviate symptoms of the disease. Whatever patients decide upon, it must be remembered that there is no simple cure for fibromyalgia, and a comprehensive plan that address mental and psychological symptoms and promotes healthy lifestyle habits is the most direct method of obtaining fibromyalgia pain relief.

Acupuncture and Arthritis

Acupuncture and Arthritis

Arthritis is a complex disorder that comprises several distinct conditions, all of them sharing one common symptom: chronic joint pain. For years, a significant aspect of modern medical science has been dedicated to finding the cure for arthritis, with varied results. Some forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis – a degenerative condition affecting the cartilage leading to inflammation of the joints – are irreversible, hence, much of the treatment has been focused more on pain reduction than on an actual cure.

However, a new study has made a connection between acupuncture and arthritis. The study said that the combination of acupuncture and arthritis can significantly reduce pain and improve function in those suffering osteoarthritis of the knee.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical procedure wherein hair-thin needles are inserted into points along “energy channels” – meridians, where the life force of the human body flows through. This is thought to help unblock the clogged energy channels and thus, help ease pain as a result of such blockage.

As part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) – a form of alternative medicine based on the belief that an essential life force, qi, flows through the body along channels called meridians – acupuncture is among the oldest form of medical procedure in the world. The first form of acupuncture was started in China more than 2,000 years ago but is now widely practiced in Asia and Europe. With the recent discovery about the connection between acupuncture and arthritis, specifically on its role as a pain reliever, the procedure is increasingly becoming popular in the United States as well.

As opposed to what you may believe, getting stuck with needles for a few minutes is not as torturous as it sounds. In fact, most people who believe in the healing connection between acupuncture and arthritis, say that there is only a slight stinging sensation when the needles prick the skin, but that is all. There is no pain after that. The needles used in acupuncture are very thin, smooth, and solid, unlike hypodermic needles which are hollow with cutting edges. The length of each session may vary, depending on the kind of disorder you wish to be treated. When it comes to acupuncture and arthritis, treatment may require two sessions a week and may last for several months.

Study on Acupuncture and Arthritis

The study on acupuncture and arthritis was conducted by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Considered as one of the largest and longest clinical trials to show such conclusive effects of acupuncture and arthritis on patients, the study reported a 44 percent average reduction in pain and a 40 percent improvement in mobility.

For purposes of the study, the researchers enrolled 570 patients who are aged from 50 above, with arthritis of the knee, and who had been suffering significant pain in the same the month before the study was conducted. The patients were then randomly assigned three different treatments, and it was found that those who specifically underwent acupuncture and arthritis treatment had a 40 percent decrease in pain and a nearly 40 percent improvement in function.

“We have demonstrated that traditional Chinese acupuncture is an effective complement to conventional arthritis treatment and can be successfully employed as part of a multi-disciplinary approach to treating the symptoms of osteoarthritis,” says Brian Berman of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore.