Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis and Natural Treatment Options

silent heart attackWhen pain begins to unceremoniously crop up in various joints of the body, individuals could be experiencing the beginning stages of arthritis. Limited flexibility, stiffness, and tenderness are all quite common. Unlike many other medical conditions, arthritis responds well to a wide array of natural remedies. Once sufferers have pinpointed their arthritis type, they can begin making crucial lifestyle changes that should help them manage their pain and regain their range of motion.

Arthritis Types

Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout are three of the more common forms of the condition, and each of these is accompanied by certain symptoms. Osteoarthritis invariably begins when the cartilage that protects the bones begins to deteriorate. The ends of the bones will eventually grind against each other during joint movement. The knees and hips, which bear much of the weight of the body, are most frequently affected. Because cartilage tends to gradually wear away through time, osteoarthritis is usually diagnosed in older men and women.

Rheumatoid arthritis arises from a dysfunction within the immune system that causes the body to attack its own component parts. Sufferers generally experience swelling and warmth within the joints, especially after strenuous bouts of physical activity. Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is found quite often in the hands and wrists. Other common symptoms include slow-to-heal injuries, tingling sensations within the hands, dry eyes, chronic pain, sub-surface nodules, and locked joints.

Gout is a degenerative condition that is caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in various joints of the body. While stiffness and inflammation will be prominent, patients might also experience instances of extreme sensitivity. The skin itself may even take on a purplish color. One of the tell-tale signs of gout is tenderness within the big toe, which is the joint most likely to be regularly affected. Men and women who have gout might also notice that the symptoms worsen in the immediate aftermath of a medical operation.

Natural Remedies

Arthritis sufferers do not always need to rely on pharmaceutical agents to fight their symptoms. Cutting-edge medical research has shown that a healthy diet can be quite useful when it comes to pain management. Processed foods ought to be eliminated from the diet, and people should instead consume large quantities of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to combat inflammation, can be found in certain kinds of fish. There is some indication that a vegetarian diet might also lessen the pain.

Because arthritis is often made worse when excessive strain is placed on the joints, losing weight can help tremendously. Engaging in physical exercise will help people eliminate fat around the midsection, which will ultimately cut down on discomfort in the hips, knees, and ankles. Low-impact cardiovascular activity is usually better, which means that swimming and bicycling will produce more lasting results than running and jogging.

Physical therapy is also a path to better heath. Individuals who are suffering from debilitating pain in the knees, for example, might follow a professionally prescribed regimen that is designed to decrease stiffness in the joints. Certain weightlifting exercises, when done properly, can strengthen the muscles in the affected region.

Men and women who are seeking alternative treatment options might also try acupuncture. Professionals in the field will insert small needles into precise pressure points in the skin. The body will then produce endorphins, which are chemicals that serve as ready-made pain blockers. Regular visits to a licensed acupuncturist can be quite beneficial for arthritis.

In a world where technology is more prominent than ever, patients might also try braces, canes, and shoe inserts. With better weight distribution and small changes in posture, the effects can be quite dramatic. While most people can easily commandeer shoe inserts, braces and splints will require professional medical intervention.

Staying Positive

Arthritis is ultimately a fairly common medical condition, especially in older individuals. With an attention to detail and a willingness to try different natural remedies, many patients can manage the pain and still live active lives. With some assistance from reputable medical specialists, people should be able to develop a plan of action for the months and years ahead.

References

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20443624,00.html
http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/arthritis-basics
http://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/guide/arthritis-acupuncture