Treatments for Arthritis
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Natural Choice Journal
What are some of the natural treatments for Arthritis and is exercise
good for it?
Ellen Doiron, Charlottetown
asked Naturopathic Doctor, Carolyn Galvin, ND of Fredericton about
naturopathic medicine takes a holistic approach, there may be
many botanical medicines in long term treatment plan for arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis treatment is not only directed toward pain
relief but also to underlying defects such as food sensitivities,
increased gut permeability, detoxification and an overly reactive
immune system. I will limit my discussion to those plant medicines
that are used primarily for symptom management.
Claw, has a history of use as an anti-inflammatory although studies
suggest that this may not be the mechanism behind its beneficial
effects on pain. It may cause stomach irritation and those with
peptic ulcers should avoid it.
an extract form Tumeric, has an anti-inflammatory effect comparable
to hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone. It may cause stomach irritation
with prolonged use, but not peptic ulcers like NSAIDs (non steroidal
anti-inflammatory, like Ibuprofen) can. It should be avoided with
gallstones, pregnancy or nursing.
is used for pain relief due to its salicin content which is converted
by the liver to an aspirin-like compound. Side effects are rare
but it can cause nausea, digestive upset or headache. It should
be avoided by those with asthma, diabetes, gout, hemophilia, liver
or kidney disease, active ulcers or by those with a sensitivity
best part about Ginger as an anti-inflammatory is that instead
of irritating the stomach like NSAIDs and many botanicals, it
protects the stomach. Avoid it if taking heart medications or
blood thinners or with diabetes or gallstones. Pregnant women
should limit the dosage to 1g daily. There are many other examples,
like Bleuplurum, Dong Quai, Feverfew and Meadowsweet but the above
are easy to find in stores. Keep in mind when using botanical
medicines that most require a longer trial period then pharmaceutical
drug therapy. Give them at least 2 months before deciding whether
or not they are working for you.
asked Chiropractor, Dr. Melissa Wicks MacRae of Charlottetown
about arthritis and exercise.
a short answer, yes, exercise is good for those with arthritis.
Of course, this answer doesn't come without qualifying it. The
type of exercise that would be most beneficial depends on the
type of arthritis, its severity and the joints involved. You should
consult your health care provider to guide you toward an appropriate
exercise program that suits your particular condition and ability.
In general, movement of a joint is essential for the health of
the joint tissues. The cartilage that lines many of your joints
gets its nutrition from the nutrient rich synovial fluid that
bathes your joint. Moving your joint through its normal range
of motion helps to "pump" this nutrient rich fluid over
the surface of the cartilage, in a sense "feeding" it.
This fluid also removes waste materials produced by the joint.
So, when it comes to joints, the saying, "if you don't use
it, you'll lose it" holds true.
can help with pain control, increase mobility & flexibility,
decrease fatigue, increase stamina and strengthen muscles and
bones. A typical exercise program would include a range of motion
exercises, strengthening and endurance activities, and body awareness
exercises (for balance and co-ordination). For a detailed plan,
appropriate for your specific condition, please consult your health
asked Whyatt Inman, of Charlottetown, PEI
of recent literature suggest that most forms of joint disease
respond favourably to physical activity. However, given the breadth
and scope of the varied forms of joint disease, I am just going
to discuss the two most common forms, Osteoarthritis (OA) and
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). These have been shown to have a significant
positive relationship with regular physical activity. Exercise
is a proven method for improving function, endurance, and mood
in patients with either RA or OA. However, when one considers
the type and degree of exercise intensity suitable for someone
with arthritis, there are basic parameters to follow (see table).
With Rheumatoid Arthritis, one must recognize the warning signs
of an acute flare-up including redness, inflammation, pain, and
stiffness. These symptoms should dictate the amount of activity
one participates in (eg. more pain - less activity, less pain
- potential for more activity that day). The most common form
of chronic arthritis, Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease,
seems to respond positively to exercise particularly in the hips
and knees. Refer to the attached table for a rough summary of
guidelines for exercise and arthritis. For a detailed plan, appropriate
for your specific condition, I would recommend you see your physician
for further advice.
RA Acute flare-up active gentle ROM exercises for involved joints
RA Subacute: (getting better but still sore) 8-10 reps of active
Stable or inactive disease: active ROM daily may attempt some
light strength training (static if still unstable, dynamic if
OA No/Mild Pain: active ROM (10 reps), 3-5 reps of stretching
strengthening 15 reps/3 sets/3 days weekly
Moderate Pain: static and dynamic ROM 3-5 reps with no resistance
Severe Pain: no impact aerobic pool activities
Bone-on-Bone: same as severe, but fewer to no repetitions of moving
exercises out of water
Aerobic Activity: 15-20 minutes 3-5 time weekly. Use pain to dictate
your exercise intensity or effort. There is potential for longer
sessions when your pain levels are low
Natural Choice Journal Is fluorescent lighting healthy????
asked Nicholas G. Harmon of Verilux, Inc.to answer the question.
is widespread dissatisfaction with ordinary fluorescent lighting.
Ordinary fluorescent lighting is unbalanced and unnatural in color.
In addition, older lighting systems have magnetic ballasts that
can flicker and hum. Additionally, if your lighting system is
old, try changing the ballast to the newer "electronic ballast"
which operates at a much higher frequency and does not have visible
flicker or an audible hum.
The solution to your problem may be to change your fluorescent
tubes to full spectrum lighting. Full spectrum lighting can also
promote alertness; minimize symptoms of seasonal affective disorder
(SAD), depression and jet lag; trigger vitamin D development necessary
for the bones to absorb calcium; reduce hyperactivity in children;
help regulate the body's natural biological rhythms which control
sleep; increase feelings of well being; and reduce glare. Glare
can result in eye-strain, headaches and loss of productivity.
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