When you or people you care about are suffering with arthritis pain, you know this can include sore joints or difficulty with movement. But, do you know what arthritis actually is? How it develops? And what you can do to reduce arthritis pain naturally?
What is arthritis?
Arthritis, actually, is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, genders and races can have arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in America. More than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. It is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older.
Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go. They can be mild, moderate or severe. They may stay about the same for years but can then progress or get worse over time. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, an inability to do daily activities and may make it difficult to walk or climb stairs.
Arthritis can cause permanent joint damage. This damage may be visible, such as knobby finger joints, but often it can only be seen by x-rays. Some types of arthritis also affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin as well as the joints.
What causes arthritis?
You may wonder what causes arthritis. Why do you suffer with it but others in your family do not? Many things can cause different types of arthritis. For example, osteoarthritis is caused by the breakdown of cartilage, a rubbery material that eases the friction in your joints. Part of the cartilage thins and the surface becomes rougher. Then the joint doesn’t move as smoothly as it should. When cartilage becomes worn or damaged, all the tissues within the joint become inflamed as the body tries to repair the damage. However, the repair processes don’t always work so well and changes to the joint structure can sometimes cause even more inflammation, resulting in symptoms such as pain, swelling or difficulty in moving the joint normally.
Uric acid crystals, which form when there’s too much uric acid in your blood, can cause gout. Most of the time, a high uric acid level occurs when your kidneys don’t eliminate uric acid efficiently. This can be caused by eating rich foods, being overweight, having diabetes, taking certain diuretics (sometimes called water pills) and drinking too much alcohol. Gout is a common and complex form of arthritis that can affect anyone. It’s characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness and tenderness in one or more joints, most often in the big toe.
Rheumatoid arthritis or RA is a chronic inflammatory disorder affecting many joints, in which the immune system attacks the joints (beginning with the joint lining) including those in the hands and feet. As with other autoimmune diseases, researchers think that certain genes may increase your risk of developing RA. But they also don’t consider RA an inherited disorder. This means that a geneticist can’t calculate your chances for RA based on your family history.
Infections or underlying disease, such as psoriasis or lupus, can cause other types of arthritis.
What are some all-natural remedies for reducing arthritis pain?
If you are looking for a natural way to overcome arthritis pain, there are many options to consider. Experts recommend lifestyle changes to help ease arthritis pain. Many “home remedies,” including losing weight and certain kinds of non-impact exercises like Tai-Chi, swimming, or yoga, can be helpful. Others recommend adding Vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids for reducing inflammation. And dietary experts say eating foods with plenty of omega-3s, including nuts, seeds, and cold-water fish, may also help to reduce inflammation.
Chiropractic help for arthritis pain
When diet and exercise are not enough or if you are suffering from severe arthritis pain, you may want some other natural options. First of all, a visit to a good chiropractor would be smart. A chiropractor may gently manipulate your soft tissue to stop muscle spasms and relieve tenderness. He or she may use active exercises or traction to slowly stretch your joints and increase your range of motion. Your visit may feel like a more hands-on version of physical therapy.
Chiropractic care is a very safe and effective method of treating arthritis pain. No drugs are used since they only suppress the symptoms of arthritis without addressing the cause. Instead, chiropractic adjustments can help naturally reduce joint restrictions or misalignments to reduce inflammation.
Pressure Point Therapy for Arthritis Pain
Another effective recommended treatment option is Pressure Point Therapy. This type of therapy involves relieving “pressure points” — painful knots of energy located on your body’s nerve pathways. These knots prevent the normal flow of energy along your nerves which can mean problems such as stiffness, soreness and an inability to move the way you would like. Pressure Point Therapy, also known as Trigger Point Therapy, helps to relieve these problems.
Pressure Point Therapy is a perfect companion to chiropractic care. Chiropractic adjustments will shift the spinal vertebrae so they are in better alignment, but your muscles may need to adjust to these new positions. By combining Pressure Point Therapy with chiropractic adjustments, your muscles will adjust more quickly. Any nerves that were irritated by those misaligned vertebrae can relax, almost as if they are breathing a sigh of relief.
If you are suffering from arthritis pain, we can help — just call for an appointment at (314) 635-1008.