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How To Help Degenerative Arthritis

Natural Treatment For Arthritis

How Prolotherapy helps Degenerative Arthritis

Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is a biomechanical and physiological disease. The cartilage that provides a buffer between bones breaks down and wears away, allowing the bones to rub and grind against each other, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons .

While many view osteoarthritis as a disease of the elderly, this is entirely inaccurate. Three out of five arthritis patients are younger than 65. Osteoarthritis can result from overuse of joints, and is often a consequence of demanding sports, obesity, or aging. If you were an athlete or dancer in your younger years and wonder why your knee or hip aches when you climb out of bed in the morning, ask your doctor about osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is common in weight-bearing joints the knees, hips, feet, and spine and comes on gradually over months or years. Except for the pain in the joints, it does not cause you to feel sick or have fatigue, as other types of inflammatory arthritis do.

With osteoarthritis, you may feel fine except for a few minutes of stiffness on arising in the morning or stiffness after sitting. Other symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

Additional reporting by Madeline Vann, MPH

Ice Or Heat Therapies Are Common Osteoarthritis Treatments

Lots of people swear by thermotherapy, a natural treatment for arthritis that uses heat or cold to relieve osteoarthritis pain. When acute pain occurs, icing may help,” Kaeley says. “For chronic pain, many patients report relief with moist heat as well as topical OTC anti-inflammatory creams. The ACR suggests asking your medical team when and how to best use hot and cold remedies.

What Tests Are There For Osteoarthritis

Theres no blood test for osteoarthritis, although your doctor may suggest you have them to help rule out other types of arthritis.

X-rays arent usually helpful in diagnosing osteoarthritis, although they may be useful to show whether there are any calcium deposits in the joint.

In rare cases, an MRI scan of the knee can be helpful to identify other possible joint or bone problems that could be causing your symptoms.

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Magnets And Copper Bracelets

Healing magnets may seem like an attractive option. They’re inexpensive, theyâre easy to use, and they have no side effects. Believers in this therapy think the magnets help iron circulate in the blood and get joints the nutrition they need. But unlike its metal form, the iron in your body isn’t magnetic. Wearing magnets has no physical effect on your blood or joints.

The same goes for copper bracelets. In your body, copper helps make red blood cells and aids in forming the collagen in bones and connective tissue. But copper bracelets don’t transfer copper to the body. And adding more of the mineral won’t ease joint inflammation.

The 10 Best Foods To Eat If You Have Arthritis

Causes and Treatments For Degenerative Arthritis

If you have arthritis, you know just how devastating this condition can be.

Arthritis is a term for a class of diseases that cause pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. It can affect people of all ages, genders and ethnic backgrounds.

There are many different types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is one type, which develops in joints with overuse. Another type is rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks your joints (

Fortunately, there are many foods that can ease inflammation and may help relieve some of the joint pain associated with arthritis.

In fact, one survey found that 24% of those with rheumatoid arthritis reported that their diet had an impact on the severity of their symptoms (

This article will look at 10 of the best foods to eat if you have arthritis.

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Who Gets Arthritis In Their Hands

You are more likely to get arthritis in your hands if:

  • Youre older. Osteoarthritis is commonly seen after age 50. Rheumatoid arthritis typically first appears between the age of 35 and 50.
  • Youre a woman.
  • Youre white.
  • Youre overweight.
  • Youve had previous injuries to your hand. If youve dislocated or broken any joints in your hands or fingers, you are more likely to develop arthritis.
  • You’ve inherited genes that cause the development of arthritis.

What Is Arthritis Of The Hand

Arthritis is a disease that attacks the tissues of your joints. A joint is where two bones meet. Arthritis can attack the lining of your joint or the cartilage, the smooth covering at the ends of bones. Eventually the cartilage breaks down, the ends of your bones become exposed, rub against each other and wear away. You have many joints in your hand, therefore its a common site for arthritis to happen.

Arthritis of the hand causes pain and swelling, stiffness and deformity. As arthritis progresses, you cant use your hands to manage everyday tasks as you once could.

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Who Is Affected By Osteoarthritis

Approximately 80% of older adults, ages 55 years and older, have evidence of osteoarthritis on X-ray. Of these, an estimated 60% experience symptoms. It is estimated that 240 million adults worldwide have symptomatic osteoarthritis, including more than 30 million U.S. adults. Post-menopausal women have an increased incidence of knee osteoarthritis compared to men.

Turn To Acupuncture For Relief Of Osteoarthritis

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The ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture may be treatment for osteoarthritis. It involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to relieve pain, explains the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Research into acupuncture is still ongoing, with some studies showing that acupuncture is better for osteoarthritis treatment than doing nothing, but perhaps not as good as other options. Its been difficult to evaluate acupuncture, but there is a consensus now that acupuncture may be of value, says Altman.

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Surgery For Hip Arthritis

The progression of hip arthritis and effectiveness of various nonsurgical treatments varies. If nonsurgical options dont provide the desired pain relief and your quality of life suffers, it may be time to consider surgical options, such as:

  • Hip replacement surgery, or hip arthroplasty, is a procedure to replace one or both ends of a damaged hip joint with artificial implants.
  • Hip fusion is a procedure to fuse the bones of the hip joint together. It used to be the standard surgical treatment for hip arthritis before replacement surgeries became available, but is now a last-resort treatment as it severely impacts mobility.

How Does The Hip Joint Work

The hip is a ball-and-socket joint. The ball, at the top of the femur is called the femoral head. The socket, called the acetabulum, is a part of the pelvis. The ball moves in the socket, allowing the leg to rotate and move forward, backward and sideways.

In a healthy hip, the ball and socket are covered by a glistening layer called articular cartilage. This cartilage, which can be seen on an as the space in between the ball and the socket, is what allows the bones of the hip joint to glide together smoothly with less resistance than ice sliding on ice. In addition, there is a special layer of exceptionally strong cartilage in the acetabulum called the labrum. The structure of the hip joint gives it a wide range of motion. It is a very stable joint because of the large area of between the femoral head and the labrum-lined acetabulum.

Illustration and X-ray image of a healthy hip joint.

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Complementary Medicine For Osteoarthritis

Taking supplements

In many cases, theres little research evidence to show that supplements and herbal remedies can improve arthritis or its symptoms, but many people feel they do benefit from them.

Below are a few of the supplements often used by people with osteoarthritis.


Glucosamine is found naturally in the body in structures such as ligaments, tendons and cartilage. Supplements are usually produced from crab, lobster or prawn shells, although shellfish-free types are available. Theres some research to suggest it may have some benefit in painful osteoarthritis, especially of the knee.

Most trials have used a dose of 500 mg three times a day, and the evidence seems to suggest glucosamine sulphate may be more effective than glucosamine hydrochloride. It doesnt help the pain straight away so youll need to take it for a couple of months. If it hasnt helped after two months, then its unlikely that it will.


Chondroitin exists naturally in our bodies and its thought that it helps give cartilage elasticity. The research evidence is limited to animal studies that suggest it might help to slow the breakdown of cartilage.

Dont expect to see any improvement for at least two months. And if your cartilage is badly damaged, its unlikely that youll benefit from chondroitin.

Fish oils

Complementary treatments

There are a number of different treatments available and they can generally be used alongside prescribed or over-the-counter medicines.

The Future Of Oa Treatment

Degenerative Arthritis Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, OA hasn’t had any major breakthroughs that have dramatically improved its medical treatment. Drug development for this type of arthritis has been slow because the disease itself follows a slow process. It takes time to track whether a treatment can halt joint damage when that damage occurs so gradually. “Joint replacement surgery has been successful, but medical treatments for OA have been limited,” Dr. Aliprantis says.

Hopefully, strontium or another disease-modifying therapy will prove its merit in future studies. But it could be several more years before any approach revolutionizes the treatment of this condition. “I think we’re just starting to understand OA,” Dr. Aliprantis says.

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How To Treat Osteoarthritis With Massage Therapy

One hour of massage each week for at least eight weeks has been shown to be a treatment for osteoarthritis and relieve arthritis pain and stiffness as well as increase mobility, according to data from an article published in June 2015 in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Muscles that spasm around the joints in osteoarthritis can be soothed using massage therapy, Altman says. The massage therapist lightly strokes or kneads the sore muscles, which can stimulate blood flow and make a stressed area become more warm and relaxed.

Be sure to see only massage therapists who have experience treating people with osteoarthritis, because arthritic joints are very sensitive and must be handled with care. Ask your doctor for a referral for this natural treatment for arthritis.

Other Types Of Joint Disease

Sometimes osteoarthritis is a result of damage from a different kind of joint disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.

Two factors that may affect the symptoms of osteoarthritis, but arent a direct cause of it are the weather and diet:


Many people with osteoarthritis find that changes in the weather make the pain worse, especially when the atmospheric pressure is falling for example, just before it rains. Although the weather may affect the symptoms of your arthritis, it doesnt cause it.


Some people find that certain foods seem to increase or lessen their pain and other symptoms. However, your weight is more likely than any other specific dietary factors to affect your risk of developing osteoarthritis.

Read more about osteoarthritis of the spine.

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Natural Degenerative Joint Disease Treatments That Work

By Jillian Levy, CHHC

Unless youre a hermit or ardent loner, you probably know somebody or several somebodies dealing with degenerative joint disease . Also known as osteoarthritis, an estimated 27 million Americans over the age of 25 have DJD, which is about 14 percent of the total population in this age group.

Even worse, about 34 percent of those 65-plus have DJD. And because it develops in older people more frequently, we can expect to see these numbers rise even higher as the percentage of Americans over the age of 65 only continues to increase.

So what is degenerative joint disease, and can this common form of arthritis be naturally treated? Lets take a look at how diet and lifestyle can help manage DJD.

What Is Degenerative Joint Disease And How Do I Treat It

Hand Exercises for Arthritis with Dr. Chad Woodard, PhD, DPT

According to the World Health Organization, degenerative joint disease is one of the ten most disabling diseases in developed countries. It is estimated that more than 27 million Americans are affected.

But what is degenerative joint disease? Given how common it is, are you at risk of developing it later in life? How is this condition treated?

Understanding how your body functions and what conditions you are vulnerable to is essential to maintaining your health. Upon receiving a diagnosis, your orthopaedic specialist will explain the details of your condition. However, it helps to know ahead of time so you can effectively and immediately manage your symptoms.

What is Degenerative Joint Disease?Degenerative joint disease, or osteoarthritis, is the most common type of arthritis. While this condition can occur in any joint, it usually affects the hands, knees, hips or spine.

This disease is common because wear and tear on the joints over time can cause cartilage to break down. This can happen to anyone but typically occurs in older adults. The degeneration of cartilage means that bones lose their cushioning. They are then vulnerable to rubbing against one another within the joint. As a result, the joint area becomes inflamed and painful, leading to a decrease in mobility. In addition, bone spurs, or pieces of bone, may form around the joint. Ligaments and muscles may also become both weaker and stiffer as arthritis worsens.

What are Some Common Symptoms?

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What Are The Symptoms Of Spinal Arthritis

Symptoms of spinal arthritis may differ from person to person. In general, they may include:

  • Back and neck pain, especially in the lower back

  • Stiffness and loss of flexibility in the spine, such as being unable to straighten your back or turn your neck

  • Swelling and tenderness over the affected vertebrae

  • Feeling of grinding when moving the spine

  • Pain, swelling and stiffness in other areas of the body

  • Whole-body weakness and fatigue

  • Pain and numbness in your arms or legs if the nerves are affected

  • Headaches

Although back pain is a common symptom, not all people have it, even those with advanced spinal arthritis. On the other hand, some may experience pain even before arthritis can be seen on an X-ray.

In certain types of spondyloarthritis, eye inflammation may occur, causing pain, watery eyes and blurred vision.

Help For Neck Arthritis

A chiropractor can help determine what stage your neck is in and the best methods to treat it. Adjustments or mobilizations are important along with things you can do at home like cervical spine traction, heat therapy, restorative exercises, corrective pillows, quality joint health supplements, topical pain relief and posture correction.

There are different types of arthritis. In this article, we have discussed what is usually termed osteoarthritis, where osteo means bone and is a general description. Some cases of spinal arthritis exhibit rapid & painful degeneration, which may indicate a type of low grade infection. Another type of arthritis is part of the rheumatoid neck disorders called rheumatoid neck arthritis. Regardless, it is always important to consult with your health care professional regarding any type arthritis.

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How Is Oa Treated

There is no cure for OA, so doctors usually treat OA symptoms with a combination of therapies, which may include the following:

  • Increasing physical activity
  • Medications, including over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription drugs
  • Supportive devices such as crutches or canes
  • Surgery

In addition to these treatments, people can gain confidence in managing their OA with self-management strategies. These strategies help reduce pain and disability so people with osteoarthritis can pursue the activities that are important to them. These five simple and effective arthritis management strategies can help.

Physical Activity for Arthritis

Some people are concerned that physical activity will make their arthritis worse, but joint-friendly physical activity can actually improve arthritis pain, function, and quality of life.

What Is Hip Arthritis

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Hip arthritis is deterioration of the cartilage of the hip joint. The hip is a ball-and-socket joint with the ball at the top of the thighbone . The ball is separated from the socket by cartilage. The cartilage acts as a slippery coating between the ball and the socket that allows the ball to glide and rotate smoothly when the leg moves. The labrum, a strong cartilage that lines the outer rim of the socket, provides stability.

When cartilage in the hip is damaged, it becomes rough. Thinning of cartilage narrows the space between the bones. In advanced cases, bone rubs on bone, and any movement can cause pain and stiffness. When there is friction at any point between bones, it can also lead to bone spurs bone growths on the edges of a bone that change its shape.

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How To Avoid Achy Joints

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis. The three main types are osteoarthritis , rheumatoid arthritis , and psoriatic arthritis . Each type develops differently, but all are painful and can lead to joint deformity and a loss of function.

You cant always prevent arthritis. Some causes, such as age, family history, and sex , are out of your control.

However, a few healthy habits can help reduce your risk of developing painful joints as you get older. Many of these practices such as exercising and eating a healthy diet help prevent other diseases, too.

How Degenerative Arthritis Affects The Body

The biological mechanisms of osteoarthritis involve more than the deterioration of cartilage and bone. Once these structures have been compromised, the body will respond with a process known as ossification, a part of bone remodeling that refers to laying down new bone reabsorption of old bone can also occur in the remodeling process. This is the same process that occurs if a bone is broken.

However, with osteoarthritis, the ongoing damage to the cartilage will outpace the body’s ability to repair it. In an effort to stabilize the joint, bone tissue will be built upon bone tissue, leading to the development of bone spurs and the enlargement and malformation of the joint.

In many people with osteoarthritis, pain likely originates from the bone , the joint lining and capsule, and surrounding ligaments and tendons. Both mechanical forces and inflammation appear to trigger the pain.

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