Help for Arthritis Sufferers
Arthritis--or osteoarthritis--plagues many of us as we age...
...or even before we're very old! (See photo above!)
But, here's Good News: there are things to do to relieve this pain.
Dr. Brent Bauer, M.D., is the director of Mayo Clinic's program called "Complementary and Integrative Medicine." He offers the following four nontraditional treatments for the breakdown of joint cartilage and the pain and stiffness that result:
- Glucosamine and chondroitin are dietary supplements. When used together, they've been shown to reduce pain for people with severe osteoarthritis. (They weren't as effective for those with mild pain, however.) Side effects are rare.
- Acupuncture --those tiny needles inserted at specific points in your body.
(For a picture, if you like, click here.)
The idea is that these needles free up the flow of energy around your body, rebalancing its flow. It may relieve pain from osteoarthritis, especially at the knee joints. It's usually a low-risk treatment, provided you work with an experienced, licensed practitioner.
- SAMe is another dietary supplement. It's the synthetic version of a compound found in human tissue. It has been proven to relieve the joint pain as well as medications like aspirin or ibuprofen, but with fewer side effects
- Devil's claw
Pictured at right. Yeah, I think it deserves the name!
This herb may reduce osteoarthritis pain. It's thought to be safe for most people. Those who shouldn't use it are children, pregnant or nursing mothers, and those with gastric or heart problems.
Dr. Bauer specifically recommends these treatments for osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a whole different health issue. You can be sure I'll be watching his research to see if effective remedies are found for it as well.
A few cautions: dietary supplements are not all created equal. Do your research to make sure the product you choose is tested and verified! And, as always, work closely with your primary care physician.
Thanks for reading, and here's to your health!
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