What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a group of conditions that causes pain and inflammation to joint
cartilage in the body. Joints are the areas where two bones meet such as the knee,
hip, shoulder or elbow. They allow our bodies to move in many different ways.
Damage to the joints can result in joint weakness, instability, decreased movement
and visible deformities.
Over time, as the body ages, our joints naturally degenerate. However, when
someone complains of pain and stiffness in their bodies, or that their hands
or hip are too sore to move, it may be as a direct result of arthritis.
If left untreated, arthritis has a debilitating effect on sufferers interfering
with their quality of life and lifestyle. As arthritis becomes increasingly painful and
disabling, the most basic daily tasks such as walking, brushing your teeth, driving
or working at a computer can be hampered. Arthritis affects millions of people
around the world. While it is most common in people over 60 years, arthritis can
affect all age groups - even infants and children.
Arthritis vs. Rheumatism
People also often refer to arthritis as rheumatism. Arthritis is a very general term
used to describe any aches and pains in the bones, muscles and joints. The term
rheumatism is often colloquially used in the same context as Arthritis although
technically it refers to a group of conditions affecting not only the joints but also
muscles, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons. Rheumatic diseases also have the
potential to affect internal body areas.
Diagnosing Arthritis
There are many different signs and symptoms of arthritis. People with
arthritis often experience joint pain, inflammation, stiffness or swelling around a
joint. Joints that are inflamed may be reddish in appearance, warm to the touch,
swollen or tender. Arthritis symptoms may flare up suddenly or appear gradually
over a period of time. They may also be accompanied by fatigue, insomnia,
depression and muscle aches.
The diagnosis of arthritis is based on your symptoms, physical examination and
medical history. Additional tests such as X-rays and blood tests may be ordered by
your physician to determine the type and the severity of the arthritis. As
there are various types of arthritis, you may also be referred to a rheumatologist
(specialist in arthritis) for further examination.

Types of Arthritis
Arthritis is not only isolated to the joints. Many forms of arthritis can affect the
whole body including eyes, skin, chest (including the heart), lungs, and kidneys.
While the term arthritis is often used as if it is one particular disease, there are in
fact more than 100 different medical conditions that can be classified as a type of
arthritic or rheumatic disease. The two most common forms of arthritis are
osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is often associated with osteoporosis, which is the form that is
usually brought about by age. It is a degenerative joint disease caused by the wear
and tear and eventual loss of cartilage in one or more joints. Most often, it affects
the fingers, hips and knees.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease (when the body's own defense
system does not work properly) that causes inflammation of the joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms occur if the joint lining becomes inflamed
when the body’s immune system attacks it and breaks it down. Rheumatoid
arthritis symptoms affect joints and bones (most commonly the hands and feet)
as well as body organs. Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms can be debilitating
and this disease is one of the more serious forms of arthritis and typically women
are affected more than men.
Other Common Forms of Arthritis
● Gout which is a result of a defect in the body chemistry causing increased
levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. It is extremely painful, often attacking
small joints, the most common and well known being the base of the big toe.
It mostly affects men but fortunately can often be controlled with natural
treatment and changes in diet.
● Lupus is a systemic auto-immune disorder that can inflame and harm the
joints, the heart, the skin, the kidneys, and other organs.
● Viral hepatitis is an infection of the liver and secondary joint involvement
can occur
● Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that affects the spine. It is
brought about by inflammation, and causes the bones of the spine to grow
together and fuse, resulting in decreased mobility and deformity.
● Juvenile arthritis is a general term for all types of arthritis that occur in
children. Children may develop juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or childhood
forms of lupus, ankylosing spondylitis or other types of arthritis.
● Scleroderma is a disease of the body’s connective tissue that causes a
thickening and hardening of the skin and can involve the joints.
● Fibromyalgia mostly affects women and causes extensive pain that affects
the muscles and attachments to the bone and joints,
What Causes Arthritis?
There are several factors that can contribute to the development of an arthritic
condition, and sometimes several may come together to create an arthritic
● Genetics
● Being overweight
● Age
● Metabolic disorders, immune disorders or inflammatory disorders
● Chronic stress across joints or joint trauma
● Nutritional deficiencies
● Certain occupational hazards such as working in heavy construction or on
an assembly line
Help for Arthritis
Arthritis treatment is specifically aimed at providing pain relief. Treatment
generally depends on the type of arthritis you have. Conventional medications
include analgesics (aspirin or acetaminophen), NSAIDs (nonsteroidal antiinflammatory
drugs) or anti-inflammatory drugs such as corticosteroids or
immunosuppressive agents may be used.
It is important to discuss these medications with your physician as many of
these agents have damaging side effects, especially when used long term as is the
case in chronic conditions like arthritis.
Supportive treatments such as physical therapy, hydrotherapy, mobilization, tens,
relaxation therapy or acupuncture can also reduce pain, inflammation and
Natural Remedies and Arthritis
More and more arthritis sufferers, particularly those with chronic conditions, are
turning to natural and holistic treatments because conventional medicine
has failed to produce the desired results. Natural arthritis pain relief can be
obtained with treatments such as herbal and homeopathic remedies that are gentle
and mild, yet effective and offer symptomatic relief. Ingredients such as
Glucosamine can be used to provide natural arthritis pain relief and to repair
cartilage and maintain joint mobility while Boswellia acts as a natural antiinflammatory.
Clinical studies have proven the effectiveness of Devil's Claw in treating joint
conditions like osteo-arthritis, fibrositis, rheumatism and small joint disease.
Other useful herbs for natural arthritis pain relief like Alfalfa (Medicago
sativa) can help to soothe the affected area, in a gentle manner without harsh side
effects – helping with the recovery process. Cayenne can also be used in an infused
oil to rub into arthritic joints for added relief.
Remember to obtain all herbal and homeopathic remedies from a reputable
Coping with Arthritis
Learning to manage the pain associated with the various forms of arthritis can
be extremely difficult. Whether your symptoms are moderate or severe, there are
some helpful techniques to cope with pain and create positive results.
Gentle exercise such as swimming, biking and water aerobics can reduce joint
pain. Exercise increases blood flow, builds strong muscles and minimizes the
chances of injury. Stretching or range-of-motion exercises help you stay flexible
while preventing stiffness and joint deformities. Applying heat and cold to painful
or stiff joints also provides temporary relief.
It is very important to also listen to your body and to discontinue activities that
cause pain. If you are overweight or obese, you would need to control your
weight if it is placing strain on your knees or ankles. Follow a healthy eating plan
or natural weight loss program under the strict supervision of a doctor or dietician.
Make your life as easy as possible – walk around periodically and avoid
remaining in the same position for a long time. Take regular breaks when
performing tasks, sit on high back chairs rather than chairs without support and
avoid placing unnecessary pressure on the area affected by pain or inflammation.
Use helpful devices such as a cane, crutches, walker or cart to pull heavy items.
Arthritis is often a chronic disease that will probably be with you for the rest of
your life. The pain and discomfort of arthritis can be debilitating and often brings
about feelings of depression, anger, and isolation. Deal with your emotions in
a positive manner with the help of relaxation techniques.
Practice breathing techniques, positive thoughts, meditation or listen to
calming music to release stress and tension. Gain the support of family and friends
to help you to achieve optimal health and well-being.
The Natural Approach
While Western medicine has become the norm in many cultures, it is not the only
treatment option. Conventional western medicine, often called allopathic
medicine, is the system of medicine taught at most medical schools and most
pharmaceutical and synthetic medicines are manufactured and marketed
according to the principles of allopathic medicine. Allopathic medicine is also
sometimes called orthodox medicine.
Because most of us in the Western world have grown up in a society in which
allopathic medicine is the prevailing norm, we forget that, only a few decades ago,
homeopathic, herbal and other natural medicines were commonly available – and
freely used even by conventional doctors. While there are often heated debates
about which system of medicine is ‘better’ than the other, many responsible
doctors (whether they are allopathic or not) recognize that both have a role to play
in the treatment program.
Natural medicine has often been frowned on by conventional doctors, especially by
those who did not have sufficient knowledge of these medicines. However, it is
encouraging to note that some medical schools are now beginning to re-introduce
it into their course work, thereby providing doctors with a wider range of
treatment options from which to choose. In many countries, especially in Europe,
India and China, natural and homeopathic medicines are commonly prescribed by
conventional doctors and represent a significant part of the total annual drug sales.
Naturopathy is a branch of medicine (just as allopathy is a branch of medicine)
which operates according to the underlying philosophy that the body has an innate
capacity to heal itself. While natural medicines are often called ‘alternative’ or
‘complimentary’ medicines, they are, in fact, a unique and independent form of
medicine in their own right, well able to treat a variety of conditions. Perhaps the
term ‘holistic’ medicine is more apt, given the broad range of treatment options
and approaches which are to be found within the practice of natural medicine,
which encompasses many different disciplines, including herbalism, homeopathy,
iridology, osteopathy, chiropractic, therapeutic massage techniques,
aromatherapy, acupuncture and many, many more.
Most naturopaths will use a variety of treatment modalities in order to treat their
patients in a holistic way to support health, relieve symptoms and prevent future
disease. In fact, even the World Health Organization defines health as being "...
more than simply the absence of illness. It is the active state of physical, emotional,
mental and social well-being." This is a wonderfully clear description of holistic or
natural medicine, which strives to support health (thereby relieving or preventing
symptoms), rather than simply eliminating disease.
Although allopathic medicine certainly has a role to play and has made a
tremendous contribution to medical science during the past century, there is a
growing perception that it is not the only answer and that, in many cases, holistic
medicine can accomplish just as much, if not more – without the risk of side
effects, addiction and sacrifice to health so commonly associated with
pharmaceutical drugs. Contrary to common perception, and provided that they are
manufactured in the correct way, natural medicines can work quickly and safely to
promote healing.
In many cases, they can succeed where pharmaceutical drugs have failed. Despite
frequent reports that they are ‘unproven’ and ‘untested’, the opposite is true.
Natural medicines have a long history of usage and there is a wealth of empirical
evidence to support their effectiveness and safety. In addition, active clinical
research is carried out by many academic hospitals and universities to support the
extensive traditional and empirical evidence behind natural medicines.
It is also important to know that, like any medicine, herbal and homeopathic
medicines must be manufactured in the correct way, following acceptable
procedures and manufacturing methods to ensure maximum effectiveness and
safety. Due to the recent rise in popularity of natural remedies, many companies
have sprung up to take advantage of the market. Unfortunately not all of them are
equipped to manufacture to the correct standards, often resulting in a flood of
inferior (and sometimes even unsafe) remedies onto the market – and giving
natural remedies a bad name.
Even some pharmaceutical companies have rushed to claim their market share by
producing so-called ‘standardized’ extracts of herbs and offering these as superior
to the tried and tested methods of naturopathic manufacturing. Nothing could be
further from the truth. While ‘standardized’ extracts may offer benefit of easy
consistency of dosage (and cheaper more efficient production lines), they have
grave disadvantages. These include an increase in side effects as the medicines
produced in this manner lose the natural protective properties of the herbs. In
some cases, these side effects have proved fatal – as was seen in the liver toxicity
associated with standardized extracts of kava kava, a herb previously safely used
for generations without any known side effects.
extraction – which retains the benefits of ALL the active ingredients within the
herb as opposed to isolating only one – thereby providing a more complete
treatment as well as superior protection against side effects.
Whatever your choice, always choose wisely. Research what is best for you. If you
have a chronic or life threatening condition, don’t make changes without first
discussing them with your doctor in order that your condition may be monitored.
Well informed and supportive practitioners will support patients who want to take
responsibility for their own health.
In the treatment of depression, the following herbal and homeopathic remedies are
often used as part of the treatment plan.
Related Natural Remedies:
JointEase Plus: Promotes joint and muscular-skeletal system health.
JointEase Plus means freedom to walk and move with ease!
JointEase Plus contains 100% pure Harpagophytum procumbens, also known as
'Sengaparile,' 'Devil's Claw' or 'Duiwelsklou', because of the claw-like shape of its
fruit. For thousands of years, the Khoisan people of the Kalahari Desert (in
Southern Africa) have used Devil's Claw to promote healthy joints as well
as for a digestive tonic.
Our new and even more powerful formula now combines Devil's Claw with
Glucosamine sulphate and Boswellia serata, both in the forefront of latest
developments in the natural promotion of joint and muscle health. (See more on
these new ingredients in the 'Ingredients' section below)
Learn more about JointEase Plus
DetoxDrops: To assist in the elimination of toxins from the body.
Detox Drops are a 100% safe, non-addictive natural herbal remedy formulated
for adults by our team of natural health experts. Detox Drops contain a selection
of herbs known for their supportive function in promoting liver health and
Detox Drops can be used as part of a gentle detoxification program to safely
cleanse and flush out the system. It supports the body’s natural ability to remove
toxins and waste by-products, without harmful side effects and without
harsh laxatives.
The formula remains true to the whole spectrum method of herbal extraction,
ensuring the bio-availability and balance of all the active ingredients contained in
the remedy. This method of manufacture also significantly reduces the likelihood
of side effects and maintains all active ingredients in perfect balance – exactly as
nature intended!
By cleansing and refreshing all body systems, Detox Drops can also represent a
wonderful start to any new program to stop smoking, fight addiction or addressunhealthy weight issues.

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