Treating Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Cervical Spine Naturally
Posted Mar 12 2009 3:42pm
If you have been diagnosed with arthritis in the cervical spine, your Dr probably has put you on medications. What are some natural ways you can treat this condition of the cervical spine?
If your suffer from arthritis such osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis you may suffer from stiffness, joint pain, tenderness and swelling. Fingers, knees, hips, the neck and other parts of the spine can be affected. Arthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage, the gel like substance that acts like a shock absorber and keeps adjacent bones from touching.
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA), also known as DJD or degenerative joint disease. Seen mostly in the elderly patients. It often affects hands and weight bearing joints such as knees. It involves cartilage destruction followed by the formation of bone spurs in the joint margins Most times arthritis occurs gradually and starts with stiffness, pain and loss of mobility. Often times it occurs in the morning, is affected by weather changes and occurs after exercise sometimes. It is often relieved by rest. With OA, there is no signs of inflammation.
Another common type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The difference between RA and OA is that RA is an inflammatory condition that affects the entire body especially the synovial membranes of the joints. In this type of arthritis is autoimmune in nature, with the body’s immune system attacking itself. RA often involves the hands, feet, wrists, ankles and knees. The onset is gradual and RA is characterized by tiredness, low grade fever, weakness, joint stiffness, and joint pain. The involved joints can be warm, tender and swollen. RA often affects the joints symmetrically ie both wrists or both ankles.
Here are some key factors to consider when it comes to nutrition and lifestyle changes:
Perform relaxation exercises such as deep breathing, meditation, prayer for 10-15 minutes per day
Drink at least 4 glasses of water per day
Bromelain- a proteolytic enzyme that is found in pineapple has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties.
Omega 3 fatty acids- found in fish oils, omega 3 fatty acids have been found to improve those that suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. It is found to decrease the tenderness in the joints. Researcher have also found that fish oils help to decrease inflammation by helping the body make substances call prostagladins.
Glucosamine Chrondrotin- one of the most widely used for the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. It slows joint damage over time.
Cayenne- comes in the form of a topical crème and helps with pain relief. The capsaicin in cayenne stimulates then blocks the transmission of the pain impulse. It does this by depleting the nerves of a messenger substance called substance P (P stands for Pain) which is a chemical that sends pain messages to the brain. Be caution as this can cause a burning sensation. Substance P also activates inflammatory mediators into joint tissues in RA.
Be involved with light to moderate exercise everyday such as walking or swimming to keep your muscles strong and improve your joint function. Doing neck stretches everyday can also be beneficial. The more stiffness that you suffer the less you will be motivated to exercise and it can become a very bad and habit. Fight the urge not to exercise. Inactivity causes more weakness to muscles, causing more stress to the joints and increasing pain.
Apply heat or ice to your neck and upper back muscles a few times per day for pain relief.
Try a topical ibuprofen such as ibunex for acute pain in the neck. It contains Ibuprofen, glucosamine chondroitin, MSM, and Bromelain. The great benefit of Ibunex is that it is applied topically, and therefore bypasses senstive organs and the digestive system. It uses Liposomes for delivery throught the dermal skin which are are fatty droplets that encapsulate key ingredients and carry them to the target tissue where the lipids are naturally consumed making the ingredients bioavailable.