Any pain and inflammation in and around the joint is called arthritis. Arthritis can affect people of any age from children to elderly. The commonest type of arthritis is called Osteoarthritis and it has been estimated that millions of people in India are suffering from osteoarthritis. Persons suffering from arthritis present with the symptoms like stiffness, pain and inflammation around the affected joint. The movement around the joint is restricted with redness, tenderness and weakness of muscles. This prevalence is higher than many well known diseases such as diabetes, AIDS and cancer. Osteoarthritis can affect any age group but it is usually detected in adults over the age of 50. OK
Arthritis seen in younger ages is mainly due to injuries or over exertion. In main symptoms in osteoarthritis is due to damaging or thinning of cartilages protecting the bones around a joint as a result during movement of joints these bones rub against each other and cause severe pain. The major joints affected in osteoarthritis are knees, hips and spine. Rheumatoid arthritis is the second most common and most severe form of arthritis. This disease is mainly hereditary and immune mediated and is three times more common in women than men. Other forms of arthritis are gout, ankylosing spondilitis and lupus. OK
Do you have difficult in walking or climbing a staircase?
One should not ignore sudden stiffness or pain in the joint after sitting for a long time. Recent research shows that arthritis is not limited to older people only, even persons as young as 25 years of age could have arthritis. The main culprits are our changing way of life, obesity, bad eating habits, lack of exercise and hectic work schedules. Interestingly the incidence of arthritis is on the rise in young women. The increasing incidence of obesity has probably also contributed to the increasing incidence of osteoarthritis. OK
How to treat arthritis?
There are no specific drugs available to cure this disorder but some of treatments could reduce the severity of symptoms and minimize the damage to joints. The main focus should be to make some modification in your diet and life style. Regular excise, yogic asana, and diet control could be beneficial. Always stay mobile, stop smoking, low salt and animal protein in the diet, eat leafy green vegetables that contains natural vitamins, minerals and other antioxidants. Women should take calcium rich diet and vitamin D3 regularly. Post-menopausal women should regularly take oral calcium and vitamin D3. OK
However there are solutions based on lifestyle changes as follows:
1. Regular stretching exercises,
2. Regular meditation and yoga especially Surya namaskar.
3. For those having severe deformity or cartilage damage should undergo corrective surgery like knee replacement and arthroscopy.
4. Obesity is one of the major causes of arthritis. Diet control and weight reduction is the key.
5. Do not sit cross-legged and avoid using Indian commode.
6. Proper Diet:
- Food containing omeg-3 fatty acids should be taken in enough quantity.
- Have Sulphur rich foods like onion and garlic.
- Have food containing enough vitamins, minerals, fibers and enzymes like papaya, melon, pineapple and green leafy vegetables.
- Obese people should control their hunger by taking high fiber diets soaked legumes, nuts and seeds. OK
7. Stay active:
Arthritis is mostly seen in people who are lethargic and less active and they likely to feel pain during exercise and this prevents them from exercising and that their joint stiffer and aggravates arthritis. Therefore, regular movements of joint are essential to prevent arthritis.
Herbs for arthritis:
Ginger contains substances that have analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity. Ginger reduces pain and inflammation in arthritis and also improves digestive function.
Turmeric contains many active substances in powder and oil form but the most active principle is Curcumin. This compound is a very effective anti-inflammatory and used both locally and orally in arthritis cases to reduce pain and inflammation and also slows down joint damage
The active marker of Boswellia is boswellic acid. This active maker is capable of reducing the pain and inflammation in any type of arthritis. It has been reported to regenerate damaged cartilage. OK