In this article, I want to give you an alternative approach for prevention and also for very effective curative treatments of which you might not have heard. I do not address autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis etc. Let me begin with some basic information.
Arthritic pain is one of the major complaints of people over the age of 60 and for many it seems to be almost normal and natural to have some sort of pain and stiffness. I dare to say, that arthritis, like many other illnesses, has its cause in our modern sedentary life style and unhealthy eating habits.
Very often the diagnosis triggers resignation and the belief that nothing that can be done except take pills to reduce the inflammation and pain, or finally a knee or hip replacement. With the expectancy of getting worse with aging, we can expect to get worse. At this point, the vicious cycle begins: Pain leads to immobility, which leads to more pain and stiffness, to congestion, swelling and finally damage of cartilage and bone. To break out of this cycle, it is important to know more about the structure and function of joints and the causes of painful conditions.
First, most of our joint problems are degenerative, the so called wear and tear theory. The quality and function of a joint depend of the condition of the surrounding tendons, ligaments and muscles. As you know, each cell in our body needs to be nourished and needs a way to eliminate metabolic waste.
The problem is that cartilage and bones do not have blood vessels. So how do they get their supply? Joints are surrounded by a membrane called synovia which produces the synovial fluid and this fluid provides the nourishment to the cartilage. If the tissue around the joint is not healthy, it affects the quality and production of the fluid which leads to undernourishment of deeper joint structures like cartilage and bones.
Therefore each treatment of joint problems has to address the fact that the tissue around has to be in excellent condition to keep the joint healthy. Immobility and metabolic waste substances like acidity cause poor circulation around the joint, which leads to inflammation, congestion and pain. These crystal like substances accumulate especially where ligaments and tendons are attached to the bones. A sharp, burning pain is usually proof of the existence of these culprits. Therefore, a healthy, balanced diet with enough water intake and an individual exercise program is crucial.
Very deep, intense tissue massage techniques with focus on trigger and tender points in tendons, ligaments and muscles are a basic procedure and often are the starting point for significant improvement. Lymphatic drainage treatments can remove congestion and edemas and help to increase circulation and energy flow of the meridians. Trigger point and specific massage therapy techniques usually bring instant relief.
In case of a more severe condition, I highly recommend some sort of detoxification cure, which I explained in my previous article. I don`t know of any knee problem that can’t be improved by detoxification and a proper exercise program with specific treatments to strengthen the muscles and increase circulation.
What is important to know about exercises: The more severe the condition of the joint, the more gentle and easy the exercise has to be. Don`t put too much weight on your joints. Walking or jogging could be totally wrong at the beginning when there is a lot of pain. Isometrics and swinging or moving back and forth while sitting on a table, might be the best way to start. These exercises have to be done many times a day, always listening to the body’s own language when it is enough or too much. Later on, water exercises, a stationary bike or easy bending exercises may be appropriate.
Other treatments include mud and onion packs. Congestion, swelling, fluids and inflammation with heat inside of the joint, can be treated very effectively by using these old home remedies. Mud has an alkaline property and “sucks” or drains out the heat and inflammation. Mud packs should always be used in any kind of pain or inflammation. Onion packs are another way to calm down an irritated area, especially when warm applications improve the condition.
There are 2 other safe and effective treatments: Neural Therapy and Prolotherapy.
In neural therapy local anesthetics are used. Beside of the anesthetic effect these substances also possess the ability to bring about changes in the function of individual nerves in the autonomic nervous system. Small amounts are injected into interference fields, trigger and tender points around the painful area to normalize and re-establish the cells polarity and neural communication network.
In prolotherapy, a sugar water or salt water-based solution into the damaged ligament or tendon is injected. The injection produces an inflammation, which increases blood flow, swelling, and pain. The body then launches a course of repair and healing. The inflammation tricks the body into thinking another injury has occurred, so it sends in macrophages, which are cells that ingest and destroy the irritant solution.
These cells clean up the area. The body then sends in fibroblasts, which are cells that help build fibrous tissue. The fibroblasts excrete collagen, a protein that makes the ligaments denser and stronger. The stronger ligaments provide more support for the joints, which mostly alleviates the pain.
Usually Prolotherapy is combined with neural therapy and deep tissue work, along with supplements including certain herbs, glucosamine, chondroitin, collagen, homeopathic remedies and an individually prescribed exercise program. (For more information on neural therapy and prolotherapy check the internet).
Living with arthritis and joint pain is not a destiny we have to accept. There is a reason for these conditions which lies mostly in the way we’ve treated our bodies in the past – not acting according to natural laws – proper nutrition, balance between moving and resting etc. That can be changed. It is not always easy, but when we understand how the body works and we are determined to get better, much can be done.