These crippling conditions characterized by pain, stiffness, bone deformity and swelling arise when the normally smooth and lubricating function of cartilage is lost. Cartilage deterioration is due to a gradual reduction in proteoglycan levels which would normally maintain cartilage integrity.
Arthritis is a degenerative condition and therefore irreversible and mostly progressive. Modern medicine focuses on management and relief of pain through the use of Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's) which unfortunately fail to meet requirements of many sufferers and have detrimental health effects over the long term.
The natural medicine community has a lot to offer those struggling with the disease or as preventative treatment for those who feel they may be at risk in the future.
Glucosamine: A major building block of proteoglycans which protect cartilage, glucosamine also helps maintain and protect cartilage strength and flexibility. Glucosamine has been proven to be equally effective as NSAID's with over 20 controlled trails focusing on pain and functional impairment. Glucosamine is safe and can be used in combination with anti-inflammatory and analgesic treatment.
Chondroitin: Another building block of proteoglycans, chondroitin is a particularly important component of connective tissue, cartliage and tendons. It is chondroitin which gives cartilage it's cushioning and shock absorbing properties and therefore very important in weight bearing joints such as the hips and knees. In clinical trials Chondroitin has been shown to reduce patient reliance on pain medication and increase joint motility whilst having no known side effects
Fish Oils: Inflammatory cells contain high levels of omega 6 derived from Arachadonic Acid. Omega 3 from fish oil acts as a competitor to Arachadonic Acid thereby reducing the production of these inflammatory cells. Studies show that omega 3 fatty acids decrease inflammation and improve arthritic symptoms of joint pain, morning stiffness, grip strength and fatigue.
Herbal Medicine: Many herbs possess potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects without harshness on the stomach. Well researched and effective herbs include Turmeric, Boswellia and Ginger. The benefit of taking the herbal remedies is that they work quickly whilst the glucosamine, chondroitin and omega 3 may take longer to have desired effect. Therefor taking herbs for the first 2 months of treatment will help alleviate symptoms and enhance healing and then can be taken away as the others build up.
Products I would suggest looking at would be FUSION "Glucosamine premium repair" NUTRA LIFE "Concentrated joint powder" ETHICAL NUTRIENTS "Hi-Strength fish oil" and ETHICAL NUTRIENTS "Pain relief"