Natural Remedies for Osteoarthritis
What is Osteoarthrits?
Osteoarthritis, also knows as degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis and is caused by joint degeneration and loss of cartilage. Although it is more common for people over the age of 45, Osteoarthritis can occur in individuals of any age, especially after continual injury or impact to a specific joint. An early onset of Osteoarthritis most often occurs in athletes due to a higher rate of joint trauma and frequency of impact.
The severity and frequency of the pain felt is related to the amount of cartilage lost. Cartilage is basically a shock absorber, so when your cartilage has degenerated and there is little or no shock absorption happening, the bones in that joint start to rub up against each other upon movement and/or impact causing mild discomfort to severe pain, depending on the amount of cartilage remaining.
What it looks like (example of knee and spine)
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
• Mild early morning stiffness
• Stiffness following periods of rest
• Pain that worsens on joint use
• Loss of joint function
• Local tenderness
• Soft tissue swelling
• Bony swelling
• Restricted mobility
• Other signs of degenerative loss of articular cartilage
Multifactorial causes of Osteoarthritis
• Age related changes tin collagen-matrix repair mechanisms
• Altered biochemistry
• Fractures and mechanical damage
• Genetic predisposition
• Hormonal and sex factors
• Hyper mobility and joint instability
• Inflammatory joint disease
How can nature help?
There are a number of natural vitamins and supplements that not only slow down the degeneration process, but they also have a potential to completely stop and even reverse degeneration.
Some of these supplements include:
Antioxidants – Results from a very large study (the Framingham Osteoarthritis Cohort Study) indicate that a high intake of antioxidant nutrients, especially vitamin C and vitamin E, may reduce the risk of cartilage loss and inhibit the progression of the disease in people who are currently suffering from Osteoarthritis.
Glucosamine Sulfate – Glucosamine is a simple molecule composed of glucose and an amine which promotes the incorporation of sulfur into cartilage. As people age, sometimes they loose their ability to manufacture sufficient levels of glucosamine, resulting in the degeneration of the cartilage’s gel-like shock absorbing nature.
Niacinamide– Studies done in the 1940′ and 1950’s by Dr. William Kaufman showed significant improvements in joint function, muscle strength, endurance, and reduction in the sedimentation rate.
Vitamins A and B6, Zinc, Copper, and Boron– These vitamins are required for the manufacture and maintenance od normal cartilage structure. These supplements, when taken at appropriate levels, can also promote cartilage repair and synthesis.
Others supplements that help are
• Superoxide Dismutase
• Pantothenic acid
Recommended does of nutritional supplements:
• Glucosamine sulfate: 1500 mg per day
• Niacinamide (optional) 500 mg 6 times per day
• Vitamin E: 400-800 IU per day
• Vitamin A: 5,000 IU per day
• Vitamin C: 1,000-3000 mg per day
• Vitamin B6: 50 mg per day
• Pantothenic acid: 12.5 mg per day
• Zinc: 30-45 mg per day
• Copper: 1-2 mg per day
• Boron: 6 mg per day
In addition to the supplements listed above, it’s important to include more anti-inflammatory foods that are high in good fat (i.e. olive oil, nuts, fatty fish) into your diet while limiting foods that may trigger joint pain (i.e. processed foods, sugars, and dairy). It is also important to remember that physical therapy such as exercise, heat and cold therapies and more are often very beneficial in improving joint mobility and reducing the pain of Osteoarthritis.
Hope this helps 🙂
Light and Love,