Arthritis as we know it today is a large group of conditions where damage is inflicted on the joints of the body, resulting in swollen, throbbing pain. It is a disease that afflicts all ages, but is predominately present in people over the age of sixty-five. The most common form of arthritis is the degenerative joint disease known as osteoarthritis.
There are many forms of arthritis, and consequently, various types of medical treatment. Each form of arthritis is different, so treatment options vary, and can include traditional medicine, alternative medicine, physical and occupational therapy, and arthroplasty.
While various options for medical treatment abound, arthritis patients may be interested in pursuing relief from aches and pains through alternative medicine in addition to traditional medicine. In this case, the sufferer often turns to alternative sources of medicine for more pain relief than their current treatment is providing. Alternative arthritis medicine runs the gamut of hot pepper-based anti-inflammatory creams to vitamin supplementation and Ayurvedic medicine.
Some of the most frequently used, natural remedies for arthritis are the combined supplements of glucosamine and chondroitin. According to several national and international studies, both supplements taken together effectively relieve major arthritis pain. Calcium is also an essential nutrient, as is vitamin D (available in capsule form or by sunlight).
Other alternative medicines include such anti-inflammatory supplements as alpha-lineolic acid, primrose oil, devil's claw, and capsaicin. These supplements are available in natural food stores and occasionally mainstream markets; some, like the alpha-lineolic acid and primrose oil, are also available more naturally in food, such as soy, avocadoes, beans, fruits, and wheat-germ. Devil's claw is available as a tincture, powder, capsule, or dried herb tea; capsaicin is an anti-inflammatory cream made from hot-peppers.
Ayurveda is another form of alternative medicine that is often cited as an arthritis reliever. Considered the world's oldest form of medicine, it has formed the basis of Indian medical treatments for over 5,000 years.
Ayurveda proposes a well-rounded routine for relieving arthritis pain that includes herbs and essential oils, yoga and a special diet that often includes one or two week detoxification diets. The kind of treatment you receive depends on the type of arthritis you have, which, according to Ayurveda, is divided into three forms: vata, pitta, and kapha. Each treatment varies depending on the corresponding type of arthritis above.
Thus there are many forms of alternative medicine that can supplement your traditional arthritis treatment and help relieve pain, swelling, and discomfort. Always remember to listen to your body and see what works best for you.
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