The two most common types of arthritic conditions are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Other types include ankylosing spondylitis, gouty arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and psoriatic arthritis. Some types of arthritis tend to run in families while others are linked to a chemical imbalance or are the consequence of an overactive immune system. All forms of arthritis affect the joints but there are some that also involve the muscles and connective tissues of the body. Arthritis causes can also be an interplay of several factors such as the wearing away of the articular cartilage, a lack of joint fluid or the result of an infection.
Rheumatoid arthritis is considered a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune disorder wherein the body’s immune system attacks the joints, specifically the synovial membrane that lines the joint. It is a painful and potentially disabling condition which can lead to significant loss of mobility due to pain and joint damage. RA is a systemic disease which means it is not confined to the joint. It often affects extra-articular tissues throughout the body including the muscles, skin, blood vessels, heart and lungs. Characteristic symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include pain and swelling in the joints of the hands and feet, morning stiffness or after periods of motionlessness and the presence of nodules, or lumps, that usually develop near the elbow.
Arthritis TreatmentThere's currently no cure for most forms of arthritis. The primary goal of treatment is to alleviate and minimize symptoms of pain and inflammation with the help of exercise programs, physical therapy and medications. Physical therapy can help relieve pain and inflammation, maintain joint mobility and range of motion. How much therapy a patient needs, and the type of therapy will depend on several factors, such as the severity and type of arthritis, age, and the patient’s general state of health. In most cases, the physical therapist will devise a program based on the instructions of the orthopedic or rehab doctor. Pain can be relieved with ice packs or hot moist packs. Ultrasound can be used to deliver heat deeper into the joint. This is effective in relieving pain and relaxes muscles around the affected joint.
As for pharmacologic treatment, osteoarthritis patients are usually prescribed with pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications. These drugs include acetaminophen, acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If the symptoms are not responding to medications, local injections of corticosteroid into the affected joints can be performed. For severe cases, surgery such as a hip or knee replacement may be required. For rheumatoid and other inflammatory types of arthritis, anti-inflammatory medications including ASA and other NSAIDs are also given In addition, a class of drugs called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) is also used. However, they require time – weeks to months - before they can take full effect.
Acai and Arthritis
Over the past couple of years, there has been a growing interest in Acai both from researchers and from the increasing number of arthritis sufferers worldwide. Moreover, more and more people are turning to alternative forms of treatments to help alleviate the pain and suffering that arthritis brings. Acai is widely regarded as the number one ‘superfruit’ antioxidant in the world, thanks to its rich content of anthocyanins, flavonoids and polyphenols. With the remarkable antioxidant properties of Acai, the body will be better equipped to rid itself of all the toxins and free radicals that can cause oxidative damage to body cells. This is especially true with inflammation. While there are a lot of scientific studies attesting to Acai’s potent anti-inflammatory abilities, one need not bother to read as arthritis sufferers from the world over have testified that their arthritis is a lot better if not completely alleviated as the inflammation has been taken cared of by Acai.
The Acai berry also provides beneficial amino acids, vitamins, minerals and enzymes that can help body cells repair themselves. This way, the body is essentially repairing itself from the inside out. The antioxidants in Acai have cleansing effect and this starts the process of reversing the effects of arthritis. Many arthritis sufferers also claim that they can endure the pain longer when they started taking Acai tablets. This is another positive benefit of using Acai for arthritis as this superfruit has a long and rich history of providing people with greater energy and it is all-natural. This is of utmost importance for arthritis sufferers as they can exercise more and actively participate in the rehabilitation of their arthritic joints. This will help to keep the joints mobile and flexible, thereby impeding the progress of the disease.
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