Joint pain, known as arthritis, comes in many forms. The most common type is osteoarthritis, known as “wear and tear arthritis.”
Joint pain can flare up for a number of reasons — some of which may be overlooked by conventional practitioners. Many of my patients ask me if their pain is caused by arthritis. Sadly, it is estimated that one in five Americans has been diagnosed with some form or arthritis. There are over a hundred different arthritic conditions, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis being the most well known.
Rheumatoid arthritis, is an autoimmune disease causing inflammation in the synovial fluid of the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis is most common in the hands and feet and is frequently accompanied by a hot or warm feeling in the joint, stiffness for over 30 minutes in the morning, the same joint affected on both sides of the body, polyarthritis (more than one joint affected at a time), and pain that can last through the night. With this form of arthritis, most of my patients notice the pain eases the more they use the joint.
Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, feels worse the more we exercise and as the day wears on. Also linked to inflammation, this type of arthritis can be traced back to a breakdown in the joint cartilage. It generally affects the hips, knees, spine, hands and feet and develops as more of a wear-and-tear situation, whereas rheumatoid arthritis is closely tied with genetic factors that lead to an autoimmunity problem.
What you need to know if you suffer from arthritis.
All forms of arthritis involve some kind of inflammation — either local or systemic. When injured, a chain of events in your immune system known as the inflammatory cascade is triggered. This is what causes the redness, swelling and pain we often see with an acute injury. When this process, known as local or acute inflammation, turns on and then off in response to injury it’s a sign of a healthy immune system. Yet when the symptoms of inflammation don’t disappear, it tells us that your immune system is unable to turn itself off when it should and therefore leads to a state of chronic inflammation.
How do I begin to heal my arthritis pain?
- Adopt a healthy diet rich in natural anti-inflammatories. Eat small meals often and choose a diet of richly colored fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and pure omega-3 fatty acids.
- Class IV Laser Therapy. Ending the pain caused by arthritis requires stopping the cycle of inflammation. Class IV laser therapy is an excellent method for this, because it is presently the only modality that can both reduce inflammation and heal tissue simultaneously. Laser therapy creates an optimal healing environment that reduces inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness and pain. As the injured area returns to normal, function is restored and pain is quickly relieved.
- Rule out infection and allergies. Special testing is available to identify subclinical infections and allergies to foods and toxins.
- Remove/reduce the toxins in your life. If you cannot understand the ingredients on the label don’t buy the product.
- Reduce stress. Exercise, meditation, nature walks, yoga, prayer … The beauty of stress reduction is that it’s never a waste of time — it serves you on every possible level.
We have great success helping people solve the causes of their joint pain. If you suffer from arthritis it is worth your while to spend some time figuring out which of any number of factors are contributing to your pain — and which combination of therapies will help heal it. The good news is — you can do it without drugs, and you don’t have to give up any of the activities you love!
Dr. Niele Maimone, DC is the owner and founder of Align Healing Center in Danville, CA. She has been active in our natural health & wellness community since 1999. For more information or to set up a consult call 925.362.8283 or visit www.alignhealingcenter.com.