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 Arthritis  Holistic-online.com

Common Sense Recommendations

Heat and rest-traditional remedies for arthritic pain-are very effective in the short term for most people.

Glucosamine

For osteoarthritis, try taking glucosamine. Research is suggesting that it can be very helpful. The current recommended therapeutic dose is 500 mg 3 times a day. A combination of glucosamine and chondroitin is recommended.

Slim down, if necessary 

Although obesity does not cause arthritis, it certainly doesn't help painful, inflamed joints in the hips, knees or ankles if they are forced to carry excess weight. Take a load off your joints by slimming down to your ideal body weight. Weight control is important especially when arthritis strikes the lower back and legs.

If arthritic pain comes on unexpectedly, supplement an over-the-counter painkiller with dry heat from a heating pad or moist heat in the form of a hot bath or a hot-water bottle wrapped in a towel. However, do not use heat if you have infectious arthritis. 

Eat Carefully.

Certain foods seem to aggravate arthritic conditions. Many experts recommend that you avoid the nightshade family of foods (tomato, white potatoes, eggplant, and peppers), greatly reduce or eliminate dairy products, and stop eating red meat. Try a vegetarian or largely vegetarian diet. If your arthritis tends toward inflammation (not all types get inflamed) and is very painful, avoiding spicy foods and citrus fruits may help.

Strengthen the body with good nutrition

Adopting a healthful diet based on fresh vegetables and fruits, plus whole grains and small amounts of protein and dairy products is a good way to begin strengthening the body. Nutritional supplements are useful for general health and strength. The regimen may include: 

Recommended Nutrition for Arthritis

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Beta carotene. Plenty of beta carotene from yellow and orange vegetables and fruits and green leafy vegetables. At least one serving of a beta-carotene-rich food every day.

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B complex. Use one that contains 50 mg of the major B vitamins. Take twice a day. B vitamins can also be found in whole grains, dried beans and legumes such as split peas and lentils.

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Niacin. 25 mg of this form of vitamin B3, three times a day. Food sources include barley, buckwheat, split peas and whole grains.

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Vitamin C. Up to 1,000 mg three times a day with meals, to start. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, cantaloupe, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

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Vitamin E. 400 mg of vitamin E in the form of D-alpha tocopherol with breakfast, and the same with lunch. Vitamin E can also be found in wheat germ, nuts and green leafy vegetables.

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Selenium. 200 micrograms a day. Selenium is also found in almonds, barley and oranges.

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Zinc. 220 mg of zinc sulfate a day. Take twice a day if arthritis is flaring up. Sources of zinc include turnips, corn and oysters. 


Keep your joints flexible

For all types of arthritis, regular exercise is important to keep the joints mobile. The exercises can be as simple as walking or riding a bicycle. Other simple exercises include lifting your arms above your head several times to the front and several times to the sides, rotating your arms in circles at your sides, twisting at the waist from side to side and reaching over to touch your knees or toes. Many simple but beneficial exercises can be done while sitting in a chair or lying in bed. Yoga also helps to improve flexibility.

Massage.

A gentle massage with some warm oil over the affected joints once or twice each day for a few minutes can help relieve pain,

Vitamin C.

Some experts believe vitamin C can help heal arthritis. Try taking about 500 mg. over the course of the day for a week or so, preferably not on an empty stomach, and see if it helps. If you feel it might be aggravating your condition, discontinue. 

Visualize your joints move

Use the power of the mind/body connection to "see" your pain go away. Practice "seeing" yourself healthy for 20 minutes, three times a day.

Relax.

Pain tends to worsen with stress and tension. Most pain can be lessened by relaxing. Sit with eyes closed and take five slow, deep breaths. Keep your eyes closed and allow your breathing to return to normal, but follow it with your attention, "watching" the inhalation and exhalation. Sit quietly watching the breath for 10 to 20 minutes. Open your eyes but sit another minute or two before standing up.

Wash painful areas with apple cider vinegar water. Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar to 6 parts water.

Spread quark on the painful area and cover with gauze.

Heat coarse salt in a frying pan (no oil), put in cotton cloth and place warm on the painful area.

Mix three boiled potatoes (in skin) with 2 tbsp. bran. Place on joints for fifteen minutes.

Cornmeal porridge is excellent as a poultice since it remains hot for a long time. Apply as hot as you can bear it.

Mix clay with hot water to make a thick paste and place on the painful area for thirty minutes.

Fill a soap dish with water, and place in the freezer to make an ice-block to rub on painful areas.

Diet plays an important role in arthritis. A diet high in proteins and saturated fats aggravates arthritis. A vegetarian diet is often beneficial for arthritis sufferers. Food allergies and a sensitivity to environmental toxins are problems in individual arthritis cases. Avoid toxins of all kinds including alcohol, cigarettes and coffee.

Some people find that copper bracelets is effective against rheumatoid arthritis.

With osteoarthritis, do gentle exercises to strengthen muscles to hold joints in place.

At night use a linen comforter (duvet) cover filled with equal parts of dried thyme, hyssop, sage and rue.

Do not sleep in feather beds. Feathers do not breathe, and retain dampness. Use sheep fleece  to line the mattress. Use sheep wool for comforters. Wear fleece- lined (sheepskin) slippers to fend off dampness. 

Next Topic: Alternative and Complementary Therapies - Acupressure

Flexibility and Strengthening Exercises - Neck Exercises

 

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