The most common type of arthritis is a condition affecting the joints called osteoarthritis. This is a degenerative disease in which the cartilage gradually becomes thinner. After time, the bony surfaces come into contact with each other and then they begin to become misshapen. This kind of arthritis most commonly occurs from a previous injury or wear and tear on the joint.
Most commonly, in arthritis patients, one of the large weight bearing joints are affected such as hips, knees and ankles. There can be a lot of pain and stiffness. Most people find that it is worse in damp or cold weather and a hot bath or a hot pad can help a lot.
It is important for arthritis sufferers to avoid weight-bearing exercises such as jogging, and instead to try things like swimming, yoga, Tai chi classes or cycling. Anything that stresses the joints is bad for OA sufferers.
In its more mild forms, arthritis is a condition that will respond to herbal medicines. Herbs to consider include Devil”s Claw, Ginger and Willow bark. Most people with arthritis are prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to help with pain and any inflammation. Still, many people find that these drugs can upset their digestive systems. Anther herbal medicine that can help is meadowsweet herb, especially as a tea.
Rheumatoid arthritis is another kind of arthritis that also causes joint problems but the cause is very different. It is a chronic, inflammatory disease affecting the synovial membrane inside the joint. RA is characterised by periods of remission and exacerbation. In severe cases, most joints may be affected. Other body systems and organs may also be affected and flare-ups can be accompanied by general malaise. This problem is usually best treated by a qualified herbalist in conjunction with orthodox healthcare.
If you think you have either type of arthritis, you should consult a physician to determine the best treatment. Arthritis is a serious condition that will only worsen if you do not seek medical advice.