Natural Treatments for Arthritis
The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. The term ‘osteoarthritis’ refers to local or general degeneration of the articular cartilage and the formation of bone “lips” and “spurs” at the margin of joints. Affected joints typically have symptoms of unilateral or bilateral stiffness, pain and reduced range of motion that worsen over time. Joints that are most commonly affected include the first joints of the fingers and toes, the spine, the knees and hips. The onset is gradual and typically occurs in people over the age of 45.
NATUROPATHIC TREATMENT GOALS AND CONSIDERATIONS
• Focusing on the naturopathic principles (Vis Medicatrix Naturae/The Healing Power of Nature, Primum Non Noncere/First Do No Harm, Docere/Doctor as Teacher, Tolle Causam/Find and Treat the Cause, Wellness, Treat the Whole Person, Prevention)
• Being mindful of the hierarchy of therapeutics (foundations of health, stimulate the vital force, most gentle to more aggressive treatment approaches, etc.)
• Achievement and maintenance of normal body weight
• A whole foods diet that involves the elimination of simple and refined carbohydrates, increasing complex carbohydrates (fresh vegetables and fruits) with adequate whole grains, minimizing saturated fats, optimizing essential fatty acid ratio (omega-3: omega-6) and containing adequate protein
• Elimination of the Solanacea family foods (nightshades) such as tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers and tobacco
• Avoiding processed foods, food additives and preservatives
• Elimination of food allergens and intolerances
• Healing inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, optimizing the intestinal microorganisms, restoring optimal functioning throughout, etc.
• Restoring a healthy balance of alkalinity/acidity to the body tissues
• Maintaining adequate hydration by eliminating diuretic beverages (coffee, tea, sodas, etc.) and increasing filtered water intake (general goal is 8-8ounce glasses daily).
• Ensuring adequate intake of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids via diet and supplementation
• General detoxification and five system elimination (skin, lungs, colon, kidneys, liver)
• Further supplementation and/or treatment with various nutrients, botanicals and homeopathy (glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, SAMe, MSM, Yucca, Sarsaparilla, Devil’s claw, Turmeric, Hawthorne, cherries and blueberries (bioflavanoids), grape skin extract, Black cohosh, Crampbark, Willow, Dandelion, Nettles, Burdock, etc.)
• Regular physical exercise including aerobics, flexibility, strength training, isometrics, etc.
• Physical medicine treatments including peat baths and packs, short wave diathermy, moist and dry heat applications, hydrotherapy, hyperthermia, therapeutic ultrasound, etc.
Alschuler ND, Lise
Groven ND, Mark
Little ND, John
Zeff ND, Jared