That’s a loaded question and I don’t have the answer. All I have are theories. Indulge me for a moment and explore the inner workings of my brain (it ain’t pretty so be prepared).
We have already established in an earlier post that osteoarthritis is the degeneration of cartilage in the joints caused either by trauma or wear and tear. As I mentioned earlier, I believe that regular chiropractic adjustments might slow down or prevent the onslaught of osteoarthritis. I say this because I believe regular adjustments keep everything lined up properly so the joints operate in a normal range of motion thus reducing abnormal rubbing and degeneration of the cartilage (assuming that the cartilage is not breaking down as a result of a chemical or genetic defect).
The Animals are Out of the Barn
My theory for how to prevent osteoarthritis may or may not be valid, but that doesn’t help anyone who is currently suffering from the condition. After all the animals are out of the barn, why close the barn door? Time to figure out how to fix the problem.
Repair the Underlying Condition
Ahh, but this is how my brain works. If I were diagnosed with osteoarthritis, I would immediately go to my chiropractor to begin a program of regular chiropractic care to properly realign my body and keep it in proper alignment. In the meanwhile, I would eat, drink or pill pop any natural ingredient that purportedly helps to rebuild cartilage and reduce the pain of osteoarthritis. I think it’s a one, two, three punch (repair, replenish and maintain)
Replenish with Food, Drink and Supplements
I’m a strong believer that the body is forgiving and can do much to repair itself, provided we give it the right nutritional building blocks. In addition to a transition from eating salt, sugars, processed foods, trans fats , high fructose corn syrup (the list can go on ad nauseum), I would begin eating whole grains, plenty of fruits, veggies, lean meats, Omega 3’s etc. There’s no need for me to list which foods are healthy and which are not. If you’re old enough to read this, you know what you should do.
As far as drinking, I would drink plenty of water (1/2 my body weight in ounces) and begin a fruits and veggie juicing regimen of at least two to three times a day. I’ve found that juicing heals a variety of ails. Since the body is already in a state of discomfort (extreme discomfort depending on how advanced the osteoarthritis), I would step up my juicing to more than once a day.
On the supplement front, I’d pop glucosamine and chondroitin. However, before popping glucosamine and chondroitin, quite a bit of homework needs to be done (dosage, manufacturer, system reaction, etc). According to the information gathered from the Glucosamine/chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT) study glucosamine/chondroitin works better than over the counter NSAIDs for individuals with moderate to severe pain. It was less effective for individuals with minor pain. The European study Glucosamine Unum In Die Efficacy (GUIDE) study, found similar results.
The key ingredients in glucosamine are found in sea creature shells. Therefore, be careful about taking it with shellfish allergies. There is a synthetic alternative (so much for natural treatment for osteoarthritis).
Shed Extra Weight
The solution to so many ailments is to get rid of the excess weight; less weight and pressure on the osteoarthritic joint means less pain. According to a Swedish study, excess weight contributes to knee and hip osteoarthritis in men (I’m sure women don’t get away scott free in this area). Imagine, how happy osteoarthritic knees would feel if you shed an additional 40 pounds of unnecessary weight. Purportedly for every pound you gain you put three pounds of pressure on your knees. That additional pressure can affect healthy knees, never mind knees plagued with osteoarthritis.
According to the WebMD website, folks with osteoarthritis should engage in exercises such as swimming, walking and biking. Depending on the level of pain and severity of degeneration, it may be tough to exercise, but it is recommended. Range of motion and limbering exercise are also important.
Consult with a Rheumatologist
Now that we took a walk through my mind, take a walk through your doctor’s mind. Find a Rheumatologist as they’re the folks who specialize in treating arthritis. Hopefully, you can find one who understands your desire for treating the condition as holistically as possible.
You have just taken a stroll through my brain. It is in no way meant to be construed as professional medical advice. It’s just the way I might approach the condition if I were diagnosed with osteoarthritis.
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