Osteoarthritis is Most Common
Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD), is the most common form of arthritis. It is also called wear-and-tear arthritis, old person’s arthritis, or degenerative arthritis. My husband has this disease in both knees. We have achieved excellent results using natural pain relief and natural supplementation.
Pain is a warning. Osteoarthritis pain relief is big business. According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (CDC) in a report modified Jan. 11, 2008, there are 26.9 million Americans who have osteoarthritis. As the population ages, the number of people with osteoarthritis will continue to soar.
The above prevalence is taken from 2005 data, the latest year results are available, and reflects an increase from 21 million U.S. adults in 1990. Overall, osteoarthritis affects 13.9% of adults aged 25 and older, and 33.6% (12.4 million) of those 65 and over.
Knee osteoarthritis is the most common form of osteoarthritis. Other frequently affected joints are the hips, hands and spine.
Unlike some other arthritis types, osteoarthritis predominantly affects the joints and not internal organs. But, rheumatoid arthritis (the second most common type of arthritis) affects other parts of the body besides the joints. It begins at a younger age than osteoarthritis, causes swelling and redness in joints, and may make people feel sick, tired, and (uncommonly) feverish
What causes osteoarthritis?
Cartilage acts as a cushion between bone joints and is the key to healthy joints. Healthy cartilage is a slippery tissue that allows bones to glide over one another. It also absorbs shock from the energy of movement. Water content of the cartilage increases from repetitive use of the joint, while protein composition of the cartilage breaks down and wears away.
When there is cartilage loss, a joint can become bone-on-bone, which causes inflammatory pain followed by swelling and loss of joint motion. Over time, the joint may lose its normal shape.
Besides aging, factors which may increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis include injury to joints, being overweight, stressing the joints through sports or heavy lifting, and family history.
I developed neck arthritis a few years after suffering a lateral whiplash injury. My husband’s osteoarthritis was the cause of separate injuries to both knees while playing sports.
Who gets osteoarthritis?
Some younger people get osteoarthritis from joint injuries, but osteoarthritis most often occurs in older people. It's often referred to as the "wear and tear" arthritis. More than half of the population age 65 or older would show x-ray evidence of osteoarthritis in at least one joint.
By the year 2030 it is estimated that about 67 million Americans will have or be at risk for osteoarthritis.
The disease affects both men and women. Before age 45, more men than women have osteoarthritis. After 45, it is more common in women. Osteoarthritis is also one of the most frequent causes of physical disability among adults.
Diagnosis of osteoarthritis
If you suspect arthritis, consult your medical doctor or a rheumatologist, who specializes in diagnosing and treating arthritis and other rheumatic diseases.
Too many Americans ignore their symptoms, or try to manage pain through self care treatments, not all of which may be in their best interest.
How is osteoarthritis treated?
Most treatment goals are centered around four points tailored to the patient’s needs, lifestyle and health:
Most treatment plans often include ways to manage pain and improve function. This includes exercise, rest, joint protection (assistive devices, bracing, splinting, physical therapy), pain relief, medications (there are more than 100 medications and drugs being used in the treatment of arthritis, any of which can cause side effects and adverse reactions), surgery, and alternative natural arthritis pain relief and joint health treatments.
The comparative safety of natural products has long been recognized. Unlike traditional drug treatments that fight pain sometimes at the expense of causing side effects, like stomach bleeding, nausea, or heart risks
Safety of Celebrex questioned by FDA
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) GAIT study published in February, 2006 revealed that 65.7% of patients with moderate to severe osteoarthritis knee pain experienced pain relief taking glucosamine hydrochloride a natural supplement. The result was nearly as effective as the 69.4% who experienced pain relief taking Celebrex (celecoxib), which has come under fire by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for side effects.
COX-2 selective inhibitors are the prescription drugs used to treat the pain and inflammation of most arthritis types. Of these, Celebrex is the only COX-2 selective non steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drug currently on the market in the United States and its safety is now being questioned. Celebrex was originally approved by the FDA on December 31, 1998.
Vioxx and Bextra no longer on market due to side effects
Vioxx and Bextra were prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that were blockbuster drugs. A blockbuster drug generates more than $1 billion of revenue for its owner each year.
They were both popular prescription COX-2 inhibitors used to treat the pain and inflammation of arthritis. Under FDA pressure due to side effects, in the fall of 2004, Merck, the maker of Vioxx, issued a worldwide withdrawal halting sales of the drug.
This was followed in April, 2005 when Merck voluntarily withdrew the NSAID drug, Bextra, from the market and discontinued it due to side effects.
The most common side effects of Vioxx were abdominal pain, nausea, insomnia, urinary retention (inability to urinate), heart failure, aggravation of hypertension, chest pain, ringing in the ears, stomach and intestinal ulcers, bleeding, blurred vision, anxiety, weight gain, flu-like symptoms, drowsiness and weakness.
Bextra side effects included but were not limited to stomach pain, diarrhea, heartburn, nausea, back pain, heart attack, stroke and serious skin conditions.
All drugs, even over-the-counter, can cause side effects
All over-the-counter pain relievers for arthritis treatment should be taken with care to avoid serious problems that can occur with misuse. Presently, those drugs contain aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Certain factors can increase the risk of liver toxicity from products containing acetaminophen (Tylenol, Exedrin) and the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding from the use of NSAID’s.
Consumers should also know that there is a potential for gastrointestinal bleeding with the use of aspirin (Bayer, St. Joseph’s) and other NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin) and naproxen (Aleve). There are generic versions available for all of these products as well.
The risk for bleeding is low for those who take these products intermittently. For those who take the products on a daily or regular basis, the risk is increased. My question to you: how much are you taking? Are you taking NSAIDs frequently and in higher doses than the warning label allows to get rid of pain or discomfort?
Pain Management 101: One reminder: drug treatments tackle joint pain not only at the expense of causing side effects, like stomach bleeding, stomach pain and nausea; they also may affect the enzymes associated with metabolism.
On the contrary, natural supplements can strengthen cartilage and improve joint health and protect the metabolism while reducing pain with minimal or no side effects whatsoever.
Helpful natural dietary arthritis supplements
Unlike synthetic drugs, natural supplements consist of plant (botanical) and herbal extract formulations that are readily assimilated by the human body as nutrients. Many have been used successfully worldwide for centuries for their therapeutic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Use the list below to find dietary supplements, herbs, and other substances that might be helpful for symptoms of arthritis and related conditions (they’re tagged in order of importance):
Not all natural supplements are equal--look for clinical studies
The natural supplement industry is not strictly regulated by the FDA. Doctors may be reluctant to recommend specific natural products because of their proliferation on the market and overall lack of scientific studies and questionable ingredient efficacy.
The current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) final rules adopted by the FDA in June, 2007 do not regulate the efficacy of dietary supplements. Supplements can legally be marketed without having the power to produce the effect for which it’s marketed.
The cGMPs regulate the dietary supplement industry by requiring manufacturers to test raw materials for purity but even these regulations have not been implemented industry-wide. Instead, the rules are being phased in over three years, beginning June, 2008 and ending June, 2010 for large, small and very small companies.
Clinical studies are not required by the FDA and many dietary supplement companies don’t bother, as such testing is costly. It’s a well known fact that most of the dietary supplement manufacturers are unwilling to pay for research and clinical trials because they have a lower profit margin than drugs.
Dr. Mark B. McClellan, the FDA commissioner, estimated in June, 2007 that 1,000 domestic and foreign companies make supplements sold in the U.S.
How to find a high-quality natural osteoarthritis product
Essentially, there are five questions to ask before deciding to try a dietary supplement for osteoarthritis:
How to find the #1 natural company
That brings us to how to find the right company for bone and joint pain relief products for osteoarthritis.
I’ve had a weak stomach and quirky digestive system all my life. I’m simply unable to stand up to the side effects of painkillers and other drugs. I’ve tried many times before. My doctors are quick to prescribe another drug with fewer side effects. But each time, because of side effects, I’ve had to stop drug treatment and search out natural methods.
In twenty years of research, I’ve developed a list of 30 questions to determine what standards of excellence one should expect when choosing a natural supplement company.
I’ve found one company that stands above the others based on their scientific integrity and product efficacy. They’ve been in business for 50-plus years and have invested more than $250 million in clinical testing, research and development and have over 90 published studies in peer-reviewed scientific journals—more than any other nutritional company!
Recommended natural supplements for osteoarthritis relief
This company has designed a natural osteoarthritis pain relief program that also helps with chronic or temporary pain and other types of arthritis. More and more people today are choosing safer alternatives to treat joint pain due to arthritis and these products ease symptoms and help people lead a more comfortable life.
The following bold paragraph-heading links for the supplements listed below will take you to the manufacturer's product pages for prices and additional information on each:
Glucosamine & Cat's Claw Joint Relief
Clinical studies indicate that glucosamine hydrochloride is most effective when arthritis symptoms are moderate to severe. Glucosamine has the ability to rebuild cartilage for joint health and comfortable movement. Formulated with the addition of clinically proven cat's claw extract, this product provides faster relief in as little as one week as it lubricates and cushions joints to provide enhanced mobility and range of motion.
Boswellia and Safflower Oil Pain Relief
When the boswellia herb and oil from the safflower are used in combination, it creates a potent, natural arthritis pain relief supplement without gastrointestinal side effects. In studies, these two ingredients together are more effective when combined, that they are separately. Boswellia extract is a very potent 5 Lox inhibitor. The safflower extract contains a potent ingredient that is a very selective Cox 2 inhibitor. Therefore, this product is effective against both the 5 Lox and Cox 2 pain pathways--both of the major pathways--which is the only product on the market of its kind. Its formulation and synergy is so unique that there's a patent pending on this supplement.
This topical menthol analgesic provides temporary relief (up to four hours) for minor pain associated with backache, arthritis, bruises and sprains. It offers fast absorption and deep penetration to soothe aching joints and muscles on contact. In addition to menthol, it contains a proprietary blend of natural ingredients that targets the source of discomfort and provides quick relief by improving blood circulation in the affected area.
Fish Oil (EPA) - (Essential Omega-3 Fatty Acids)
This fish oil supplement provides a full spectrum of seven ultrapure omega-3 fatty acids, naturally found in cold water fish (tuna, mackerel, halibut, cod, salmon). High in DHA and EPA, it supports joint function due to its anti-inflammatory properties and is easy to digest with low odor and no aftertaste. It also helps to maintain a healthy heart and cardiovascular system.
Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) from borage seed oil is used as an anti-inflammatory. GLA helps our bodies form prostaglandins - potent hormone-like substances that help regulate many bodily processes. When combined with Vitamin E and sunflower seed oil, the formula helps maintain cellular integrity.
Valerian, Passion Flower and Chamomile Sleep Aid
As a natural alternative, valerian root side effects are few, and minor by comparison to pharmaceutical drugs. In fact for an insomnia remedy it has good tolerability. Most studies suggest that it’s more effective when used continuously rather than as a one-night sleep aid. However many individuals successfully use it on a need-only basis. An advantage of valerian over drugs is the lack of sleepiness on awakening when used at recommended dosages. This supplement also contains a complementary blend of two additional herbs, chamomile and passion flower. Together, they provide a calm state and promotes restful sleep.
Recommended supplements for osteoarthritis pain relief
Included above are three products designed in 2003 as a balanced pain relief program that’s so good my husband and I are now completely free of pharmaceutical drugs of any kind. Our osteoarthritis symptoms, including pain, are controlled. My husband’s knees used to swell so much he could barely get in and out of a car. Today, he plays tennis three, sometimes four, times a week and his knees are in the best shape they’ve been in ten years.
It’s for these reasons that I highly recommend this company’s trio of natural joint pain products for safe and natural osteoarthritis treatment.
Disclaimer: To answer the question what is rheumatoid arthritis health statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Joint Pain Relief. Wouldn't it be great if you could have a drug-free future with no harmful side effects and have complete control over your joint pain? And wouldn't it be great if the natural joint pain supplement you used was guaranteed to be completely safe for your health? It's not a dream--all of this is possible.... Click here for more on natural relief of joint pain
href=/rheumatoid-arthritis-pain-relief.html>Rheumatoid Arthritis Relief Many of the natural or herbal supplements for osteoarthritis are also recommended for rheumatoid arthritis. The patient is trying to obtain the same or improved relief from rheumatoid arthritis without gastrointestinal and other side effects related to drugs. Click here for RA natural treatment options
Knee Pain ReliefDuring their lifetimes, an estimated 45 per cent of Americans will develop knee osteoarthritis, the most common kind of arthritis. Increasing numbers of arthritis patients are seeking alternative natural products that provide pain relief and help the body build cartilage and promote comfortable movement of the knee. Click here for more knee joint information.
Neck Pain Relief. Usually, everyday activities are the cause of neck pain. Some can be altered or eliminated to relieve common symptoms such as neck pain and a stiff neck and perhaps forestall the onset of arthritis. Natural supplements can be helpful. Click here for more information
Hand Pain Relief. Wrist, finger, and thumb joint pain are all symptoms of arthritis of the hand. Increasing numbers of arthritis patients are seeking alternative natural products that provide pain relief and help to regenerate cartilage in the hand joints. Hand arthritis most often occurs in three places...Click here to find out more
Elbow Pain Relief. Early symptoms of elbow joint pain are often controlled with a combination of natural anti-inflammatory treatment and home self care. Tennis elbow is not arthritis--it is a typical elbow pain condition. Click here for more
Ankle Pain Relief. If the pain you’re feeling is getting worse, it may be timely to consider dietary supplements for ankle pain relief naturally. Untreated ankle pain and repeated bouts of swelling and stiffness will result in reduced mobility and restricted quality of life as the years go by. Click here for more on ankle pain
Hip Pain Relief. Hip arthritis studies show glucosamine hydrochloride dietary supplements provide pain relief similar to drug therapy without risk of side effects for those with moderate to severe arthritis symptoms. Click here for more information on hip pain