Treatment of Arthritis
Arthritis literally means joint inflammation and is the leading cause of disability in the United States, affecting about one in every six Americans. Although arthritis is often referred to as one disease, it’s not. There are more than 100 forms of arthritis.
Types of arthritis: Osteoarthritis, sometimes called degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is most common in women and adults over age 45. It may affect any joint in the body, including those found in the fingers, hips, knees, lower back and feet. The next most common form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis affecting 1 in every 100 people; this autoimmune disease is three times more common in women than in men. Other forms of arthritis include chronic ankylosing spondylitis, which initially affects the spine and the joints between the spine and the pelvis, and reactive arthritis, which typically develops after an infection. Both gout and pseudogout are types of arthritis in which crystals are deposited in a joint, resulting in swelling and pain, and septic arthritis can develop when infection enters a joint.
What are the symptoms of arthritis?
Arthritis sufferers may experience the following signs and symptoms: pain and tenderness in joints that worsens with activity and is relieved by rest, discomfort in a joint before or during a change in weather, bony lumps on the middle or end joints of the fingers or the base of the thumb, loss of joint flexibility, swelling around the joint, restricted joint movement, crackling noise (called crepitus) when moving the affected joint and referred pain (in areas remote from the site of damage but on the same nerve pathway as the affected joint).
Traditional arthritis treatments can worsen the degeneration
Modern medicine continues to search for drugs, devices and surgical procedures to eliminate the chronic pain associated with osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease. Anti-inflammatory drugs have become a billion dollar business. While the drugs may provide temporary relief, they do nothing to correct the underlying condition causing the pain. In fact, in the long run, these medications do more damage than good.
Common arthritis treatments recommended by traditional doctors often involve a cortisone shot. It’s also one of the quickest ways to lose strength at the ligament-bone (fibro-osseous) junction. Cortisone and other steroid shots have adverse affects on bone, cartilage and soft tissue healing. Unfortunately, many people suffering from arthritis pain look for quick relief without thinking about the long-term, potentially harmful side effects that could occur. The problem with cortisone is that, although immediate pain relief is possible, it inhibits nearly every aspect of healing, making the pain condition even worse!
In simple terms, anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone shots are anti-healing. They result in long-term loss of function and even more chronic pain by actually inhibiting the healing process of soft tissues and accelerating cartilage degeneration (the very cause of arthritis!). Plus, long-term use of these drugs can have serious side effects.
Surgery is not always the best option for arthritis
Finally, when patients other arthritis treatments, they are referred to a surgeon. Although surgery may provide temporary pain relief, this invasive treatment usually makes the condition even worse! Remember, osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease is the result of an injury to a joint that was never allowed to heal. And healing is possible!
Anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone shots, arthroscopy and surgery used to treat osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease all contribute to the downward spiral in the development of these conditions. All of these treatments help destroy the articular cartilage, which is the very structure that prevents us from getting arthritis and degenerative joint disease. It will be your choice; choose arthritis for your future or choose Prolotherapy.
Comprehensive Prolotherapy addresses the root cause of Osteoarthritis and Degenerative Joint Disease
We believe the way to alleviate arthritis pain (forever!) is to stimulate soft tissue, ligament and cartilage repair with Comprehensive, or Hackett-Hemwall, Prolotherapy. Osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease involve the deterioration of the articular cartilage that lines the joints and related changes in adjacent bones and joints. This deterioration occurs because the supporting structures of the joints, primarily the ligaments, become injured . . . NOT because of general wear and tear on the joints or as an inevitable part of aging! Ligament injury is the culprit. Here’s what happens:
- A ligament is damaged through overuse or trauma, such as a sports injury or an accident.
- Because of the ligament’s poor blood supply, it does not heal (unlike muscles, which have a good blood supply and heal quite easily).
- Over time, the injured ligament weakens, like a stretched rubber band that has lost its elasticity.
- Since ligaments function as joint stabilizers, the injured ligament is no longer capable of doing its job.
- As a result, the muscles must compensate. They begin to ache and spasm and, eventually, the joint or vertebra in the area begins to compensate as well.
- Overgrowth of bone occurs to help stabilize the injured ligament, which leads to arthritis, and a whole new level of pain and disability.
This downward spiral of pain can be halted and reversed only by stimulating healing at the source—the ligament. The only proven procedure that stimulates this kind of healing is Prolotherapy.
Prolotherapy is the safest and most effective natural medicine treatment for repairing tendon, ligament and cartilage damage. Prolotherapy stimulates the body to repair painful areas by inducing a mild inflammatory reaction in the weakened ligaments and cartilage. The inflammation causes the blood supply to dramatically increase in the ligament, alerting the body that healing needs to take place. In the simplest terms, Prolotherapy stimulates healing.
Prolotherapy is the only treatment found to stimulate cartilage repair and regeneration.
Furthermore, Prolotherapy offers the most curative results in treating osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease. It effectively eliminates pain because it attacks the source: the fibro-osseous junction, an area rich in sensory nerves. What’s more, the tissue strengthening and pain relief stimulated by Prolotherapy is permanent!
Other natural medicine treatments for arthritis
Over the past several years additional information has accumulated regarding the use of glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and collagen II. These products are available without a prescription from health practitioners or local health food stores. They have been shown to be effective in pill form or via injection. Glucosamine can be extremely helpful in reducing pain from osteoarthritis and can also help prevent further deterioration of the joint.
Another useful medicine for joint pain is Capsaicin. This is available either as a generic or proprietary cream (known as Zostrix). When applied to a painful joint on a regular basis, joint-related pain and muscle spasms are decreased to a significant degree. Side effects, other than warmth, are very rare. These creams literally work to decrease the amount of pain chemicals that are present in the tissues surrounding the joint.
As good as some of these treatments are for pain, nothing comes close to the effectiveness of Prolotherapy. Prolotherapy is the only treatment that can stimulate the regrowth of the injured tissue. Prolotherapy can tighten the ligaments around a joint and can also be quite helpful in reducing joint pain immediately, through direct injection into the joint. Proper exercise can then be resumed in order to bring the strength and flexibility of the surrounding muscles to a normal level. The muscles then help to protect the joints from any further injury.