A Guide to Arthritis Pain Relief
In a recent survey on pain conducted by the Stanford University Medical Center, arthritis pain was cited as the chief complaint among America's seniors, with thirty-two percent of the senior population listing arthritis as the specific cause of their suffering. Arthritis does strike children and young adults as well, although it afflicts the mature segment of the population more frequently. It is estimated that 15% of the American adult population suffer from arthritis, and this number is rising, increasing the demand for arthritis pain relief.
Arthritis is a general term encompassing over 100 different medical conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system, the three most common being osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. It causes inflammation in the joints, tendons and ligaments. It manifests in every part of the body, ranging from mild joint stiffness to crippling disability. Sufferers experience the pain of arthritis differently, too; for some, arthritis is at it is most severe upon waking up, while others report that their condition worsens throughout the day. No one knows exactly what causes arthritis, but it is among the oldest of human afflictions.
The type of arthritis and intensity of the condition determine the course of treatment. There is no cure for arthritis, but there are traditional and alternative treatments that can bring arthritis pain relief. Prescription and over-the-counter medications are popular for treating arthritis pain. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is often recommended for osteoarthritis patients with little or mild inflammation, while aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen work best for patients with inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis.
The healing touch of massage may stimulate the flow of blood, bringing heat and relief to stiff joints. Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, relaxation, yoga, and even emu oil are have proven effective for many arthritis sufferers.
Heat and cold can help alleviate pain too, but since moist heat, such as that from a bath, acts differently than the dry heat of a heating pad or the cold of an ice pack, this type of treatment needs to be discussed with a doctor or physical therapist. Doctors also often recommend patients wear splints or braces to relieve joint pressure and protect them from further injury.
Another technique, called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), works by blocking nerve endings from sending pain messages to the brain, so that the pain is never felt! A small TENS device sends mild electrical pulses to the nerve endings of the painful area, which seem to 'scramble' their message to the brain.
Medications top the list for long-term arthritis pain relief, and include several families of prescription drugs. Weight reduction, exercise, and stretching can all go a long way toward reducing stress on joints.
Surgery may be necessary for patients with severe arthritis. The operation may realign the joint or replace the damaged joint with an artificial one. Total joint replacement has resulted in dramatic arthritis pain relief and improved range of motion for many patients.
The most difficult but often the most effective pain reliever is establishing a healthy lifestyle - eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep at night, and daily exercise. All of these help ease the pain of chronic arthritis. Support groups, a good physician, and making the effort to stay informed about arthritis treatment often benefits of patients suffering from arthritis as well.
Pain Relief Info provides detailed information on arthritis, back, joint, lower back, natural, chronic, neck, sciatica, knee, fibromyalgia, and muscle pain relief. Pain Relief Info is the sister site of Acid Reflux Web.
Mend Your Arthritis Pain Relief
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Web Therapy: Enhancing Patient Communication with Web Access
According to Jennifer Lyons' chart, she's just a bad slip and fall who's lucky enough to be on her way to a full recovery.
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Death by Fluoride
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Lunesta Personality Changes
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How to Make Changes in Your Healthcare Organization
For many of us change is a difficult process. In organizations like healthcare it seems to advance at a snail's pace sometimes. There is a need for change in healthcare, most agree, though we would be hard pressed to agree upon the changes needed. One incentive for change is pay-for-performance programs now beginning in several areas. I would like to describe a couple that affect primary care physicians and then give a few suggestions as to how to adopt changes to take advantage of these programs. Even if you are not in a primary care physician program, the methods suggested for change will be helpful, I believe.
Bee Propolis: Synergisitc Health Care for the 21st Centruy
For well over a century modern science has progressed at a startling rate. With this increase in knowledge has come medicinal and healthcare benefits that have seen ages peak and diseases eradicated. These medical advances were based around the paradigm of the "magic bullet", isolating the active ingredient and using it to alter the chemistry of a single molecule/protein to elicit a change of state in the patient. Success however has turned to obsession as cracks appear in the armoury of disease fighting drugs at our disposal. MRSA is rifling through our hospitals as antibiotics become ineffective and severe side effects of modern drugs are becoming common place now years after their introduction. A direct consequence of a one dimensional strategy, it is maybe the time to acknowledge the synergistic health benefits of natural medicine. Propolis is a unique natural medicine because of its breadth of action. It has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and immunomodulatory effects, it could help treat asthma, allergies, arthritis and joint disorders, eczema and dermatitis, ME, viral infections including HIV and even cancer. This medicine could help treat an illness or keep you fit and healthy. Propolis: Defender of the City Propolis is a mainly resinous substance that bees collect from trees and plants. Being made up of waxes, resins, fatty acids and even amino acids. Aristotle reputedly coined the name Propolis meaning "defender of the city". This is exactly what Propolis is for the hive, it acts as a bee population's external immune system keeping the hive sterile and free of microbial invaders Evidence Based Medicine In the following paragraphs I will describe to you the pharmacological properties of Propolis. Before I do so I must explain where this evidence comes from. All the properties and actions of Propolis have been witnessed and detailed in scientific studies which have subsequently been published in journals. The bulk of these scientific studies have been performed in vitro (i.e. in a test tube) or in vivo (i.e. in a host animal for example rats), a much smaller proportion of these studies are clinical trials tested on humans. The abstracts of these papers can be found on the Medline and pubmed databases on the Internet. Propolis: A natural antibiotic Propolis is probably best known for its antibiotic properties. Even as early as 1960 French1 research demonstrated the bacteriostatic action on Bacillus subtilis, Proteus vulgaris and Bacillus alvei. The results have been replicated many times and Propolis has even been shown to be effective to MRSA2, the same antibiotic resistant bacteria that has infected up to 70% of our hospitals. A 1997 study by Calder et al. at the University of Oxford concurred with these results and found that the cinnaminic acids and flavanoids present in Propolis in particular show bacteriocidal action. This action believed to be as a consequence of Propolis uncoupling the bacterial energy respiratory chain. Interestingly this action may be involved in a synergistic action with antibiotics when used together, boosting the effectiveness of the drugs. Anti-Viral and immuno-stimulatory Viruses present a unique dilemma in the quest for good health, they are not affected by antibiotics and mutate so frequently that vaccines are hard to produce. They also cause illness by hijacking cells and using the cells machinery to replicate. Modern drugs aim to slow or stop the virus from the replicating and subsequently because they are attacking host cell machinery they have certain side effects. Viruses perhaps pose the greatest threat to humans' health, we are currently in the middle of a HIV pandemic with "39.4 million" people infected world wide. With a Flu pandemic overdue and certainly on its way and predictions of world wide casualties and chaos, a solution is needed. The bioflavanoids in propolis have a unique approach to combating Viruses, instead of trying to combat them once they have infected a cell, they lock the virus in its protein coat. This means that the dangerous machinery and DNA/RNA of the virus is nullified and the infection stopped. Propolis has been shown to be more effective than the pharmaceutical anti-viral acyclovir in treating genital Herpes in a clinical trial conducted in the Ukraine4 and there is growing evidence that Propolis could help treat people with HIV5. Propolis also works hard as an immunomodulator which is of interest for all of us. It does this by altering the way cytokine production and release is managed. Cytokines are the chemical messengers that allow immune system cells to communicate. By altering the cytokine system, it primes the immune system to be ready to react to antigens quickly and effectively. As well as this, bioflavanoids within Propolis stimulate the production of interferon which can help people recover from ME, stimulating their immune system. This alteration of the cytokine and interferon systems means that your body is ready to fight off infection and keep you healthy, making a case for using propolis as a supplement for good health, like vitamins. Prevention is better than the cure. Anti-inflammatory and anti-allergen A survey of Propolis consumers showed that arthritis was the health problem that Propolis was used to treat the most. This is because of the potent anti-inflammatory properties of the propolis constituents in particular CAPE (Caffeic acid Phenyl ester), CAPE has been shown to suppress T cell activation. A paper by Marquez et al in 20046 evaluated this to mean that since T-cells play a key role in the onset of several inflammatory diseases, CAPE is important because the this phenolic compound is a potent inhibitor of early and late events in T-cell receptor-mediated T-cell activation. Results like this have led other researchers to propose that CAPE is a worthwhile agent for reducing the severity of conditions associated with inflammation. Many of the experiments performed on CAPE were done so in vitro, however the anti-inflammatory properties of Propolis have been documented in rats when treating rat adjuvant arthritis. A paper by Park et al in 19997 concluding that the ethanolic extract of propolis had profound anti-inflammatory effects on both chronic and acute arthritic inflammations. These anti-inflammation properties extend to other illness and disorders such as asthma and allergies reducing both smooth muscle airway contraction8 and allergic responses. Any disorder or illness related to inflammation could be helped by Propolis. Anti-tumour/cancer Propolis and CAPE have been shown to reduce the size of tumours and to selectively destroy and to curb the proliferation of malignant cells of many different types of cancer. As recently as June 10th 2005 Cancer researchers have been given a grant of a million dollars to investigate the therapeutic value of Propolis for cancer. Costas Koumenis the lead investigator for the study was quoted as saying, "a very interesting property of these compounds is that they have been shown to cause cell death in tumor cells but not in normal cells." This study along with other current studies promises to propel Propolis into the limelight in the field of cancer treatment. Current Propolis Research in the UK BVR (BeeVital Research) recently won a major government Research and Development Award, part of a £250,000 research programme looking at the chemical, biological and clinical properties of propolis. These studies will focus on the: 1. Documenting the regional variances in chemical and biological properties, by HPLS, GC-MS and NMR. (Taking place at Univeristy of Strathclyde) 2. Futher investigating the role of Propolis in the Hive (University of Gloucester) 3. Dental trials ? looking at effectiveness of Propolis for Mouth Ulcers, Pericorinitis, Gingivitis and Sensitive Teeth. (Manchester University Dental school) 4. HIV/AIDS trials ? looking at the effectiveness of Propolis with anti-virals in Zambia and Tanzania 5. The effects of standardised propolis on mood, stress, fatigue and cognition at the Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit at University of Newcastle. 6. To evaluate the use of local and non ? local propolis for wound healing and the treatment of skin and other dermatological problems. ( The Regional Teaching Hospital for University of Dar es Salaam)
Does Heel Pain Mean that I Need to Stop Running?
Heel pain, medically termed plantar fasciitis, is a common and frustrating injury for many runners. It accounts for up to 10% of all running injuries and results from overstressing the band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, you probably experience sharp pain in your heel not only after running, but also with the first steps in the morning or after long periods of sitting or being on your feet.
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