Feb 21, 2009

Chronic Arthritis - Degenerative Arthritis

Hi everyone, This chiropractic newsletter is about chronic arthrits and degenerative arthritis; I hope you will find the information about chronic arthritis and degenerative arthritis helpful.

Today I would like to talk about chronic condition that many of you know- chronic degenerative arthritis. Degenerative arthritis is very common and can start at age 25-30 year old, it can effect any joint in the body, but more common in the knee, spine, hip joints and wrists. Patients suffer from constant dull pain with limited movement, deformities of the joints and debilitating feeling of coming disability.

Arthritis may be caused by macroinjury, such as car accident or sport injury, microinjury as a result of repetitive movement such as some specific work movements, by aging.

In any case due to wear and tear of cartilage, tissue are broken down and replaced, but when the amount of cartilage matrix degraded is more then amount of new tissue synthesized, cartilage naturally degenerates. If this process continues for long period of time, body manufactures bone spurs as attempt to stabilize a joint.
The result is pain, deformity and limited movement in the joint.

Traditional medical treatment of this condition is prescribing NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin to relieve pain and joints stiffness.

While these drugs may relieve symptoms, they do not address the cause of this condition.
There is evidence that long –term use of these drugs may increase cartilage deterioration and can cause further joint damage.

Since 1990s glucosamine and chondroitin sulfates were used in treatment of degenerative arthritis, some patients got much relieve from these supplements, some did not.
Now HLA-hyaluronic acid is becoming more and more popular,  and may  offer relieve  from  joint pain and stiffness in those who were disappointed in glucosamine and chondroitin sulfates.

Glucosamine is a precursor of HLA which is a major component of synovial fluid that cushions  and lubricate joints. In order to produce HLA, glucosamine should combine with glucoronic acid molecule. If the body is not able to combine these two molecules, HLA never produced. Using HLA supplementation takes away the risks that this integral process never will not happen. Patient may see results where glucosamine and chondroitin failed.

HLA also improves the cartilage structure, making joints more tough and flexible.
Because of lubricating effect, it acts as a cushion for bones allowing joints to resist compression, bear weight and withstand tension. It also carries  nutrients and carries away waste products that helps to keep joints healthy and strong.

HLA is often produced from chicken combs, however Fenchem Interprises has produced a very pure hyaluronic acid product using bacterial fermentation process. This product is completely free from allergen and viral or bacterial contamination.

Collagen is the primary protein found in the connective tissue including joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, cartilage and skin.
Hydrolyzed collagen is enzymatically produced in order to make it more easily absorbed by the body. Hydrolyzed collagen is made of aminoacid  glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. As a supplement ,hydrolyzed collagen may be beneficial for patients with osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis,  to facilitate process of recovery after sport or any kind of injury .Hydrolyzed collagen was used in Europe for decades as alternative treatment for arthritis and osteoporosis.  German and Czech studies cite daily use of hydrolyzed collagen to reduce pain and stiffness in the joints.

Keratin is tough, fibrous protein known to stimulate new joint tissue and protect joints from oxidative stress by activating the important antioxidants-gluthation peroxidase, which is one of the most active and abundant antioxidants that our body produce, and SOD- superoxide dismutase.  Cynatine FLX is a functional keratin extracted from pure New Zeland wool, it improves joint mobility and reduce inflammation.

Boswellia and Curcumin  ( Aurvedic Medicine)

Boswellia is a purified resin made from the sap  of Boswellia serrata tree, is a well known herb in Aurvedic medicine and was used more then 2000 years to treat arthritis and rheumatism.   It reduces inflammation and swelling, increase mobility of joints, it also capable of lowering levels of cholesterol and triglicerides.

Curcumin was used in Aurvedic medicine for  joint and immune system health by promoting healthy levels of cortisone.

General recommendation for patients with arthritis:

Eat more sulfur containing food, such as garlic, onion, cilantro, eggs, asparagus. 
Sulfur is needed for joints repair and rebuilding of cartilage, bone and any connective tissue. Other good foods include green leafy vegetables which supply vitamin K, nonacidic fruits, brown rice and fish. Eat fresh pineapple frequently because it contain bromelain –enzyme that reduces  inflammation and helps with protein digestion.
And again, reduce consumption of sugar which has proinflammatory property.
Take following supplements :boron, which is important for healthy bones, silica which helps the body to bring and keep calcium in the bone, manganese, vit E, vit C, selenium as a poweful antioxidants. Also very effective picnogenol or grape seed  extract which are powerful antioxidants with ant inflammatory property.
A lot of these nutrients are in the whole food supplements -Standard Process and Juice Plus- both available in our office.
I would recommend Juice Plus as a baseline supplement to everyone, and Standard Process supplements for patients with specific conditions to address.
Have a nice month ahead, it only 41 days until spring starts.

Dr. Natalie, chronic arthritis & degenerative arthritis chiropractic specialist


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