Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis Explained

Sunday 30 October 2011

Arthritis literally means joint inflammation. It is used to refer to diseases that cause problems within the joint capsule. There are more than 100 types of arthritis affecting people of all ages.

Osteoarthritis is the most common chronic degenerative arthritis. It most often affects the hands, knees and spine. There is a gradual loss of cartilage from the joints, causing increased stress to the bones, and the sufferers will feel pain when the joints are moving. Morning stiffness, if present, lasts less than 30 minutes. Joint swelling can occur, either as a result of fluid accumulation or due to the growth of osteophytes or bone spurs.
One of the main components of cartilage is collagen. Click here to find out what is collagen and why is it important for our health and beauty. Our body needs to build cartilage at the same rate as it's wearing down in order to maintain healthy joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning our body's immune system begins attacking the cartilage and synovial lining of the joint. This unbalanced inflammatory process causes significant destruction of healthy tissue. It starts insidiously with fatigue, muscle pain and fever and eventually affects our joints, making them painful, swollen and feel stiff. Morning stiffness is prolonged and lasts more than 1 hour. 

Exercise is strongly encouraged for arthritis sufferers. Strengthening exercises help to improve joint stability and thus reduce pain. Endurance exercises improve cardiovascular fitness and help feelings of fatigue. 
Low impact exercises such as swimming and riding a bicycle are recommended. 
Start at a low intensity and for a short time. It is normal to feel some joint or muscle soreness after exercising. But if the pain lasts more than 1 day, the exercise was probably too long or too vigorous.

It is important to note that the destruction of the cartilage in both of these diseases arises from oxidative stress.
The basic traditional treatment of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis is painkillers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and aspirin. While these drugs reduce inflammation in joints, they cause many side effects like stomach ulcers and upper-gastrointestinal bleeding
In other words, these drugs merely provide pain relief without attacking the underlying cause of the disease - oxidative stress. Antioxidants is your solution to neutralize oxidative stress. For how to increase your body's level of antioxidants, please check out this Article on The Secret Of How To Delay Aging - Antioxidants.
Or you may email me at laifuiping@gmail.com.

StarFit4Life, Where is the Pain? by Dr Yeap Swan Sim, 2 October 2011
Chapter 11, Arthritis and Osteoporosis, What Your Doctor Doesn't Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You, Dr. Ray D. Strand)