Arthritis is famous for causing excruciating pain and wreaking havoc on your quality of living. Stiffness and deterioration between the joints can make daily tasks extremely difficult. In fact, arthritis it is one of the most common joint issues we see with our patients here at Vida Chiropractic Clinic in Kelowna.
Regardless if your back, hands, knees, ankles or elbows are affected; patients suffering from any type of arthritis often complain of pain interfering with their day to day activities. Simple tasks such as squatting down to pick up your grandkids or chopping vegetables for your next meal can become distressing or nearly impossible. Our compassionate chiropractic team is committed to helping you develop the broadest range of motion possible. After all, if you don’t take care of your body…where else are you going to live?
Osteoarthritis Vs. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Osteoarthritis or OA is the most common type of arthritis. It is characterized by wear and tear within a joint; often showing up in middle age. This degenerative disease causes the flexible cartilage serving as a cushion between the joints to gradually wear away. Eventually, bone rubs on bone resulting in the exposure of miniscule nerves, resulting in significant inflammation and pain.
Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA is the result of the body attacking itself and considered to be an autoimmune disease. Synovium, the crucial, protective lining within the joint is attacked by the immune system. For some unknown reason, the body sees these essential tissues as a threat similar to a virus or bacteria and responds accordingly. The immune system works to eradicate the tissue resulting in deterioration and painful scarring within the joint can occur.
Some researchers believe that Rheumatoid Arthritis may initially be caused by an infection due to a basic germ. The body’s immune system reacts abnormally and ends up attacking itself. This autoimmune reaction may additionally lead to inflammation elsewhere in the body. Some patients experience irritation in the sclera or white part of the eyes, scarring of the lung tissues and damage to their blood vessels and heart. Fatigue is also very common in RA patients. Keeping your immune system healthy and strong can help reduce your body’s inflammatory response and increase your quality of living.
Turmeric: A Powerful Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory
Easily recognized as the yellow colour in prepared mustards and a main ingredient in curries, turmeric is an ancient healing herb. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurvedic medicine as a natural anti-inflammatory and immune enhancer for centuries. Curcuma longa and Curcuma domestica, as it’s known in Latin, is derived from the rhizome or root of the plant. Related to the ginger family, this useful spice predominately grows throughout Indonesia and India. Curcumin, the golden pigment, is the active ingredient that has been studied for reducing and preventing inflammation within the body.
What Are Antioxidants and Why Do I Need Them?
As described in the famous “Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine,” by Thomas Bartram, antioxidants are free radical scavengers that that protect the body from the oxidation of molecules inside of the body. Dangerous free radicals naturally occur from normal metabolic processes; namely when the body transforms food into usable energy. However, we are inundated by additional environmental pollutants, sunlight and stress every day which can generate more free radicals. Long term cell damage from free radicals can escalate the aging process and eventually damage your DNA. An overload of free radicals has been linked to cancer and is very detrimental to your overall health.
Turmeric: Golden Immunity Enhancer
Antioxidants are similar to Pac-Man gobbling up the bad free radicals in your body. Brightly coloured fruits and veggies rich in flavonoids, carotenoids and Vitamin C are excellent dietary sources of antioxidants. Incorporating high levels of antioxidants into your system can help you keep your immune system vigorous while reducing your inflammatory response.
Curcumin is available in a variety of standardized extracts. Turmeric can easily be incorporated into your diet as a DIY tea or “golden milk” preparation. Every patient responds to treatment in their own way; however, the opportunities to start utilizing turmeric as part of your arthritis management plan are worth exploring.
Always check with your doctor prior to starting a new health regime. Turmeric acts as a blood thinner and is not be suitable for patients currently taking anticoagulant medication. Pregnant patients, individuals with gallbladder and stomach issues and those with diabetes are advised to avoid or use under medical supervision as the herb can increase insulin activity and act as a bile stimulant.
For a great tea recipe, try this one from Turmeric For Health: http://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-benefits/brew-a-cup-of-turmeric-tea
Vida Chiropractic: Where Knowledge Is Power
Situated in the sunny Okanagan, Vida Chiropractic is passionate about helping you feel your very best! We pride ourselves in educating our patients every step of the way. Each patient is unique and dear to us. We truly believe that knowledge is power and are happy to recommend exercises and nutritional plans that you can incorporate into your daily lifestyle. Arthritis and pain management comprise a large portion of our practice. We look forward to seeing you soon and helping you regain your mobility!