Arthritis Self-Help

Knee Osteoarthritis Alternative Treatment


Many sufferers of knee osteoarthritis believe surgery is the only solution, however, little do they know there are alternative treatments for arthritis. Thanks to medical experts who had availed humanity with these revelations. The paragraphs below explain these alternative treatments to knee osteoarthritis.



Medical Experts emphatically stated that yoga is one of the best alternative treatments for knee osteoarthritis. Yoga is a system of exercises that involves breathing, stretching, and relaxation. It is targeted to enhance the overall health of the arthritis patient. Yoga also helps you to build your muscles, gives balance to the body, and at the same time eases off the stressful pains around the knee joints. Apart from this, yoga makes the body to become flexible and improves sleep.


In a study carried out by Haas in 2010, 75 osteoarthritis patients were randomized to an 8 weeks standard yoga program. The yoga class was held once a week and lasted for one hour. However, participants were advised to practice the exercise on their own for at least once a week. The patient was mostly women and within the age of 52. After eight weeks, participants experienced a significant reduction in the pain and improvement in physical functioning. Participants also experienced improved mental health and well-being. There was no adverse effect reported.


Just like the common parlance ” too much of everything is not too good”, too much of yoga may aggravate pains, thereby providing the reverse results. In fact, before you try yoga, consult a doctor to check your body and recommend necessary specifications.



Another alternative treatment for knee osteoarthritis is acupuncture. Acupuncture is a Chinese method of treating pain and illness using special thin needles which are pushed into the skin in particular parts of the body( knee region in this context). Research had shown that this alternative treatment for knee osteoarthritis works for some people but doesn’t work for some. So doctors advise that if after adopting the acupuncture treatment and there is no improvement, the method should be discarded for another method. In all, ensure that you consult a certified practitioner.



Massage is another alternative method for treating knee osteoarthritis. Massage is the action of rubbing and pressing a person’s body with the hands to reduce pain in the muscles and joints. Massaging your leg helps to loosen the muscles that control your knees. However, the key part of reducing the pains of knee osteoarthritis depends on how far one can bend the joints. Doctors said that the potency of this kind of alternative treatment for knee osteoarthritis relies on the sufferer’s ability to do it at least one straight hour per week.


It is noteworthy that there are different types of therapeutic massage for osteoarthritis patients. They include Swedish, trigger-point, and neuromuscular massage. Among these three, in a study on the effect of Swedish massage on osteoarthritis patients, the result revealed that this type of massage is an effective alternative treatment for osteoarthritis. The study was conducted by Perlman et al. (2006) and involved 68 osteoarthritis patients who were randomized to a Swedish massage for 8 weeks. The patients were between the age of 50 to 70. In the first four weeks, the patients were massaged twice a week, while in the last four weeks, they were massaged once in a week.


After the eight, participants experience a significant improvement in pain and joint stiffness. Also, the physical functioning of the patients improved.


There is limited evidence supporting the use of massage therapy on older patients with knee osteoarthritis. However, there is no study on the long term effect of this treatment on patients, there is also no evidence of the extent of its effectiveness when compared to other alternative treatments. The efficacy of the treatment in minority elders is yet to be known.


Tai Chi

The popular Tai Chi steps is another alternative method of treating knee osteoarthritis. Tai Chi ( popular known as Tai Chi Chuan in China) is a Chinese system of exercises consisting of sets of very slow controlled movements. Studies have shown that taking at least an hour Tai Chi class for at least twice a week can help strengthen your muscles and improve the stability of your joints. In a particular study that was conducted in China, people who took Tai Chi classes twice a week for twelve weeks felt better up to a year later.


In one study that compares the effectiveness of tail chi and another alternative treatment for osteoarthritis, the result shows that both alternative treatment are very good


Chiropractic Adjustment

Furthermore, Chiropractic adjustment can also serve as an alternative treatment for knee osteoarthritis. This involves the treatment of some diseases and physical problems by pressing and moving the bones in a person’s spine or joints. This method of treatment can only be effectively carried out by a chiropractor. Research shows that chiropractic adjustment helps to relax the nerves and improves locomotion around the knee joints. According to a medical doctor in San Diego (Dr. Ryan Curda), One may need frequent adjustment at first, then drop to one to two times a month.


There are lots of study backing up the claim that all the above mentioned alternative therapy are very good for the treatment of osteoarthritis. However, there is no study showing which among the alternative therapies can be used together for effective results. Also, research on the effectiveness of the therapist did not reveal the duration of the sickness. This is an important area of study.


Apart from the methods above, other methods that can also yield positive results includes Meditation, Heat and cold method and Glucosamine, and Chondroitin.


In conclusion, Knee osteoarthritis( a form of Arthritis) is a pathological disease that mostly affects older people. It is caused by chronic degeneration of the cartilage and synovial membrane of the joints, leading to pain and stiffness.



Arthritis Self-Help

Complementary Therapies For Osteoarthritis


There has been a growing increase in the use of complementary therapies for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis or OA is a severe condition that has contributed to most cases of disability we have in the world today. This sickness comes with pains in the joints, muscles, and other areas in the body. Like arthritis, osteoarthritis can lead to weakness, fatigue, fever, stiffness, and inflammation. This is why treatment against this condition is often directed at reducing pain in the joint and other related areas in the body.

While medical and home remedies can be very effective for the treatment of this sickness, some complementary therapies are very effective. These complementary therapies are also without any adverse side effects like some medical treatments such as analgesic medications. The complementary therapies examined in this article include acupuncture, massage, yoga, and Tai Chi.

Tai Chi Therapy

Tai Chi is a Chinese mind-body exercise used to promote overall body wellness. The exercise is often done in a group-based format, and include meditation, gentle movement of the body, and deep breathing. Tai Chi class occurs two to three times a week, and each class lasts for one hour. The class often begins with warm-up exercises and gradually progress to deep breathing and meditation. After this, specific movements are practiced for a while, and the class is concluded with a directed cooldown.

Studies like the Wang et al., 2009 and Fransen, Nairn, Winstanley, Lam, & Edmonds, 2007 revealed that Osteoarthritis patients that practiced the group based Tai Chi program at least once in a week for a minimum of eight weeks record great success. The studies focused on the effect of Tai Chi on OA patients who practices this for 24-48 weeks. Most of the patients used for the study are adult women. The result shows significant improvement in quality life, reduced pain and stiffness in joints, reduced inflammatory conditions, reduce the fear of falling, and improved physical functions.

In another study that compares the effect of practicing Tai Chi and other related exercises for the treatment of OA, the result shows a significant reduction in joint pain and stiffness. This combination also helps to improve physical functioning and reduce depressive symptoms.

More importantly, there is no reported side effect of using Tai Chi as a complementary therapy for osteoarthritis. Hence, it is safe and can be administered to both adult and young males and females suffering from osteoarthritis.

Acupuncture Therapy

Acupuncture is a wellness therapy that originated from traditional Chinese society. It is also one of the complementary treatments administered on osteoarthritis patients. This therapy is practiced by professionals who are both certified and licensed to practice it.

Acupuncture includes the use of small thin needles to puncture some anatomical points in the body. This practice is usually carried out with or without electrical needle stimulation. The number of acupuncture per session ranges from a minimum of 2 to a maximum of 8, and the duration of treatment is 2 to 26 weeks. The practice is believed to unblock natural energy pathways referred to as meridians.

Similar to acupuncture is another practice called acupressure. Acupressure is the use of pressure to unblock natural energy pathways. While acupuncture entails puncturing, acupressure does not include puncture.

On the effect of acupuncture on osteoarthritis, studies have revealed that acupuncture is an effective complementary therapy. Notable among these studies are Selfe & Taylor, 2008, Foster et al., 2007 and Manheimer et al., 2010. In the study by Manheimer et al., 2010. About 3,500 OA patients were taken on a consistent 11 times acupuncture therapy. The result reveals that acupuncture can significantly reduce the pains associated with osteoarthritis. Also, the treatment helps to improve physical function and body flexibility. On the risk of the therapy, Manheimer et al., 2010 revealed that the adverse effect is 0.05 per 10,000.

Therefore, acupuncture is a safe complementary therapy for the treatment of osteoarthritis.

Yoga Therapy

Yoga is a mind and body exercise used to promote mindfulness, relaxation, body strength, and overall body wellness. Yoga programs often include stretching, relaxation, deep breathing, and exercises. Some of the programs can be channeled at specific body postures and poses. Yoga is usually done in groups and handled by a certified coach.

There is two notable research on the effect of yoga on osteoarthritis: Garfinkel, Schumacher, Husain, Levy, & Reshetar, 1994 and Haaz, 2010. Garfinkel et al. ‘s study examined 17 patients suffering from hand OA and within the age of 52 to 79. The patients were split into different groups, where they undergo a specific Yoga class for eight weeks. The class lasted for 60 mins and is done once every week. After the eight weeks, the result reveals that all patients experience a significant reduction in hand joint pain. The patients also experience an overall reduction in hand tenderness and increased strength to engage in more activities.

Similarly, in the study conducted by Haas (2010), it was revealed that yoga is an effective therapy for osteoarthritis. Haas study was carried out on 75 patients with rheumatoid arthritis or OA within the age of 50-70. The class lasted for 60 mins and occurred twice a week. The patients were also advised to repeat the program once a week. After eight weeks, all the patients experienced a significant reduction in body and joint pains. The patients also experience increased body flexibility, reduced depression symptoms, and improved physical functions.

From the result, it can be inferred that yoga is a very effective complementary therapy for osteoarthritis.

Massage Therapy

Massage is a therapeutic practice that involves kneading, pressing, and rubbing the body. Massage also includes the manipulation of tender body muscles and the compression of specific natural energy pathways known as a meridian. This practice is done with the hand and fingers. There are different massaging techniques. The most common ones are neuromuscular massage, Swedish, and trigger-points.

Some studies on the effect of massage on osteoarthritis revealed that this therapy is very effective. The two notable studies on this are Perlman, Sabina, Williams, Njike, & Katz, 2006 and Yip & Tam, 2008. According to Perlman et al. (2006), 68 OA patients within the age of 50-80 were administered to eight weeks of massaging therapy. During the first four weeks, all patients underwent a one hour massage twice a week; then, the massage was reduced to once a week in the final four weeks. After eight weeks, the patients experienced a significant reduction in joint pain and stiffness. They also experience an increase in physical activities and overall body wellness.

A similar study was carried out by Yip & Tam, 2008. Massage therapy was administered to 59 adults with mild to severe knee aged 60 and above. Each patient underwent six weeks of massage therapy with aromatic oil. The session lasted for 30 minutes and occurred once a week. After six weeks, all the patients experienced a significant improvement in their health and physical activities. Also, no adverse effect was recorded.

These studies show that massage is a great complementary therapy for osteoarthritis.

The above explanation on the effect of complementary therapies like Yoga, Tai Chi, massage, and acupuncture on osteoarthritis revealed that they are very effective with little or no side effects. Also, they can be administered to both young and old males and females suffering from osteoarthritis. However, there is no study on the long term effect of the therapies.

Also, when administering any of these therapies to osteoarthritis patients, it is important to take note of the duration of the sickness. Long term patients of OA who are very aged would find it challenging to engage in Yoga and Tai Chi. All of these should be taken into considerations before encouraging a patient to try out the therapies.

Arthritis Self-Help

Alternative Treatment for Osteoporosis

Statistics have shown that a significant percentage of humans are likely to have bone loss leading to osteoporosis, at one point or the other in their lives. Although most of the treatment drugs for the condition have shown excellent results in patients, there are still ever-increasing numbers of people who want to try and stick to alternative treatment routines. Note that over the years, there have been reported cases where alternative treatment options for osteoporosis, produced remarkable and sustained results.

Although there is still more research going on to see how useful some of the options are, experts are already beginning to see more prospects in natural/non-pharmaceutical composed remedies. This is not to mean, however, that they would necessarily serve as a total replacement for all the drugs already used for treating the condition. While some alternative treatment options may significantly replace the use of some medications, others may help boost the treatment effect of the drug and may be used as complementary options.

Alternative treatment for osteoporosis involves the use of non-synthesized, natural ingredients, and methods for managing or significantly improving the condition in people. The effects of these alternative treatment options include helping to stop or significantly reduce bone loss, as well as providing specific pain relief effects.

Since there is no definite cure for osteoporosis, it is reasonable to compare the treatment and management options, to see which are the most effective with lesser or no side effects. One of the biggest reasons people are beginning to seek alternative treatment options for osteoporosis is the associated side effects of drug remedies. For instance, some of the side effects of commonly used bisphosphonate drugs are becoming of much concern.

Asides an acknowledged significance in osteoporosis treatment, patients seek remedies that also have very less ill consequences, and this is basically what alternative treatment for osteoporosis aims to achieve.
Alternative treatment options and ingredients for osteoporosis
Usually, most of the alternative treatment options are easy to implement and use on your own. However, it is advisable to inform a physician on your intended course of action, so that they can give more useful instructions.

Here are four useful alternative treatment options and ingredients for osteoporosis

Consumption of soy products

Estrogen has been identified to enhance the activity of bone producing body cells known as osteoblasts. In older women, estrogen production is significantly reduced, and this is considered as one of the underlining triggers for osteoporosis in women. Hence, as the reduced production of this hormone takes effect, there seems to be a corresponding decline in bone production.

However, soybeans have been identified as a natural source of Isoflavone components, which produce some similar effects to estrogen- in terms of bone production. This component is quite similar in structure with the regular estrogen. Several expert studies have suggested that increased or consistent addition of soy proteins to a woman’s diet should be implemented at least a few years before menopausal onset. The idea behind this is that the vital marker that helps prevent the condition is built and accumulated in the body over time, and this could help.
Hence, adding soy products to your daily diet can go a long way in improving your bone conditions. Now, while this works for osteoporosis in women, it may also show similar results in men. Asides soybeans, other important Isoflavone-producing foods include lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, etcetera.

Engaging in exercise routines

Even if you’ve got osteoporosis, this doesn’t mean you cannot engage in some exercise routines. Exercises have a significant way of helping you retain your bone mass, and hence making your bones less brittle. The patient would also be building their muscles in the process, which also acts to shield and protect the bone from easily getting fractured. Exercise in conditions like this also has their way of gradually relieving the individuals of their pain.

Asides these, regular exercise helps the individual build their balance again, and thus reduces their chances of falling when they move about. Since osteoporosis tends to be more pronounced as a person’s age advances, exercise routines are, in fact, essential for people as they grow old. It is one of the most important alternative treatments for osteoporosis.
Before booking your exercise sessions with a coach, however, always remember to consult with a doctor and also let them know how you’re doing. Make sure to find out what exercise types are right for you, and this is what you should stick to.

Black cohosh herb

The ancient black cohosh herb is another alternative treatment that is being explored for managing osteoporosis in persons. Although not so much scientific research has been done to ascertain the therapeutic effect and safeness of this herb, it has been in use for many decades- especially by the native American populace. In 2008, a study group made some findings using rats for the test. It was discovered that the active component in the herb (phytoestrogen) improved bone formation in the rat, over a period of about 48hours.

Studies have shown that estrogen and any other component like it would have some positive effect against osteoporosis. However, not so much is yet known on how effective phytoestrogen is in humans. Another claim supporting the use of this herb as a management option for osteoporosis is that it was also used in treating postmenopausal symptoms associated with reduced estrogen supply.


Acupuncture is not a new term for many people, but you probably did not know it could also have a significant effect on reducing the impact of osteoporosis. This method makes use of contact with strategic points and locations of the human body. If you’re adopting acupuncture as an alternative treatment for osteoporosis, you should see someone who knows how this applies to the healing of the bones.
Additionally, acupuncture may necessarily require the individual to make use of other treatment options together with the method. This is because acupuncture practice is only used mainly as a complementary treatment option for osteoporosis.

Note that although this method is entirely acknowledged by several individuals who have suffered from the conditions, it is one of the alternative techniques still under investigation. However, if you want to try what is natural and is believed to have worked for several hundreds of people, then why not.

Other essential alternative treatment for osteoporosis

Now, there are some basic things that an individual must know when treating osteoporosis. Most times, osteoporosis is caused by insufficient calcium and vitamin D elements in the body. An essential thing to do is adjust your diet to incorporate more calcium and vitamin D producing foods.

Calcium is supposed to be the most abundant element in the human body. They are essential in maintaining bone health, and even its formation. Sometimes, however, a supposed calcium deficiency is an inability of the body to absorb sufficient levels of the element. This is why you also need to take vitamin D rich food as a complement for your calcium-rich foods.

Fortunately, many calcium-rich foods also provide some vitamin D. Hence; you can add more components like spinach, tuna, collards, egg yolk, salmon, orange juice, etcetera to your meals.

On the other hand, to prevent inhibition of vitamin D absorption, patients must avoid using drugs that have shown this tendency. This includes antacid medications, as well as steroids like prednisolone.

Note that the list of alternative treatments for osteoporosis is a little more extensive, although most are still being researched. The condition of osteoporosis varies in individuals, and while it may be less severe in some persons, it could be quite extreme in others. Many times, people who started early on some of these alternative treatment options didn’t have to progress into more severe osteoporosis conditions. But then, even persons who already did had some remarkable improvements as well.

Arthritis Self-Help

How osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis differ

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a systemic inflammatory disease, which means this disease is throughout the body and not just with the joints. The joints do suffer inflammation but not degeneration. In rheumatoid arthritis there is inflammation in the tissue that surrounds and lines the joint and this inflammation causes stiffness, pain and swelling (fluid build up). People with rheumatoid arthritis have much more stiffness in their joints than somebody with osteoarthritis.

On awakening stiffness can last for about 2 hours after getting up.

Arthritis Self-Help

3 effective exercises/disciplines for Arthritis

FELDENKRAIS METHOD“Movement is life. Life is a process. Improve the quality of the process and you improve the quality of life itself” — Moshe Feldenkrais. The Feldenkrais Method is recognised for its demonstrated ability to improve posture, flexibility, coordination, self-image and to alleviate muscular tension and pain. The effectiveness of the Feldenkrais Method is in its ability to access the nervous system’s own innate processes to change and refine functioning. Feldenkrais is based on principles of physics, biomechanics and a complete understanding of human development. As a form of somatic education, the Feldenkrais Method uses gentle movement and directed attention to improve movement and enhance human functioning. This allows increased ease and range of motion, improved flexibility and coordination, and a re-discovery of efficient, graceful movement.

Arthritis Self-Help

Shou-xing (Balls of Eternal Health)

Since ancient times, the Chinese have written about healing therapies to the hands. I am sure you have all seen the Chinese Shou-xing balls. This idea was created five hundred years ago during the Ming Dynasty, Shou-xing means Balls of Eternal Health. The Emperor’s physician had advised him that in order to treat his failing health he would need to exercise all his vital organs and at the same time reduce his hypertension. Hence the Balls of External Health were made. Since then generation after generation has benefited from the practice. How do they work?

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Your liver, help it help you reduce pain.

Your liver, help it help you reduce pain.

Our liver is underrated, over worked and taken for granted. Yet this organ serves several very important functions, not least detoxification. However, there’s a limit to what the liver can take on a daily basis year after year. Especially these days of ever increasing demands from foods and drinks that contains unnatural substances in ever increasing quantities. This continual bombardment eventually causes the organ to struggle. A struggling liver can contribute to all sorts of conditions like arthritis and over the longer period you might end up with conditions like cirrhosis or hepatitis to varying degrees.

Give your liver a break, take the load off by reducing the amount of artificial substances that give your liver an extra work load, as these substances are difficult to break down and take up extra resources.

Important elements to consider –

Arthritis Self-Help

8 Natural Arthritis Pain Relief Tips on a Budget

There are some ingredients provided by nature that can help you reduce some pain. When we talk about pain relief for something like arthritis there is no one miracle potion, potion or concoction. You need to implement several of these listed below into your daily life. Natural arthritis pain relief can bring about that added help to give your body a break from so much pain. Some of the ingredients recommended are fresh others are dried, for these dried ingredients go on the internet and order them in bulk (non-branded) this is a far cheaper way of buying what you need.

1) Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate) in a hot bath or if you don’t have a bathtub then a foot bath is excellent alternative. The magnesium is absorbed by through the skin and the feet are highly absorbent. Magnesium is sadly lacking in the average diet these day so people are generally deficient. Magnesium has anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties helping greatly to relieve suffering. Put two cups of Epsom salt in the bathtub or one cup in a foot bath with hot water and soak your feet for 30 minutes, topping up with hot water if you need to. If you have heart or kidney problems I would ask your physician about using Epsom Salt. Use Epsom salts two to three times a week. Magnesium sulphate can help with cramps, will nourishment for the joints (as the magnesium is absorbed through the skin) and helps detoxify the body in general.

Arthritis Self-Help

12 Things for Chronic Back Pain Relief

12 Things for Chronic Back Pain Relief

Chronic pain is pain that you have suffered for some time, unlike acute pain which is something you have just suffered from maybe due to a recent injury. Chronic back pain can be frustrating and tiring to deal with, often disturbing sleep and making everything worse. It can certainly stop you enjoying life to the full. Though I can’t make any guarantees I can say that if you take some or all the measure below you will get relief from your pain to some degree. Some have had much more relief that they expected while others have had less depending on how bad their case was and how much they incorporated.

1) Acupuncture has been known to help treat back pain for many generations. Many people have managed their chronic back pain without medication. However, the treatment would be far more effective if while you are undergoing acupuncture you took a few more measures listed here. Acupuncture is believed to calm the nervous system while releasing chemicals (hormones) that will help heal the body.