Don't want to be one of the over 16,500 Americans who unnecessarily die yearly from arthritis medications? Although these medications can sometimes be helpful, natural remedies have been shown to be more effective — and very safe. In addition, they help heal your joints, as opposed to medications which may actually accelerate arthritis. Here's a 6-week proven program to help you get relief — naturally!
Do not presume that joint pain is arthritis. It can also come from the muscles, tendons, and ligaments around the joint. This is so even if the x-rays are abnormal (or even horrible). The treatments below can help these as well but other treatments are more effective.
I recommend you begin with a program that will decrease inflammation and help to repair the joints. This has 4 main components:
- Reverse inflammation
- Restore function
- Rule out and treat infections and food allergies
(1) Repair: The joint cartilage can be repaired using a combination of glucosamine sulfate (most important: 750 mg 2 times a day for at least 6 weeks), MSM (2-3 grams a day), and, if the arthritis is severe, Chondroitin (less important: 400 mg 3x day). It is also critical that you get broad nutritional support (a good multi-vitamin powder supplement is best).
(2) Reverse inflammation: Use natural anti-inflammatories to prevent damage and decrease or eliminate pain. I recommend a combination of several natural remedies, many of which can be found in combination. The mix I like the most combines:
- Boswellia (also known as Frankincense). In one study, this decreased arthritis pain by over 80% and it is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Use 900-1,000 mg a day.
- Willow bark. This is the original natural source for aspirin. Because it combines many natural compounds, it is more effective and has been shown to not cause the stomach bleeding caused by arthritis medications. In head on studies, it was twice as effective as Motrin, and as effective as Vioxx.
- Cherry. Though not as well researched as the other treatments discussed here, it does have significant anti-inflammatory properties. Eating a dozen cherries daily can be very helpful.
If you have inflammatory arthritis (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis) also take a teaspoon or more of fish oil daily, which acts as an excellent anti-inflammatory.
(3) Restore function with stretching, exercise, weight loss, and heat. Exercise at least 20 minutes a day. Swimming, walking, and yoga are good choices. Use a heating pad or moist heat for up to 20 minutes at a time to give relief.
(4) Rule out and treat infections and food allergies, which can aggravate arthritis. I usually treat my rheumatoid arthritis patients with the antibiotic doxycycline as this has been shown to be helpful in several studies. The question is whether it acts as an anti-inflammatory on its own or is killing an infection causing the arthritis.
All of the treatments above can be taken in combination with your current arthritis medications. After six weeks, most of you will find that you can lower the dose of your arthritis medication or stop it (with your doctor's ok). The good news is — you can get pain free now!