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Category Archives: Alternative Treatments

Alternative Therapies for Osteoarthritis

Alternative Therapies for Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis in the US. It affects approximately 10% of men and 18% of women over the age of 60. The most common joints affected by OA include the hands, knees, feet and hips. OA is also called degenerative joint disease (DJD) and is considered a degenerative arthritis caused from overuse and damage to the joint over time.

There are many different factors that can increase the risk of osteoarthritis, including weight gain, trauma’s, certain occupations, bone density and physical activity. OA primarily affects the weightbearing joints. These are joints such as the hip and knee, and increased weight and cause additional wear and tear on these joints. Jobs that cause heavy joint loading and repetitive damage over time such as construction, agriculture, fishing, mining and other weightbearing occupations can increase the risk of developing OA over time. Vigorous exercise and injury over time may also increase the risk of OA in certain joints.

Medications for Osteoarthritis

There are currently no medications other than ibuprofen or Tylenol that are used to treat OA. These medications are used only for pain management, and caution should be used with long term usage to prevent adverse side effects such as increased risk of MI, stroke or kidney and liver damage. 

Alternative Treatments for Osteoarthritis

There are many alternative therapies that are excellent for treating OA. Many of these treatments include diet and lifestyle changes that can help reduce weight bearing on the joint as well and help strengthen the area to prevent further damage.

Exercise is probably the most reliable therapy for prevention and treatment of OA.  Low load exercises such as yoga and tai chi can help to strengthen the muscles and ligaments around the joint space and improve motility which can help reduce pain and instability. Physical medicine therapies such as cold laser and kineseotaping also be very beneficial to strengthen the joint and prevent further injury.

Weight loss should also be a focus if weightbearing joints such as the knee or hip are involved. Implementing dietary changes that can help a person lose weight and reduce inflammation are ideal. These can be tailored to an individual’s own lifestyle to help improve compliance.

Some supplementation can also be beneficial for joint support such as glucosamine, SAMe, or hyaluronic acid. Essential fatty acids found in fish oils can also help lubricate the joint space and reduce inflammation, while other hers like Gotu Kola can help to strengthen the connective tissues.

The best treatments for OA though include individualized plans for each person to identify specific triggers that could be contributing to further damage of the joint. If you want to learn more about how you can identify your own triggers for OA, contact our office today to schedule a free introductory consult with one of our physicians.

Alcohol and Autoimmune Diseases

Alcohol and Autoimmune Diseases

You can’t talk about health and not talk to people about alcohol consumption. Alcohol is as prevalent in our society as stress, hamburgers and weird looking dogs. There is a lot of controversy around drinking alcohol and whether it benefits or hinders a person’s health. And when people talk to me about their diet, oneContinue Reading

Intermittent Fasting for Autoimmune Diseases

Intermittent Fasting for Autoimmune Diseases

Intermittent Fasting is a hot topic these days. But can it be used for autoimmune diseases? Yes!

Intermittent fasting can be used to help reduce flares, improve pain and help reduce inflammation long term.

Learn more about intermittent fasting and how it can help your autoimmune symptoms in our new blog post!Continue Reading

How to Talk to Your Family About Dietary Restrictions

How to Talk to Your Family About Dietary Restrictions

The holidays are coming. For many this means you need to talk to your family about dietary restrictions. Some families and friends can be understanding towards the changes you want to make in your life. But if your family is anything like mine, they look at your choices to better your health as a fadContinue Reading

How to Have a Low-Carb Halloween

How to Have a Low-Carb Halloween

Halloween is coming – the sugariest night of the year! But for those that are trying to stay healthy by keeping things low-carb, it can feel like a time of being left out or a time when cravings hit hard. So how can you help indulge yourself while still maintaining that low-carb diet? Simple! PrepContinue Reading

Should People with Autoimmune Diseases get the Flu Shot?

Should People with Autoimmune Diseases get the Flu Shot?

I get asked this question A LOT. But before I go on to tell you my thoughts about the flu shot, I want to be clear that I am NOT against vaccinations. I support vaccinations when they are necessary, especially when they provide herd immunity that can eradicate or greatly reduce the chances of peopleContinue Reading

Serotonin and Fibromyalgia

Serotonin and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia (fibro) is a condition that has become more common in the last 10-20 years. It used to be thought that fibro was a made-up condition.  While we don’t necessarily know exactly what causes fibro, we do know that there are several factors that can play a role in its progression. Diagnosis and symptoms CurrentlyContinue Reading

Alternative Therapies for Gout

Alternative Therapies for Gout

Gout is an inflammatory arthritis that occurs from the precipitation of uric acid into the joint space. It affects more than 3% of the population and is more common in men than in women. This is because uric acid levels in the blood are generally higher in men than in women. Other things that increaseContinue Reading

Alternative Therapies for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Alternative Therapies for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a very destructive inflammatory arthritis that affects approximately 1-5% of the population in the US.  RA can occur at any age but occurs more common after age 50. Women are also affected 2-3x more than men. It is also a fast acting arthritis, and can cause damage to the joint spaceContinue Reading

Alternative Therapies for Psoriatic Arthritis

Alternative Therapies for Psoriatic Arthritis

In keeping with our theme of #arthritisawareness month, we will start off our weekly arthritis condition spotlight with alternative therapies for psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosis and Treatment Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory arthritis that can be incredibly detrimental to a person’s quality of life.  It is a form of inflammatory arthritis that is calledContinue Reading