Rheumatism: arthritis, arthrosis and other ailments

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Extremely frequent, rheumatism can be very disabling and always lead to a sharp decrease in the quality of life in those affected. Here is a review of the main known elements and some treatment options.

The term “rheumatism” brings together very different diseases, acute or chronic, localized mostly at the level of the joints and soft parts that surround them, characterized by pain and congestion (flow of liquid into the tissues). It is therefore more pertinent to speak of rheumatic pathologies. There are three main groups: inflammatory, extra-articular and degenerative rheumatism. The latter category is the most frequent (arthrosis).

Inflammatory rheumatism

This group includes rheumatoid polyarthritis, often called simply arthritis, ankylosing spondyloarthritis and collagenosis. Rheumatoid polyarthritis is characterized by inflammatory access to the hands, in particular the fingers, whose joints deform, sometimes severely limiting mobility. There is a progressive destruction of cartilages and joints. This disease is caused by autoimmune reactions, whose specialists are still unable to explain the origin; however, hereditary factors seem to come into play.

As for ankylosing spondyloarthritis, it is a relatively rare disease, which affects young men substantially; it has a slow evolution and mainly affects the joints of the spine. Some types of arthritis can also result from viral or bacterial infections.
Finally, collagenoses are considered autoimmune diseases, characterized by a widespread compromise of collagen, a connective tissue protein, which undergoes degeneration.

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Extra-articular rheumatism

As the name indicates, these rheumatisms do not affect the joints. These are, for example, tendinitis and fibromyalgia. The latter is a chronic pathology characterized by generalized and widespread pain, accompanied by profound fatigue.

Degenerative rheumatism (arthrosis)

It is this rheumatism that is wrongly believed to be linked to age. If it is true that the risk of osteoarthritis increases over the years, it is equally true that this disease also affects young people. Osteoarthritis mainly affects the joints of the knee, hip, fingers and spine. This pathology is attributable to a progressive alteration of the cartilage that covers the bone ends. The cartilage, which acts as a shock absorber bearing allowing the joints to move freely, in osteoarthritis it deteriorates becoming wrinkled on the surface. Once it has deteriorated, the cartilage is unable to regenerate itself and to cushion the impacts deriving from movements.
Over time, the bone ends become less smooth. Joint deformations are found and bones can take inappropriate positions. In this situation, the tendons and muscles are subjected to unusual stresses that cause overload, pain, stiffness and less mobility. In addition, inflammations with an accessory trend can occur (i.e. they have acute phases): they are caused by the presence of fragments of cartilage in the joint cavity with excessive production of fluid and swelling of the joint.

The treatments

Despite being constantly in the regenerative phase, cartilage is not a vascularized tissue (it does not contain blood vessels). There is a balance between its protein components (chondroitin and proteoglycans) and water. Cartilage captures the water and nutrients it needs during joint movements. By taking care of the joints and making them function correctly (and constantly), it is possible within certain limits to prevent wear and tear of the cartilage and ensure its regeneration.

To facilitate this process, however, the necessary nutrients must be supplied to the cartilage tissue. Glucosaminoglycans, present in the extract of “green-lipped” mussels (Perna canaliculus), are the natural components of the connective tissue, tendons and articular cartilages. This extract also contains numerous amino acids, mineral salts and omega-3 fatty acids. According to some recent clinical studies, omega-3 polyunsaturated acids and antioxidants such as vitamin E can reduce inflammatory processes.
The following food supplements, available in pharmacies or drugstores, can be recommended for people suffering from rheumatic diseases (arthritis, arthrosis or other joint diseases): vitamin E (in large doses), fish oil capsules (the alternative is to consume sea ​​fish in large quantities four times a week), capsules or tablets containing “green-lipped” mussel extract. To be effective, these products must be taken regularly for at least a few weeks.
In acute inflammatory phases, ointments and creams based on anti-inflammatory substances are indicated, as well as the application of gels and ice bags to soothe overheating and pain. In the absence of inflammation (inflammation), people suffering from osteoarthritis need a warming cream to improve joint mobility. For other therapies available on prescription (cortisone injections, oral anti-inflammatories, etc.), we refer interested readers to the attending physician.
Patients can also count on therapies other than pharmacological ones: psychotherapists and ergotherapists are essential partners. Therapies with cold or heat, massages, specific gymnastic exercises and aids help to prevent and contrast pain and less mobility. Spa treatments can also give relief and favorably influence various types of rheumatism. Speak to your rheumatologist for a prescription for a spa treatment.

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22 Responses

  1. I have had rheumatism for many years but I don’t know how to cure it. Nothing seems to be effective.

    1. I am 38 years old and at the age of 15 I had the first symptoms related to this illness, but at the time they could not diagnose it immediately. After several clinical checks, I entered treatment at around 18 years with oral medications until I got physically ill with taking the classic tablets. I then made a switch to biological medicine. I suspended the latter for almost 4 years the disease worsened with increasingly acute pains. I couldn’t find a drug that could keep them at least at bay.

      1. I have had such an experience. Although I found an acceptable cure with a biological drug, I stopped my therapy 4 months ago throwing myself on natural remedies because the contraindications of the drug scared me more and more, as well as the controls that I frequently had to do.

        1. In the morning I get up with three fingers of my left hand that cannot be folded, with sore knees and ankles, sometimes even with aching jaw. I’m afraid that my disease without drug support could deform me, which has already happened for a finger.

          1. I have a thousand doubts. I don’t know if I’m wrong to eat 4 meals a day. I mostly eat only fruit and vegetables, apart from some starchy foods like rye bread or potatoes. For the rest I try to cook steamed or I try to eat raw. From fasting I sometimes find relief but not these days. I started thinking about trying an exclusion method, feeding for at least three days on only one food to see the effects on my body.

            1. According to official medicine, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system attacks the synovium, the membrane that lines the joints. This causes inflammation that thickens the synovial membrane and can destroy cartilage and bone tissue in the joint. The tendons and ligaments weaken and lengthen, gradually allowing the joints to lose their shape and alignment.

              1. However, medicine does not know the causes of rheumatoid arthritis, and as usual makes genetic hypotheses associated with a greater risk of viral and bacterial infections.

                1. It should be noted that emotional stress plays a particularly important role in this type of joint degeneration. In fact, note that the disease is more frequent in women, with a 3: 1 ratio. Stress induces arthritic development through the adrenaline mechanism, which gives rise to rapid increases in free fatty acids in the blood.

    1. Rheumatoid arthritis increases the risk of developing other diseases, including Infections – The drugs used against AR weaken the immune system, increasing the risk of infections.

      1. The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are associated with several pathologies. For this reason, diagnoses are difficult to make, especially in the early stages of the disease. In fact, there is no test that can confirm the diagnosis with certainty.

        1. The use of anti-inflammatories certainly gives some temporary relief, but all the drugs eventually amplify and aggravate the pathology they intend to cure, being they further source of toxins, damage to the liver and kidneys, as well as deterioration of joints in the form of osteoarthritis, as a final result of both bodily abuse committed over the years and improper treatment recently practiced as an improper and deleterious attempt to repair.

          1. Rheumatoid arthritis is something that evolves and accumulates over the years, so it cannot be eradicated overnight. But one can nevertheless win and heal as soon as we radically stop causing it, indulging in its causes.

            1. Many tests highlight significant deficiency of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin D (especially from the sun), vitamin E and the vitamin B group, including folate B9, vitamin B13 or orotic acid (to counter urate), and vitamin B15 or pangamic acid (to detoxify the liver).

              1. Hygienist fasting is the best friend of the arthritic. A kind of purifying acceleration. The energy required to digest food is alternately used and conveyed to speed up the expulsion of toxins. The length of the fast depends on the level of toxins accumulated in the system. Usually a series of short fasts is needed after about a month, to descale and decrystallize the toxic content from the various storage areas.

                1. It can also help find a way to eliminate emotional stress through meditation and relaxation techniques.

                2. Apparently many of us who have seen improvements have also used methods such as eliminating smoke, alcohol, supplements and drugs.

  2. By applying cold and warm compresses, excellent benefits can be obtained in the case of rheumatoid arthritis.

    1. Fully agree as above. Warm compresses are useful for reducing pain and relaxing tense and sore muscles. The cold, on the other hand, reduces the perception of pain with an anesthetic effect and reduces muscle spasms.

      1. In my long experience of chronic diseases I have to say that I learned a rule that although it does not remove the problem has helped me a lot in dealing with daily life. Knowing how to take life with patience and philosophy, finding within ourselves the inner resources to smile about our troubles and to overcome them in ease and with the right dose of trust, science and even good humor. It is important to be able to relax and avoid sources of stress as much as possible. Meditation, muscle relaxation, breathing exercises are all activities indicated to combat stress, with the result of reducing the pain associated with the disease.

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