March 30, 2009
photo credit: dvanhorn
Tens of millions of people in the U.S. suffer from arthritis. This disease comes in two basic categories. Osteoarthritis is a condition described as a simple wearing out of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition which affects the immune system.
Osteoarthritis is a good news, bad news condition. While it typically gets worse with time, it does not progress as rapidly or painfully as rheumatoid arthritis. Currently, there are no pharmaceutical treatments. All your doctor can do is prescribe a pain killer. On the other hand, there are medications available for rheumatoid arthritis that can slow progress of the disease, as well as pain killers to ease those painful joints.
In both cases, conventional medicine does not offer much, besides some relief of pain. However, you can make use of time-tested natural remedies for arthritis that can actually improve your condition and reduce the need for pain medications. It’s also easy to integrate these foods and herbs into your daily routine.
Bing cherries are a terrific anti-inflammatory. Fresh cherries in season work best, but canned cherries will still offer significant help.
Capsaicin creams are one of the most useful of the natural remedies for arthritis when used as a topical on the affected areas. During cold and damp weather, you’ll find substantial relief from pain and inflammation. The effect can be enhanced by wearing nylon gloves and socks, which help hold the heat.
Turmeric, taken in capsules or prepared in curry dishes is a marvelous addition to your natural remedies for arthritis, that is found to be as effective as cortisone in alleviating symptoms of both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Additional benefits include improvements in digestion, reduction of cholesterol and lowers blood sugar, a boon for diabetics.
Alfalfa is another inexpensive and time tested of the natural remedies for arthritis. The best form is the dried powdered leaves. You can buy this at health food stores in capsules. Alfalfa is packed with nutrients and is good for respiratory problems too.
Next in our lineup of natural remedies for arthritis is the Omega-3 fatty acids, a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, found in fish. Sardines, salmon, tuna and herring contain high quantities of the Omega-3′s. Alternatively, you can take gel caps from the health food store. As a bonus, taking this supplement reduces your risk of heart problems, reduces bad cholesterol while raising the good cholesterol.
One especially tasty spice in your repertoire of natural remedies for arthritis is ginger. Ginger is anti-inflammatory. Make a habit of drinking ginger tea three times a day. Ginger is also beneficial to your heart health.
You’ve probably heard of Evening Primrose oil, but did you know that this plant oil is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory agents discovered to date? Several double-blind studies have demonstrated that the pain experienced by arthritis sufferers was typically reduced by 50%!
If you put all of these natural remedies for arthritis to work for you, you’ll be feeling better soon.
For more information on arthritis treatments, contact Dr. Hans Freericks at 510-797-4796 for Fremont residents. For Union City, contact Dr. Hans at 510-324-0100.
March 22, 2009
All natural is one of the most ambiguous phrase of the times. Mainly due to environmental awareness and the animal rights movement, the term, all natural, has come into our everyday vocabulary. Natural is good, right? The corporate marketing minds have successfully hyped the public with the all natural label, applying the phrase to everything from chickens to makeup. They found that by affixing the label to almost any product, sales for that item soared. However, there is no definitive meaning to the phrase.
This is where the hype becomes deceptive. After all, you can’t get more natural than a chicken. Or can you? Have you ever heard of an unnatural chicken? One chicken supplier may designate his product to be all natural, meaning that the chicken wasn’t fed antibiotics or growth hormones, although this natural chicken spent her entire life in an indoor cage crowded amongst thousands of others. Another supplier may regard an all natural chicken product to be one which is not injected with water after slaughter to pump up the weight. On the other hand, a free-range chicken is probably the best bet for procuring an all natural chicken. These birds aren’t fed the hormones or pumped up with water, are fed natural grains and allowed to roam freely just as they would – naturally. The confusion makes it apparent that there ought to be a specific definition which removes the hype and keeps the meat producer honest.
How about natural makeup? This is almost an oxymoron. We weren’t born with makeup on our faces. Therefore, makeup cannot be natural. Ah, but if you look at it a bit differently, it could be. One of the latest trends in makeup is the products which are made from minerals. Now, how natural can you get? You could argue that while minerals are all natural, minerals on your face are not.
Speaking of minerals, did you know that selenium, a trace mineral, may be taken as an internal supplement that provides a remedy for psoriasis and eczema-like conditions? People with diabetes sometimes are plagued with this skin condition, due to an inadequate supply of selenium. Although your doctor should know better, he may prescribe a popular dandruff shampoo to rub into the skin as a help. The active ingredient in this shampoo? Selenium. It would appear that the all natural remedy here is taking the supplement to eradicate the condition, rather than using a costly product that only helps alleviate it.
Until such time as product industries are ready to define this ambiguous term, it’s up to you to do your homework and find out how truly natural – or unnatural – that product is.
March 15, 2009
We all experience pain and discomfort at one time or another. This pain and discomfort can be caused by many factors, including injury, arthritis, and poor joint use. Pain is not a walk in the park. When children suffer the pain, it can be unbearable, for both them and parents. If your child complains of pain or difficulty moving, your first thought may be to take them to their primary care physician. Yes, you can, but why not opt for natural relief? You can get it with Union City chiropractic care.
If you didn’t already know, chiropractic care is a natural form of medicine. Patients can opt to take over-the-counter pain relievers, but they are rarely needed when proper treatment is sought. Chiropractic care involves manual therapy, also known as hand therapy. A child suffering from neck pain may need neck realignment or regular therapeutic massages. A child suffering from constant and severe headaches may need a vertebrae alignment. These treatments sound complicated, but they are all done with precision force and with the hands.
One of the first questions parents ask is about safety. Many wonder if chiropractic care is safe for children. Yes. In fact, it is safer than most forms of traditional medicine. Your child’s primary care physician may prescribe pain reliever. Both prescribed and over-the-counter pain relievers are risky for children. There are many risks and typically some side effects. Chiropractors cannot prescribe medication. Most wouldn’t want to anyways. Instead, natural treatment is sought and through the hands. The treatment will depend on the diagnosis made, but remember it is usually a joint adjustment or a therapeutic massage. These are 100% all natural and not risky.
Another important point parents, like yourself, are urged to consider is long-term relief. Many mistakenly believe that chiropractic care is long-term. It can be, but not always. Parents and chiropractors develop long-term treatment plans together. If your child’s lower back problems were caused by improper posture, therapeutic massages or readjustment may be necessary, but continued treatment is usually rare. At our Union City chiropractic office, your child’s chiropractor will however discuss the importance of proper posture with you and your child and share helpful tips.
If your child needs long-term care, cost may be a concern. Although some classify chiropractic care as alternative medicine, many insurance companies extend coverage. Talk to your insurance provider and find a chiropractor that accepts it. If uninsured, inquire about payment plans.
As previously stated, a primary care physician may prescribe over-the-counter pain pills for the pain and offer a brace for support. These are only temporarily solutions to the problem. Many physicians only treat the symptoms, not the problem at hand. As previously stated, a child suffering from neck pain may need an adjustment or realignment. With chiropractic care, this is done with precise hand manipulation. A primary care physician is likely to write a prescription for pain pills, slap a brace on your child, and send them on their way.
As shown above, chiropractic care is safe for individuals of all ages, including children. Still, there are many ways that you can eliminate the need for chiropractic care. In fact, it might be a lot easier than you think. For starters, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) claims that poor quality backpacks and improper use can lead to lower back pain in children. So, if you are the parent of a school aged child, make sure your child’s bag is less than 10% of their weight, do not let it hang too far below the waistline, keep pointy objects away from your child’s back, and choose a backpack with wide and adjustable straps.
Another easy way to reduce pain and discomfort in children is encourage proper posture as a parent. This is particularly important today, as children spend many hours watching television, playing video games, and using a computer. Encourage your child to sit up straight. This simple step can later reduce the likelihood of back and neck pain.