This condition causes lots of pain and suffering. We can help.
“The Arthritis Cure”
Many years ago I read, “The Arthritis Cure” by Joseph Theodosakis MD. It was my first understanding that one could do something about joint pain besides taking Motrin and Steroids. Since then I have found many great ways to actually rebuild the joints. This condition has a long functional period before actual pathology or damage occurs in the joints. But even the pathology can be reversed in many cases.
Not all joint pain is arthritis, but that is what we tend to call it. A joint has many parts and to fix the problem each needs to be addressed. The bone ends are covered with cartilage. This is covered with a slippery membrane call the synovium. Surrounding each joint are the capsule and ligaments that hold the bones in proper alignment. This lining of the joint capsule is filled with a lubricating gel made from hyaluronic acid. Running across the joints are tendons that connect the muscle to the bones. The bones are covered by a membrane call the periostium to which the tendons attach. Inside the joints, underlying the tendons are bursa. These are small gel filled sacks that act like pulleys to lubricate a variety of structures to make for smooth pain-free operation. A problem with any of these tissues can cause pain in the joints.
The most common joint pains are caused by wear and tear of the cartilages, ligaments, and tendons that hold the joints together. It is important to note that all of these tissues are made of collagen which tends to have very poor blood supple. As a result, most of the nutrients are supplied by diffusion through the tissues and not through tiny capillaries like muscle, bone, skin, etc. So, collagen structures tend to repair slowly. The slight concussion of mild exercise supports this diffusion of nutrients.
To make collagen our body goes through many steps. Two of these steps produce chondroitin and glucosamine. If we add these directly to our diet we can increase the production of collagen and repair our cartilages faster. Dietary sources are Jell-O or gelatin and animal cartilage or gristle from meat. Most of us do not eat much Jell-O and most throw away the cartilage. So adding a supplement containing these will be very helpful (avoid chondroitin if you have a high PSA or prostate cancer). The third ingredient needed is MSM. This helps break down the damaged collagen so it can be replaced with new. All three are in Osteo-Bi-Flex or Ever Flex by NSP. Another important nutrient is Omega 3 from fish oil or flax seed oil. This acts as an anti-inflammatory and also helps in the production of the lubricating gel in the joint. Both, fish oil and flaxseed oil have benefits, so we often recommend taking one or two of each once or twice daily. The production of lubricating gel can also increased by dietary hyaluronic acid. We like Baxyl or Hyaluronan which is a stable, absorbable form.
If there are spurs (calcification of the ligament and tendon attachments) present, the joints will be stiff and painful, especially in the mornings. Small hard nodules may occur over the knuckles. These can be dissolved by using herbal Hydrangea three times per day and Homeopathic Calcerea Carbonicum 6C or Heckla Lava 6C one per day. Depending on how many spurs are present, 80% of them can be completely dissolved in three to six months.
Taking these supplements ([Chondroitin, Glucosamine, and MSM-repair the cartilage], [Omega3 Oil and Hyaluronan-make more lubricating gel], [Hydrangea, and Hom. Calc.Carb 6C or Heckla Lava 6C-dissolve bone spurs]), following the blood type diet (to remove the inflammatory foods from the diet), and doing mild exercise (stretching and yoga type exercise, no high impact) will cure most cases of joint pain in three to six months. Fortunately, you do not have to take these supplements forever. It is a good idea to take photos of your fingers before you start. Send them to the Healing Center so we can see changes too.
Put Your Health in Your Own Hands
Tendonitis and Bursitis
Tendons are the fibrous bands that connect our muscles to our bones. This attachment to the bones is to a bone covering called the “periostium”. The periostium is like the thin membrane that we see inside a hard boiled egg shell.
Bursa are small sacks that are located around our joints. They are positioned under tendons or muscles at strategic points and they act like lubricating pulleys. Inside the bursa are a few drops of slippery lubricating fluid that helps the tendon or muscle operate smoothly with very little friction. This lubrication comes from the omega 3 oils we eat. Some tendons run inside sheaths made of the same material as the bursa. This is all intended to make for smoother operation of these moving parts.
Sometimes we injure these structures, we go to the clinic, and the Doctor says we have tendonitis or bursitis. These injuries can be acute (sudden and forceful) like a fall or chronic (slow and gradual) like the overuse of repetitive work. Common places for tendonitis and bursitis are the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, and knees. There may be pain, redness, heat, and swelling. Sometimes there may be a grating sensation. The medical term for this is “crepitus”. Don’t ask me where these names come from, but it is probably Latin or something. Some of you may recall this vibrating or almost squeaking sensation around a painful, swollen joint. This crepitus is caused by a roughness of the lining of the tendon or the inside of the bursa. Under the microscope the inflamed lining looks like sandpaper, so the motion is no longer smooth and painless.
Traditional treatment is anti-inflammatory medications like Motrin or Aspirin. Sometimes “cortisone” pills or shots are given to reduce the swelling and inflammation. Often Physical Therapy is needed to help repair this damage.
Heat or cold packs are usually helpful. I always tell people to use which ever one feels better. Cold reduces swelling and “overcrowding” of tissues in a small area. Heat relaxes muscle, improves blood flow, and brings more of the necessary healing chemicals that our body naturally makes to repair the damage. Alternating hot and cold may also help. The pain is present to stop us from moving that area so it can heal. Do not just take pain pills. That may make the damage worse during the period of pain reduction.
Natural treatment should begin with Homeopathic Arnica 30C. Dissolve one pellet in the mouth every 15-30 minutes for an acute injury or three or four times per day for chronic over-use injuries. As things improve, reduce the frequency of the Arnica. For the more chronic bursitis and tendonitis we also use Homeopathic Ruta Grav. 30C, taken one pellet four times per day. If no change in a week, it may be time to increase the strength or change to Hom. Rhus Tox. which is for pain that gets better with motion or Hom. Bryonia which is for pain that gets worse with motion. With the homeopathy we often use IF Relief (by Nature’s Sunshine) and Flaxseed Oil (2000mg twice per day) which are natural anti-inflammatories. These are all very safe, so try them before the more risky traditional treatment.
Put Your Health in Your Own Hands.
Not all joint pain is arthritis, but that is what we tend to call it. The most common joint pains are caused by wear and tear of the cartilages, ligaments, and tendons that hold the joints together. All of these tissues are made of collagen. They have poor blood supply and tend to repair themselves very slowly.
The most important part of repairing and healing the collagen tissue is to have the ingredients needed to make it, in our diet. To make collagen our body goes through seven different steps. Two of these steps make chondritin and glucosamine. If we add these directly to our diet we can increase the production of collagen and repair our cartilages faster. Dietary sources are jello or gelatin and animal cartilage or gristle from meat. Most of us do not eat enough jello and most throw away the gristle.
So adding a supplement containing these will be very helpful (avoid chondritin if you have a high PSA or prostate cancer). The third ingredient needed is MSM. This helps break down the damaged collagen so it can be repaired. The fourth ingredient is Omega 3 from fish oil or flax seed oil. This acts as an anti-inflammatory and also helps in the production of the lubricating gel in the joint.
High anti-oxidant fruit supplements like Noni, Thai Go, and Xango are very helpful in the temporary reduction of inflammation in the joints. I say temporary, because you need to have the building blocks to repair things to get permanent relief.
Homeopathic medications are also very helpful with joint pain. These should also be balanced with a good nutritional program like Eat Right for Your Blood Type as well as the building blocks. Arnica is fabulous for sprains, strains, and acute injuries of the joints. There are many other remedies for joint pains. They are determined by your symptoms as well as other health issues. So you need to read up on this or consult with someone skilled in homeopathy to find your remedy.
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Spurs (Calcium Deposits)
Lots of people have spurs in their necks, back, shoulders, heels, etc. Last week, I saw a gentleman in the office who had some spurs in this neck. About three months ago these were visible on x-ray and were causing him a lot of discomfort. We had recommended he take an herb - Hydrangea (known to dissolve calcified stones and spurs), a cell salt – Calcerea Carbonicum, and a homeopathic remedy – Hekla Lava. His pain was gone after 10 days and in 3 months, the spurs actually are no longer visible on the x-ray.
This is amazing to me. I have been telling people for years that if they have spurs, they have them for life. This, in fact, is not accurate. Bone is dynamic; it is constantly being broken down and built back up. I am not sure this will work for every case of spurs, but it is worth a try.
There are a few dietary things to consider if you have problems with spurs. Calcium Carbonate is a big culprit in this problem. That is what causes “hardness” in water. It is the scale that builds up in the tea kettle, coffee pot, shower/tub, etc. It is the type of Calcium in Tums and many calcium supplements. Too much of this will cause hardening in our body.
Too much acidity in our systems also is a problem. The acidity increases the formation of calcium deposits in inflamed areas of our body. So areas of the body that are inflamed from injury or from eating Lectin-containing foods are targets for calcium deposits. This is true especially; when the body’s acid levels are high. So avoid acidic foods, sugar, tomatoes, oranges, pork, pop, etc., follow the Eat Right for your Blood Type program, drink lots of good, pure water, and use remedies only if needed.
Put your Health in your Own Hands
Arnica -- Homeopathic Wonder Drug
This remedy should be in every home in the 30C or 30X potency. It is made from the herb, Leopard’s Bane or Mountain Daisy, which grows in mountainous areas. The whole plant including the roots is ground up and soaked in alcohol to make a mother tincture. The tincture is poisonous and should not be taken orally. It can be use topically for injuries. The potentized form is made by diluting and shaking the desired amount of times. 30C potency is diluted 100 to 1 thirty times. The 30X potency is diluted 10 to 1 thirty times. Between each dilution it is shaken approximately 20 times. Both of these common potencies are very safe to be taken orally.
This remedy is fabulous for treatment of sprains, strains, contusions, bruises, any kind of musculoskeletal injury. It speeds up the natural healing mechanisms. Ankle sprains which would normally take 3 or 4 weeks to heal will be better in 1 or 2 weeks.
It is used to reduce complications in surgery. Take one pellet under the tongue the night before surgery, one the morning of surgery, and one four to six times per day after the surgery depending on the amount of pain. The results are remarkable.
This remedy is also really important for head injury. Any head injury no matter how mild should be treated with Arnica. The effects of mild to severe head injuries can be cumulative and can be responsible for symptoms like memory changes, loss of sense of directions, loss of concentration. All of these will improve with use of this wonder drug after head injury. It should be given even if the head injury has been a long time in the past.
Using this will allow the internal healing mechanism to help the brain to fully recover from the injury, leaving no residual to accumulate with the next whack on the head. Try it, you will be amazed.
Anti-Oxidants – The Fountain of Youth?
Most people have heard of Anti-oxidants. What is an Anti-oxidant and why do we need them?
Any cell that uses oxygen for part of its energy gives off waste products. That is just like the engine in your car. Fuel, plus oxygen creates energy and wastes. In the car, the wastes go out the exhaust pipe. And like your car we have a catalytic converter that cleans up these waste by-products, too. The body uses anti-oxidants to convert these wastes into neutral compounds that cannot do damage.
The wastes are often called Free Radicals. In scientific terms, the Free Radicals are molecules that are missing an electron. Much like your car when it is missing a tire, these molecules do not function well and can cause a lot of damage. This damage occurs in the form of inflammation (damaged arteries, irritated joints, allergies, asthma, irritated bowel, etc). Mostly these Free Radicals are created within our bodies, but some come in from polluted air, water, and food. Smoking, Microwave cooking and artificial preservatives create a lot of Free Radicals.
This is where Anti-oxidants come in. They are molecules that have extra electrons to donate. So, they are like a car with two spare tires. When the Free Radical and the Anti-oxidant meet, one donates, the other accepts and everyone is happy.
Usually we think of Anti-oxidants as Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and those juice drinks like Xango, Thai Go, Noni, etc. These are in fact, Anti-oxidants and they do neutralize lots of Free Radicals, but most of the Free Radicals come from within our own cells and these external Anti-oxidants have very little effect on the internally generated Free Radicals.
Superoxide dismutase, better known as SOD, is an important antioxidant found in nearly all cells exposed to oxygen. It is an enzyme the converts Free Radicals to neutral, harmless molecules. This SOD is generated in all cells that create energy from fuel and oxygen. So, the big question is, if SOD cleans up all the Free Radicals made by our cells when energy is produced, then how do we make more of it. Supplements of SOD have been around, but they are not very effective because they are proteins that get broken down in our digestive system. Again, these are too superficial. More recently, intravenous (IV) Glutathione has been shown to increase intracellular SOD, but that is very inconvenient, expensive and many people just do not like the needles. Glutathione is what is called an Nrf2 activator. Nrf2 is a protein molecule that enters the nucleus of a cell and turns on the process that makes SOD.
There are now some new products that are NRF2 activators that can be taken orally. They are a little pricey at around $50 a month, but one can eliminate some of the other supplements and get a much better outcome. These products have been around for 3-4 years and the research is looking very good. My guess is that we are going to see great advances in this area of health care in the next few years. The one that looks the best is Protandim. It is available through some Health Food Stores and private distributors. This probably is not the Fountain of Youth, but is it another way to Put Your Health in Your Own Hands.
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