For the entire life span of most adults in America, they have heard there isn’t any cure for arthritis. This has been accepted by most people, especially those who have for years been fighting this painful disease with drugs without success. From sulfa drugs, aspirin, gold injections, and cortisone, ACTH—all have proven to be failures in terms of permanent relief. Because most Americans haven’t been introduced to alternatives in lifestyle as a cure to this disorder, they follow the masses that have gone before them to a life filled with pain and misery. It is estimated that there are approximately 14 million or more Americans afflicted with arthritis in various forms. Arthritis is probably the most crippling of the classical disorders that face the public today. While it is not as direct as a killer like heart disease or cancer, it produces more pain and despair in more people than any other single disease.
Arthritis is one of the oldest known diseases to the human family. It belongs to the “rheumatic group” which has about 90 differentiations of arthritic and rheumatic diseases. Lumbago, sciatica, neuritis, etc. are painful inflammatory conditions expressing themselves in various parts of the body belonging to this group. Arthritis however, has reference specifically to inflammation in the joints. Osteoarthritis is probably the most well known of all the common types of arthritis. This form of arthritis comes so it is said from wear and tear, and usually affects people past middle age. What characterizes it is degeneration of the joints, softening and erosion of the cartilage and enlargement of the affected joints.
The joints that bear the weight seem to be affected first, but any joint in the body can be affected by osteoarthritis. When the hip joint is affected, it becomes stiff and very painful sometimes leading to replacements.
Rheumatoid arthritis is another common form of arthritis and is the most serious type. It can cause destruction of the joint tissue, which leads to severe and extensive deformations. It usually strikes young adults, but it can affect anyone. Statistics say women are affected at three times the rate of men. This type of arthritis starts with inflammation of the synovial membrane, which leads to deposits in the joints, bone degeneration and deformity. One can easily become an invalid from rheumatoid arthritis if treatment isn’t gotten early.
Gouty arthritis is usually manifested by inflammation of the joints of the large toe. It is a uric acid build up in the body, which is a systemic problem manifesting itself in the feet. Statistics tell us gout manly affects men usually past middle age, however it can affect anyone.
Arthritis begins to develop when the synovial membrane cease to secrete fluid to lubricate the joints. When this normal function of the joint is impaired, swelling may occur or the joint may shrivel up and dry. The cartilage loses its elasticity and becomes dry and brittle. Muscles surrounding the joint lose their tone and ligaments lose their flexibility as the process degenerates. As the bones begin to rub together, it causes inflammation and pain.
Trying to pinpoint one single thing that causes arthritis has eluded the medical profession for ages.