Living Healthy Naturally

NATURAL TREATMENT OF ARTHRITIS IN HANDS

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After experiencing a severe allergic reaction to a drug commonly prescribed for arthritis, I was devastated.  I’m a pharmacist, a cosmetics formulator, soapmaker and a church accompanist on the keyboard;  all of which I am quite passionate. All of which require almost constant use of my hands which are becoming more and more crippled by arthritis.  I had no choice but to begin researching natural treatments for arthritis in hands.  And, I want to share with you the amazing discoveries I’ve made along the way.

WHAT IS ARTHRITIS?

Anyone with arthritis can tell you it’s debilitating … which is a nice way of saying you are now living a new “normal” where you can’t move like you once could, you have pain most of varying degrees all the time and most certainly upon movement, and your joints just don’t allow you to do many of the things you once enjoyed.  In spite of this, however, I’ve come to entertain the notion that we find natural ways of coping – and yes – even improving some of the symptoms.

For those of you fortunate or young enough not to have experience with arthritis, it involves inflammation of the tissues that line your joints and other body structures and involves a substance called fibrin. Fibrin is an insoluble protein that acts as a first responder to body injury which rushes to the site of injury.  Shaped like long threads, each molecule interlaces to form a mesh-like barrier around the wound which is critical for trapping red blood cells and platelets necessary for clot formation. In a normal scenario, once the wound heals, the fibrin dissolves and life continues.  However, if this normal dissolution process is interrupted by age or illness, then inflammation, pain and joint damage occur.  

Now if you happen to be under 27 years of age (according to Dr. Max Wolfe of Columbia University), you should have sufficient proteolytic enzymes to break down the collected fibrin. These enzymes dramatically decrease with age until the age of 50 at which point there is a substantial increase in inflammation due to fibrin production and proteolytic enzyme deficiency.

The focus of this review of these natural treatments will focus on hand arthritis, although what we discuss can be applied to arthritis in general.

WHAT KIND OF ARTHRITIS AFFECTS THE HANDS?

Arthritic diagnoses include over 100 different types of arthritis, but these two are the most common that affect the hands:

Osteoarthritis:  As part of our natural aging process the protective cartilage in the hands which allows the many bones in your hand to move smoothly is worn causing inflammation, swelling, and pain. This type is the most common.

                Basal joint arthritis:  A type of osteoarthritis caused when cartilage wears away in the joint at the base of the thumb using occurring in people who work with their hand performing repetitive gripping or pressing movements such as instrumentalists, pharmacists, massage therapists, hairdressers, etc.

Rheumatoid arthritis: An immune system dysfunction attacks and wears away at the lining of the joints between the small delicate bones in your hand and generally affects the joints on both hands.

SYMPTOMS

Symptoms can include:

Pain or burning in the hand knuckles or hand joints, especially in the morning, subsiding during the day which worsens with heavy use and again in the evening

Swelling and wamth due to inflammation in the joints

The affected joint becomes painful to use and nearby joints become unusually flexible to compensate

Feeling or hearing a grinding sound inside the joint

Development of knots or bumps on the fingers

A weak grip and difficulty using the hand because of pain in the knuckles

A limited range of motion and pain when pressure is applied to the sore jointAdditionally, as the disease progresses or symptoms worsen a patient may experience:

Fatigue

Weight loss

Fever

CONTRIBUTING FACTORS

We are all created uniquely. However, there do seem to be some common denominators in those suffering with hand arthritis.

  1. Genetic predisposition to rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune disorders
  2. Injury
  3. Repetitive activity
  4. Weight (yup – even with hand arthritis and I’ll explain why later)
  5. Less commonly, bacterial or viral infections
  6. Sex (women are more prone to hand arthritis)

TRADITIONAL TREATMENT

Oral or topical medications, such as acetaminophen, aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs called NSAIDs (Naproxen, Ibuprofen, Relafen) or COX-2 inhibitors (Celebrex – 2 others were pulled from the market in 2004/2005),  prescription pain relievers, or pain-relieving gels are usually prescribed.  Each has its own profile of adverse effects on the body.  Steroid treatment with cortisone or prednisone is only prescribed temporarily.

Therapy to strengthen supporting muscles and tendons and learning adaptive techniques to lessen the strain on the joint Icing the area for five to 15 minutes as needed throughout the day to relieve pain and swelling

Wearing a supportive splint or brace to limit thumb movement and allow the joint to heal

Quite often the doctor will suggest a combination of treatments to control symptoms. When medications, physical therapy and self-care aren’t successful, steroid injections can relieve pain and swelling for several months.

If nonsurgical treatments are no longer effective, surgery may offer varying degrees of relief.

 NATURAL TREATMENT

Having experienced all of the traditional treatments that could possibly be offered, including surgery, and having limited success I began searching for “what’s out there that’s better than this”.  I refuse to greatly compromise or completely stop doing the things that give me the greatest joy!

  1. Certainly physical therapy and the application of cold to inflamed joints can be listed as “natural” treatments and do provide limited improvement in symptoms.
  2. Splinting or support to the wrist and hand often reduce strain, wear and tear on joints, allowing them to “rest” comfortably and protected.
  3. imitation of activities that produce inflammation (my least favorite).

Because as a population we have been conditioned to find our answers “in a bottle”, it is hard for us to refocus our attention from treating symptoms to finding natural alternatives to address the cause of problems associated with natural treatments for arthritis in the hands.

The National Institutes of Health say fibrin is a prominent feature of arthritis. Since fibrin and the decrease of enzymes that regulate the deposit of fibrin are at the heart of arthritis, we may wish to look at how we can increase proteolytic enzymes in the body.

                DIET:     

We know that weight affects the stress upon joints and the old adage “the knee bone’s connected to the…thigh bone, the thigh bone’s connected to the….hip bone” applies here.  As much as we love eating delicious foods, there are some that have been suspect in terms of actually promoting fibrin production in the body!

Here is a list of the culprits:

  1. Bagels, muffins, donuts, sugar or any unrefined carbohydrate drive up the body’s inflammatory processes.
  2. Processed fast foods (ie French fries -those lovely little strips deep fried in transfats  are know to increase systemic chronic body inflammation).  Oils such as soybean, corn, and peanut are rich in omega 6 fats.  Too much results in inflammation promoting fibrin production. 
  3. BBQ and blackened foods, chargrilled or broiled meats and veggies. AGEs (Advanced Glycation Ends) are produced by high temperatures.  Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are harmful compounds that are formed when protein or fat combine with sugar in the bloodstream in a process called glycation.  Antioxidants and proteolytic enzymes are necessary to eliminate AGEs.  Preferred cooking methods include stewing, broiling, crock potting and braising.
  4. Did you know there are “bad” veggies?   Potatoes, tobacco, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes all contain alkaloids which if eaten in large amounts affect calcium metabolism in the body. This calcium can deposit on soft tissues (such as tendons and ligaments) and in your joints, leading to an inflammatory response.

Research is now showing that proteolytic enzymes boost cardiovascular, respiratory and immune function as well as fight the production and deposition of fibrin.

The problem is not that we have no natural solutions…It’s that we actually have so MANY!  Here are a few of the natural products available to us.

  1. Turmeric  is an excellent antioxidant that destroys free radicals which reduce pain and swelling.  A study by Sloan Kettering Institute has shown turmeric is safer than aspirin and shuts down COX-2 production by the body (same as Celebrex).  My personal experience is that turmeric can be taken as a capsule and supplemented with addition to foods.  It has an indistinguishable taste incorporated into normal seasoning, but adds a depth of flavor to foods.
  2. Papain occurs naturally in papaya.  Some people take papain by mouth for pain and swelling and to remove extra fluid following trauma and surgery.  Papain has many uses including being taken orally for digestion, to treat parasitic worms, shingles symptoms, sore muscles, diarrhea, hay fever, runny nose, and psoriasis.  It’s also be reported to treat the side effects of radiation therapy and may be used in combination with other therapies to treat tumors.
  3. Biflavinoids occur in fruits and vegetables are potent phytochemicals.  They help maximize the benefits of viamin C by preventing its breakdown in the body.  In addition to citrus fruits, they are found in broccoli, red onions, kale, rutabaga, spinach and hot peppers. Antioxidants help prevent the formation of fibrin!  Rutin a complex sugar is also found in these same foods.
  4. Other herbal and food items with dietary benefits include:  
    1. Rutin, a plant pigment, (a strong antioxidant with anti-inflammatory effects) is found in certain vegetables and fruits such as apples, bucikwheat, most citrus fruits, gifs and both black and green tea.
    2. Devils’ claw, an herb from a flowering plant of the sesame family, contains iridoid glycosides, a class of compounds which has demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects as effective as phenylbutazone, a potent antiinfammatory drug.
    3. Used commonly  in India, Boswellia, is known to inhibit the production of chemicals known to cause inflammation.  Additionally it has been shown to improve healthy blood circulation, increased joint mobility and flexibility.

This list is by no means comprehensive, but I hope it piques your curiosity in finding other naturally occurring, easily available alternative treatments for hand arthritis and better health!

CONTROVERSIAL TREATMENT

(NOTE:  THIS IS PROVIDED AS STRICTLY INFORMATIONAL AND IS NOT TO BE PERCEIVED AS AN OPINION AS TO THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA OR CBD OIL NOR TO ENCOURAGE SUCH DISCUSSION.  Thank you.)

In the spring of 2017, Congress introduced a new federal bill to reschedule marijuana and CBD as a schedule III substance, meaning CBD could be freely distributed for medical and research purposes.  There is some confusion in the public regarding hemp oil, CBD oil and marijuana. Here’s a quick analysis of the differences:

Hemp Oil:            Hempseed oil is actually a nutritious product containing antioxidants, Vitamin E, polyunsaturated fatty acids and minerals and is used in the soapmaking and cosmetic industry for its beneficial skin properties.  It contains little to no THC (active component of marijuana) and cannot cause any alteration in the state of consciousness.

CBD Oil:                Cannabidiol is a naturally occurring cannabinoid constituent of cannabis, discovered in 1940.  It does not appear to have any psychotropic (high) effects such as those caused by marijuana, but surprisingly it may have antianxiety and antipsychotic effects.

In the US, many companies have marketed products purportedly containing CBD and have been admonished by the FDA for making unsubstantiated health claims.  It is important to note that In the United States, CBD is a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that production, distribution, and possession of CBD is illegal under federal law.

Although most states restrict the use of CBD products to certain medical conditions, manufacturers of CBD claim their products are derived from industrial hemp, and therefore legal for anyone to use. A number of these manufacturers ship CBD products to all 50 states, some containing 0% CBD!  The federal government has made no effort to intervene to regulate these sales or assure that the products do in fact contain CBD.  Therefore, caution in using CBD oil for relief of arthritis symptoms is advised.

WRAP UP

We are surrounded by healthy alternatives if we begin to think “outside the box” and take our focus off pills bottles and injections.  I know that it’s a frightening to even think about letting go of conventional treatment.  But it’s very important to note that all of these natural opportunities can also be used in conjunction with conventional treatment.  Hand arthritis is essentially a self-care condition with which we must cope on a daily basis.  Having run the gamut of conventional treatments with less than optimal response, I’m excited to know that there are natural treatments for arthritis in my hands.

NATURAL TREATMENT OF ARTHRITIS IN HANDS

Spread the love

Arthritic Hands

After experiencing a severe allergic reaction to a drug commonly prescribed for arthritis, I was devastated. I’m a pharmacist, a cosmetics formulator , a soapmaker, and a church accompanist on the keyboard; all about which I am quite passionate. All of which require constant use of my hands which are becoming more and more crippled by arthritis. I had no choice but to begin researching the natural treatment of arthritis in hands. And, I want to share with you the amazing discoveries I’ve made along the way.

WHAT IS ARTHRITIS?

Anyone with arthritis can tell you it’s debilitating … which is a nice way of saying you are now living a new “normal” where you can’t move like you once could, you have a constant pain of varying degrees and most certainly upon movement, and your joints just don’t allow you to do many of the things you once enjoyed. In spite of this, however, I’ve come to entertain the notion that we can find natural ways of coping – and yes – even improving some of the symptoms.

For those of you fortunate or young enough not to have experience with arthritis, it involves inflammation of the tissues that line your joints and other body structures and involves a substance called fibrin. Fibrin is an insoluble protein that acts as a first responder to body injury which rushes to the site of injury. Shaped like long threads, each molecule interlaces to form a mesh-like barrier around the wound which is critical for trapping red blood cells and platelets necessary for clot formation. In a normal scenario, once the wound heals, the fibrin dissolves and life continues. However, if this normal dissolution process is interrupted by age or illness, then inflammation, pain, and joint damage occur.Types of Hand Arthritis

Now if you happen to be under 27 years of age (according to Dr. Max Wolfe of Columbia University), you should have sufficient proteolytic enzymes to break down the collected fibrin. These enzymes dramatically decrease with age until the age of 50 at which point there is a substantial increase in inflammation due to fibrin production and proteolytic enzyme deficiency.

The focus of this review will be specifically on natural treatments for hand arthritis, although what we discuss can be applied to arthritis in general.

WHAT KIND OF ARTHRITIS AFFECTS THE HANDS?

Arthritic diagnoses include over 100 different types of arthritis, but these two are the most common that affect the hands:

Osteoarthritis: As part of our natural aging process the protective cartilage in the hands which allows the many bones in your hand to move smoothly is worn causing inflammation, swelling, and pain. This type is the most common.
Basal joint arthritis: A type of osteoarthritis caused when cartilage wears away in the joint at the base of the thumb using occurring in people who work with their hand performing repetitive gripping or pressing movements such as instrumentalists, pharmacists, massage therapists, hairdressers, etc.

Rheumatoid arthritis: An immune system dysfunction attacks and wears away at the lining of the joints between the small delicate bones in your hand and generally affects the joints on both hands.

SYMPTOMS

Symptoms can include:

  • Arthritic HandPain or burning in the hand knuckles or hand joints, especially in the morning, subsiding during the day which worsens with heavy use and again in the evening
  • Swelling and warmth due to inflammation in the joints
  • The affected joint becomes painful to use and nearby joints become unusually flexible to compensate
  • Feeling or hearing a grinding sound inside the joint
  • Development of knots or bumps on the fingers
  • A weak grip and difficulty using the hand because of pain in the knuckles
    • A limited range of motion and pain when pressure is applied to the sore joint
    • Additionally, as the disease progresses or symptoms worsen a patient may experience:
      Fatigue
      Weight loss
      Fever

 

CONTRIBUTING FACTORS

We are all created uniquely. However, there do seem to be some common denominators in those suffering with hand arthritis.

  1. Genetic predisposition to rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune disorders
  2. Injury
  3. Repetitive activity
  4. Weight (yup – even with hand arthritis.  I’ll explain later.)
  5. Less commonly, bacterial or viral infection
  6. Sex (women are more prone to hand arthritis)

TRADITIONAL TREATMENT

Oral or topical medications, such as acetaminophen, aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs called NSAIDs (Naproxen, Ibuprofen, Relafen) or COX-2 inhibitors (Celebrex – 2 others were pulled from the market in 2004/2005), prescription pain relievers, or pain-relieving gels are usually prescribed. Each has its own profile of adverse effects on the body. Steroid treatment with cortisone or prednisone is only prescribed temporarily.

Medication Treatment

Therapy to strengthen supporting muscles and tendons and learning adaptive techniques to lessen the strain on the joint Icing the area for five to 15 minutes as needed throughout the day to relieve pain and swelling

Wearing a supportive splint or brace to limit thumb movement and allow the joint to heal

Quite often the doctor will suggest a combination of treatments to control symptoms. When medications, physical therapy and self-care aren’t successful, steroid injections can relieve pain and swelling for several months.

If nonsurgical treatments are no longer effective, surgery may offer varying degrees of relief.


NATURAL TREATMENT

Having experienced all of the traditional treatments that could possibly be offered, including surgery, and having limited success I began searching for “what’s out there that’s better than this”. I refuse to greatly compromise or completely stop doing the things that give me the greatest joy!

  • Certainly physical therapy and the application of cold to inflamed joints can be listed as “natural” treatments and do provide limited improvement in symptoms.
  • Splinting or support to the wrist and hand often reduce strain, wear and tear on joints, allowing them to “rest” comfortably and protected.
  • Limitation of activities that produce inflammation (my least favorite).
  • Warm wax treatments give almost instant pain relief that can last for hours, giving the skin of the hands suppleness and flexibility.  Love that warm wax!



Because as a population we have been conditioned to find our answers “in a bottle”, it is hard for us to refocus our attention from treating symptoms to finding natural alternatives to address the cause of problems associated with natural treatments for arthritis in the hands.

What About Glucosamine and Chondroitin?

Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are components of normal cartilage. In the body, they are the building blocks for cartilage and have been said to stimulate the body to make more cartilage.

Some studies on glucosame and chondroitin demonstrate a beneficial effect on osteoarthritis pain.  However, other studies including one done by the National Institutes of Health in a multicentered study called the Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT), did not show benefit for the primary outcome of reducing pain; still yet another study also found that glucosamine did not slow down cartilage damage or reduce knee pain.

The National Institutes of Health say fibrin is a prominent feature of arthritis. Since fibrin and the decrease of enzymes that regulate the deposit of fibrin are at the heart of arthritis, we may wish to look at how we can increase proteolytic enzymes in the body.

DIET:

We know that weight affects the stress upon joints and the old adage “the knee bone’s connected to the…thigh bone, the thigh bone’s connected to the….hip bone” applies here. As much as we love eating delicious foods, there are some that have been suspect in terms of actually promoting fibrin production in the body!

Here is a list of the culprits:

  • Fired foods cause inflammation Bagels, muffins, donuts, sugar or any unrefined carbohydrate drive up the body’s inflammatory processes.
  •  Processed fast foods (ie French fries -those lovely little strips deep fried in transfats are know to increase systemic chronic body inflammation). Oils such as soybean, corn, and peanut are rich in omega 6 fats. Too much results in inflammation promoting fibrin production.
  •  BBQ and blackened foods, chargrilled or broiled meats and veggies. AGEs (Advanced Glycation Ends) are produced by high temperatures. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are harmful compounds that are formed when protein or fat combine with sugar in the bloodstream in a process called glycation. Antioxidants and proteolytic enzymes are necessary to eliminate AGEs. Preferred cooking methods include stewing, BBQ Foodbroiling, crock potting and braising.
  • Did you know there are “bad” veggies? Potatoes, tobacco, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes all contain alkaloids which if eaten in large amounts affect calcium metabolism in the body. This calcium can deposit on soft tissues (such as tendons and ligaments) and in your joints, leading to an inflammatory response.Research is now showing that proteolytic enzymes boost cardiovascular, respiratory and immune function as well as fight the production and deposition of fibrin.

The problem is not that we have no natural solutions…It’s that we actually have so MANY! Here are a few of the natural products available to us.

  •  Turmeric is an excellent antioxidant that destroys free radicals which reduce pain and swelling. A study by Sloan Kettering Institute has shown turmeric is safer than aspirin and shuts down COX-2 production by the body (same as Celebrex). My personal experience is that turmeric can be taken as a capsule and supplemented with addition to foods. It has an indistinguishable taste incorporated into normal seasoning, but adds a depth of flavor to foods.
  • Papain occurs naturally in papaya. Some people take papain by mouth for pain and swelling and to remove extra fluid following trauma and surgery. Papain has many uses including being taken orally for digestion, to treat parasitic worms, shingles symptoms, sore muscles, diarrhea, hay fever, runny nose, and psoriasis. It’s also be reported to treat the side effects of radiation therapy and may be used in combination with other therapies to treat tumors.
  • Good fruitsBiflavinoids occur in fruits and vegetables are potent phytochemicals. They help maximize the benefits of viamin C by preventing its breakdown in the body. In addition to citrus fruits, they are found in broccoli, red onions, kale, rutabaga, spinach and hot peppers. Antioxidants help prevent the formation of fibrin!

Other herbal and food items with dietary benefits include:

  •  Rutin, a plant pigment, (a strong antioxidant with anti-inflammatory effects) is found in certain vegetables and fruits such as apples, bucikwheat, most citrus fruits, gifs and both black and green tea.
  • Devils’ claw, an herb from a flowering plant of the sesame family, contains iridoid glycosides, a class of compounds which has demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects as effective as phenylbutazone, a potent antiinfammatory drug.
  • Used commonly in India, Boswellia, is known to inhibit the production of chemicals known to cause inflammation. Additionally it has been shown to improve healthy blood circulation, increased joint mobility and flexibility.

This list is by no means comprehensive, but I hope it piques your curiosity in finding other naturally occurring, easily available alternative treatments for hand arthritis and better health!

CONTROVERSIAL TREATMENTCBD Oil in Treatment of Arthritis

(NOTE: THIS IS PROVIDED AS STRICTLY INFORMATIONAL AND IS NOT TO BE PERCEIVED AS AN OPINION AS TO THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA OR CBD OIL NOR TO ENCOURAGE SUCH DISCUSSION. Thank you.)

In the spring of 2017, Congress introduced a new federal bill to reschedule marijuana and CBD as a schedule III substance, meaning CBD could be freely distributed for medical and research purposes. There is some confusion in the public regarding hemp oil, CBD oil and marijuana.

Here’s a quick analysis of the differences:

  • Hemp Oil: Hempseed oil is actually a nutritious product containing antioxidants, Vitamin E, polyunsaturated fatty acids and minerals and is used in the soapmaking and cosmetic industry for its beneficial skin properties. It contains little to no THC (active component of marijuana) and cannot cause any alteration in the state of consciousness.
  • CBD Oil: Cannabidiol is a naturally occurring cannabinoid constituent of cannabis, discovered in 1940. It does not appear to have any psychotropic (high) effects such as those caused by marijuana, but surprisingly it may have antianxiety and antipsychotic effects.

In the US, many companies have marketed products purportedly containing CBD and have been admonished by the FDA for making unsubstantiated health claims. It is important to note that In the United States, CBD is a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that production, distribution, and possession of CBD is illegal under federal law.

Although most states restrict the use of CBD products to certain medical conditions, manufacturers of CBD claim their products are derived from industrial hemp, and therefore legal for anyone to use. A number of these manufacturers ship CBD products to all 50 states, some containing 0% CBD! The federal government has made no effort to intervene to regulate these sales or assure that the products do in fact contain CBD. Therefore, caution in using CBD oil for relief of arthritis symptoms is advised.

WRAP UP

We are surrounded by healthy alternatives if we begin to think “outside the box” and take our focus off pills bottles and injections. I know that it’s frightening to even think about letting go of conventional treatment. But it’s very important to note that all of these natural opportunities can also be used in conjunction with conventional treatment. Hand arthritis is essentially a self-care condition with which we must cope on a daily basis. Having run the gamut of conventional treatments with less than optimal response, I’m excited to know that there are natural treatments for arthritis in my hands.


DISCLAIMER: This information is not meant to substitute for care given by a physician. As with all medical conditions, you should discuss any information obtained on the Internet with your physician so that together you can develop a plan of care best for your condition.

33 thoughts on “NATURAL TREATMENT OF ARTHRITIS IN HANDS

  1. Hey Sharon, great post. I learned a lot and I felt the article really put the Carpal Tunnel that my mother has into perspective; I’m not sure it’s the same but she does wear a splint and your post is something I’m going to show her because I think she would benefit from it greatly; she’s 58 and although she doesn’t say anything about arthritis but her Carpal Tunnel is just as deadly. Your post rocks!

    1. I’m so glad you found the information helpful and glad that you will share it with mom. All the best to both of you!

  2. Thank you for the thorough information. Even though I knew before what arthritis was, I did not know that it can also cause fever! I checked these hand splints and my question is: do you have to buy the type according to the progress of your arthritis?

    I was really shocked that you wrote about food that can make it worst, Does it also mean that if I don’t have arthritis, then by eating these food I am going to have bigger chance to have?

    1. The hand splints are usually used by someone who has experienced arthritic pain and the particular splint selected will be specific to the pain experienced.  By following the dietary guidelines you should have a smaller chance of fibrin buildup in joints!

      All the best!

  3. I agree with you that natural is a much better alternative.  I try to use as much natural and homemade as possible.  I don’t have arthritis that I know of, but I do get migraines rather easily and I’m always looking for ways to keep myself from experiencing them or getting rid of them once they come on.  And I’m wondering if migraines, knowing that they come on from inflammation, if they are not brought on by the same things?  

    In your article you wrote that tomatoes and peppers are not good if consumed in large amounts.  Those are some of my favorite things to eat, so now I’m going to try to mostly refrain from them and see how that helps my migraines.  I was a little disappointed that grilled foods are also on that list, but, I’ll give that a go and see how it helps out with them as well.

    Thank you for your article 🙂

    1. I love my BBQ too! I think that if a diet consists of mainly foods cooked at high heat or is tomato-based  that may be more problematic than  the occasional “cheat”. .  Of course if you eliminate these foods from your diet and then indulge you will certainly be able to tell if you have a  “flare up”.

      All the best to you!!

  4. Your site has helped me to understand a couple of the many types of arthritis. I have heard my mom talk about “Arthir talking to her” since I was young. As I am now in my 50s, I am understanding a bit more what she was talking about.

    I don’t take any prescribed medications although I have been taking glucosimine with chondroitin for a few years now. I would quit taking it to see if it was actually doing anything, but I am not sure if the risk of added pain is worth the risk.

    I have heard a lot about Turmeric. That’s the stuff used in cooking, right? I know some friends have talked about it for help in a variety of ailments including diabetes. I have considered taking it as a supplement, but don’t know anyone that actually takes it—they just “talk” about it! I may give this a try to help with my finger joints and offer it to my mom if it helps me. Do you know if Turmeric would help with rheumatoid arthritis, too?

    Thanks and I look forward to your reply!

    1. Hi Katen. I actually use the Turmeric capsules and include Turmeric in my cooking which is delicious!  I am  not aware of any adverse effect from using it – and it’s simple to use as a seasoning!

      All the best!

  5. Hi Sharon once again,

    all your posts are very detailed and useful. My friend has a grandma who has problem with arthritis. I think that he said that she uses some medicament, but I’m always for natural ways of healing so I will for sure show this post to him. He brought to her some mountain tea (mixed herbs) and I think that it helped her a little bit, but she should probably try some alternative – she can use something of this that you mentioned. I hope she tries something new and recovers soon.

    Thanks,

    Strahinja

  6. I am actually tempted to try cannabis oil for my mom’s hand arthritis now that its use has been made legal in Canada. Maybe not for consumption just yet because she’s a diabetic and I don’t know what the side effects are, but certainly worth trying all sorts of hand creams that contain these substances. We are closely monitoring her kidney function so taking NSAIDs is certainly out of the question. 

    1. Oh my Cathy, that’s a tough place to be! I know that the topical  CBD gives a sustained relief  due to its slower absorption through the skin and certainly may give her relief ! Be sure to discuss this with her physician!

      I wish you all the best!

  7. Wow, that was a ton of information. Kudos on that. My father and aunt have had problems with arthritis, so I’ll be sure to point them to this article. Love the fact that you also mention that the people who read should be careful because the information here don’t come from a doctor. Which one do you think is the most effective of the treatments?

    1. Each of us is different, so treatment success is iniduvidyaluzed . For me, the Turmeric was most helpful along with (yuck)  dietary changes!  I miss my BBQ!

      Hope the information was helpful  All the best!

  8. Great information! I’m a classical pianist and all of this stuff is particularly relevant to me. The possibility of arthritis setting in and preventing me from playing in the future is horrifying! It doesn’t help that my diet consists of way to much sugar. Do these natural treatments reverse the effects of arthritis or is it more about pain management?

    1. Hi Ryan I know exactly the fear you have about joint damage. Dietary changes early in life will prevent the buildup of fibrin in the joints.  These steps will definitely reduce the deposition of fibrin in the joints and are immediately anti-inflammatory .  So they are preventive, and anti inflammatory is is at the center of pain relief. 

      All the very very best to you!

  9. My opinion of the topic? Was greatarticl with a wealth of information. I can learn something as I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and my hands are effected. So I have experience with all the regular treatment through my doctor.  I would like to know of all you alternatives listed which has helped you?

     I’ve read about the turmeric but haven’t tried it. I have tried glucosamine and chondroitin and had no benefit. Also was glad to know about BBQ and high temp foods a great tip I will try. Also on bagels great info to know and implement.

    Was wondering why broiling wasn’t included since it is high heat cooking method. So much great info on alternatives to try.

    Blessings,

    Scarlett and Elaine

    1. Personally the Turmeric capsules plus dietary Turmeric was the most helpful. But as you know, we are all different  also the hot wax treatments at night were great!

      Hope all the best for you!

  10. Hi,

    This was an interesting post to read, I suffer from severe osteoarthritis including my hands, I also have fibromyalgia. The arthritis is a family disposition and I always figured as I aged I would become crippled with it. But unfortunately I started much younger at the age of 55, after having my thyroid removed. Doctors have not necessarily said it is do to the thyroid that everything started but also could not rule it out, since past family history put others around mid to late 60’s before showing significant arthritis.

    I too have tried many things both for my body and more specific for my hands. How wax treatments of the hands are soothing as is heated pools and hot tubs, but only lasts short periods after soaking. I did start medicinal marijuana right after my first knee replacement in spring. I did not find that this helped so much with pain, but helped with relaxation, which in turn eased the pain for awhile. My question is, if the medical marijuana did not help with the pain, then how would the CBD oils? I have read a lot of success with the oils but have wondered how they worked. As a presswoman in a print house, I have always worked with my hands, fanning, sorting, and collating paper on a daily basis has added to my hand problems. Some mornings I have to physical bend my fingers one at a time with my other hand to get them moving. I have not found the answer yet, but reading this article has given me new information. Diet being a big one, this is not something I ever heard before, but is definitely worth a try. Thanks for such a detailed article.

    Mary

    1. Oh Mary I do hope you found the info useful. I’ve actually experienced some relief with the dietary changes and I’m hopeful you will as well!  honestly the Turmeric is quite helpful for me – give it a try!

      All the best!

  11. I found this article so informative and helpful. I’m a chef and use my hands constantly. I’ve have nights when my hands just ache from overusing my hands by cutting, chopping, and then cooking all day. Recently I’ve noticed some pronounced stiffness in my hands mainly when trying to do something like take the cap off a coke bottle or something. 

    I’d never even considered the warm wax as a soothing treatment for my tired hands. I just don’t want these issues I’m having to lead to arthritis. I’m definitely going to look into the glucosamine  and chondroitin again after considering it in the past for loose joints. 

    I’ve heard so much about cbd recently that it’s really piqued my interest. I absolutely love the fact that your a pharmacist. My mom swears by her pharmacist. Many times her pharmacist has been much more helpful than even her doctor and often times my mom will call her (pharmacist) with a question rather than the doc. So, long story short..thank you!

    1. How delightful that you are a chef – and yes, you do a LOT of repetitive movements all day long (can you imagine opening and closing 600-1000 bottles a day?)  That chopping, cutting and stirring can take a toll on your hands –  but I bet the end products are some magnificent creations!  If you do not yet have any bumps on your fingers, you may be experiencing the beginnings of arthritis or at least your hands are reacting as any muscle/bone set would in an athlete.  The warm wax is a fabulous modality to use at this point as are the braces for use at night to stabilize (therefore give support and rest) the hands.  Since the reviews of glucosamine and chondroitin are not as positive as once they were (and in my experience not overall satisfactory), I would suggest dietary changes immediately (especially sugar, the main culprit) to avoid the formation and buildup of fibrin in the joints.  Perhaps augment that with the dietary use of turmeric and/or capsules as they are more effective than pain medication and are anti-inflammatory.

      The fact that you are having trouble taking caps off bottles indicates that you do have inflammation in the terminal joint of your first finger – the goal now is to prevent the buildup of fibrin leading to nodules.  I have had to take adaptive actions for just that reason, and now clumsily use the palm of my hand or an assistive device.  

      I realize I neglected to include in the article that once fibrin nodules form, the molecules of oral over-the-counter and prescribed medications cannot penetrate the blockade and thus are rendered ineffective in the very areas one is trying to get relief.  Everything around them gets the benefit and there is some relaxation experienced (which is helpful) but the actual joint gets nothing. A real bummer! 

      All the best to you!  Bon apetit!

  12. While I do not have arthritis in my hands I’m definitely for the controversial side of this. believe it or not, the “controversial” is quickly becoming the “conventional.” The stigma is actually going away. This was actually a really good read though. Thank you for the Information. I have book-marked for a relative. 

  13. This is a great article on natural treatment for arthritis, I think you have covered all my questions, from foods to avoid and what can cause arthritis.  My mother has it in her hand and wears a brace, one very much like the pictures in your article.  It’s time for a new one so I’m going to send her the link to this page so she can have a look at the different ones available.  I suffer from arthritis in my neck and back.  Do you have any advise for that?

    1. Thank you for reviewing my article!  Neck and back arthritis can be so debilitating and affect your quality of life!  Thank you for showing your mom the braces that are available.  Some of them are quite nice, and from experience I know they can offer relief! Review of your symptoms by a physician may yield a cause and effect of the pain you’re experiencing, so I would suggest that as a first step.  Perhaps looking over the dietary list and implementing as many as you can is a good start.  Then perhaps try the turmeric – either in capsules or add it as a flavoring to foods. We are so used to throwing a pill at everything, sometimes we forget simple may actually be better, but of course your physician can advise you on that account.

      All the best!

  14. Arthritis is a very deadly disease. It’s basically stops you from moving freely and doing the things you used to do. One of my friends had arthritis and it was so sad to see that he couldn’t do most of the things that he love doing. However, with some sort of help from medicines and doctors prescriptions, he has manage to function a lot better. 

    However, reading your post it’s seems that the natural treatment is the way forward. I am hoping that people who have arthritis will discover this cure and it will help them to restore their health. Thanks for the in-depth post. 

    1. Thank you Kuu for your kind words.  Please share the information with your friend because he may be able to benefit from some of the things I discussed.

      All the best to you!

  15. It is well known that natural products are the most recommended to cure many diseases and it is great that we can have natural treatment of arthritis. But these days it is difficult to find natural products as many of them are fabricated in laboratory and contain chemical  ingredients. That’s why most of the time doctors play a role in treatment of arthritis. Thank you for recommending those products .

    1. Hi Julienne.  I understand your concerns about using natural products.  To be sure that you get unadulterated, pure natural products, you’ll want to purchase ORGANIC natural products from a reputable source.  They will not contain fillers (which by the way, every pill that’s prescribed is full of) and you are assured that the product has met FDA regulations to contain what is stated on the label.  Physicians should play a role in the treatment of arthritis – what a patient may perceive as an arthritic condition may be a symptom of another illness so it’s always best to get your symptoms diagnosed before treating!

      The best to your health! Sharon

  16. I was doing some hammering today and after I was done my hands felt like they were stiffened into the shape to hold the hammer.

    I take a Tumeric root extract (95% Curcuminoids) supplement that also includes Boswella Serrata extract, Organic Sage Leaf, Organic Lemon Balm Leaf, Organic Thyme Leaf and Piperine (from black pepper for better absorption) and I think it works great to keep inflammation down.

    Thank you for an informative article on arthritis and our treatment options.

    1. Alexander, that sounds like a great turmeric product you have there…and you’re right the black pepper aids in absorption = more relief.  Have you tried using just turmeric in cooking?  It’s really nice – adds just enough depth of flavor that people say….what’s different/it’s great!

      Soak those hands in some warm epsom salts my man!  Best to you!

  17. Hi Sharon, how are you!

    This is a amazing and rich informatio, specialy for someone like me that have Arthrites pain all the time.

    Yeas a go, I had a small Company of Clean pool and I was cleaner the pool myself, so I start notice that’s my left arm asd hand, was with a constant pain. I treated the pain, and it became less painful for wile. Now that I had stroke and paralize my right site, I have to do everything with my left hand again, the pain is coming bach. Everyday my hand is with allots pain, specially during the night. Somethimes I have to stop what I am doing, and wait for a bit, to finish my task.

    I knew that’s tomatos are very bad for inflamation, but my delicius BBQ, my amazing egg plants, my wonderful potatos etc, oh boy, that’s seriuos, make me sad. Also I did not know that over Weight people is more propense to Arthritis as well.

    Thank you for the splints models you showing us. I have some, but I see other one that’s I don’t have and I like.

    Keep up the good work and all success to you.

    Telms

    1. Thank you so much for reading my article Telma.  I know (believe me, because I have a garden) how disappointing to not eat the tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and peppers (stuffed with beef), but since I can not take medication, I have no choice but to go natural.  I will tell you for myself, the turmeric capsules and turmeric seasoning in food has done wonders.  Also, losing weight helped very much!  I surprised myself!

      I am so happy you saw something that may give you relief.  God bless you! Sharn

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