Arthritis in the hands is one of the most frustrating and limiting conditions a person can develop. Treatments and understanding of arthritis have improved in recent years, but for many people there are still no effective long-term solutions to their condition.
Increasingly, people are looking for alternative treatments and home remedies. There is some rejection of modern science, but a lot of it is realizing that people who lived in a pre-scientific era often had effective treatments for things that we still suffer from. Many people are keen to go back to the basics of natural medicines.
Using something produced from your garden, or locally and organically grown, is becoming increasingly popular for those with arthritis. Some of the treatments offered by modern science are effective in the short term but carry serious long term risks. Ibuprofen and paracetamol are safe enough to be sold over-the-counter (OTC).
However, if they are taken in large quantities over a long period of time, they can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes substantially. It’s also popular due to the fact that it’s self sufficient and/or extremely inexpensive.
Arthritis in the hands is a chronic condition that rarely improves unless surgery is involved or changes to things like diet and lifestyle. As a result, sufferers of this common condition are left with very few effective long-term choices. It is believed (sometimes erroneously) that “natural” remedies are better for people.
This pungent ground herb is fantastically rich in a chemical called curcumin. Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in Chinese and ayurvedic medicines, for treating inflammatory conditions, primarily arthritis. Turmeric is cheap but it is recommended that the user obtain curcumin extract for a higher concentration of curcumin, the beneficial part of turmeric.
One study from 2006 found that turmeric was an effective prevention tool for joint inflammation but was not as effective at reducing it once it had occurred.
A later study, in 2010, found that a turmeric extract (about 75% curcumin) gave patients long term pain relief and improved joint movement and action. Another study has found that curcumin reduces joint pain in rheumatoid arthritis better than diclofenac, a commonly prescribed anti-inflammatory.
Effective doses seem to be around 1000 mg curcumin a day for arthritis. As a note of caution, curcumin acts as a blood thinner. So people who are taking warfarin or other blood thinners should avoid curcumin extracts unless they are recommended to do so by their doctor.
Lifting weights or rowing is sure to make arthritis in your hands worse. In turn, exercise like aerobics or swimming take the weight off your joints and provide effective exercise and stress relief. Stress is very closely related to developing arthritis because stress increases the base level of inflammation in the body.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an immune condition caused by the body attacking itself. When the stress level goes up, the immune response does too. Effective exercise helps:
Cannabidiol (CBD) is an extract from the cannabis plant but does not have the effects you might expect. Unlike its close cousin, THC, CBD does not get the user high.
It has no psychoactive effects and very rarely does it produce any side effects. This alone makes it appealing. In light of the remarkable anti-inflammatory effects, CBD is one of the most exciting treatments for arthritis to emerge in recent years.
As a part of the cannabis plant, it has been used for thousands of years for a variety of conditions, including inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. Most people enjoy the effects of cannabis but a significant population does not.
Even if you do take cannabis, it is not recommended that you drive, work, or care for children. By isolating the non-psychoactive and impressively anti-inflammatory part of cannabis, CBD, the benefits for arthritis can be utilized without the user’s mind being affected. Cannabidiol acts on the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is an array of receptors that extends all the way through the body. It is involved in:
The ECS is essential to human life and when it is unstable, as it can be with some immune conditions, the consequences can be severe. When a person ingests CBD, they are ingesting a chemical that alters the way the endocannabinoid system works.
CBD does not bind directly to the receptors, like THC and some other cannabinoids do. Instead, it changes how those cannabinoids interact with the system. CBD is like a big ECS regulator, altering the way it communicates in a broad spectrum way.
One of the effects of CBD is that it reduces the body’s immune response drastically. So much so that with viral infections, it can actually help the virus gain a foothold.
However, when used on rheumatoid arthritis, it has a powerful symptom relief effect. Not only does it reduce inflammation directly, but it has a mood stabilizing and stress relieving effect, which can reduce inflammation as well.
So far, studies on CBD have been on a small scale and poorly carried out. They do indicate these effects, but so far only animal studies have been carried out on the relationship between arthritis and CBD.
Further study is required to properly establish doses and long term effects, but it seems that CBD is a tolerable and safe drug overall. Your doctor can help you decide on treatment options and whether CBD is a viable part of that treatment plan.