Arthritis is a very common condition that I treat in my NW Naturopathic Medicine practice. There are several types of arthritis, including Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, and Psoriatic arthritis. The treatment for each kind of arthritis can vary slightly, however for the purposes of this blog I am going to focus on the Naturopathic treatment of Osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is a degenerative joint disease, typically caused by wear and tear of the joint, and is therefore typically seen as one ages. However, this condition can also be seen in younger individuals as a result of an injury to the joint. The joints most typically affected are the knees, hands, hips, back, neck, wrists and feet. Symptoms include pain and stiffness, limited range of motion and possibly swelling. Initially these symptoms will be experienced by the patient during exercise and prolonged periods of activity, but over time can be felt even at rest. Diagnosis is typically made based on symptoms and physical exam, and an x-ray may confirm the diagnosis. Treatment generally includes painkillers and a prescription to lose weight if the patient is overweight to reduce the load on the joints. Eventually, joint replacement surgery may be performed.
These symptoms can significantly impact one’s quality of life, and so as a Naturopathic Doctor it is my goal to treat the arthritis and even slow down the progression of the disease. See below for a list of treatment options that Naturopathic Medicine has to offer patients suffering from Osteoarthritis.
Vitamins and Supplements for Osteoarthritis
The method of action here is to decrease inflammation in the joints as well as to slow down the deterioration of cartilage in the joints. There are many vitamins and supplements that can do this, and your Naturopathic Doctor can ensure these agents are safe for you based on your health history and any concurrent health conditions you have. He or she can also prescribe the proper combination and dosage for you to ensure your safety.
Botanical Medicine and Herbs for Osteoarthritis
I have a lot of success using herbs in my practice for this condition. Again the method of action is to decrease inflammation in the joints. Just because an agent is natural does not mean it is safe for every person, so it is very important you talk to your Naturopathic Doctor to ensure certain herbs are safe for you based on your health history and your current medications.
Acupuncture for Osteoarthritis
This is an option that works incredibly well for my patients, with patients reporting decreased pain and stiffness and increased range of motion in the joints. Treatment begin at once or twice per week, depending on the intensity of the symptoms and then will be decreased to monthly or even less frequently depending on the patients lifestyle. You can read more on the benefits of acupuncture and how it works here.
Mesotherapy for Osteoarthritis
This is also a very effective treatment for pain of any type. I inject homeopathics into the joint space that decrease inflammation, pain and stiffness, and decrease cartilage degeneration. You can read more about mesotherapy here.
Food sensitivity testing
I do this test for quite a few of my patients and get great results with it. By removing IgG positive foods from the patients diet we are reducing overall levels of inflammation in the body, including the joints. This is beneficial for weight loss as well, which indirectly helps with treatment of arthritis by reducing load on the joints. You can read more about this test here.
This treatment is beneficial for any patient suffering from pain. Although it is typically used for musculoskeletal conditions such as sciatica, plantar fascitis, and frozen shoulder, I have used it with success for patients with arthritis pain and stiffness. You can read more about Bowen therapy here.
As you can see, Naturopathic Medicine has an abundance of treatments available to patients suffering from Osteoarthritis. There is no need to suffer from pain and decreased quality of life. Based on my patients preferences we can try a combination of the above therapies to get the quickest and longest lasting relief from pain and stiffness possible. Please do not hesitate to contact me at my Northwest Calgary Naturopathic Medicine practice at (403) 719-2594 to see what options are available to you!
Naturopathic Vitality Acupuncture and Wellness Clinic
#205-5403 Crowchild Trail NW