Painful joints that are affected by the changes in the weather? It could be arthritis: What is it and what does Dr Kez prescribe for helping to heal arthritis at home?
What is arthritis?
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related diseases. What they all have in common is that they affect the joints and create stiffness and pain. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, it is also commonly known as degenerative joint disease, or ‘wear and tear’ arthritis. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage begins to break down, causing the underlying joint surfaces to rub together. Over time, with repeated use, the bones becomes damaged causing severe pain and inflammation. As a result, osteoarthritis can be experienced in any joint, especially if there has been an injury previously to that joint. Most frequently it affects the spine, hands, hips and knees. The pain intensity varies from mild to moderate, all the way to severe and debilitating, affecting the quality of so many people’s lives.
Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand (no pun intended), typically affects joints on both sides of the body, in particular the hands, wrists and knees. Unfortunately, rheumatoid arthritis also affects the internal organs as well. Although rheumatoid arthritis presents in a similar way to osteoarthritis, the two different forms of arthritis are very different. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which occurs as a result of the immune system being dysfunctional, whereby it, literally, begins attacking the tissues of the body’s own joints and other organs. Usually the immune system works in our favour, helping us to stay protected from viruses, bacteria and other pathogens, however, in people with autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation becomes overactive and over time, begins attacking healthy tissues.
How common is arthritis?
3.9 million Australians currently live with arthritis (that’s 1 in 6 Aussies) and sadly, the prevalence is on the rise. The theory behind this increase in people suffering from arthritis is predominantly due to a lack of physical activity, actually getting our body moving and keeping our joints lubricated. If we don’t remain active, there is a tendency to put on extra weight too, which also puts extra pressure on our ageing joints and contributes to this debilitating condition. Arthritis tends to be more common in women, and this is suspected to be related to our difference in hormones, as well as potentially a stronger and more reactive immune system. Most commonly arthritis appears in your 40’s, 50’s or 60’s, but, sadly, it can affect young children also. We all have joints, so the reality is that we all have the potential of being plagued by this condition at some stage in our life, but there is definitely hope. When it comes to arthritis, prevention is definitely better than having to undergo the pain and disability of this condition.
How does the weather affect pain in arthritic joints?
Due to the highly inflammatory nature of arthritis, it is no wonder that changes in temperature and weather patterns can result in a flare up of arthritis and joint pain. My nan used to know when a change in weather was imminent based on the sudden onset of pain in her knees and fingers. For some arthritis sufferers this phenomenon is so pronounced as they get older, that they chose to move to a location with less humidity and temperate climates. A recent study found that damp and windy days with low atmospheric pressure increased the chances of experiencing more pain than normal by around 20%, with barometric pressure being what influenced patients pain more so than humidity, rainfall and temperature. Put simply barometric pressure is the weight of air. The weight of air gets heavier with sunny, warm weather and decreases with stormy, When barometric pressure drops, the reduced amount of synovial fluid within the joints thickens, making the joint stiffer and more susceptible to pain and inflammation. If you have arthritis, I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. As much as we can’t control the weather, sadly, there are other things we can do at home to help ease our arthritic joints.
What can I do to help my arthritis at home?
The trio of creams
When it comes to arthritis there is involvement of both the bones and soft tissues that make up the joint. The tightness of the surrounding muscles cause the two opposing bones to be forced tightly together, causing a decrease in the joint space between them, putting excessive pressure on the ends of the two bones and the overlying articular cartilage. A healthy functioning joint has plenty of synovial fluid in the joint space as well as the articular cartilage to provide a smooth, gliding movement whenever our muscles move our joints. When the muscles are too tight and limit this joint space, we end up with less fluid providing less shock absorbing ability, consequently leading to the bone getting closer together. Over time this will result in the articular cartilage taking more of a responsibility to withstand the impact of bodies which is not its sole responsibility, eventually leading to it wearing out faster than the body can repair it. Eventually this will result in a degradation of the cartilage to such an extent that the bones begin rubbing together, resulting in bone damage as well. This is when you know all about your arthritic joints. Prior to this you may have noticed occasional aches and swelling, stiffness and maybe even a bit of grinding, but once the arthritis develops to this extent it becomes almost constantly painful.
When bone and soft tissues are involved like this, we need to take a multi-functional approach to healing. The best way we have found to do this, is to provide the necessary building blocks for repair of both the bone and soft tissues, directly to the joint area. The active ingredients that can provide the most support to these different anatomical structures are very specific and are therefore found in carefully calculated amounts in the three different creams found in the trio of creams.
We are often asked why we didn’t simply combine all three creams in one to make life easier for application. The answer is a little complex, but certainly worth answering. We have jammed packed as much active ingredients as we possibly can into each of our products and lotions. We literally cannot add any more without the creams separating into its liquid and solid components. Given that each of the creams has it’s own carefully researched, pertinent active ingredients, we would have to lower the active ingredients in each one to be able to make one cream that didn’t separate, and we were not going to compromise the strength of any of our products, as we want you to get the fastest results possible. By applying each of the creams separately, one after the other, means that we keep the highest percentage of active ingredients in each product and this is all passed onto your body. Here is a list of each of the creams that make up our trio so that you know exactly what you are putting onto your body.
Bone Aid Relief Cream
The active herbs and minerals present in Bone Aid Relief Cream help provide the body with the micronutrients and minerals that are necessary for the repair of damaged bones & assist with faster and more thorough healing. Not only is Bone Aid Relief Cream great for arthritis, it also helps the body to heal broken bones, fractures, bone bruising, heel spurs and nerve pain. The ability of this product to assist with nerve pain may seem a little out of place, but when researching the best active, natural ingredients to include in our Bone Aid Relief Cream product we included a herb to assist with nerve pain, as nerves are always involved when a bone is damaged. The wider use of this cream with out Dr Kez ChiroLab community has highlighted that this added ingredient has made this cream double as a brilliant product for nerve pain and neuropathy, even in the absence of bone damage….added bonus!!! 💪
Trauma Relief Cream
A completely different set of 100% natural herbs, minerals and essential oils were sought out to ensure that Trauma Relief Cream could assist the body with soft tissue healing and inflammation reduction. Whether it’s your articular cartilage like in arthritis, other forms of cartilage, tendonitis, bursitis, muscle tightness or tears, sprains or strains, then then Trauma Relief Cream is a must for you. Not only do arthritis sufferers benefit from the assistance with healing the articular cartilage, but the ability for Trauma Relief Cream to nurture muscles tightness which contributes to this condition in the first place, is an added bonus, as well as assisting in the reduction of inflammation which can help make arthritic joints less painful and more mobile. Helping at every turn!!!
Heativate® Relief Cream
Now this product is an extremely unique asset to the trio of creams for arthritis. Unlike other heat rubs out there that simply make the skin feel warm, the active ingredients in Heativate® Relief Cream penetrate deep below the surface and results in an increase in blood flow where it is needed most. The most unique feature of Heativate® Relief Cream is that it activates with your body’s activity. Imagine you have decided to go for a walk with the dogs to keep your joints moving. The Heativate® Relief Cream will warm up in that area as your muscles start contracting, which is exactly when you need the most circulation. It will also heat up when you are hot, like when sitting in the sun, rugged up in a blanket, or even after eating a hot curry, it draws extra blood flow to the area below which you have applied it, ensuring much of the body’s healing power is focused in the area that you need it most. Blood flow is critically important for healing.
The body has an incredible ability to heal itself, but it requires good blood flow in the area, as well as the building blocks for repairing the damaged tissue. In the case of arthritis, this involves bone and soft tissues, so applying the Bone Aid Relief Cream and the Trauma Relief Cream to the area as well as the Heativate® Relief Cream means we are increasing the blood flow as well as providing the building blocks for repair…..covering all bases!!!! Start with the Bone Aid Relief Cream on the painful joints, followed by the Trauma Relief Cream over the joints and surrounding muscles (usually a larger area), then finally the Heativate® Relief Cream can be applied to the joint and surrounding area to increase the blood flow. It's really as simple as 1, 2, 3! Please also keep in mind that hydration is also extremely important for maintaining optimal blood flow, so keep up with your water as well as using your creams three times per day. Applying the creams three times daily maintains a constant supply of the building blocks required for repair. We don't want the body to use up all of the resources and then have to wait around until tomorrow to be re-supplied with what it needs.
There are so many things that you can do to help with reducing the pain of arthritis, literally from the comfort of your own home and maybe a walk around your local neighbourhood 😉 Using products like the trio of creams and even the therapeutic ultrasound over the joint can make the world of difference to living with this potentially debilitating condition. Keep in mind that anything that you do that will increase inflammation in your body will make your arthritic joints stiffer and more painful, including what you eat. For more information on how food can impact inflammation in your body, please check out this blog.