One of the biggest myths concerning Osteoarthritis (OA) is that it is simply a “wear and tear” type of arthritis. In fact, the excessive stresses on the bones and joints can cause a sustained inflammatory and immune-mediated response within the joint itself. Medical professionals only consider inflammation as it relates to the cause and treatment of arthritis when considering medical conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lyme disease, and gout. The biggest mistake that health professionals make is underestimating the significant role that inflammation plays not only in the development of OA but in the deterioration and degeneration of the bone and joint over time.
Research has demonstrated that in OA there is an abundance of inflammatory and immune processes that occur in the joint, namely the synovium, which are cells that form the inner lining of the joint. The synovium is responsible for producing fluid called synovial fluid. It not only helps to lubricate the joint but also protects the cartilage and bone. With osteoarthritis, this synovium becomes inflamed (AKA synovitis). Studies have demonstrated that there is increased expression of proteins that increase inflammation as well as a lack of proteins that inhibit inflammation in the synovial fluid of those with OA. Examples of these pro-inflammatory proteins include interleukin-1, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and metalloproteinase (MMP). It is this continued synovitis that significantly contributes to the dramatic worsening of osteoarthritis .
This is why part of your arsenal to help prevent the worsening of OA should include the use of natural anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, including Turmeric, Arnica Montana, Omega 3 fish oil and Avocado extract. Your diet needs to be alkaline and anti-inflammatory. There is significant evidence that these natural substances decrease the expression of these pro-inflammatory proteins in the synovium itself which can not only reduce inflammation but also reduce pain and improve functionality of the bones and joints.
By: Rich Snyder, DO
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