The first sign of osteoarthritis is often stiffness in certain joints, commonly in the fingers, knees or hips and sometimes the toes.
The affected joints will be enlarged, bony and will feel hard. Initially sufferers experience short-term stiffness in these joints then, as time goes by, the affected joints are likely to become painful on movement. The underlying drivers of these problems include changes in the adjacent bones including reduced micro-circulation resulting in a reduced supply of nutrients to the cartilage which, crucially, provides a cushion between the bones of the joint. There will also be some level of inflammation around the affected joints leading to associated pain.
Often trauma to or stress on the joint will trigger the development of impaired circulation within the bones. Thus, the development of osteoarthritis may be accelerated by mechanical factors such as being overweight or overusing a particular joint. Your diet may not be providing the nutrients essential to the maintenance of healthy cartilage, your general blood circulation may not be delivering nutrients effectively to the joints and there could be an accumulation of toxic metabolites.
Elements of a natural approach to slowing joint deterioration will include:
- Weight loss if appropriate
- Stimulation of the general blood circulation delivering nutrients to the joints and clearing damaging wastes
- Improvement of the microcirculation in capillaries within the bones adjacent to the joints
- Appropriate exercise to mobilise the joints and further assist with the removal of toxic residues
- Provision of key nutrients in the diet and through supplementation
- Support the integrity of connective tissue with mineral supplements and herbal medicines
- Support for the immune system and healing capabilities
- Support for the liver and kidneys, if needed, to further assist with the elimination of toxins from the body