arthritis and me….not a joint venture…

What exactly is arthritis?  It is the inflammation of one or more joints and it comes in a wide variety of forms.   Each kind of arthritis cause symptoms of pain, swelling, stiffness and the restriction of movement…and  I don’t like it one bit.

Wondering if your pain is related to arthritis?  Try this checklist via Arthritis.com:

  • Do you have pain in one or more joints?
  • Do you have swelling in one or more joints?
  • Do you have stiffness in your joints, especially after not moving for an extended period of time (e.g., moving in the morning)?
  • Do you have pain or discomfort in a joint that has a history of injury?

Not only are there different kinds of arthritis, but there are also different causes too!

  • Heredity
  • Age
  • Overuse of a joint
  • Injury
  • Infection
Most people that suffer from arthritis turn to expensive creams and prescriptions to deal with the pain, however, natural alternatives can make it easier to live with since there is no real cure.
Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne peppers contain capsaicin, a chemical compound that relieves discomfort by blocking neurotransmitters that transmit pain sensations, says Balch in “Prescription for Nutritional Healing.” While cayenne is available as an oral supplement, it can be used topically. Mix cayenne powder with wintergreen oil to make a paste; apply it around affected joints. Cayenne powder can also be used in a poultice by adding enough warm water to make it into a paste. Spread the paste on a cloth and apply it to the joint.
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Castor Oil Packs
Castor oil packs can be used to obtain relief from arthritis pain, says Balch. Place castor oil in a shallow pan. Dip a piece of cheesecloth into the oil, until it is saturated. Wrap the cloth around the painful joint. Cover it with plastic wrap so that the oil does not come off on clothes or furniture. Wrap a heating pad around the pad to keep it warm. Castor oil packs can be used for up to two hours at a time.
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Low Impact Exercise
Low-impact exercise helps strengthen bones, reduce inflammation and slow the deterioration of joint tissue, says Balch. Choose exercises that do not place excessive stress on the joints. Swimming, bicycle riding, yoga, Tai chi and walking can all help reduce the pain caused by arthritis. Start out with 10 to 20 minutes of exercise at a time; gradually build up to 30 minutes. Exercise at least three times a week for optimal benefits.
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Bottom line?  Eating the right foods, exercising and reducing stress are all good ways to limit the pain associated with arthritis.  Find a good doctor and start feeling better today!

just when you think you are the bee’s knees……..

It’s official.  I’m old.

Owie…it happened overnight.  I took my sweet little grand-daughters to church, knelt down to pick up something and BAM!!!!!

Who knew that osteoarthritis would be at church!!  It was waiting for me at church!!!  What the heck?!!  I couldn’t stand back up without making a horrible looking face and an equally horrifying sound……it sounded like an exorcism was happening in the back of the gift shop.

It seems that arthritis is going to get most of us..sooner or later.  What is osteoarthritis?  It is the painful result of cartilage breakdown.

On Monday I hobbled to the doctor to get an x-ray and that is when he gave me the news.  Yep, I had stiffness, tenderness, warmth and swelling around my joints.  These knees were popping and cracking like a bag of popcorn in a microwave.

The doctor decided to have an x-ray made of my lower back also…..yes…..it’s there also.  Thanks for asking.

Now what?  Basically, if the joints are swollen, the doctor can prescribe anti-inflammatories such as Advil, Aleve or Motrin.  Heat for stiffness and cold packs for swelling.  He told me that unless the pain was very severe, I should keep moving.  I need to keep those joints lubricated.

Then I came across this….a new word that I had not heard or experienced.

KNINKLES….(knee wrinkles)  Turns out, most of us will get these too….(unless you do what I have done for years and use a “neck” wrinkle cream on your legs…Neck creams are much thicker and YES….I DON’T HAVE KNINKLES!!!  For more serious kninkles, check out Thermage or consider a ‘thigh’ tuck….or just wear pants.)

Here are a few “famous” Kninkles…….(via)

So….what’s my take on this new arthritic me??  Well…..I wouldn’t trade my smooth ‘old’ knees for ANY of these celebrity knees…..and my hubby?  Yep…he STILL thinks I’m the bee’s knees!!!!