Note from the author: This article has been edited to ensure a balanced view is presented. It is meant for educational purposes only, not for dispensing medical advice. When in doubt, always consult your doctor or a medical professional first.
Vitamins and minerals are used commonly nowadays — the elderly take them, working adults take them; even the young take them. When taken as dietary supplements, they can provide nutrients and trace elements which are necessary for good health and growth but missing in the foods we eat.
Taking vitamins and minerals is also helpful in building the body’s resilience against ailments or dealing with existing problems. For example, it is common knowledge that Vitamin C is regarded as a defense against cold. It is also shown to have some anti-inflammatory properties. This WebMD article mentions other benefits such as protection against cardiovascular disease and skin wrinkling.
However, Vitamin C is not the cure for the common cold. While supplements such as vitamins and minerals may relieve symptoms associated with diseases, they may not be able to treat illness and diseases. Understanding this distinction is important to appreciate the role of supplements with regards to arthritis pain relief and overall treatment.
How Arthritis is Normally Treated
The usual way your doctor would treat arthritis would be to give you some medication, invariably of the NSAID or Corticosteroid kind. About.com lists the “10 Most Commonly Prescribed Arthritis Drugs” as: Methotrexate and Folic acid; Prednisone; Plaquenil; Vicodin; Ultram; Mobic; Celebrex; Flexeril; and Lyrica.
Many in this list are known to produce nasty side effects; you can learn about such dangerous medications here. To cope with arthritis pain without posing more health risks, people may turn to other remedies: using a pain relief cream, dieting, starting an exercise program and taking supplements that promote healthy bones and joints.
Now, even though vitamins and minerals don’t treat arthritis specifically, many people take them to boost their overall health and deal with the inflammation and pain better. Doing so also helps the body to ward off potential issues due to deficiencies in diet, for example.
Types of Arthritis
There are two major types of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is considered the “wear and tear” arthritis and is actually a form of degenerative joint disease. Rheumatoid arthritis is not much better; as a chronic auto-immune disease, it creates inflammation in the body when the immune system is out of whack. This article summarizes both forms of arthritis nicely.
Onset of Arthritis
The human body is a complex system of functions which require good care to continue providing problem-free service. Many of us take for granted that our bodies can accept a high level of abuse and thus do not pay attention to proper maintenance. Until problems start to show up, that is.
Our bones and joints are the key to our mobility. If we look at them as a system, they are akin to moving parts of an engine. When such moving parts are not well lubricated, the engine cannot perform optimally and malfunctions can occur.
In the same vein, if we don’t look after the health of our bones, deformities can take place and the bones and joints can start to deteriorate and misbehave. That could signal the beginning of arthritis, which is a chronic ailment that can be bothersome.
Arthritis is closely related to joint inflammation, but can be the source of other disorders in the body. Anyone can be afflicted with this problem. Since medical solutions aren’t all friendly to the body, a better option may be to seek help with natural anti inflammatories to deal with arthritis pain; if at all possible, even try to delay the onset of the problem.
Alleviating Arthritis Pain
As discussed on the Arthritis Research UK website, arthritis may progress more quickly when the body is lacking certain vitamins and minerals. These have been identified as necessary:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
Another article at WebMD goes further with such arthritis advice:
- Take a whole-body approach to treat arthritis pain
- Make a lifestyle change — for example, lose weight if one is obese
- Exercise regularly to strengthen muscles that support joints — this keeps the joints flexible
- Go on an anti-inflammatory diet — Omega-3 fatty acids are a great help here
Options like these can help alleviate pain and inflammation arising from arthritis, and help sufferers deal better with treatment using prescribed drugs. It is not uncommon for doctors to use them as part of a treatment strategy.
In a future article, vitamins and minerals which are beneficial to bone and joint health will be discussed.