Arthritis is a common debilitating condition affecting the quality of life for many patients. The treatment of acute and chronic arthritis with Naturopathic medicine has proven beneficial when compared to the treatment of pain with standard medications, steroid injections, or surgery. Arthritis is not a condition that needs to be tolerated and great relief can be found through treatments offered by Naturopathic Doctors.
Arthritis is caused largely by uncontrolled inflammation in the body, the largest percentage being derived from the diet. Gaining control of inflammation requires reducing inflammatory foods in the diet. The most reliable approach to determining inflammatory dietary foods is through performing IgG Food Intolerance Testing. Research continues to substantiate the fact that particular foods can aggravate every type of arthritis. Your physician will also discuss with specific dietary guidelines that help improve inflammatory control.
Our bodies produce a small amount of its own steroid, called cortisol, to keep inflammation under control. With aging and stress, this normal physiological output of cortisol can decline leading to impaired inflammatory control. Adrenal Function Testing measures the strength and output of cortisol, and thus providing information allowing for customized anti-inflammatory therapy.
In addition, a significant amount of pain arises from ligament and tendon weakness with the resultant instability in joints. When joints are unstable they fail to perform optimally and cause premature wear and tear. When the wear and tear becomes significant enough, inflammation becomes apparent and patients notice swelling, limited movement, and localized pain. Prolotherapy is the best treatment for weak ligaments and tendons. Prolotherapy consists of injections that cause proliferation of connective tissue. The proliferation leads to increased density and strength and improvement in joint stability.
Another effective therapy for the treatment of chronic pain includes acupuncture. Acupuncture works by clearing meridians or channels to allow improved circulation and support to the body’s innate ability to heal. Although acupuncture is new to western medicine, it has been a mainstay in eastern medicine for over 3,000 years. Acupuncture is extremely effective with helping muscles relax and reducing joint inflammation and pain.
Arthritic pain has been linked to derangements in biomechanics, inflammation, injuries, food intolerances, nutritional deficiencies, and even the normal process of aging. Determination of the underlying causes of pain begins with an appropriate assessment, including labs and physical exams. Once the underlying causes have been determined, a specific and directed approach to pain treatment or management will be prescribed.