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Arthritis

Joint Aches and Pain

There are many varieties of arthritis. Most common of all arthritic disorders is osteoarthritis (OA). Cartilage is composed of water, collagen, which is a structural protein, and glycoseaminoglucans (GAG), which acts as a cushion between the bones. In osteoarthritis, this structure begins to erode and the body tries to immobilize the joint with calcium by building bridges between the bones. The end result is stiffness, pain and decreased range of motion. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the second most common type, and the immune system is impaired and attacks joint tissues causing inflammation and swelling. Ultimately, the result of prolonged inflammation causes the same outcome-cartilage destruction. Whilst OA is thought of as a "wear and tear" damage, the main cause isn't overwork but under-nutrition and a failure to maintain the natural repair to the cartilage and the connective tissues surrounding joints. By reducing associated inflammation, then the repair processes may improve the arthritic conditions. In almost all types of arthritis there may be an autoimmune factor and hence diet can be very important. Food based allergies are most likely when the arthritic disease is systemic and not specifically located to one joint. A good deal of evidence has been accumulated for supplements that reduce the inflammation inside and around joints, and contrary to many of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, these natural supplements are largely free from side effects or contra-indications