OA is the most common form of arthritic affection, the other being rheumatoid arthritis [RA]. It affects millions of people worldwide — as a matter of fact, it seems to be more common than heart disease and diabetes. The disorder is marked by degenerative changes in the knee, hip, hand, elbow, ankle or spine. Obesity is a significant risk factor for OA — blame it on excess weight, or ‘fat load,’ on your joints. Heredity is, likewise, suggested to play a role, irrespective of one’s occupation.
OA is characterised by loss of cartilage and joint degeneration. It appears to be common in men at age 40-45; it becomes predominant in women over age 45.
OA robs you of your basic ability to get fully engaged in day-to-day activity. When it escalates, it may confine you to bed — even for days at a stretch. In its early stages, it may affect one joint, or multiple joints. Besides, it varies in its intensity or severity.
RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS [RA]
Rheumatoid arthritis [RA] is another form of joint disorder. It is an autoimmune disorder — a condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the joints and surrounding tissues and gradually progresses to assault other systems and organs of the body, including the heart.
RA tends to affect more women than men, although no age-group is exempt. The disorder appears to ‘peak’ between age 35 and 55 in women and age 40 and 60 in men. It often affects the small joints of the hands, wrists, ankles, knees and cervical spine. The shoulders, elbows and hips may be less frequently involved, but the disorder can impinge on major tissues in the body, including the lymph nodes, bone marrow, liver, spleen, kidneys, digestive system, heart, eyes, muscles and nerves. When not appropriately or adequately treated, RA can gradually lead to bone, cartilage and ligament damage, including joint deformity.
Ever thought of one form of arthritis called juvenile RA that affects people below age 16? If your child has joint pain, swelling and stiffness, consult your doctor and start treatment promptly.
HEALING WITH HOMEOPATHY
Homoeopathy treats arthritis on the basis of what makes the individual and his or her complaints unique — such as the nature of joint symptoms, personality, sensitivities and emotions. It not only relieves joint pain, safely and effectively, but also adds life to one’s overall wellness.
Some of the commonly used homeopathic remedies for arthritis are:
After injury Arnica
According to direction of pain
Ascending Ledum Pal
Character of pain
Stinging Apis Mel
Cold, dry weather Bryonia
Damp, wet weather Dulcamara
Night Kali Iod
Cold applications Ledum Pal
Damp weather Causticum
Continuous Motion Rhus Tox
First motion Bryonia
Homeopathy Case Study
Roma, a frail 40-year-old housewife, was diagnosed with osteoarthritis by her orthopaedic surgeon. No amount of medication, primarily painkillers, provided her tangible, long term relief. When we probed into her life, we found that she had a traumatic past with recurrent abortions and was now a mother of three children — this was sapping her energy and making her extremely ill-tempered. She would yell at her children, scream at her husband, and make everyone’s life, including hers, a living hell. Based on these symptoms and her skinny constitution, we prescribed her homeopathic remedy Sepia Officinalis, along with regular hot and cold fomentation and exercise. This helped her stand on her feet, slowly. It also restored harmony back into her family life.
Thus, homeopathy, which is based on the law of individualisation, saw the person behind the patient in Roma and not only her external symptoms.
Essential fatty acids [EFA] are necessary to produce substances that lubricate the joints. The most important is omega-3, found in cold water fish, flaxseed, and other food sources.