Do Natural Arthritis Treatments Actually Work?

With the baby boomers getting older and older as each year goes by, more among us are going to suffer from arthritis pain.  As we all know, arthritis is basically a degenerative condition which results from wear and tear on your joints.

If you worked in physical labor for a number of years, chances are it has taken its tole on your body.   What you may be disappointed to find out is that for most people, there really aren’t many conventional medical options for treating arthritis.  In fact, most guidelines will recommend that you start off by taking a regular around the clock dose of Tylenol.  Sadly, many people don’t find that acetaminophen provides much in terms of pain relief.

assisted-living

Next on the ladder of your doctor’s treatment armamentarium will be to try non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen or Advil.  While this type of medicine is generally more effective than Tylenol for treating joint pain, it also has more side effects.  In particular, those who suffer from high blood pressure or who have ulcers, won’t be advised to take that type of medication.

What’s next?  Your doctor can also discuss certain options including corticosteroid injections or even joint replacement surgery…

If all of this doesn’t sound like much fun, perhaps you’d like to also consider some natural treatments for joint pain.

According to Dr. Morrow:

“For those looking to natural remedies, one key question is whether or not they actually work?  One unfortunate reality for those looking for products to promote joint health is the simple reality that with severe arthritis, anything outside of a joint replacement is unlikely to provide much pain relief.”

He continues:

“Exercise has been studied including both cardio and resistance training programs.  Typically, exercise is more effective for relieving pain and improving function in those with mild arthritis rather than moderate or severe forms. (Christensen et al 2005).   Specific recommendations made for those who are significantly overweight:

  • Reduce body weight by at least 5% over a 20 week period (combined with exercise).”

Dr Morrow’s List of Grade A Treatments

  1. Exercise/weight loss
  2. Acupuncture
  3. Glucosamine Sulfate
  4. Willow Bark

His Grade B Treatments

  1. Avocado and Soybean Unsaponifiables
  2. Devil’s Claw Extract
  3. Physical Therapy
  4. SAMe
  5. Green Lipped Muscle
  6. Pycnogenol
  7. Tai Chi

For more info:  click here.

 

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What’s Trending at Hive Health Media

Over at our main site, we’ve received over 2,000 guest post contributions.  If you’re wondering what some of our top posts of all time are…  Well, here’s a list:

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Last 7 days (from May 16, 2013)

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BEWARE THE NOT-SO-HEALTHY SNACK BAR

Snack bars have become huge business, whether they’re called ‘granola’ bars, ‘breakfast’ bars or just snack bars, they are thought of as a healthy snack or replacement meal for busy adults and hungry kids.

There are a multitude of brands and styles to the point that entire grocery store aisles are devoted simply to these types of bars.  But the truth is not all snack bars are created equal and many are far from healthy.  While they can still be a better option than cookies and chips, it doesn’t change the fact that many are just plain not good for you.

funny-snack-bar

Snack Bars

A quick look at the ingredients of many snack bars will reveal the truth and it isn’t pretty.  The fact is that many are loaded with so much sugar that they might as well be re-categorized as dessert.  The ingredient listing on any product is ordered by largest to smallest so if the first or second ingredient you see on any snack bar contains the words ‘sugar,’ or words like ‘corn syrup,’ high fructose corn syrup,’ ‘fructose,’ etc., then you know it’s loaded with sugar.

If these ingredients show up multiple times in the same product then you might be better off-putting the box down and moving to another to find a healthier option.

But how much sugar is too much?  A good rule of thumb is to compare the grams of sugar to the grams of fiber in a bar and aim for a ratio of no more than 3 to 1. For instance, if a bar has 4 grams of fiber, it should have no more than 12 grams of sugar.  Another measure is to simply not eat bars that get more than 35% of their total calories from sugar.  You’ll be surprised how many bars on the market don’t meet this requirement, so make sure to check that yours does.  If not, then maybe it’s time for a change because there are still great tasting bars on the market that meet these requirements and don’t rely on sugar to taste good.

Protein Requirements in Snack Food

Another good requirement for your snack bar is that it should contain a minimum of 5 grams of protein.  Protein is one of the best reasons to be snacking on a bar because it will help fill your daily requirement and protein – as a rule – will help keep you feeling fuller and keep your energy up longer.  It’s actually not that hard to find bars that fulfill this requirement and many have up to 10 grams (or more).  Check the carbohydrate ratio to the protein and try to keep it in as much balance as possible.

If you’re going for granola bars for a snack, it’s also a good idea to get some fiber.  Try to find ones that have at least 3-5 grams because like protein, it will help your energy last longer.  Finding a bar with as much as 5 grams can be tough, so try to find one that at least has 3 grams.  Just remember to be smart about what you’re eating and read the ingredients.

Just because you may find your favorite bar isn’t that ‘healthy’, it doesn’t mean there aren’t options out there that you can switch to that will offer the real benefits these bars should come with.

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