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Osteoarthritis Self-management Program
Sources:    Research References/Bibliography
Knowledge to Help Yourself Knowledge gives a person many options for managing osteoarthritis and they can then personally take charge of the effect this disease is having on their life.
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Product Suggestion

Vitamin B5
B vitamins work best when taken together. Good for swelling.
Vitamin E
A powerful antioxidant that protects the joints from damage by free radicals. Increases joint mobility.
Vitamin B3
Increases blood flow by dilating small arteries. (Caution: Do not take if you have a liver disorder, gout, or high blood pressure. Reduces swelling in tissue.
Vitamin B6
Reduces swelling in the tissues.
Vitamin B12
Needed for proper digestion, the formation of cells, and the production of myelin, the protective coating surrounding the nerves. Prevents nerve damage.
Vitamin C
Powerful free radical destroyer that also aids in pain relief because of its anti-inflammatory effect.
Vitamin K
Helps deposit minerals into the bone matrix.

OA-Kit —$10 Savings—
(complete nutritional coverage of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, etc.)

A trace mineral required for healthy bones.
Needed to prevent bone loss.
Needed to balance with calcium.
Needed for bone growth. Often deficient in those with arthritis.
Needed for normal bone growth. (Note: Do not take manganese and calcium at the same time, as they compete for absorption.)
A cofactor for lysyl oxidase, which strengthens connective tissue.
A powerful antioxidant that also relieves pain.
Deficiency causes degeneration of collagen, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons.

Nutrient Cofactors:
Type II Collagen
Promotes growth and repair of connective tissue, joints, and articular cartilage.
Glucosamine Sulfate
Important for the formation of bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and synovial (joint) fluid.
Chondroitin Sulfate
Found in sea cucumber, a rich source of specific lubricating compounds found abundantly in all connective tissues, especially the joints and joint fluid.
An inexpensive source for raw cartilage.
Reduces inflammation.

  • WATCH YOUR DIET: Avoid simple, processed, concentrated carbohydrates and limit fat intake to a minimum. Instead concentrate on getting plenty of complex carbohydrates and fibers in your diet.

  • A healthy diet is helpful for osteoarthritis sufferers.SUPPLEMENT WITH AMINO ACIDS: Taking a free-form amino acid complex on a regular basis may help repair damaged tissue.

  • ELIMINATE THE POSSIBILITY OF FOOD ALLERGIES: Allergies to a certain food may be responsible for some neck and shoulder pains.

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Lifestyle Changes

  • MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT: Excess weight puts increased stress on your joints and may contribute to osteoporosis.

  • Exercise can help you maintain your ideal weight as well as strengthen muscles and increase joint mobility. EXERCISE: Exercise can help you maintain your ideal weight (see above) as well as strengthen muscles and increase joint mobility. Avoid weight-bearing or impact exercises. Bicycle-riding, walking, and water exercises are good exercise choices for the osteoarthritis sufferer.

  • TRY HOT AND/OR COLD TREATMENTS FOR PAIN: Alternate between placing cold gel packs and applying heat to inflamed joints. Hot tubs and baths can also provide pain relief. A hot shower or bath is especially helpful in the morning to relieve morning stiffness.

  • GET OUT AND ENJOY THE FRESH AIR: Spend time outside in the fresh air and sunlight. Sunlight prompts vitamin D synthesis, and vitamin D plays an important role in bone formation.

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Medical Options and Precautions

  • DRUGS: Analgesics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis. These drugs may gastrointestinal upset, ulcer formation, headaches, dizziness, etc. and may even cause further degeneration of the joint cartilage. Sometimes an injection of a corticosteroid drug is used to treat osteoarthritis.

  • SURGERY: Sometimes anthroplasty or joint replacement is used to replace the diseased joint. Arthrodesis or immobilization of a joint may also be used.

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