Arthritis Treatment Options

There are many ways to effectively manage arthritis pain today to find relief. Available are arthritic diets, exercise programs, over-the-counter and prescription medications, relaxation and positive emotion coping techniques.

Also available are surgeries, supplements, home remedies, natural and other alternative therapies. When arthritis is first suspected, it would be wise to seek a medical opinion first. Then as time and resources allow, check out the other options.

Arthritic joints can be affected with inflammation when bacteria or a virus (or other undesirable element) enters the joint area or when an injury occurs. What happens is when foreign matter enters this area or the area sustains injury, white blood cells, antibodies and other natural fighting mechanisms automatically kick in internally to help.

These fighters cause swelling, redness and heat as the body fluid moves around. Symptoms of inflammation, one of the uncomfortable issues associated with arthritis, are redness, swelling and tender joints.

Is Omega -3 fish oil a magic Arthritis cure?

Omega-3 fatty acids have been well documented for their ability to reduce inflammation. With strong anti-inflammation properties, it makes sense that fish oils have been touted as the next big thing in arthritis care. But do these oils really work? Are they a cure for that persistent arthritis pain?

As with most alternative medicine therapies, there is not yet sufficient research to conclude whether fish oil is truly efficacious in relieving the symptoms associated with arthritis. However, early research is encouraging.

Recent clinical trials and laboratory studies have concluded that fish oil, because of its omega-3 structure, may be helpful in reducing the feelings of stiff morning muscles and tender joints that so many arthritis sufferers experience. Researchers have not yet concluded the appropriate dosage for maximum effectiveness, nor how long treatment should last.

However, researchers have also discovered possible side effects of fish oil supplementation. In some cases, fish oil has been shown to increase the risk of the blood’s ability to clot. For some people, consuming fish oil may affect the time it takes for their blood to clot. This can be an important issue in cases where the patient is taking medications that affect their blood.

Fish oil supplementation has also been shown to interact with blood pressure medications. Apparently, taking fish oil supplements while taking high blood pressure medications may cause their blood pressure to lower significantly. Another possible risk of supplementing with fish oil is that fish can often contain significant levels of contaminants. Fish are often found to be unsafe because of their mercury level.

Consuming fish oils could pose a risk, particularly to young children, and women who are pregnant or nursing. Fishes with the highest levels of mercury include swordfish, tuna, king mackerel, tilefish, and shark. To avoid these risks, make sure to find a low-mercury fish. Finding this information can often be difficult, and may involve calling the manufacturer to ask about mercury levels.

The good news: beside these risks, consuming fish oils generally causes very few side effects. The side effects that do exist are relatively minor, and may consist of stomach disturbances and gas.

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