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May Is Arthritis Awareness Month

May is arthritis awareness month. But what exactly is arthritis and what are the most common types? Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease disorder. Your body’s immune system is attacking itself and causing pain, inflammation and swelling. Normally your body fights bacteria and viruses but the immune system gets confused and attacks your own cells. Typically, RA hurts worse in the mornings. 

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a type of arthritis that results from overuse or what is referred to as “the wear and tear” joint problem. OA usually hurts worse in the evenings after you’ve used your joints all day, because your joints have lost the padding that keeps your bones from rubbing together, much like worn brake pads in your car. 

One of the first things people think of when they are in pain is, “what kind of pill can I take for this? ”  However, there are many  alternatives to medications. The use of heat and cold applications can be beneficial, keeping your muscles strong with low impact exercises such as swimming which will keep your joints aligned and intact, and washing your dishes by hand for the warmth of the water and ease of movement of your joints.

Other ideas instead of medication include incorporating certain foods in your diet that may help control your RA and OA symptoms. Some foods that may be beneficial for both types of arthritis include: green tea, citrus fruits, and nuts.

Lastly, a topical application of Milkweed Balm on your painful areas may help ease the discomfort. Continually rubbing your joints with Milkweed Balm will have a cumulative pain effect over time which will ultimately allow you to use less applications. Why not try some of these alternatives rather than taking another pill?