Arthritis is a condition wherein there in an inflammation of either one or several joints leading to pain, swelling, redness and stiffness of the joint. The following are some of the common types of arthritis.

·  Osteoarthritis- this is one of the most common type of arthritis wherein there is wear and tear of the joints. The pain is usually worse on activity and is better by rest. The cartilage lining the joint tends to degenerate and bony outgrowths may form resulting in pain, stiffness and inflammation. The larger joints like hips, knees and spine are especially affected.

·    Rheumatoid Arthritis- this is an autoimmune disorder which results when the persons own immune system acts against his body, damaging the joint and surrounding tissue causing joint pain and swelling, morning stiffness and occasionally resulting in a generalized affection of the body or a mild fever, weight loss, anaemia and fatigue.

·    Ankylosing Spondylitis- this is an inflammatory condition involving the spine, pelvis and occasionally the rib cage. In this condition the vertebral joints become inflamed and then end up fusing with each other resulting in rigidity, stiffness and pain.

·    Gout- in this condition there is accumulation of uric acid, one of the body’s waste products, in the joints ( especially the small joints) causing a very painful inflammation of the joints. Uric acid levels increased in gout.



The cause of arthritis is largely non specific. But various factors like

·    Heredity, obesity, injury and stress may play a part.

·    Infection from different bacteria.

·    Rheumatic fever.

·    Tuberculosis, psoriasis and even intestinal diseases like Crohns.


Do’s and Don’ts

·    In cases where the patient is overweight, reducing the weight is of prime importance to reduce further wear and tear and pain.

·    Alternate application of moist heat and cold, daily exercise and appropriate rest periods can help reducing stiffness and thus the pain.

·    Exclude meat, fish flesh, alcohol, fowl and rich seasoned food from the diet. Avoid tea and coffee. Take in a lot of water and fresh fruit juices. Avoid using refined sugar and pure honey or molasses as sweetening agents.

·    In case of gout, avoid the following items completely from the diet- alcohol, cheese, paneer, condiments and spices, guvar ( a kind of vegetable), brinjal, lady’s finger, papadi (a kind of vegetable), jam with seeds, red meat, liver, kidney, fish like sardines and herring, papad, pulses, tomatoes and fruits like bananas, chikoo, custard apple, pear and pomegranate.

·    1-2 garlic cloves swallowed whole with warm water an hour before morning food provides heat and lubrication to the joints. This should be practiced daily for at least two months.

·    Have a diet rich in whole-grain cereals and vegetables rich in fibre. Decrease the amount of sugar and starches from the diet.

·    Raw juices made from celery, potatoes, alfalfa, beets, carrots, cucumbers and parsley can be helpful when taken twice daily.

·    Lime juice is also very useful in case of gout since it contains citric acid, which is a solvent of uric acid.

·    Eating oily fish like mackerel, herring, sardines or salmon daily helps in reducing the pain and inflammation, since they contain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). An alternative to eating fish is taking a daily supplement of cod liver oil. Strictly avoid herring and sardines in gout.

·    Intake of the following minerals are known to help the inflammation- Magnesium 9ound in Brazil nuts, whole grain flour, plain chocolate, lentils and parseley); Selenium (found in whole grain bread, rice, oatmeal, lean meat, poultry and fish); Zinc (found in lean meat, poultry, fish, liver and whole grain cereals); Vitamin E ( wheat germ, nuts, seeds and seed oil).

·    Fresh pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that has significant anti-inflammatory properties.

·    A mixture of coriander seeds, cumin seeds and caraway seeds cooked with jaggery is taken daily for few days.

·    A teaspoonful of black sesame seeds are soaked in water over-night and taken on an empty stomach the next morning.

·    Juice of holy basil leaves (tulsi) mixed with raw turmeric juice if taken daily in the morning helps the ailment.

·    Castor oil plant leaves are applied locally over the painful and swollen joints.

·    Potatoes boiled with their skin and root vegetables are used since they are rich in sodium and potash salts which increases the solubility of uric acid and removes it from the body.



There are four muscles on the front of your thigh which is why they are referred to as ‘quads’. The ‘quads’ often become weak if the joint is painful or if there is a problem in any joints in the leg. It is important to keep these muscles strong to protect your knee joint, and to prevent your knee becoming fixed in a bent position.


In all the exercise when you tighten your ‘quads’ you must pull your toes towards you.




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