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Although conventional medicine


maintains that drugs, surgery and reduced activity are inevitable, a new generation of clinicians disagree. Tey’ve seen how by losing weight, fighting inflammation with wholesome food and supplements, exer- cising smart and exploring science-backed integrative therapies, patients can manage the root causes of joint pain and find relief. “We have many tools at our disposal to


halt or slow the progression of arthritis so most people never have to have surgery,” says Doctor of Naturopathy Casey Seen- auth, a staff physician at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine Pain Relief Center, in Tempe, Arizona.


Identification Helps Te term “arthritis” can conjure images of aging cartilage worn thin by years of overuse. Yet this common type, known as osteoar- thritis, is just one of many joint pain culprits. Rheumatoid arthritis, which manifests in swelling and pain in the hands, wrists, feet or toes, arises when the body’s immune system attacks itself, destroying tissue around the


Forever Flexible T


Keep Joints Naturally Healthy by Lisa Marshall


Creaky knees, sore hips, shoulder pain or a stiff neck can be a thing of the past.


hirty-seven percent of American adults 18 and older suffer from arthritis—a catch-all term for a


dozen varieties of joint disease—accord- ing to the nonprofit Arthritis Foundation. One in two men and two in three women 65 or older may have it, estimates a recent Boston University study. Due to increasing obesity rates and autoimmune disorders, it’s also impacting 8 million Millennials, reports the U.S. Centers for Disease Con- trol and Prevention. “I’m seeing higher rates, more severe cases and more of them in younger people.


It’s an epidemic no one is talking about,” says Dr. Susan Blum, a Rye Brook, New York, physician and author of Healing Arthritis: Your 3-Step Guide to Conquering Arthritis Naturally. About 65 percent of patients try to treat


joint pain with daily anti-inflammatory drugs that can damage the stomach and kidneys. Many work and exercise less due to pain, making arthritis the leading cause of disability. More than 1 million undergo expensive, risky surgeries annually, with hip and knee replacements performed twice as oſten now as in 2000.


joints. Spondyloarthritis inflames the spine and sometimes the eyes and gut. Infections like Lyme disease, parvovirus and hepatitis B can also ignite arthritic joint pain. Inflammation may exacerbate them


all, so an anti-inflammatory program can typically provide relief, says Blum. Serious forms might require more aggressive treat- ments; a visit with an integrative clinician is an important first step.


Get Weight in Check About one-third of obese people have arthritis, and research shows that with every pound lost, joint pain diminishes—the lighter the load, the less the pressure on joints. A Wake Forest University study of knee osteoarthritis patients showed that with


September 2018 27


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