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Arthritis and osteoarthritis: the difference between them and some natural remedies

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Arthritis and osteoarthritis: the difference between them and some natural remedies
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If you have pain in one or several of your joints, it isn’t always easy to know if it is arthritis or osteoarthritis. However, these conditions do not have the same causes, or the same symptoms. So how can you tell the difference? And are there natural remedies?

The differences between osteoarthritis and arthritis

Osteoarthritis is to do with joint wear, and it is invisible, while arthritis is an inflammation of a joint which presents as swelling, redness and heat. Rheumatism, or rheumatic pain, is at the origin of both arthritis and osteoarthritis, but these do not have the same characteristics.

Typical pain experienced in osteoarthritis

In the case of osteoarthritis, it mostly affects the joints in the hips, knees and back.

ain in osteoarthritis is experienced when the person moves or makes movements that aggravate it. This pain tends to be worse at the end of the day, and especially after staying in one position for a long time, either standing or sitting. However, the pain generally disappears by the  time you wake up the following morning.

Characteristic pains in arthritis

Generally, the wrists, the feet and the vertebrae are the joints most affected by arthritis.

Arthritic pain is permanent, and it can tend to wake people up at night. This pain is worst in the morning and eases out throughout the day.

In conclusion, if you have more joint pain in the mornings, it could be arthritis, while if the pain mainly starts during the day or at the end of the day, it could be osteoarthritis.

Natural remedies for arthritis and osteoarthritis

Generally, doctors tend to prescribe anti-inflammatories. You can ask a naturopath for natural anti-inflammatories or enquire about homeopathic treatments if you prefer natural solutions.

Cayenne pepper

Coming from South America and the Carribean, strong chilli peppers or Cayenne peppers are cultivated in tropical climates and in certain temperate climates.

It can be used externally in small doses, unless there are contraindications, and it is quite effective for naturally treating: 

  • pain from rheumatoid arthritis
  • pain from osteoarthritis
  • pain linked to neuropathy
  • muscle pains in the shoulders, arms and back
  • lower back pain
  • nerve pain

Apply a cream, lotion or ointment containing 0.025 to 0.075% capsaicin (the active ingredient in chillis) to the affected areas up to four times a day. It can take up to 14 days to feel the analgesic effects of the treatment. In certain health food stores and Asian stores, you can find capsicum plasters that can be applied to painful joints and muscles.

Do not apply this near the eyes or to the mucus membranes, nor to red or broken skin.

Sources: Esanté, Passeport Santé

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