Osteoarthritis (OA)

OA is a degenerative joint disease that results in firm, bony enlargement on a joint, leading to swelling, pain and stiffness. It most often occurs in the fingers, neck, low back, and knees. Mostly this occurs in older age. One in two people develop OA by age 65. Risk factors include age, previous damage from injury, overuse, or excess weight.

 

Standard medical treatments:

NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory drugs)

Aspirin

Steroids

Physical therapy

Water exercise

 

Supportive and alternative treatments:

Nutritional –

Avoid nightshades

Glucosamine sulfate – well researched anti-inflammatory

Shark cartilage – anti-inflammatory and promotes cartilage repair

Chondroitin Sulfate – promotes cartilage repair

MSM – methylsulfonylmethane – joint support

Bromelain – enzymatic anti-inflammatory

Ginger – anti-inflammatory

Curcumin – anti-inflammatory (from tumeric)

Herbal –

White willow bark – anti-inflammatory salicylate

Cat’s claw – anti-inflammatory, decreases swelling

Devil’s claw – anti-inflammatory, reduces pain

Yucca – anti-inflammatory

Horsetail – has silica to strengthen connective tissue

Boswelia – anti-inflammatory, promotes cartilage growth

Homeopathy –

Traumeel – combination remedy for inflammation and would healing

Zeel – combination remedy for arthritic joint pain

Hydrotherapy – hot epsom salt soaks, herbal warm packs

Analgesic packs – castor oil, hemp oil, Chinese herbal liniment

Acupuncture

Chiropractic

Massage therapy

 

Osteoarthritis and Cannabis

Evidence from recent research suggests that cannabis-based therapies are effective in the treatment of arthritis and the other and degenerative back and joint disorders. Since these are frequently extremely painful conditions, the well-documented analgesic properties of cannabis make it useful in treating the pain associated with arthritis, both on its own and as an adjunct therapy that enhances the efficacy of opiates.

In addition, cannabis helps to loosen stiff backs and joints due to its muscle-relaxant properties. Topical applications of cannabis can be applied to the affected area without causing psychoactive effects, and provide a safe, potent method of delivery with few side effects. In addition, medical marijuana patients often find that they can accomplish more movement, more stretching, and get a better work-out while medicated.