People are often taught that osteoarthritis results from wear and tear. This idea implies that the human body, and joints, in particular, begin to degrade and become damaged as they are used.
However, the human body is not like a car. The more you use a car, the more it wears out. The more you use a human body, the more it thrives! It does not wear out as a machine does.
Of course, there are things that can create damage, such as traumas or excessive use of something like professional sport, but for most of us, it is not worn and tear that causes our joint damage.
Two main factors cause arthritis – our diet and, despite popular opinion, lack of use. Yes, LACK of use.
This is because joints have nutrient-rich synovial fluid in them, and when we move, we wash those nutrients over our cartilage which helps to keep it healthy. Don’t move, and that healthy process does not occur, and joints begin to suffer.
An Osteopath spends most of their days helping people with pain and dysfunction. One area of Osteopathy that is particularly interesting is being a health detective. This means looking at all the factors that would usually create good health and discovering what may be out of balance in their patients.
If they start to correct things such as a patient’s nutritional status, environment, mental wellbeing, sleep patterns, and lifestyle, especially their movement habits, replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy alternatives, then slowly but surely they start to find they become healthy and well again.
This is totally at odds with much of what modern pharmaceutical-based medicine does. Doctors using pharma methods tend to look for diseases and symptoms and then give drugs to ameliorate the symptoms. This can lead to more drugs for more symptoms and total dependence on the next drug the Doctor may hand out. This is more of a business model than a way to create a healthy population.
The course of arthritis is often presented as a one-way street of degeneration and pain culminating in disability/or joint replacement. This idea feeds into the pharmaceutical business model but is also inaccurate.
Arthritis has damaging and repair processes occurring, and we can influence this so that we see more repair and less damage.
Osteopaths consider CBD oil a very useful tool in conjunction with a balanced diet to optimize a patient’s well-being. Cannabinoids should be common in our diet, and a full spectrum CBD oil should contain many useful cannabinoids and other compounds that complement good nutrition.
A fascinating fact is that joints damaged by arthritis develop more cannabinoid receptors than a healthy joints, possibly one of the reasons why many people report good pain relief when they take CBD oil for arthritis and arthritic problems.
When deciding where to start with a CBD product, it is best to start with a medium-strength CBD such as Signature Blend No1 or No2 or our Absorb Pure water-based product. If you start too low and nothing changes, the temptation is to think CBD isn’t working for you when you may have just needed a slightly stronger product to start with. Once you see improvements, you can always lower the dose next time around.
Of course, the budget can be an important factor, so always pick a product with a price you are comfortable with.
A simple rule we use is that the water-based products are energizing whilst the oils are more sedating so use that as a starting point for choosing.
It is also important to review your diet if you have arthritis, for much of the damage to our joints is caused by chronic inflammation caused by a toxic, modern western diet. Chronic inflammation causes a myriad of health problems and is a very different proposition from acute inflammation, which generally occurs in response to an injury to enable healing to take place.
There is an excellent book called ‘A doctor’s proven new home cure for arthritis’ by Giraud Campbell, which is quick and easy to use and will enable you to understand the basic principles of healthy nutrition. Get this right, and you can begin to have a very positive influence on your arthritic pain.
Please note that dietary changes all are slightly different in our needs. The adage ‘one person’s food is another person’s poison’ sums this up nicely. So whilst you may get a book about using food to help arthritis, it is important to tune into how you are responding and experimenting to see what suits you. There truly is no one size fits all answer to nutrition which is why there are so many different diet books on the shelves!