Chronic inflammation can cycle into snowballs of pain that catch us off guard. For those with a familial tendency towards rheumatism, arthritis can become quite severe. Joint inflammation usually takes the autoimmune form of rheumatoid arthritis or the inflammatory/ immune joint presentation of osteoarthritis.
It takes time and patience and a good amount of work to manage an acute pain flare. We want a recipe for success to include a small pill and minimal work. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. To follow is a recipe for treatment of an acute, immediate or aggressive flare up of arthritis/tendon inflammation or bursitis that may be causing moderate to extreme pain and inhibiting mobility.
1.You will need to rest as much as possible for 7-10 days. Plan to stay home and lay low whenever possible. Stand up every 2-3 hours (except while sleeping) for 10-20 minutes of stretching and gentle exercises. Walking in nature, Pilates, physiotherapy, gentle yoga, or Wii Fit balance exercises good choices to support rehabilitation.
Plan your life accordingly. You may need to work from home if possible, and reschedule activities. This is necessary to address the pain. It is likely your pain and inflammatory levels will be up to 50% resolved by the tenth day of treatment.
2. Take a daily bath if you have access, soaking the affected joints for up to 45 minutes. Use Epsom magnesium bath salts with 10-15 drops of lavender essential oil or a bath salt of your choice. Follow with 20 minutes of icing the affected joint. If you don’t have a bath, use a hot shower and/or hot towels or a heating pad and ice after a shower.
This plan will not cure your arthritis. This does not replace the need for surgery if you have a fracture or true tear like a labrum or rotator cuff. Do not discontinue scheduled plans prescribed by your physicians and specialists.
3. Start an Anti-Inflammatory Diet. This is best continued until joint replacement is successful; however, it is crucial during the initial rest window. Studies have proven that nutrition is directly linked with inflammation. By eliminating foods known to increase systemic inflammation, you can reduce your own inflammatory load. This allows your body to begin healing. You can google one, find a local holistic nutritionist for guidance, or a local ND. The anti-inflammatory diet eliminates gluten, beef, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, peanuts, soy, oranges, and often dairy. What else can you eat? So many things! Fish, apples, pears, chicken, rice, legumes, nuts, seeds, quinoa, pork, lamb, oats, berries, greens, beets, carrots… the list is endless!
4. The Medicine. Zyflamend- 3 capsules morning and nighttimes daily. This is a modern formulation of 6-10 botanicals to treat inflammation, joint pain and rheumatism using herbal medicine. New Chapter has combined these into an effective and well researched formula called “Zyflamend.” http://www.newchapter.com/zyflamend The PM version also contains a small amount of relaxing herbs which are helpful for supporting a restful attitude during your healing. You may continue this for up to one year’s duration before a break is needed. This product is safe to take with most narcotic and non-narcotic pain medication including Vicodin, Oxycodone, Ibuprofen, Tylenol 3 and Ibuprofen. However, do not drive while taking the nighttime formulation.
5. Nordic Naturals Omega Joint Plus – 3 capsules daily with food. This is a premium joint care formula containing 1500mg of glucosamine sulphate as well as anti-inflammatory levels of EPA and DHA. The product is expensive at ~$50/bottle for one month supply however, it is worth it. Switch to this product during your first month of resolution treatment for best results, and hold your other fish oil or glucosamine supplements. http://www.nordicnaturals.com/en/Products/Product_Details/514/?ProdID=1548
During your 7-10 day acute healing time, you can take your other supplements as well, or take a supplement vacation and focus on the above products only to streamline your protocol.
This is the skeleton treatment plan. This is a great place to start If you do not get the results you are looking for or have trouble adhering to the program, consider seeing a ND in your area. In addition to the above protocol, continue to take your medications for heart, kidney, lung or other medical health conditions. Specific neutraceuticals to address sleep, anxiety, digestion, or other issues may also be prescribed in a consultation. Classical homeopathy is also extremely useful in complex cases. It is safe with complicated pharmaceutical treatments and provides lasting results.
Your pain is a sign that something is wrong, Respecting the pain by changing your every day lifestyle can provide insight into the pathology. Physiotherapy, Osteopathic medicine, Acupuncturem Chiropractic, Craniosacral therapy and other physical medicine treatments are essential to rebalancing pain as well. Z
Side Note; If you drink More than 2 drinks a night, NSAIDS like ibuprofen, celecoxib, Alleve, and other antiinflammatories are not safe for more than 7 days of use for pain. If you have heart failure, either preserved or reduced ejection fraction these medications can damage your heart and kidneys. Seek appropriate treatment from your primary care doctor or orthopedist and disclose your daily alcohol intake as this could lead to life threatening stomach or esophageal bleeding. If you have marooon or black poop, or vomit what looks like coffee grounds, go to your ER immediately,
Pain is a message, Increasing pain means something is worsening. Listen to your pain by doing the above lifestyle changes. If you do not find improvement, follow the resource branches of care with primary care, orthopaedics, rheumatology, psychiatry and physical medicine to get to the root of the cause. Your bones will thank you for it,