Arthritis (“arthro” means joint and “itis” means inflammation) is a group of conditions involving damage to the joints of the body.

There are over 100 different forms of arthritis. The most common form, osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) is a result of trauma to the joint, infection of the joint, or age. Other common arthritis forms are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gouty arthropathy and related autoimmune diseases.

The major complaint by individuals who have arthritis is joint pain. Pain is often a constant and may be localized to the joint affected. The pain from arthritis occurs due to inflammation that occurs around the joint, damage to the joint from disease, daily wear and tear of joint, muscle strains caused by forceful movements against stiff, painful joints and fatigue.

The Functional Medicine and Clinical Nutrition approach to treating arthritis works more on the concept of identifying poorly understood factors that can contribute to joint inflammation and improving the nutritional fuel needed by the body to repair the joint surfaces. In contrast, medical management of arthritis focuses on interference of pain messaging. Pain control is a valuable tool and is an understandable approach to improving quality of living, especially with advancing pain patterns. However, the medications used for pain control block the natural synthesis of nutrients that repair the joints. This means that by decreasing pain for a short period of time with medications like Ibuprofen, you are increasing long term suffering by causing more arthritis in the body. These studies were published over 20 years ago in the Journal of the American Medical Association- 1995.

The Functional Medicine approach to treating arthritis focuses on decreasing universal inflammatory responses in the body. The goal is to remove the need for the medication by modifying the diet and using supportive vitamin therapies.

It is important to state that if you want to eat junk food all day and simply take a pill to control pain levels, you should not book an appointment for treatment in our office. Otherwise, if you are interested in finding out how natural therapies can improve the pain response and decrease joint inflammation, please give us a call. There are many possible ways of improving your condition and I will be happy to help you sort through the confusion and research to find the best suited answer for your specific joint related needs.

It is important to note that when your medical history and health related goals are explored, your consultations are held directly with Dr. Shaw, not an untrained individual, a staff member, a questionnaire or a computer program. You will not be signing up for a “program” and paying money up front for services not yet rendered. Your health care journey in our office is unique to your specific needs.

I look forward to working with you directly to identify the tools in repairing your joint inflammation.— Dr. Conan Shaw  Functional Medicine, Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Pittsburgh PA

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