Some facts about fish oil – suplemments –

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  1. Fish oil supplements come normally from mackerel, salmon, herring, tuna, halibut and cod (cold-water fish).
  2. It is an important part of treatments for RA, lupus, psoriasis, depression and Raynaud’s phenomenon. It mitigates inflammation and morning stiffness, it is also proved to help brain function.
  3. People with risk of heart failure and high blood pressure benefit greatly from fish oil, since it reduces the levels of triglyceride in the blood stream.
  4. Omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil, like EPA and DHA, act as a barrier for inflammatory cytokines and prostaglandins. The body converts these substances into strong anti-inflammatory chemicals called resolvins.
  5. Studies have shown that fish oil helps to reduce joint tenderness and stiffness in RA. Some patients, that included fish oil in their treatments, have lessened or even eliminated NSAIDs from them. It is also proved to have positive effects when combined with olive oil (for RA patients). And for OA patients, initial studies have shown fish oil to be beneficial.
  6. Analyses have proved that fish oils help patients fight depression when consumed along conventional antidepressants.
  7. It is recommended to have at least 2 to 3-ounce servings of fish a week. But it will be hard to get all the necessary benefits from only food. For arthritis related conditions, supplements should be taken with 30% EPA/ DHA (active ingredients).

Discuss with your doctor what is the best option for you before you take any decisions on your treatment.

Facts on Finger Splints

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  1. If you are and OA / RA patient you may consider using splints to stabilize your fingers. According to the Arthritis Foundation, this will help improve function, align joints, and keep deformities caused by arthritis, loose ligaments or injury from getting worse.
  2. When ligaments in fingers are not aligned (due to joint tear or disease) joints loose stability, says Cynthia Garris (inventor of silver ring splints). Finger splints will help the joint to keep movement on normal range, which will provides support for the finger.
  3. When fingers get locked in a bent position or hyperextended it will not only painful, but function will be reduced. For these cases finger splits are very useful.
  4. To avoid hyperextension of joints patients wear swan neck splints, and to aid straighten joints boutonniere splints is what is recommended.
  5. Studies show that a metal ring splints could help patients regain function in the fingers buy 15% in one year, although this is proven to be different in each patient.
  6. A Double-loop metal finger splints of flexible metal, not only can be less overwhelming and more durable than foam or plastic ones, but also in some cases they are wore as jewelry. Therefore, people would wear silver splints more often and gain bigger benefits from the treatment.

Talk to your physical therapist about the benefits of finger splints. They usually will be more beneficial if used as a preventive treatment.

OA and Acupuncture

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Managing a condition like OA is never a matter of one solution. Some people find relief in alternative therapies, like massage or herbal preparations. Acupuncture is another add–on therapy that many OA patients used.

Studies haven’t been able to show completely the effectiveness of Acupuncture for OA, but there is anecdotal evidence that this technique has helped some patients.

Acupuncture is an essential part of traditional Chinese medicine. It is believed that in a healthy body, energy (qi, pronounced chee) flows through channels called meridians. Illness will be the result of these energy channels being unbalanced or disrupted. In order to restore the channels, the acupuncturist inserts very thin needles in specific points of a patient’s body.

Placing a needle in a strategic part of the body produce signals that travel along the spinal cord to the brain, causing the release of endorphins and enkephalins (neurotransmitters). These chemical messengers reduce the perception of pain. A well-placed needle can also increase the production of an hormone called cortisol, that helps control inflammation.

A study in 2004 showed that Acupuncture helps OA patients to function better and diminish their joint pain. After 26 weeks of practicing real Acupuncture on a certain number of patients, they were able to walk further than their counterparts who got sham Acupuncture.

One of the biggest advantages of Acupuncture over other OA medications is that it doesn’t have side effects, like NSAIDs do. Normally, patients that received a well-practiced Acupuncture will start getting benefits after three or more sessions, and the benefits will last for a month (follow-up sessions will be necessary).

Acupuncture seems to have better results in patients with OA of the knee and spine than in patients with other types of OA.

If you decide to try Acupuncture, first talk to your doctor about it and make sure you contact a licensed professional.