Complex regional pain syndrome


As we saw in other posts there are many types of arthritis conditions that share similar symptoms with OA. One of those conditions is CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome), also known as RSDS (reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome). Here is a list of this condition’s characteristics:

  1. This condition affects the sympathetic nervous system, a group of nerves located along the spinal cord that regulate several body functions like the activation of the fight-or-flight response in our bodies. Even though this system responds when the body feels threaten, it is working constantly making sure unconscious functions are working, like opening and closing of blood vessels.
  2. Although the cause of CRPS is not very clear, most of the times it is produced by traumas and injuries, like fractures or surgical interventions.
  3. This condition causes pain in the musculoskeletal system, swelling and changes in the skin of hands and feet.
  4. If the condition is not treated on time the patient may be facing severe pain, tight muscles and tissues, lost of function and drawn skin in a permanent basis.
  5. As far as self care for this condition goes, exercise is the best alternative. It will help the patient gain flexibility and strength in the affected limp.

There are many types of treatment for this condition, but the best strategy is to discuss with your symptoms and options with your doctor.

Keep and eye on these symptoms of Anxiety


Anxiety is internalized fear that aggravates in great measure the painful symptoms of any kind of arthritis, including OA. It is normal to feel anxious before a major event in your life, but what is not normal is to be, every day of your life, in constant alert; you may have an anxiety disorder and not be aware of that. These are some of the most common symptoms of an anxiety that goes above the “normal”:

  1. Unreasonable fear? If your feel fear that is not proportional to the cause, let’s say your feet ache and sweat and you feel paralyzed in front of an ordinary event, like a dog on the street or a crowd, you may be facing severe anxiety, in many cases phobia.
  2. Constant stomachache? If you feel indigestion all the time, like diarrhea, gas, bloating, your body may be trying to tell you that there is something going on in your mind, the two are close and connected. Therefore anxiety can be the cause of problems like IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome).
  3. Not sleeping well? The length and quality of your sleep is probably the best anxiety thermometer. If you have trouble falling sleep and you wake up extremely agitated by no particular reason, you should talk to your doctor about anxiety.
  4. Tightness in your muscles? It is possible that you don’t notice how intensely you clench your jaw, or not even know for how long you have done it already. Tension in your muscles can be anxiety in disguise; this constant tension will make your OA pain only worse.

Don’t ignore the signals of anxiety, because this condition can make your OA pain unbearable physically and mentally.

You thought it was OA, it may be Bursitis


If you are experiencing pain near your joints or at them, inform yourself about all the possibilities before you jump to the conclusion that you have OA. You could be suffering Bursitis. Here is list that will provide some guidance about this condition:

  1. Near our joints, we all have small sacs (called bursae) that provide cushion for tendons, muscles and bones. The inflammation of these sacs produces Bursitis.

2. This condition, in most cases, is the result of an injury or repetitive movements. According to the Arthritis Foundation other causes for Bursitis can be:

a. Bad posture or walking habits

b. Stress on soft tissues from an abnormal joint or bone

c. Other types of arthritis (Gout, RA, OA…)

d. Metabolic conditions, like diabetes

e. Side effects of certain medications.

3. Since one of the most common causes of Bursitis is repetitive movement, this condition normally occurs in hips, shoulders, elbows, knees, big toes and heels.

4. The symptoms of Bursitis are inflammation and pain (many times severe) around joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Usually, it will disappear after resting the affected area, but still Bursitis can last for few days or weeks. In many cases the pain will occur again, most of all if repetitive motion habits don’t change.

5. If Bursitis is treated on time and accurately, disability or joint damage can be prevented. If after being diagnosed with Bursitis and treated by a primary care doctor your pain persists, you should talk to an specialist about alternatives.

What do you know about Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU)?


ASU is a vegetable extract that has been used in France since the 1990s to battle OA pain, most commonly Hip and knee OA. Its components are one-third avocado oil and two-thirds soybean oil.

In a 2003 study, published in the Journal of Rheumatology, it was proved that this extract (Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables) attacks inflammatory substances in the body and mitigates damage of synovial cells. But perhaps one of the most important reasons people take ASU is that it doesn’t cause the side effects NSAIDs produce in the patient, like ulcers and high risk of heart failures.

For OA and its complex symptoms it will never be enough to have one strategy, natural extracts can be helpful, but they won’t do much if you don’t combine them with exercise, good postures and a balanced diet.

Eating avocados and soybeans alone are not as effective as taking a concentrated supplement. The suggested amount to be taken daily is 300 mg, but before you decide to integrate it in your health plan (even if it is a natural extract) talk to your doctor.