Osteoarthritis, a chronic disease, is the most common joint disorder. Osteoarthritis can start to appear in middle age and by the time most people are around 70 they will have shown symptoms of this condition. This chronic condition causes the cartilage that is found between the bone joints to wear away, which in turn manifests in stiffness and pain. Osteoarthritis can also cause called bone spurs to grow around the joints. Although this condition is generally considered to be related to the aging process, much of the time the actual cause is unknown and many factors including metabolic, genetic, chemical and mechanical factors can play a role in its development. Over time the cartilage of the affected joint becomes rough and degenerates and as it disappears one ends up with bone rubbing on bone. Bony spurs can also develop around the joint.
While on occasion there may be no symptoms at all, generally symptoms include: a gradual and subtle onset of deep aching joint pain which might worsen after exercise and improve after rest; joint swelling; limited movement; morning stiffness; grating of the joint with motion and joint pain in rainy weather.
Diagnosis can be made after a physical exam shows the limited range of motion, joint swelling, tenderness and grating of a joint in motion. An x-ray will show the actual loss of joint space and any wearing down of the ends of the bones or possible bone spurs.
The general goal of traditional treatment is to relieve pain; increase the strength of the joint; improve joint mobility and minimizing any disabling effects. The specific treatment depends on which joints are involved. Treatment protocols can include medication such anti-inflammatory pain killers such as aspirin and ibuprofen; supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate; lifestyle changes like an exercise program; good nutrition; weight control; and more mechanical solutions like physical therapy, braces and surgery. Weight loss can reduce the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis in overweight women.
In the early stages massage can help to decrease pain and muscle spasm, as well as help to maintain the range of motion of the affected joint while promoting blood circulation. When there is inflammation manual lymph drainage can be helpful. Compresses can also be very helpful for the joint and muscle pain of osteoarthritis. and a castor oil compress is often recommended.
In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel group study for the treatment of dogs with osteoarthritis Innes JF, Fuller CJ, Grover ER, Kelly AL, Burn JFof the Department of Veterinary Clinical Science and Animal Husbandry, University of Liverpool, Small Animal Hospital, Crown Street, Liverpool studied the effects of P54FP is an extract of Indian and Javanese turmeric, Curcuma domestica and Curcuma xanthorrhiza respectively, which contains a mixture of active ingredients including curcuminoids and essential oils and found a statistically significant treatment effect in favour of P54FP.
Which could indicate that the essential oils of tumeric (Curcuma domestica) or (Curcuma xanthorrhiza) might be effective of osteoarthritis.
Analgesic oils to consider would include: angelica, aniseed, black pepper, cajuput, chamomile, cinnamon, citronella, clove, coriander, eucalyptus, elemi, fennel, fir, frankincense, geranium, ginger, helichrysum, juniper, laurel, lavender, lemongrass, marjoram, niaouli, nutmeg, peppermint, ravintsara, rosemary, thyme, yarrow.
Anti-inflammatory oils to consider would include: aniseed, cardamon, chamomile, citronella, clary sage, coriander, eucalyptus, fennel, frankincense, geranium, ginger, helichrysum, hyssop, lemongrass, marjoram, niaouli, orange, patchouli, peppermint, rosemary, sage, sandalwood, yarrow.
There are a number of ways in which essential oils can be used. Also ensure that you consider any possible contra-indications before choosing your blend.
When your heart speaks, take good notes. ~Judith Campbell