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arthritis research


Arthritis affects over 300 million people worldwide. Arthritis is described as joint pain or a joint disease. The symptoms of this joint disease can be painful, inconvenient and even immobilizing and effects men, women, and children often worsening with age. There are numerous treatments being tried and tested to ease the pain of arthritis because it is a condition that has no ‘cure-all’ measure. One treatment is the use of Far Infrared saunas. They are becoming more and more popular because of their astonishing benefits. The benefits far infrared saunas have for symptoms of arthritis make it the best and most safe option for treating the condition.

Far infrared saunas use a light that cannot be seen by the human eye but is felt as heat to penetrate deep into your tissues. The light heats up to 2 inches deep into your skin tissues. The depth of heat stimulates the body’s cellular detoxification process. The far infrared lights enrich your tissues with oxygen augmenting your circulation and metabolism. The enhanced circulation may then also loosen mineral deposits from the joints. Far infrared saunas work by warming the body from the inside out. The body absorbs the infrared rays evenly making it a safe and ideal heat therapy option and causing no damage to the joint tissues. Tissues composed of a large amount of collagen become more flexible in increased temperatures. This process is what relieves the symptoms of arthritis, like joint pain, stiffness, fatigue, and stress.

Studies were done by Saxion University showing the incredible benefits of far infrared saunas for those suffering from arthritis. The people participating in the study reported less joint pain, increased mobility, less stiffness and less fatigue after 4 weeks of regular home sauna use. The use of saunas is also said to release endorphins in the body. Endorphins cause the person to have increased feelings of well-being. The study concluded that the use of saunas helped relieve symptoms short term and could have long-term benefits as well. Because the majority of benefits are short term it is important to make regular use of far infrared saunas in order to keep enjoying the effects.

An important result of the study done by Saxion University was finding there were no unfavorable effects of the short or long-term use of far infrared saunas. The use of far infrared saunas as arthritis treatment has given the affected an alternative to pain medication. For most people, avoiding physical activity is not an option. The average person depends on painkillers in order to keep up with day to day activities when suffering from arthritis pain. Regular use of pain medication can be harmful to the body and cause a long list of adverse side effects. Regular sauna use is a healthy way to ease the pain, stiffness, and fatigue caused by arthritis rather than masking it with pain medication.


Stiffness and joint pain relief can make a world of difference for someone suffering from arthritis. It makes daily chores and activities manageable and enables them to enjoy activities they might have given up on being able to do. People can enjoy physical activity without pain holding them back. That means getting off the sidelines and back in the game, being able to play with grandchildren, and being able to keep up at work.

These saunas are often very affordable. If purchasing your own is not an option there are multiple locations like spas and treatment centers that offer packages for use of Far Infrared Saunas.

There are an enormous amount of people suffering from arthritis pain and looking anywhere for relief. Regular visits to a far infrared sauna are a safe and healthy treatment option that can reduce need for pain medication and offer relief of arthritis symptoms. The properties of the light in these saunas have been proven to relieve pain, stiffness, and fatigue for many people. Far infrared saunas are ideal for many reasons. They are affordable, easy to use, have an incredible ability to relieve arthritis symptoms and they’re just plain relaxing to use.



British researchers believe that eating lots of broccoli may slow down and even prevent osteoarthritis.

The University of East Anglia team is starting human trials following on from successful lab studies.

Tests on cells and mice showed that a broccoli compound – which humans can also get from Brussels sprouts and cabbage – blocked a key destructive enzyme that damages cartilage.

Researchers are asking 20 patients to eat a daily dose of “super-charged” broccoli.

This special cruciferous vegetable has been bred to be extra rich in nutrients – it is a cross between standard broccoli and a wild relative from Sicily.

Our body takes this glucoraphanin compound and turns it into another, called sulforaphane, which appears to protect the joints.

The volunteers will have two weeks on the diet before going under the knife to have their badly arthritic knees repaired by surgeons.

Dr. Rose Davidson and her team will look at the tissue that has been removed to see what impact, if any, the broccoli has had.

British researchers believe that eating lots of broccoli may slow down and even prevent osteoarthritis

British researchers believe that eating lots of broccoli may slow down and even prevent osteoarthritis

She said: “We’re asking patients to eat 100 g [3.5oz] every day for two weeks. That’s a normal, good-sized serving – about a handful – and it’s an amount that most people should be happy to eat every day.”

While two weeks is highly unlikely to be enough to cause any big change, Dr. Rose Davidson hopes it will be enough to offer some evidence that “super” broccoli could benefit humans.

“I can’t imagine it would repair or reverse arthritis… but it might be a way to prevent it,” she said.

Her team will be looking for proof that sulforaphane has travelled to where it is needed in the joint and that it is causing beneficial changes at the cellular level.

Another 20 knee replacement patients who have not been on the diet will be used as a comparison group.

Prof. Alan Silman, of Arthritis Research UK, which is funding Dr. Rose Davidson’s work, said: “Until now research has failed to show that food or diet can play any part in reducing the progression of osteoarthritis, so if these findings can be replicated in humans, it would be quite a breakthrough.

“We know that exercise and keeping to a healthy weight can improve people’s symptoms and reduce the chances of the disease progressing, but this adds another layer in our understanding of how diet could play its part.”

The results of Dr. Rose Davidson’s animal trials are published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.

The special broccoli, known as Beneforte, was developed from publicly funded research at the UK’s Institute of Food Research and the John Innes Centre.


Few complementary therapies appear to help musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis, say British experts who have looked at the available trial evidence.

Most alternative treatments have either not been scientifically tested or subjected to limited investigations, says Arthritis Research UK.

Of 25 therapies, only a handful were judged to have enough medical evidence to support their use.

These included acupuncture, massage, tai chi and yoga.

Very little evidence was found in support of commonly-used therapies such as copper bracelets and magnetic therapy for arthritis, fibromyalgia or lower back pain.

For their analysis the researchers searched for randomized controlled trials – comparing the given therapy with a placebo, usual care or another treatment – that had been written up in English and published before the end of May 2011.

For arthritis, they found 53 trials of 14 different therapies among nearly 6,000 patients. Only tai chi and acupuncture appeared to work.

For fibromyalgia there were 50 trials of 17 different therapies in more than 3,000 patients. Acupuncture and massage came out top, closely followed by tai chi and relaxation therapy.

For sore backs, yoga and acupuncture appeared the most effective, and there was some evidence to also support the use of osteopathy and relaxation therapy as well as the Alexander technique which focuses on posture and movement.

Lower back pain was the most investigated condition, with 75 trials of 14 different therapies across over 11,600 participants.

According to the lead author of the report, Dr. Gareth Jones from the University of Aberdeen, there is very little evidence for most complementary therapies.

“There’s either no evidence that they’re effective or there’s some evidence that they are not effective.

“But there are some exceptions, like acupuncture and the whole body therapies like massage and tai chi, which do appear to work.”

Reassuringly, all of the therapies looked at are relatively safe with only minor side effects, even if they may not be effective, says Dr. Gareth Jones.

But they could be a waste of money, he says.

Few complementary therapies appear to help musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis

Few complementary therapies appear to help musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis

Estimates suggest each year £250 million ($400 million) is spent on complementary medicines, including supplements.

“This is an enormous cost for something without much evidence to show it works.

“People might be wasting their money.

“Some of these therapies are provided on the NHS.”

He said the NHS should evaluate which alternative therapies it offers: “If there’s evidence that something does not work they should take a serous look at whether they should be offering it.”

Terry Cullen of the British Complementary Medicine Association said: “I am not disappointed or surprised that a number of therapies did not indicate any apparent benefit – there are no treatment panaceas in any form of medicine.”

He said there was insufficient funding available to carry out extensive and meaningful trials to prove the worth of alternative therapies.

“Slowly, but surely, complementary and alternative therapies are being recognized as a having health and well-being value,” he said.

Complementary therapies considered in the report:

  • Acupuncture
  • Alexander technique
  • Aromatherapy
  • Autogenic training
  • Biofeedback
  • Chiropractic (spinal manipulation)
  • Copper bracelets
  • Craniosacral therapy
  • Crystal healing
  • Feldenkrais
  • Healing therapies
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Imagery
  • Kinesiology
  • Magnetic therapy
  • Massage
  • Meditation
  • Music therapy
  • Osteopathy (spinal manipulation)
  • Qigong
  • Reflexology
  • Relaxation therapy
  • Shiatsu
  • Tai chi
  • Yoga


British scientists have identified a gene flaw linked to disc problems that are a common cause of lower back pain.

The study, published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, looked at 4,600 people and found the PARK2 gene was linked to age-related disc problems.

A third of middle-aged women have problems with at least one spinal disc – and the condition is known to be inherited in up to 80% of patients.

Experts said finding the gene could lead to new treatments being developed.

Back pain costs the UK about £7 billion ($11 billion) a year in sickness leave and treatment costs, but the causes of the condition are not fully understood.

In lumbar disc degeneration (LDD), discs become dehydrated and lose height, and the vertebrae next to them develop bony growths called osteophytes, leading to lower back pain.

The King’s College London researchers carried out MRI scans of all those in the study and looked at differences in their genetic make-up.

They found variants of the PARK2 gene appeared to have an effect in people with degenerate discs and influence the speed at which their condition deteriorated.

Scientists have identified a gene flaw linked to disc problems that are a common cause of lower back pain

Scientists have identified a gene flaw linked to disc problems that are a common cause of lower back pain

The researchers, funded by the Wellcome Trust and Arthritis Research UK, say more research is now needed to find out how the gene influences the condition.

But they suggest it could be switched off in people with LDD.

And they say it could be that environmental factors – such as diet and lifestyle – could make what are known as epigenetic changes to the gene.

The researchers say that once the mechanism is fully understood, their finding could lead to the development of new treatments of lower back pain.

Dr. Frances Williams, of the department of twin research and genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, who worked on the study, said: “We know that people whose discs wear out are at increased risk of episodes of lower back pain, but normal human discs are hard to get hold of to study so until now our knowledge of normal human biology was incomplete.

“Further work by disc researchers to define the role of the PARK2 gene will, we hope, shed light on one of most important causes of lower back pain.

“It is feasible that if we can build on this finding and improve our knowledge of the condition, we may one day be able to develop new, more effective treatments for back pain caused by this common condition.”

Prof. Alan Silman, medical director at Arthritis Research UK, said: “Lumbar disc degeneration is a common cause of lower back pain, and it’s known that up to 80% of cases have a genetic basis, but this is the first time a gene has been identified as linked to this often painful and disabling condition.

“It’s a promising start and provides us with the first clue to the genetic basis of this condition, and with further research, may potentially lead to the development of more effective treatments.”