Managing osteoarthritis symptoms involves a multifaceted approach. Long-term aims should include preserving or improving joint function and limiting joint deformity. Treatments for this may include weight management, physical activity, glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). When it comes to pain management the traditional approach typically begins with the use of analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and later may involve corticosteroids. These are far from ideal treatments and not without their side effects. Fortunately, there are a number of plant derived preparations that are demonstrating significant pain reducing benefits. Studies show that these can be used long term to manage chronic pain without side effects and are comparable to pharmaceutical agents.
In this infographic we explore herbal medicines that have been traditionally used to manage chronic pain - turmeric, boswellia, white willow bark, ginger and jamaican dogwood. The modes of action of each of these herbs are broad and varied and can be usefully combined as a way of addressing the multiple pain and inflammatory pathways involved in osteoarthritis and other chronic inflammatory conditions.
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