Ankylosing Spondylitis: this problem firstly affects the spine, where the tendons and ligaments around the bones and joints in the spine become inflamed, which then can lead to osteoarthritis in hips, shoulders and knees. This tends to affect people in late adolescence and early adulthood, and causes stiffness mainly in the lower back.
Bursitis: known as housemaid’s knee, tennis elbow, frozen shoulder etc depending on where it is, the fluid sacs that cushion a joint (the bursae) become inflamed and limit movement of the nearby joints.
Fibromyalgia: this causes pain and stiffness in the muscles and other tissues that support and move the bones and joints. If affected, there will be pain and tender points in the muscles and tendons especially those of the neck, shoulders and hips.
Gout: needle like deposits of crystals collect on the connective tissue and/or joint spaces. Uric acid can rise above the normal elimination limit and then collect and fill spaces in the form of these crystals. Mainly affects the joints in the big toe.
Osteoarthritis: a degenerative joint disease, this is the most common form. The cartilage which cushions the end of bones, begins to fray, wear and decay, allowing the bones to rub against each other. This causes pain, stiffness and reduced movement.
Psoriatic arthritis: occurs in people with psoriasis and affects the joints at the end of the fingers. Changes also occur in the fingernails and toenails. Spine problems may also become an issue.
Rheumatoid arthritis: inflammation of the lining of the joint, causing swelling, deformity and pain. It affects hands and feet and occurs equally on both sides of the body. This symmetry is important in its diagnosis.
Systemic lupus erythematosus: lupus is an autoimmune disease – the system wrongly attacks the body’s tissues, resulting in inflammation that may damage joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels and brain.
Tendonitis: inflammation of the tendons (the cords that connect muscles to bones). Can be caused by overuse, injury or rheumatic conditions. The problem restricts movement of nearby joints.
Lose weight. Reduce dairy products, alcohol, fried foods, sugar, vinegar and spices. Cut out red meat (all meat if possible), tea, coffee and chocolate. Avoid acid fruits i.e. citrus, tomatoes. Avoid white bread and flour.
Take garlic capsules; cod liver oil and evening primrose oil 1500mg daily.
Eat: salads, fruit, green vegetables, whole wheat bread, pulses, white meat and fish.
Pain in upper back: midway between shoulder and spine, apply pressure angled downwards.
Pain in lower back: 2 fingers width from centre of spine at the level of waist. Apply gentle pressure with thumbs.
Pain in hands: spread out thumb and forefinger. Point is at centre of triangle made by fold of skin. Apply pressure with thumb towards wrist.
Pain in hips: In the hollow on side of buttock underneath thighbone, press firmly into hollow and maintain pressure for 2 minutes.
Pain in knees: 2 depressions either side of the knee. Press firmly with finger and thumb, angling pressure towards the kneecap.
Devils claw, Echinacea, thyme, meadowsweet, rosemary, cowslip, and sweet violet.
White Birch, lime, myrrh, pine, marjoram, ginger, eucalyptus, juniper, peppermint, and cypress. Apply with infused St John’s Wort oil as carrier.
Baths of juniper, fennel and carrot oil (10 drops each) and 2 handfuls of Epsom salts are always helpful. For feet, use a mustard or Epsom salts footbath to relieve pain.
Copper bracelet, cider-vinegar drinks, honey and royal jelly may also help.