Arthritis - Fighting the
There are over a hundred
different disorders that can affect the joint. The two most common are
deteriorating joint disease, aka osteoarthritis, and inflamed joint
disease, aka rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a condition wherein the cartilage lining a joint begins
to deteriorate, allowing the bones to rub together. Movement becomes
painful and restricted, which in turn can result in the gradual wasting
away of unused muscles. Osteoarthritis usually affects the larger,
weight-bearing joints such as the hips, knees and spine, but can occur in
other joints as well.
Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system begins to attack the
body, causing a chronic inflammation of the joints. In this disease, the
thin membrane surrounding the joint becomes inflamed and swollen. This in
turn leads to inflammation of other parts of the affected joint.
Eventually the bones weaken and in severe cases the tissue may eventually
be destroyed. Rheumatoid arthritis can occur in any joint, but is most
common in the small joints of the hands and feet, such as fingers and
The most common treatments for these diseases are NSAIDs, Nonsteroidal
anti- inflammatory drugs. NSAID's treat the symptoms, but do nothing to
cure the disease. They are useful in relieving discomfort, but research
done at Stanford University's Department of Medicine indicates they may
have long-term, negative impact on the patient. The most frequent and
severe side effect is the gastric problems in the stomach and digestive
system. This results in more medication being used to relieve those
symptoms. A vicious circle ensues of ingesting NSAID's and then more
medicine to combat the side effects of the NSAID's.
Is there a way to break out of this circle?
A growing number of North Americans, including professional sports teams,
chiropractors and massage therapists, report excellent results from emu
oil and emu oil based sports/arthritis rubs in the treatment of rheumatoid
While emu oil is currently being sold on anecdotal properties, there is
clinical evidence that it contains a high level of linolenic acid, a
substance known to temporarily ease the discomfort of muscle and joint
pain. In 1995, Dr. Thom Leahey of the Arthritis Clinic in Ardmore,
Oklahoma, did a 2 week study on hands afflicted with arthritis. The
results indicated that emu oil may substantially reduce the pain caused by
arthritis. Dr. Leahey theorizes that the oil may be more beneficial to
those suffering from the early stages of the disease, before the cartilage
is destroyed completely.
Dr. Peter Ghosh, Director of Research, Sydney's Royal North Shore
Hospital, relates that laboratory experiments have consistently confirmed
the therapeutic value of emu oil for arthritis sufferers. "This is
not witchcraft. These findings are supported by scientific evidence,"
Ghosh said, "It offers the best relief ever for victims of this
Another Australian, Dr. G. R. Hobday (Emu Oil - A Clinical Appraisal of
this Natural and Long Used Product) culminates a 10 year clinical study by
reporting that emu oil usage results in "reduced pain, swelling, and
stiffness most evident where the joint is close to the skin surface, such
as hands, feet, knees and elbows." The report goes on to say
that there is "Significant benefit to recent bruising and muscle pain
where injury is relatively superficial."
It should be noted that pain levels vary from one person to another. Add
this to the variation in emu oil absorption due to skin types, and
determining dosage is not always easy. A general rule is that you should
apply the oil three to four times a day for three months. If at the end of
that time you feel it is not beneficial, discontinue use.
Please remember that this information is not meant to substitute for a
consultation with your physician, or another health care professional.
Speak with your doctor if you have questions about primary care, or about
any medical problem.
with permission from Emus Zine, The Online Magazine, http://www.emuszine.com