Archive for July, 2011

26
Jul

Provide Comfort to the Abused Feet by Wearing Orthopaedic Footwear

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The most abused part of our body is our feet. Usually, they are most neglected and not cared for properly. People are often least concerned with the health of their feet. Usually, they go unnoticed if somebody is wearing socks and boots. But, if they are wearing a pair of sandals, the feet become very noticeable. You can get various treatments such as pedicure and massage to keep your feet beautiful, clean and happy. When it comes to the selection of accessories men and women tend to follow only the trends. They neglect the importance of proper fitting of the shoes. Many women wear high heels for the sake of fashion and men wear narrow shoes to call them modish. They are soon going to pay a huge price for that and can develop foot problems. High heels can give you bad backache and poor posture. Narrow fitted or pointy-toed shoes can deform the shape of your feet and make them sore. Callus, bunions, corns and bruises are all signs of foot disorders.

If you are suffering from foot disorders, you should immediately quit the use of standard off-the-shelf shoes. Orthopaedic footwear is the best solution for you. Those people who have to stand for a long time at their workplaces or move a lot from one place to another should select a pair of good orthopedic shoes to give support and aid to their aching feet muscles, bones and swollen ankles.

Orthopaedic shoes are easily available for the patients who have different diseases and conditions such as arthritis diabetes, backache, nervous system and so on. Custom made shoes ensure the comfort and style for the wearer along with the relief from common foot disorders and problems. Orthopaedic shoes can be modified and designed. Additional inserts can be fabricated according to the need and requirement of the customer. These shoes are made with a variety of materials and offer quality incorporated with unique designing and comfort.

Heels for orthopaedic shoes is kept neither high nor too low. Flat shoes are not appropriate for the people who suffer foot disorders. Moreover, bad footwear can hardly provide support to the body. What you get in return is soreness and discomfort with disability to move faster. So, heels should be comfortable and steady. Additional supports, footpads and insoles are removable for the comfort of wearer. These extra cushions are helpful in the prevention of deformities due to excessive pressure. Orthopaedic shoes are also kept wider to provide more room for the toes and comfort. The shanks of the shoes are always kept firm and hard. Orthopaedic footwear is made with stretchable material for the perfect fit and relief from the painful conditions.

For the people who suffer from serious foot disorders and deformities there are many good options. They not only can have custom-made orthopaedic shoes, but also get some coverage on the shoes. If you are suffering any foot condition, ask your chiropodist or podiatrist for a referral after checking your eligibility to be a beneficiary.

23
Jul

Knee Pain Causes

Posted by Treatment

The joints of the knees are commonly overused, which is why they are highly prone to damage. Pain in the knees has several causes. In fact, there are certain ailments that can cause pain on the knees. Also, physical activities can also cause pain on the knees.

Meanwhile, ailments that are linked to knee pain include the following:

Arthritis – This is the usual reason why pain on the knees is experienced. The ailment usually affects the joints, most especially those that bear weight. The cartilage are damaged which results to pain and swelling.

Injury in the ligaments – This can also cause pain on the knees. Athletes are the ones who often experience this condition. Pain is usually felt when affected ligaments are moving.

Injuries in the cartilage – This happens when the cartilage is damaged due to trauma and it can occur in children and in adults.

Patellar tendonitis – This is pain that is experienced over the front of the knee. Patellar tendon is a huge tendon that is situated in front of the knees and it helps us to bend our knees. When the tendon is inflamed, movement of the knees will be painful.
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Chodromalacia patella – In this condition, the cartilage located at the back of the knee cap has softened and it often occurs in children.

Burisitis – When the bursa on the knees gets damaged, it will inflame and will cause pain on the knees.

There are also some ailments that usually occur in teenagers. Back of knee pain causes include Osgood-Schlatter disease, a condition wherein the growth plate is irritated, and OCD or Osteochondritis dissecans which can also occur in teenagers.

Because of the many causes of pain on the knees, it is very difficult to self diagnose and look for the right treatment. Knowing the primary reason of the pain felt on the knees is important. Seeking for a medical advice will be beneficial to have the correct diagnosis and thus to have the proper treatment.

Common symptoms of pain on the knees that are commonly observed are swelling of the joints, pain experienced while resting, pain that lasts for several days, difficulty in bending the knees, and there are symptoms of infections such as fever and cough.

There are also several home remedies to relieve the pain on the knees. When pain is being experienced, resting the knees can be of big help. Applying hot and cold compress is also beneficial. Proper stretching and physical therapy will also help relieve the pain.

21
Jul

I Don’t Like Having Arthritis!

Posted by Treatment

Arthritis is by far considered the most widespread ailment that affects the joints. This disease basically stiffens and reddens the joints and causes a lot of pain and discomfort. But there are particular methods through which this ailment can be controlled after diagnosis, some of them are:

Tips for Patients Suffering From Arthritis

1. It is extremely important for patients to regularly apply damp heat to whichever area the arthritis has affected. This helps in reducing tension between the joints and relaxes them immensely. What’s more is that patients can also take warm showers to reduce the pain caused by arthritis. After getting done, make sure that a hot towel is wrapped around the joints.

2. Regular exercises are also important to rid yourself off the discomfort that is caused by arthritis. Exercising is used to stretch the affected joints, which cuts down the agony caused by arthritis.

3. You must also keep a sharp eye on your weight, as it is not at all recommended for arthritis patients to gain too much weight. Excessive weight caused stress on the joints, which makes the arthritis condition worst.

4. Maintaining healthy diet is also a crucial factor while fighting arthritis.

The Honest Truth About Arthritis Treatment

You might get to read articles in newspapers and health magazines, or have heard from health professionals that arthritis is curable, but the fact remains that it is not. This is because the ailment is a de-generative disease, and the disease process is impossible to be reversed. As soon as the cartilage and bones are affected by arthritis, it is just about impossible to restore the bones as well as the cartilage.

However, the degenerative process caused by arthritis can be slowed down through supplements like glucosamine. These supplements either increase the production of cartilage in the joints or prolong the cartilage loss.

The fact remains that arthritis cannot be cured through medication, but an entire joint replacement or joint fusion can be done to treat arthritis.

Doctors generally prescribe painkillers to relieve the patient. But these drugs basically offer temporary relief to the patient and prolonged usage of these medications impedes treatment and worsens the condition. Here are some natural remedies that can be applied to soothe down the pain caused by arthritis:

Natural Treatment for Arthritis

  • Those affected by arthritis must make sure that their diets do not consist of much fat, for which it is necessary to avoid junk food, refined sugar and carbonated drinks.
  • It is necessary for patients to eat a lot of fruits, vegetables as well as whole grains. But nightshade vegetables like eggplants, tomatoes etc must be ignored as they aggravate the inflammation caused by arthritis.
  • To form as well as detoxify disc fluids, it is necessary to drink a lot of water
  • To reduce the inflammatory process, particular herbs including yucca, sea cucumber, alfalfa etc can be used.
  • To relieve the pain caused by arthritis, topical lotions can easily be used.
19
Jul

Osteoarthritis Vs Rheumatoid Arthritis

Posted by Treatment

Your doctor just diagnosed the pain in your knees as arthritis and prescribed some over-the-counter pain relievers, cold compresses, and rest. After leaving the office, several questions may come to mind.

*What does this diagnosis mean?
*Is the arthritis just temporary, or is it going to be chronic?
*How will it impact your life going forward?
*Will you still be able to jog, ride your bicycle, or continue gardening?
*Will you have to give up your job and go on disability?

The word arthritis means “acute or chronic inflammation of a joint” according to Dictionary.com, and can be accompanied by pain or changes in the joint. But this simple definition does not tell the entire story. There are many types of arthritis-type illnesses, and further diagnosis by your doctor may be necessary to establish an effective treatment plan. The purpose of this article is to give you some basic information on two types of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is an illness that is characterized by cartilage wearing away in a joint. It is quite common and usually diagnosed in the older members of the population. The person can have osteoarthritis in a single joint (such as a knee or elbow) or multiple joints (such as the finger joints in a hand). As the osteoarthritis progresses, the joint may not fit together correctly and develop bone spurs, thereby causing the person pain when they use the joint. If pain is in the knee or hip joints, the person may have difficulty walking or when they use the stairs. If the arm or shoulder joint is affected, there may be difficulty getting dressed or other routine activities.

Rheumatoid arthritis (also called RA) is less common, but it also causes pain and inflammation of a joint. The cause is not worn out cartilage. It is caused by a change in the immune system that causes the person’s body to attack the tissue lining the joint, which is called synovium. The attacks cause a fluid build up in the joint space and produces pain. The joints are usually affected in pairs, meaning that it could be in two knees or ankles at the same time. RA is a chronic illness, and may come and go over time. Many people feel fatigued when the illness is active, and experience flu-like symptoms. Over time the person can have damage to the joints and, in very rare, severe cases, damage to internal organs.

17
Jul

Reactive Arthritis: What Every Arthritis Sufferer Needs to Know

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The disease and its causes: Sometimes arthritis develops not as a chronic, degenerative disease which you may have to manage for the rest of your life, but rather as a reaction to an infection (viral or bacterial, including STDs) which has taken place anywhere in your body. Some think that is can also be a reaction to a psychological or emotional trigger and, occasionally, to some types of food poisoning; either way, this type of arthritis can be treated and, if so, its attacks do not last for long periods of time (it usually lasts anytime between 3 and 12 months). It can occur at any age at in both genders, though there seem to be more incidents in the younger population.

How it shows: joint swelling and joint pain (fingers and toes in particular but it can affect any joints); inflamed tendons, occasional redness and inflammation of your eyes with occasional blurred vision (always hurry to your doctor if your have these eye symptoms no matter what the diagnosis can be). Other symptoms may include patches of scaly skin (hands, feet or elsewhere), mouth ulcers, flu-like symptoms and, occasionally, some genitourinary symptoms (discharge or rashes). You may experience sudden acute symptoms but generally they tend to develop more slowly, over a few days or even weeks; they can be mild or severe.

Diagnosis: the bad news is that reactive arthritis is at present still relatively difficult to diagnose since so far there is no test (yet) which can confirm the condition with certainty. An experienced practitioner will ask you a variety of questions which may help him/her deduce that you may indeed be suffering from reactive arthritis.

How it is treated: Treating the cause, the trigger of reactive arthritis will be the primary and initial stage of treatment. So, if your cause was an infection and this infection is still active, treating the infection will be the initial treatment; so, for example, if the triggering infection is bacterial, then antibiotics may be prescribed if necessary. The second stage of the treatment is similar to that of other forms of arthritis and, in traditional medicine, they tend to be non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or even steroids (both targeting the inflammation in the affected areas, but steroids are to be avoided long-term due to their side-effects); you may also be prescribed disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) in case your reactive arthritis lasts longer than a few months but, unfortunately, many of work by lowering the activity of your immune system in general and (in my opinion) they are to be used as a last-resort (as with steroids); bluntly put, I have never touched them despite my arthritic condition. On the other hand, those preferring the traditional medicine route would argue that DMARDs drugs may be able to minimize the damage done to your body in the short and long run and for this reasons they are at times prescribed as early as possible in the course of the disease.

What you can do yourself right now:

Acute attack/s: if you suffer from a particularly painful arthritic attack, your joints (or indeed the whole of your body) may need some rest, so avoiding movement until the acute phase subsides may be indicated. During an acute attack you may need ice packs or heat pads (or you can use alternatively, whatever necessary to relieve joint swelling and pain). If you need to undertake activity, make sure you don’t exert yourself at any time. If you need to take traditional drugs (as mentioned above), don’t be afraid to discuss them at length with your doctor and make sure you are aware of any potential side effects; find out what other types of treatment, from alternative medicine or natural/herbal supplements, for example, you can take to help you during this acute attack (if you choose not to use traditional medicine – but always discuss this with your doctor). Do as much research as you can now and find out what could be the best route for you to treat your arthritis. This may indeed include natural supplements and/or homeopathy.

Non-acute phase: as soon as you can, resume exercise, best if it’s low-impact exercise. Exercise is essential to strengthen muscles around the affected areas and to keep the joints moving. Never overdo it and start with as little as a few minutes a day, increasing the time as the days go by; when in doubt, ask a qualified person.

15
Jul

Few facts about Tophaceous Gout

Posted by Treatment

Gout is a medical condition that triggers a sudden painful burning sensation around the joints resulting in inflammation. Its initial symptom is hyperuricemia, the increased serum levels of uric acid. A protein-rich diet and a defective metabolism of uric acid are the chief precipitating factors of this disease condition. Tophaceous gout occurs in individuals who have chronic uric acid elevation that results in the development of large uric acid crystals in the joints. The principal process start with an increase in serum uric acid (normal levels: 2.4 to 6.0 mg/dl in females and 3.4 to 7.0 mg/dl in males) then monosodium urate (MSU) crystals start to form and develops into tophi.

Gout attacks usually occur first on the big toes; however, tophi formation takes place several years after the first attack. This is why tophaceous gout is common among the elderly. The tophi may develop in the joint where the first gout attack happened, causing damage to the joint and surrounding bone structures or it may emerge in other locations and may affect cartilages, tendons and other tissues. Failure to treat the tophaceous may cause skin and bone deformities since it may grow on or into the bones. These outgrowths usually develop in areas away from the heart or those with slower blood circulation such as the toes and the ridges of the ears.
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If these tophi are not dealt with immediately, it could cause problems especially with mobility. They may grow in joints and bones and damage these structures leading to decrease in mobility. If the damage is extensive, then amputation might be done resulting in the use of artificial joints. The affected area may also develop ulcerations and become septic leading to septicemia (bacterial infection of the blood), which may be fatal if not treated immediately. The tophi may also burst and exude pus and chalky-crystal mass onto the surface of the skin.

The goal of the treatment therapy is decrease the serum uric acid levels down to normal (at least 6.0md/dL). Studies have shown that tophi generally start to dissolve at these levels, resorted from the tophi surface and slowly excreted through the kidneys. Medications that may lower the serum uric acid levels that include allopurinol, clofibrate, probenicid and sulfinpyrazone. Colchicine and NSAIDs are not given to stop the tophi formation but to prevent inflammation. In cases wherein these drugs will not work and the tophi cause a lot of problems, then surgery is the next option. This procedure may not be available in all countries; therefore, it would be good to check, especially if you are suffering from this condition, if it is. Failure in the treatment therapy can cause problems that may be debilitating to the patient.

Natural gout remedies or various gout diets (Zone diet and the low purine diet) will not treat the tophi formation but would help in lowering the serum uric acid levels. Increase intake of water is compulsory to reduce the risk of kidney stone formation and increasing the excretion of uric acid. Alkalinizing agents and alkaline water helps in alkalizing urine and making water more soluble thus decreasing the risk stone formation.

13
Jul

Discover Amazing Gout Home Remedies

Posted by Treatment

Gout is a certain type of arthritis. Tenderness in the joints, swelling, redness, sudden and intense pain and heat are some of the indications of gout. This type of arthritis is usually affecting the big joint in the big toe, although the symptoms may also take place in your wrists, hands, knees and feet. The attacks usually last for about 5 to 10 days.

Alternative treatment approaches such as home remedies for gout are widely common among individuals with gout. If these home remedies for gout are employed, they must compliment and not serve as a replacement for traditional gout care.

The most effective home remedies for gout are those old-fashioned methods that our grandparents once employed. To relieve suffering from gout pain, the old timers had to utilize some products that were readily available in their homes. These home remedies for gout went out of vogue as scientific experts and medical scientists touted new forms of relief for this old medical issue.

The following are some home remedies for gout that are commonly used:

1. Application of a cold compress to the affected area – in order to lessen the pain, applying a cold compress directly to the area affected has always been the first line of treatment in the majority of households. Applying ice packs to the swollen and inflamed joints for about 10 to 15 minutes should do the trick. The application of cold packs will tend to lessen the inflammation and pain. This could feel a little uncomfortable during the first few minutes although you have to be persistent. The soreness caused by gout tends to get worse when there is the feeling of something against the skin.

2. To help alleviate the soreness due to gout, you may take ibuprofen.

3. Exercise your joints by placing each of them through a wide range of movement. Try performing this activity once or twice in a day.

4. Immerse your feet in an Epsom foot bath if the soreness is concentrated on your big toe. Epsom salt is a staple in most households. It is widely used for almost everything from laxative to water baths for soothing out painful muscles. Epsom salt contains the mineral magnesium. When present in high levels, magnesium may enhance your blood and heart circulation as well as lessen your blood pressure. Magnesium will also assist in flushing out the dangerous toxins and heavy metals away from your system.

The great thing about the aforementioned home remedies for gout is that many of these items we keep in our home. Gout needs to be treated as quickly as possible. The longer it is left untreated the worse the symptoms can become.

07
Jul

Arthritis Treatment For Dogs

Posted by Treatment

Arthritis is common in adults, unfortunately now children and also animals. Arthritis affects o,ne in every five of adult dogs in the U.S. Vetinarians commonly have arthritis treatment for dogs and it one of the major causes of chronic pain.

Most people not only love their dogs but pay attention to them. They will usually know if there’s something wrong, even if they cannot pinpoint the cause right away. If your dog has problems getting into a sitting or standing position, that is a real clue. The dog may have problem climbing the stairs or you may notice that your beloved pet is not as active as usual or may not be interested in playing with you or your family. Other symptoms can be sleeping more or being generally less alert than normal. Favoring a certain limb is also a real sign.

Now you know the signs, what can you do?

Well, first of all go and see your vetinarian to see what he can recommend that you do. You’ll find a lot of similarities between human and animal arthritis and their treatment.
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If your dog is overweight, that is definitely not a help and will bring undue pressure on sore joints. So bringing him or her back to a healthy weight is key. It may also be, like with humans, that certain foods trigger arthritis pain. Again your vetinarian can help you. Also, just like us humans, your dog can benefit from more exercise so go for long walks which will be good for both of you! He can also prescribe NSAIDs which are non steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs for your pet.

There are also natural ways to help – particularly supplements containing glucosamine, MSM, and Omega fatty acids should be a part of the dog’s diet anyway but they can be purchased as supplements. Also dosing your dog with vitamin C which can be bought in powder form and mixed in with food can also help to keep his muscles healthy and protect his bones. You can find a sodium ascorbate as opposed to ascorbic acid which has an acidy taste which he may refuse. Visit your local health food store for advice. There are also homeopathic remedies, particularly rhus toxicodendron. A homeopath can give you advice.

Since arthritis thrives in an overly acidic environment, it is important that your dog gets the very best quality food and water. Mix vegetables into his food as they are alkaline. The only exceptions being tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and potatoes as they could cause aggravation to the condition. Many people report changing to a raw diet has helped their dog. Also one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of honey can help with pain and is good for humans and animals alike.

As you can see, arthritis treatment for dogs is simply a matter of getting the best advice and sticking to it. Consulting your vetinarian is a necessary step but there are many options like diet, exercise and supplements that can help too.

06
Jul

Lupus – A Growing Epidemic in African-American Women

Posted by Treatment

According to The American College of Rheumatology, Lupus, a complicated autoimmune disease that primarily affects young women can be difficult to diagnose.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (known as SLE or lupus) is a type of arthritis. It is classified as an autoimmune disease that affects various tissues and organs of the body. This disease affects people of all color and ages. However, it primarily affects individuals between the ages of 15 to 45 years of age; attacking women ten times more than men and African American women are three times more likely to come down with this disease.

The fact that lupus is systemic makes it a complicated disease. When the immune system is attacked, inflammation results as one of the body’s defense mechanisms. Inflammation causes discomfort and will leave severe damage if untreated. In rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation affects the joints and over time will produce joint deformity. Since lupus is a systemic disease, it affects more than just the joints. It can affect other organs such as skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and brain.

Symptoms of Lupus

Most common signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Fever
  • Skin rash
  • Kidney problems

This disease is difficult to diagnose and it may take time to confirm whether or not an individual has it. Therefore, several blood testing samples may be required over a period of one year. Many health professionals consider the diagnosing of this disease a diagnosis of exclusion because other medical conditions have to be ruled out during the process. Mayo Clinic published an online article regarding tests and diagnosis, citing the American College of Rheumatology criterion for the proper diagnosis of lupus.

American College of Rheumatology Criterion for Lupus

According to the American College of Rheumatology, four of the following 10 symptoms for a period of several months confirm the diagnosis of lupus. Read on.

  1. Malar rash: facial area only
  2. Scaly rash (discoid rash): raised, scaly patches on parts of the body
  3. Sun-related rash
  4. Mouth ulcers: painless
  5. Joint pain and swelling in two or more joints
  6. Swelling of the linings around the lungs or the heart
  7. Kidney disease
  8. Central nervous system problems: seizures or psychosis
  9. Abnormal lab work: low red blood count (anemia), low platelet count (thrombocytopenia), and/or low white cell count (leukopenia), positive antinuclear antibody test (ANA): indicative of an autoimmune disease
  10. Other abnormal lab work: positive double-stranded anti-DNA test, positive anti-Sm test, positive Anti-phospholipid antibody test or false-positive syphilis test (these tests are more specific for confirming the diagnosis of lupus), elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and elevated c-reactive protein (CRP), both indicative of a systemic inflammatory reaction.

There are several forms of lupus and this disease can be induced by certain medications. There are more than three-dozen drugs associated with drug-induced lupus. However, a few common drugs associated with this type are hydralazine, procainamide, and quinidine. If lupus is drug-induced, it is cured when the medication responsible is discontinued. There is no cure for the other types of lupus. However, the good news is that medical researchers continue putting forth great effort to find a cure for this chronic disease. With proper treatment, people with lupus are able to live long meaningful lives.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, don’t wonder if your just experiencing common body aches. Take the initiative to contact your healthcare provider immediately for diagnosing and get the treatment you may need.

Lupus can attack major organs of the body (skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and brain). So if left undiagnosed, it is untreated, and if it is untreated this disease could result in serious health complications, including death. If you have questions please seek advice from your healthcare provider and the American Lupus Foundation for further information.

04
Jul

The Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Arthritis Relief

Posted by Treatment

Food and arthritis have a connection to each other and that is why changing your diet is one of the first pieces of advice an expert can give a person with inflammation in his or her joints. There are foods that can reduce inflammation and there are those that might worsen the inflammation. A person with arthritis should follow the anti-inflammatory diet if he or she wants to get treated. To start an anti-inflammatory diet, one should know which foods he or she going to eliminate in one’s diet and which foods will be added.

What are the foods that you should avoid and eliminate in your diet? When it comes to arthritis, it is always advised that the person affected should eliminate artificial foods like junk foods, those foods that have been processed and foods with added artificial flavorings and colorings. A person with arthritis should also avoid meats that have high levels of fats and foods that are high in sugar. The reasons why these kinds of foods should be avoided by people with arthritis is that the saturated fats and trans fats found in these kinds of foods can worsen one’s condition. He or she should also avoid potatoes, eggplants and tomatoes because these are part of the nightshade family of plant that contains solanine that can provoke the pain. Cutting these kinds of vegetables in people with arthritis have not been proven yet to be effective, but those who followed this kind of diet often show improvements with their condition and find relief from pain.

What are the foods to be added in your diet if you have arthritis? If you already know which kinds of foods you should eliminate in your anti-inflammatory diet, you should now know foods to add to your diet:

1. Healthy fats and Oils: Fish oils are high in Omega-3 fatty acids that are essential to our health. This will help reduce the inflammation and prevent it from coming back. You will also get these fats in some seeds like flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds and also in Brazil nuts, almonds, cashew nuts and many more.

2. Fruits and Vegetables: You should be eating more fruits and vegetables if you have arthritis because these have a lot of mineral, vitamins, antioxidants and photochemical that are beneficial for your arthritis and also to other conditions.

3. Protein: Eating more proteins like fishes and other seafoods and poultry meats will also help people with arthritis.

4. Drinks: You should need more liquids to keep your joints lubricated. Drink more water, fruit juices, tea, vegetable juice with low sodium and non-fat milk.