Arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability in North America. It is an umbrella term that refers to over 100 different medical conditions, some of which demonstrate a clear relationship between chronic inflammation and arthritis. The more common forms of arthritis include osteoarthritis, gout and rheumatoid arthritis.
Every arthritic condition affects the body’s musculoskeletal system, specifically the joints. Joint problems can range from stiffness, severe pain, damaged joint cartilage (the smooth tissue that enables bones to glide smoothly against each other) and inflammation.
The good news is that, contrary to popular belief, arthritis is not an inevitable result of aging. Although science has yet to confirm an exact cause of arthritis, some experts believe the rise in arthritic cases can be easily attributed to a poor diet that consists of too many pro-inflammatory foods.
For example, scientists know that the enzymes cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) are major causes of joint inflammation. Researchers have also learned that COX-2 enzymes become more active and cause further joint inflammation when you take in more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids.
Inflammation is a natural and necessary immune system response to infection, trauma or allergens within the body. However, persistent or chronic inflammation within a joint (or anywhere else in the body) eventually eats away at necessary joint cartilage. The repeated stress to the joint leads to an unfortunate flare-up of inflammatory arthritis.
Inflammatory Forms of Arthritis
Among the various types of arthritis, the ones that are linked to chronic inflammation include:
Although all forms of arthritis are not directly caused by inflammation (osteoarthritis, for example, is a degenerative form), inflammation is almost always a by-product of the disease. It contributes significantly to severe joint pain, swelling, stiffness and immobility.
Chronic inflammation provokes arthritis because it upsets the natural balance of tissue, fluid and cartilage within the joint. The synovium (otherwise known as the lining of the joint) swells and overproduces synovial fluid, leading to additional swelling, immobility and damage.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one of the most common forms of the disease. Unlike the degenerative osteoarthritis, RA is an autoimmune disease. RA is the direct result of the overproduction of anti-bodies by the immune system. Those anti-bodies attack joint linings and cause greater inflammation, joint erosion and deformity. This autoimmune response gone astray is also known as arthritic chronic inflammation.
In addition to joint pain, swelling and immobility, research suggests that RA sufferers have a significantly higher risk for heart disease due to a higher presence of chronic inflammation within the body.
How Earthing can Help you Fight Arthritis
Since Clint Ober first discovered Earthing, there have been several studies that have demonstrated the positive health benefits of staying grounded. Many experts are confident that Earthing can and does play a beneficial role in the treatment of arthritis. How, you ask?
Simply put, Earthing or grounding helps to decrease inflammation by encouraging the free flow of electrons into the body. A body in unison with the Earth’s electrical frequency can easily absorb the reservoir of free electrons that helps to stabilize the body’s bioelectrical systems and prevent the oxidation of healthy tissues.
Dr. James L. Oschman, a researcher of two Earthing studies claims that: ‘Inflammation is an artifact caused by lack of electrons in the tissue. It doesn’t have to happen.’ He goes on to state, ‘The observation that Earthing or grounding the human body vastly diminishes inflammation may well be the most important discovery in the history of the phenomenon [inflammation].’ Recent scientific findings point to inflammation as the culprit for various diseases.
If you suffer from a form of inflammatory arthritis, start grounding by walking barefoot on the Earth or by using one of our practical and effective Earthing products.