Claudia Machado Cooke, MD, FACP, MPH  |  Health Through Understanding

Arthritis & Joint Pain

Arthritis is a term which simply denotes joint inflammation. The causes may be many, from autoimmune processes (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis), to degenerative bone disease (osteoarthritis), to metabolic causes (such as gouty arthritis). Its symptoms may range from aches and pains to debilitating immobility.

Conventionally, arthritis is treated with any of a range of medications, both over-the-counter and prescription. Physical therapy, glucosamine-chondroitin supplements and even injectables and surgery are among the options in therapy today. All of these have there place.

In addition to the complete history and physical examination, Dr. Cooke reviews the diet history carefully for pro-inflammtory elements. A trial of dietary simplification alone has helped many patients reduce pain and regain mobility. One gentleman in his late 60s regained his hand grip with one month of dietary modification. Other supplements and foods can be used to aid elimination of toxins and reduction of inflammation. Fish oils and cherry concentrate have gone a long way toward helping others. Here, too, acupuncture is a boon for arthritis sufferers.