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Originally published August 3 2004

Arthritis creams merely mask symptoms and offer no long-term relief, study shows

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

New research published in the British Medical Journal is showing that arthritis creams used topically offer only temporary relief that fades within 2 weeks. This is the conclusion from a trial involving nearly 2000 patients, and it indicates that arthritis creams are basically useless. All they do is mask symptoms.

This finding shouldn't be surprising. Much of what goes on in modern medicine involves the masking of symptoms. Even when it comes to statin drugs and lowering cholesterol, the drugs are merely masking the symptom of a measurable high-cholesterol number without actually enhancing the core cardiovascular health and level of fitness of the patient.

It turns out these arthritis creams operate in much the same way. They simply make a patient's pain go away for one to two weeks, and then the effect wears off and the patient is right back where they started. This is also similar to the way over-the-counter painkillers operate. These are painkillers such as Tylenol or ibuprofen, and other NSAIDs.

In my opinion, any time patients are encouraged to consume painkillers or apply topical creams that mask symptoms of pain, they are doing themselves more harm than good. They're merely masking an important signal that is broadcasting an important message. Arthritis is yet another disease that is simply caused by lifestyle choices. Arthritis can be almost completely prevented, and even reversed, by altering dietary practices, engaging in regular physical exercise, and pursuing a regimen of nutritional supplementation that includes superfoods like chlorella, spirulina, broccoli sprouts, and healthy oils. But when pain symptoms are masked by creams, patients have little incentive to correct the core, underlying lifestyle choices that caused the arthritis in the first place.

The problem here is that when arthritis patients visit their doctors and describe their pain, many doctors simply prescribe these topical arthritis creams that do nothing other than mask the symptoms. And as a result, these patients feel as if they need to make no lifestyle changes whatsoever. So they use these topical creams as a crutch to help them get by from one day to the next. This is a downward spiral of health, and in the end, the patient will be far worse off than if they had listened to their pain and made the necessary lifestyle changes in the first place.

If your body hurts, your body is talking to you. It's an important message. Pain should be a motivator to make changes in your life, not a motivator to run out and buy the latest topical cream or prescription drug in order to mask the pain. Yet that's where so many consumers are, and they're actually encouraged to do this by far too many physicians and practitioners of western medicine.

Much of western medicine is really nothing more than symptom management. In fact, there is not a single prescription drug today that actually addresses the root cause of chronic disease. Every single disease drug out there works by attempting to mask symptoms or override the natural chemistry of the human body in order to achieve a measurable result.

All of this doesn't mean that painkillers don't have their proper place. If a person is suffering from an acute injury, such as a work accident, and automobile accident, or some other trauma, then obviously painkillers have their proper place. But once that person has healed, painkillers should not continue to be used. Certainly, painkillers should not be something that people come to depend on for day-to-day living. Doing so creates an unhealthy relationship between the pharmaceuticals and the patient that ends up only harming the patient's health in the long run.

So, what should you do about this if you have arthritis? Stop depending on topical painkillers to ease your arthritis pain, and instead, look to where you can enhance your lifestyle in order to alleviate arthritis for the long term. To do so, you must engage in regular physical exercise that moves your body's joints. Tai Chi is probably one of the best forms of exercise for this, and yoga and pilates are also outstanding. It's important to move the joints where you actually have arthritis. But simply moving those joints isn't enough -- you also need to avoid the foods that promote arthritis while supplementing your diet with nutritional supplements that can help your body alleviate arthritis.

And don't believe the medical myth that your joints and cartilage just "wear out" like the parts of an automobile. This is a widespread myth that simply has no basis in scientific fact. The human body has the ability to maintain, repair and even rebuild most of its tissues if given the proper nutrition and environment. In fact, the human body gets healthier with use, whereas an automobile begins to degrade the more you use it. Sitting on your couch and doing nothing is probably the worst thing you can do for arthritis.


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