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If so, find out what kind, the better to address it effectively 
You start to question when you feel pain in a joint. Now you wonder, is it in the joint cartilage, and what is cartilage anyway, and does that mean you have inflammation of the cartilage, and isn't that what arthritis is, and you didn't think you had a high arthritis risk but now you're not so sure.

OK. Let's define arthritis first. Simply put, the word arthritis comes from the Greek word 'arthrum' which means joint. Add 'itis' at the end and you've got 'arthritis'. In other words, 'arthritis' means 'inflammation of a joint' - the two are interchangeable.

Now that we have a working arthritis definition, let's focus on what kind, because that gives you some ideas about how to deal with it.

There are two main types of arthritis - infectious arthritis, also called rheumatoid arthritis, and non-infectious. Let's look at each one.

Infectious Arthritis: This refers inflammation of a joint caused by any one or more infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, or spirochetes. Some of the more common ones are: gonococcal, pneumococcal, tubercular, staph, strep (which is the infectious agent in rheumatic fever) and in more recent years, Lymes, a spirochete.
This type brings up another question, "Is arthritis infectious?" The answer is no, not technically, because arthritis only means inflammation of the joint. However, the infectious agent may be transmittable, as it is in the case of gonorrhea, strep, staph or tuberculosis.

Knowing that your joint cartilage is being gobbled up or worn away by some such bug, you are armed with the knowledge you need to choose a strategy that invites those bugs to live elsewhere, and when they do, you can move to the second phase of your strategy, which involves repairing the damage.

Non-Infectious Arthritis: This refers to all the other causes of joint inflammation. For example 'traumatic arthritis' is the result of sudden or repeated stress on the joint, as in tennis elbow, while 'post-traumatic arthritis' is the result of an injury such as a bump or blow. 'Septic arthritis' is joint inflammation that results from toxicity of some kind - perhaps a food intolerance (wheat, potatoes, strawberries, heavy metals or pesticides, for example).

Last, there are three types of joint tissue that can become inflamed from any of the above. One type is the bone itself, and this is called 'osteoarthritis'. The second is the joint cartilage itself. To answer what cartilage is, think of the gristle in a piece of meat - that's cartilage. It's a type of very dense, firm and compact connective tissue that's capable of withstanding considerable pressure or tension. Third, the synovial membrane over the joint, and the fluid it contains which lubricates the joint can also become inflamed.

No matter which type of joint tissue becomes inflamed, the condition is still referred to as 'arthritis' because some part of the joint is inflamed.
The bottom line is that the word 'arthritis' refers to a symptom and not a cause.  To address the symptom means finding and effectively addressing the cause.
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The top-ranking herb worldwide for dealing with the symptoms of arthritis is Boswellia  because it contains substances that reduce the formation of inflammatory leukotrienes.  

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Can You Answer These Questions? 
Who are you really and what is the nature of the life process you undergo? 
What parts of you do you continue to grow only through non-verbal or primary process as opposed to the verbal or secondary processes you typically employ as an adult? 
Are there differences between your growth process in childhood and in adulthood, and if so what are they? For healthy growth, which do you need to have remain the same and which do you need to have be different? 
If you don't know the answer to these questions, you will by the end of the first three classes of 
  Emotional Development 101.  

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My Arthritis Is 
Your Arthritis - One Symptom, Many Causes 

 Six of the Top Causes of 

Joint Inflammation 

Joint inflammation is painful, and when you're suffering with it you're highly motivated to find out what will stop it!

To realize that goal, there are two ingredients: symptom control and finding the cause (or causes) so that a healing direction can be revealed.

Symptom Control: This means two things - reducing inflammation and managing pain.

The primary herb used around the world for reducing inflammation is Boswellia. Years of clinical research has revealed that boswellic acids reduce the formation of inflammatory leukotrienes.

Pain management is often achieved with White Willow Bark, which is the natural herb that contains salicin, flavonoids and other phenolic compounds that reduce inflammation significantly along with promoting joint health.

With arthritic symptoms under control, the next step is finding causes. The following are six of the top common causes health practitioners find:

1. Food intolerances.

A food intolerance results from the inability of the body to completely metabolize (i.e., 'break down' ) any particular food. This leaves undigested food particles floating around where they can cause inflammation, and one of those target organs is the joints.

Food intolerances are different than food allergies. One can be intolerant of a food but not allergic to it, or allergic but not intolerant or both. This means that just because a blood test for antigens shows no antigen for a particular food does not mean an intolerance does not exist.

Four of the most common food intolerances are wheat, gluten, lactose and foods from the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, etc.)

2. Toxic metals.

Toxic metals are those that poison the body and have no benefit for humans. Four of the most common ones that affect modern people are mercury, aluminum, lead and plutonium. The sources of these contaminants are varied and depend on the metal itself. For example, two of the most common sources of mercury contamination are from dental amalgams, which are over 50% mercury, and vaccines containing Thimerosol, a preservative containing mercury. Other, less common toxic metals include antimony,uranium, arsenic, cadmium, barium, nickel and bismuth. Any of these can be deposited in the joints, stimulating inflammation.

3. Synthetic Chemicals.

Modern people are exposed to a growing number of toxic chemicals in daily life. In fact it's been estimated that the average person is exposed to well over 100,000 synthetic chemicals! This results in a massive body burden way to significant for the liver to detoxify and eliminate on its own, and the chemical back up can result in joint inflammation.

4. Generalized acidity.

The human body is meant to run on a relatively neutral pH - not too acid, not too alkaline. When the body is consistently acid over a length of time, the acidity can etch away the lining of joints, resulting in an inflammatory arthritis. One such source of this acidity is toxic emotions - unresolved personal issues that are replayed but never resolved.

5. Immune challenges.

These are classic cause of joint inflammation, and can include all manner of bacteria, yeast, fungi, viruses, parasites, even spirochetes. Any one or more of these can cause joint inflammation.

6. Autoimmune reaction.

An autoimmune reaction results when the immune system gets confused in its functions and begins attacking its own bodily tissue - in this example, joints. The immune system's job is to separate 'me' from 'not me' and attack and eliminate the 'not me.' In an arthritic autoimmunity, it has mistakenly identified the joint tissue as 'not me', resulting in an attack that produces arthritis. Many practitioners believe this confusion is set up initially by immune challenges in which the invading organism contains DNA very similar to the body's joint tissue DNA.

Each of the above represents a cause that may be at the root of the symptom of arthritis. Working with your practitioner to discover the cause (or causes) is a key to reducing - even eliminating - the symptom itself, often permanently.

In this respect, it's important to remember that 'my arthritis is not your arthritis'. In other words, you may have one or two of these causes, while the next person with the same symptom - joint inflammation - has totally different causes.  
That's why it's important if you wish to recover, not to get stuck in 'cookie cutter' approaches, but rather: 
find out 
what's going on 
your unique body.