Monday, October 20, 2014

Arthritis in ancient times

Arthritis pain has been around since the beginning of time. A group of iguanodons, unearthed in Brussels and dating from 85,000 BC had signs of osteoarthritis in their ankles.

Neanderthal man of 30,000 BC remains show that early man had secondary osteoarthritis.

The latest evidence of rheumatoid arthritis was found in the skeletons of people living around 4500 BC in what is today the southern United States.

Scientists also have discovered evidence of arthritis in the bones of mummies from the pyramids of ancient Egypt. There is evidence that at least three pharaohs, including Rameses II (1290 to 1221 BC) and his son Merenptah had ankylosing spondylitis (a type of arthritis).

About 2000 years ago, an Indian medical doctor named Charaka wrote about a disease whose victims had fevers and swollen, a painful joints.

Gout is particularly painful form of arthritis. In ancient times, gouty arthritis was believed to be a ‘rich man’s disease’ because a diet heavy in pork, beer, and port was suspected to be the cause.

Since the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates coined the word arthritis it means swollen joints – people have complained of pain, swelling and stiffness in their limbs.

Historical references to the medicinal use of willow bark date from around 500 BC when Chinese used the plant as a pain reliever, probably in a tea. Hippocrates advised that willow bark and leaves should be chewed to alleviate pain and fever.
Arthritis in ancient times

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