Scientists have a simple way to battle the agony
of arthritis - soaking in a bath of salt water.
They say the saline solution reduces painful inflammation of the
Even ordinary table salt in high concentrations can be used and,
unlike conventional drugs, there are no unpleasant side effects.
"This research opens up exciting
opportunities. What we've identified has the potential to be used to help so
many patients," theDaily
Vincent Compan, of Manchester University's Faculty of Life Sciences, as saying.
Dr Compan and Dr Pablo Pelegrin found cells in the bodies of
arthritis sufferers expand but salt water can reduce the swelling by dehydrating
them. The salt worked the same whether it was injected into the body or absorbed
through the skin via bandages soaked in saline or bathing.
"We have found that hypotonic solutions (low in salt) strongly
activate inflammation at molecular level. Conversely, the use of hypertonic
solutions (high in salt) was a potent inhibitor of such inflammatory signals at
molecular level," Dr Pelegrin said.
(dehydration) with hypertonic solutions could be beneficial in the management of
inflammatory joint diseases, such asrheumatoid
arthritis, either by
prolonged soaking or by vapour pressure techniques," he noted.
The results were published in the