Arthritis is a very degenerative and painful condition that is characterized by inflammation within the joints that causes pain and stiffness. Osteoarthritis, which is the most common form of arthritis, worsens with age. It is caused by all of the wear and tear that the body is subjected to over the years.
Traditionally doctors have treated arthritis using painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications. However, side effects are caused by some medications, and natural pain relief approaches are becoming increasingly popular. Before attempting any of the following natural remedies, be sure to consult with your doctor first.
1. Lose weight
How much pain you suffer from due to your arthritis can be greatly impacted by your weight. Extra weight places additional pressure on your joints – particularly your feet, hips and knees.
Losing weight can help to reduce the amount of stress that is placed on your joints and help to prevent additional damage to your joints, decrease your pain and improve your mobility.
2. Get More Exercise
Weight loss isn’t the only benefit to be derived from exercise. Regular movement helps with maintaining flexibility within your joints. Performing weight-bearing exercises such as walking and running can cause damage. What you should do instead is to perform low-impact exercises such as swimming or water aerobics in order to keep your joints flexible without adding any more stress to them.
3. Use Cold and Hot Therapy
Basic cold and hot treatments can make a significant difference for arthritis pain. Warm and long baths or showers – particularly in the morning – can help to reduce the stiffness that is in your joints. At night, use a moist heating pad or electric blanket for keeping your joints loose.
To relieve joint pain, cold treatments work best. Wrap up a bag of frozen vegetables or gel ice pack inside of a towel and apply it to your joints for fast pain relief.
4. Try Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a kind of ancient Chinese medical treatment. It involves thin needles being insertd into certain points on the body. Supposedly this re-routes energy and restores balance within your body.
It is believed that acupuncture can reduce arthritic pain. Make sure you locate an experienced acupuncturist who has solid references if you are wanting to try out this treatment method.
5. Try Meditation For Coping With Pain
Relaxation techniques and meditation might be able to assist you with reducing the pain you are suffering from your arthritis through reducing stress and making it possible for you to better cope with it. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that studies have shown that practicing mindful meditation is useful for some individuals who have painful joints. It has also been found by researchers that those who have both arthritis and depression benefit most from practicing meditation.
6. Incorporate Healthy Fatty Acids Into Your Diet
For optimum health, everybody needs to incorporate omega-3 fatty acids into their diets. The fats can help your arthritis as well. Fish oil supplements are very high in omega-3s and can help to reduce joint pain and stiffness.
Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is another beneficial fatty acid. It is found within certain plant seeds like black currants, borage hemp and evening primrose. You can purchase supplements that contain boils from these seeds. However, before taking one, make sure to consult with your doctor first.
7. Add Turmeric To Your Food
Turmeric, which is the yellow spice commonly found in Indian food, has a chemical in it called curcumin that might help with reducing arthritis pain due to the anti-inflammatory properties that it possesses.
According to the NIH, when turmeric was provided to lab rats it reduced the inflammation in their joints. There has been little research on humans, however it definitely can’t harm anything to add some of this delicious spice to some of your meals.
8. Get a Massage
The Arthritis Foundation reports that massaging arthritic joints on a regular basis can help with improving range of motion and reducing stiffness and pain. Find a physical therapist to work with to learn how to give yourself massages, or schedule appointments to see a massage therapist on a regular basis.
Make sure that the massage therapist that you see has experience working with individual who have arthritis. Ask your doctor for a referral.
9. Consider Taking An Herbal Supplement
Many different types of herbal supplements are available in the marketplace claiming that they can help with reducing joint pain. A few of the herbs that claim to help with arthritis pain include thunder god vine, stinging nettle, ginkgo, devil’s claw, bromelain and boswellia.