- Looking for a cure for arthritis pain and joint inflammation? You’re not alone. An estimated 1 out of 5 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with some form of arthritis (there are over 100 different types of arthritis), from children to older adults.
What causes arthritis? For some, it is a breakdown in the cartilage that helps cushion and protect joints from the pressure placed on them. For others, it is an autoimmune disorder where the body mistakenly attacks itself and limits the amount of lubricating joint fluid the soft tissues can produce for the joints.
When it comes to tackling arthritis pain for good, a comprehensive evaluation from your medical provider plus these home remedies and natural treatment plans can put you on the right path:
Even a minimal amount of weight loss can make a difference when it comes to mitigating the painful inflammation of arthritic joints. Reducing intake of processed and packaged food helps to start a detoxification process in the body, limiting sodium, sugar, and carbs that are prone to packing on the pounds. Increasing uptake of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and healthy fats can fuel a balanced diet which when coupled with regular exercise makes for arthritis relief. Relieving internal stress on weight-bearing joints like the knees and feet can minimize painful inflammation.
Yoga Can Be Helpful
While movement and muscle stimulation might seem like an over exertion of arthritic limbs, turns out the opposite is true. Low-impact exercise like what you find with yoga practice has actually been shown to help loosen stiff joints, relieve muscle and joint inflammation, as well as reduce stress levels (which may be brought on by arthritis pain). The gentle flowing stretching, mindful meditation, deep breathing, and strength-building poses make yoga practice accessible and effective, especially for older adults with arthritis pain.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
You may have heard that Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in supporting good brain health, but did you know they can tackle the inflammation associated with arthritis too? DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), two specific types of Omega-3 fatty acids found specifically in fish oil, also help combat heart disease, lower blood pressure, and curb over-reactive immune systems. Taking Omega-3 supplements or ingesting appreciable amounts of fatty fish like salmon, trout, and herring may mean the difference between daily arthritis pain or relief.
Turmeric & Ginger
For centuries, spices including turmeric and ginger have been utilized as digestive aids to help relieve indigestion, but more recent revelations have shown them to help fight inflammation associated with arthritis as well. The active ingredient, curcumin, in turmeric is believed to modify immune system responses and prevent joint inflammation by blocking enzymes and cytokines that cause them. Similarly, ginger has been shown to suppress some inflammatory molecules and even switch off some genes that are predisposed to inflammation.
Ice and Heat Therapy
Just like you might apply ice packs or cold compresses to a swollen injury, so does the same method aid joints inflamed by arthritic condition. Ice therapy constricts the blood vessels helping reduce inflammation as well as slow the conductivity of spasming nerve endings sending pain signals back to the brain. Transitioned into heat therapy, heating pads or hot packs applied to stiff joints can help loosen them and improve range of motion. Even warm baths or showers can alleviate arthritis pain.
Looking for a simple way to stabilize a painful joint like in the hand, shoulder, knee, or foot? Bracing, wrapping, or splinting may just be the solution. For example, an orthotic aid like a thumb brace for arthritis helps support the hand by keeping the thumb in the correct position to limit its movements and reducing internal stress placed on the joint. This helps relieve pain and make it easier to successfully complete day to day tasks which arthritis pain may have been inhibiting.