Inflammation of joints resulting from painful and degenerative conditions is called arthritis. It causes severe stiffness and pain in the joints. It is mainly classified into two main types, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear of the joints over the age while rheumatoid arthritis is known to be an autoimmune disease and is caused by the immune system attacking the joints as if they were foreign tissues.
Usually, it is treated using painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications. But the medications often have more side effects than the benefits. Now-a-days people are opting for natural treatments to deal with arthritis. Here are few natural ways to treat your arthritis pain.
1. Shed the extra pounds
Being overweight can be a real problem if you are suffering from arthritis. Extra weight increases the pain you experience at it puts more pressure on your joints. Mainly, it affects knees, hips, and feet. By shedding the extra pounds, you can reduce the stress on your joints and therefore, experience lesser pain and have better mobility.
2. Ditch the sedentary lifestyle and get more exercise
Next, you need to ditch the sedentary lifestyle and get moving. Exercising is crucial for those suffering from arthritis. Body needs regular movements to maintain the flexibility in the joints.
However, keep in the mind that weight-bearing exercises can cause damage to your joint. So, you should go only for the low-impact exercises such as swimming or water aerobics to flex joints.
Meditation is a revolutionary technique that can help you reduce the pain by taking off the stress from your mind. You are able to cope up with arthritis if you meditate. Studies have found that regular meditation can provide people with arthritis some relief from the pain due to arthritis. It has been observed that meditation leads to reduction in stress, which further helps in reducing inflammation and provides relief from the pain.
4. Eat good fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are very important for optimum health. It has been found that taking omega-3 supplements leads to reduction in joint stiffness and pain. It is usually found in fish oil supplements.
Another important fatty acid is gamma-linolenic acid, also known as GLA. It is found in seeds of some plants like borage, hemp, primrose, and black currants. The oils of these seeds are also available in the form of supplements. However, always consult your doctor before taking them.
An ancient Chinese technique, acupuncture involves insertion of needles into specific points on your body. This is meant to reroute the energies in the body and restore the balance. It is one of the widely searched complimentary therapies and the World Health Organization has recommended it for treatment of over 100 conditions.
It has been observed that acupuncture can provide relief from arthritis pain. However, always go to a licensed and certified acupuncturist if you are considering it for treatment.
6. Massage the pain away
Massage has been found to be really beneficial in taking away the arthritis pain. According to the Arthritis Foundation, massaging the arthritic joints regularly helps in reducing the pain and stiffness, which further improves the mobility of the joints.
You can always learn self-massage from physical therapists or get massage appointments on regular basis. It is important that massage is done with right technique.
7. Take herbal supplements
Herbal supplements help a great deal in reducing the joint pain. Some of the herbs that can help are turmeric, boswellia, devil’s claw, thunder god vine, bromelain, ginkgo, and stinging nettle. Herbs are not monitored by the US Food and Drug Administration for quality, safety or purity. Therefore, always check with your doctor before taking any supplement and always buy it from some certified and reputed source.
8. Hot and cold therapy magic
Hold and cold therapy works like magic in arthritis pain. Long warm showers in the morning help you ease the stiffness of joints. At night, you can use electric blanket or heating pad to keep the joints loose.
Cold treatments are equally effective in pain relief. Also, it helps in relieving swelling and inflammation. You can take a gel pack or a bag of frozen vegetables in a towel and apply it to painful joints.