The pain that comes with arthritis is no joke. Although certain medications are specifically for arthritis pain relief, seeking alternative and natural remedies for this pain is possible.
Pain from arthritis results from inflammation of all the affected joints. Imagine having pain in more than one joint at the same time. Everyone dealing with arthritis has to endure these joint pains, making daily tasks increasingly challenging.
Getting up in the morning becomes something to think about because of the joint stiffness often experienced due to inactivity during sleep.
In this post, I focused more on natural and alternative therapy you can use for arthritis pain relief. These remedies have been proven over time scientifically and through experience.
What causes arthritis pains?
Arthritis is a group name for medical conditions that cause inflammation or occur due to inflammation. There are over one hundred types of arthritis, although some are more common and well known by others, and pain is one common symptom, especially in the joints.
The cause of arthritis pain is mainly because of the inflammation in the joints, which causes the rapid deterioration of the cartilage—a part of the joint that helps to reduce friction between bones. The damage to the cartilage causes an increase in friction, which may be aggravated by movement (osteoarthritis) or non-movement (rheumatoid arthritis).
Everybody with arthritis goes through joint stiffness and pain.
Management of arthritis pain is continuous because there is no known cure for the disease, which is why it is tagged as a chronic disease. In the United States, arthritis is the leading cause of disability among adults and affects children too.
Natural arthritis pain relief remedies
There are several natural remedies you can use for arthritis pain relief without having to take medications. Albeit, there are also some over-the-counter medications you can use to curb or manage the pain.
Here are some natural arthritis pain relief remedies:
1. Control your weight
Weight is essential to arthritis management. According to research, the higher your weight, the more stress you place on your knee and hip joints, which increases the risk of developing arthritis, resulting in rapid deterioration of the cartilage.
Losing weight helps reduce the pressure on the joints, stiffness, and pain.
2. Exercise regularly
While it may be weird that one can manage arthritis with exercise, it is completely accurate. Not only does exercise help to reduce weight, but it also helps to strengthen the muscles. Strong muscles share the strain in the joints, reducing friction, stiffness, and pain.
Other benefits of exercise include enhancing body balance and flexibility, improving mood, increasing energy, and helping you sleep better.
Aquatic exercises have also been seen to reduce body fat, improve coordination and range of motion, and generally improve the quality of life.
3. Practice R.I.C.E.
R.I.C.E method stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation, and this method is one of the best natural arthritis pain relief remedies, especially when you have a flare-up. According to SingleCare, when you rest, you allow your body to start to relieve a painful joint naturally. Ice is an anti-inflammatory element; compression and elevation help to reduce swelling.
4. Heat therapy
Heat therapy is used to help loosen up stiff joints and muscle spasms related to arthritis.
Heat therapy might include warm baths in the morning to reduce stiffness, warm paraffin wax to treat joint pain, and the use of heat pads on the joints or hot water bottles to apply to the affected joints. You can also use hot blankets and electric heaters in your room.
5. Cold therapy
Cold treatment should be limited as little as possible because you don’t want to expose your joints to too much cold. However, cold treatments can also help to reduce joint swelling, tenderness, and pain.
Cold treatments can include applying cold bags on your joints, especially after exercising. You can put the stiff joints in ice water or wrap ice in a towel and use it on your joints.
6. Use of ergonomic devices
Ergonomic and assistive devices make living with arthritis easier. It helps to prevent a flare-up and helps on days when your joints are weak—devices such as splints, braces, jar openers, and so on.
You can also use devices such as canes and shoe inserts, which bring arthritis pain relief.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese treatment where an acupuncture needle is inserted at strategic points in the body to improve circulation. It helps to reroute energy paths in the body and restore body balance.
Although there is not a lot of medical research to confirm the relationship between acupuncture and arthritis, the benefits far outweigh the risk.
10. Use of supplements
In addition to dieting, you can also use supplements. For example, if you are not a fan of a particular diet, you can substitute it with supplements.
Supplements that are said to be good for arthritis include glucosamine, chondroitin, vitamins, gamma-linolenic acid, and cannabidiol.
Massaging your joints can help to reduce the pain from arthritis. Not just your joints but having full body massages, massaging the muscles using hot stones, and so on can help to manage your arthritis pain.
It is believed that massage helps to lower the body’s production of cortisol and substance P, which is a neurotransmitter associated with pain. It also helps to increase your mood.
If you are living with arthritis, the best type of diet would be an anti-inflammatory diet. It means taking foods rich in anti-inflammatory properties and avoiding foods with inflammatory properties.
Anti-inflammatory foods help fight inflammation, including fatty fish, olive oil, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
Mind exercises help to calm your mind and body, which help with the mental strain of living with a chronic disease. Your mental health management is just as important as your physical health because the mind has a way of affecting or influencing your physical symptoms.
Breathing exercises, mindfulness techniques, and sleep can help to reduce anxiety and relieve pain.
12. Tai chi
Tai chi is categorized as a low-impact exercise that involves gentle movements. It helps increase flexibility and muscle strength and maintains body balance.
Tai chi is an arthritis pain relief that can also become a healthy habit.
13. Topical cream
You can apply these creams locally to the affected joints to help you relieve pain. You can use various pain relief topical creams, including diclofenac gel, arnica, capsaicin cream, and other anti-inflammatory gels.
14. Iyengar Yoga
Iyengar Yoga is a type of yoga specific for anatomical arrangements of the body. It uses props to support the body, reducing tension and inflammation. It also helps with the body’s ability to cope with chronic illness.
15. Stress management
Stress is a trigger for arthritis pain and can cause flare-ups. According to studies, it has been discovered that stress has a direct impact on arthritis and increases pain. So, try your best to deal with any stress you have.
Herbs that help with Arthritis
Below are some herbs that can help to manage arthritis pain:
- Green tea
- Aloe vera
- Willow bark
When to visit the doctor
With all the natural remedies available, the question will be, “When should you see a doctor?”
At this point, I’ll go right ahead and assume you have a proper diagnosis, or at the very least, you suspect you might have arthritis. There are some early signs to watch out for, and if you have a strong suspicion, it is always best to confirm with your doctor.
If you notice persistent pain even with all these remedies, it might need urgent medical attention, and you must see your doctor as soon as possible.
You should always carry your doctor along whenever you decide on a specific natural remedy so that they know what is going on with your body.
These natural remedies are guaranteed to help manage arthritis pain and provide relief. Practicing these remedies can help improve the overall quality of your life.
These arthritis pain relief remedies are easy to adopt, and most do not require a massive effort. You can do these things from the comfort of your home and adopt them into your daily habits.
Which of these arthritis pain relief remedies have you tried before? How was the experience?