Top 10 Natural Treatments and Home Remedies for Arthritis and Joint Pain
Arthritis is a group of diseases characterized by inflammation in the joints that causes pain and stiffness in the affected joint. It is a very common disease and affects millions of people worldwide. There are many different types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common ones. Osteoarthritis gets worse with age and is caused due to the wear and tear of the joints over the years. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which is caused by the immune system attacking the joints.
The drug-free remedies that you can try to relieve pain and stiffness from your joints are as follows:
Your weight can impact the pain experienced by you from arthritis. More the weight more will be the pressure on your knees, hip, and feet. In arthritis, exercise has more benefits than just weight loss. Weight-bearing exercises like running and walking are contraindicated, as it might worsen your pain, but low-impact exercises will help maintain the flexibility of your joints. Always consult your doctor before trying any exercise. Examples of low and zero impact exercises are:
a) Water Exercises – Swimming is a great zero impact exercise that helps to take off stress from your joints.
If you do not know swimming, you can try walking in water or water aerobics.
b) Tai chi – It is an ancient Chinese martial art that promotes tranquillity and internal energy. It uses slow
flowing movements, which can be helpful for people with arthritis in the knee.
c) Cycling – A recumbent cycle can be useful in people with arthritis, as it encourages the lubrication of the
d) Resistance Training – Resistance training helps to keep the joints healthy. But always work with a trainer,
as they will guide you and create a customized program according to your condition.
e) Yoga – Yoga can ease joint pain, improve flexibility, and relieve stress and tension.
f) Progressive Muscle Relaxation – In this technique, you have to tighten and relax the muscles starting from the face all the way to your feet. Breathe in as you contract your muscle, and breathe out as you relax them.
2. Hot and Cold Therapy
Applying an ice pack to the affected joint during a flare-up might curb the swelling and inflammation. Cold compressions can be given for 15 minutes with at least 30 minutes gap between each application. Heat therapy, on the other hand, increases the blood flow to the joint. You can either apply hot packs or pour warm water over the affected joints. It will soothe the joints and relax the muscles.
Turmeric belongs to the ginger family and is believed to be extremely beneficial in curing sore joints. The compound called curcumin present in turmeric helps in reducing the inflammation in the joints and can be as effective as some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). You can mix turmeric in milk or water and drink it.
Boswellia or Indian frankincense is a resin made from the gum extracts found in the bark of Boswellia serrata tree. This extract has been used to relieve joint pain and inflammation for many centuries. Modern researches show that the boswellic acid found in this herb stops the formation of leukotrienes, which are the immune cells responsible for inflammation.
5. Eucalyptus Oil
It is an old traditional home remedy for joint pain due to arthritis. Here, warm eucalyptus oil is applied over the affected joint, and the joint is covered using a plastic wrap. This is followed by continuous application of hot packs or steaming towels. This can be done before you go to bed, so you experience less pain during your sleep.
6. Pastes Made from Herbs
Topical creams, gels, and patches made from natural ingredients like cayenne, eucalyptus, clove, peppermint, rosemary, and wintergreen can also help with arthritis pain. Capsaicin, which is a compound found in chilis and pepper help ease arthritis pain. Avoid using such topical creams with heat therapy, as it increases the chances of burns.
Acupuncture is an old Chinese treatment, where super-fine needles are inserted into the body at various depths. Research suggests that it helps relieve pain by lowering the chemicals in your body that cause inflammation. It is mostly used to treat chronic back pain and osteoarthritis.
8. Include Fatty Acids in Your Diet
Omega-3 fatty acids help our body to generate prostaglandins, which have anti-inflammatory effects on the body. It is found naturally in fish, soybeans, canola oil, flaxseeds, anchovies, etc. Gamma-linolenic acid is another fatty acid that can help reduce joint pain. It is found in the seeds of certain plants like black currants, primrose, and hemp.
Regular massages of the affected joint can help reduce pain and stiffness and will improve your range of motion. Talk to your doctor first, and choose a massage therapist who knows how to give massages to people who have arthritis.
Meditation is when you close your eyes and focus on your breathing, and concentrate on your inhales and exhales. This helps you relax and reduces the stress that follows arthritis flare-ups. Meditation eases arthritis pain and reduces anxiety and pain that often accompany it.
Always remember that these natural treatments and home remedies can affect medicines that your doctor might have prescribed. So, always consult your treating doctor before trying any of the above methods.
© 2019 Vasantha K Sugavanam