Arthritis refers to a series of conditions involving joint pain and inflammation. Two types of arthritis include osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). OA is mainly caused by cartilage wear that causes bones to rub together, leading to friction, injury, and inflammation. RA is a systemic disease that can cause systemic symptoms. This is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy joint tissue. Doctors can prescribe medicine to relieve the pain of arthritis, but they also often recommend natural remedies. Before trying any medicine for arthritis, be sure to consult your doctor first, regardless of whether it involves medical treatment. Below are 10 ways to reduce arthritis pain.
1. Control your weight
Your weight can have a major impact on the symptoms of arthritis. The extra weight puts more pressure on your joints, especially your knees, hips and feet. Reducing stress on joints through weight loss can help:
- Improve your mobility
- Relieve pain
- Prevent damage to your joints in the future
2. Workout regularly
If you have arthritis, exercise can help you to:
- Manage your weight
- Keep joints flexible
- Strengthen the muscles around the joints to provide more support
Exercising with a coach or other people can be particularly beneficial because it can enhance your motivation.
Some useful choices include low-impact exercises, such as regular walks, riding a bicycle, Tai Chi and some water activities.
3. Heat Therapy
Heat therapy and cold therapy can help relieve arthritis pain and inflammation. Heat therapy can include taking a long hot bath in the morning to help relieve stiffness, and using electric blankets or moist heat pads to reduce overnight discomfort. Capsaicin comes from chilli pepper and is an important ingredient in some topical ointments and creams that can be purchased over the counter. These products provide warmth and can relieve joint pain.
4. Cold Therapy
Cold therapy can help relieve joint pain, swelling and inflammation. Wrap a gel ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables with a towel, and then apply it to the painful joint to quickly relieve the pain. Do not apply ice directly to the skin.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine method that involves inserting fine needles into specific parts of the body. Practitioners say it works by changing energy and restoring body balance.
Acupuncture can relieve arthritis pain, and ACR/AF recommends it conditionally. Although there is insufficient evidence to substantiate its benefits, the risk of harm is considered low.Make sure to consult a licensed and certified acupuncturist to perform this treatment.
6. Meditation to cope with pain
Meditation and relaxation techniques can help reduce the pain of arthritis by reducing stress and allowing you to better cope with it. Reducing stress may also help reduce inflammation and pain.
ACR/AF recommends Tai Chi and Yoga. These combine meditation, relaxation and breathing techniques with low-impact exercises. Anxiety, stress, and depression are common complications of chronic pain diseases such as arthritis.
7. Following a healthy diet
A diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole foods can help boost your immune system and overall health. There is evidence that dietary choices affect patients with RA and OA.
A plant-based diet provides antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation by eliminating free radicals in the body. While, a diet rich in red meat, processed foods, saturated fat, and added sugar and salt may worsen the inflammation, which is a feature of arthritis.
8. Adding turmeric to the dishes
Turmeric is a commonly used yellow spice in Indian cuisine and contains a chemical substance called curcumin. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that it may help reduce arthritis pain and inflammation. More research is needed to prove the effects of turmeric, but adding a small amount of this mild and delicious spice to dinner may be a safe choice.
9. Through Massage
Massage can provide overall well-being. It may also help control joint pain and discomfort. However, this type of massage is unlikely to be risky and may bring indirect benefits such as reducing stress. Ask your doctor to recommend a massage therapist with experience in treating arthritis patients. Or, you can ask a physical therapist to teach you self-massage.
10. Consider having herbal supplements
Many herbal supplements can relieve joint pain, although scientific research has not yet confirmed that any specific herbal or supplement can treat arthritis.
Some of these herbs include: Boswellia, Devil’s Claw, Bromelain, Ginkgo, Thunder God Vine, Stinging Nettle, etc.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not monitor the quality, purity, or safety of herbs and supplements, so you cannot be sure of the exact composition of the product. Be sure to buy from a reputable source.
Before trying new supplements, make sure to consult your doctor, as some supplements can cause side effects and dangerous drug interactions.