8 Natural Ways to Alleviate Arthritis Pain
Growing old is a simple fact of life, and no matter how healthily you try to live, you may become afflicted by a disease in your senior years that could reduce your quality of life. Of course, you should always do your best to exercise regularly and maintain a balanced diet, but it’s important to remember that some afflictions are unavoidable. Arthritis is one such disease that affects millions of people worldwide, and while it can arise at any age, it is particularly pronounced in people over 50.
Arthritis is a broad term that encompasses over 100 diseases that affect the cartilage in your joints. Your cartilage acts as a shock absorber for your bones, covering bony surfaces associated with your joints for easy and pain-free movement. Arthritis causes cartilage to wear away and results in painful movements. It may not be common knowledge that arthritis can occur in the spine as well as other more commonly affected joints, but it can, and it can be excruciating. In certain situations, you may need surgery to alleviate back pain from arthritis, but there are a number of natural remedies that can help in the meantime.
Don’t Let Pain Hold You Back
There are many health issues that commonly affect people in their senior years, and arthritis can be among the most painful. If you’re a sufferer, the following natural remedies may help alleviate the pain.
– Exercise More
Exercise might sound impossible when you’re in pain, but regular movements help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis. By maintaining flexibility in your joints, you can keep arthritic bony changes from resulting in so much pain when you move. Try to avoid high-impact exercises such as running, walking and weight lifting and instead focus on low-impact exercises such as swimming and water aerobics.
– Lose Weight
Exercise and maintaining a balanced diet can help you lose weight, and doing so will reduce the amount of pressure placed on your joints, especially in your lower extremities. Losing weight will help prevent further cartilage degradation, improve your mobility and relieve pain. Plus, there are many more health benefits associated with weight loss.
Some people claim the ancient Chinese medical treatment of acupuncture can help relieve the pain associated with arthritis. Acupuncture is supposed to restore balance in your body by re-routing your energy to help you feel a sense of harmony, but it’s important only to trust qualified and experienced medical professionals to carry out the procedure.
– Eat Lots of Omega-3
Contrary to popular belief, there are some types of fat that are beneficial for your health. Omega-3 is not only an essential ingredient in a balanced diet, but it can also help reduce joint pain and stiffness, two of the most common symptoms of arthritis. You might also want to include more gamma-linolenic acid in your diet, which is found in plant seeds such as borage, black currants and primrose. Omega-3 and gamma-linolenic acid are available as supplements, but you should consult with your doctor before consuming them.
– Hot and Cold Therapy
As simple as it sounds, a long, hot shower or bath in the morning can work wonders to alleviate arthritis pain by easing the stiffness in your joints. You can also keep your joints loose by using an electric blanket at night. Alternatively, you can use a wrapped ice pack or even a bag of frozen peas to alleviate the discomfort of painful joints.
Meditation can help you cope with arthritis pain by helping you to relax and destress. Studies have shown that meditation is an especially useful tool for those suffering from arthritis and depression.
– Add Turmeric to Your Favourite Meals
Turmeric, a commonly used yellow Indian spice, is not only a great way to add extra flavour to a dish, but it’s also a way to reduce arthritis pain. Studies have shown that turmeric reduces inflammation in rat joints thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, and though there’s little research on humans, there’s certainly no harm in adding this spice to your favourite dishes.
Regular massages help alleviate pain and stiffness from your muscles and joints, though you should only visit a qualified massage therapist for treatments.
When it’s Time to See a Doctor
While you may be able to alleviate arthritis pain using the natural remedies listed above, you may need to visit a doctor for medical or surgical treatment if the pain becomes unbearable. Try not to let arthritis ruin your quality of life because there are effective treatments available to help you lead a normal, healthy lifestyle.