As many as 43 million people in the United States suffer from joint problems like arthritis. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, but they all involve the breakdown of cartilage that helps to cushion the joints. As this cushion wears away, the bones can rub against each other, causing irritation. Osteoarthritis also causes inflammation in this area, leading to bone spurs to grow on the joints as well. Sometimes rheumatoid arthritis can cause these symptoms to appear throughout the body, making it difficult to move and resulting in a great deal of pain. These issues have no cure, which can be disheartening for patients. However, there are many natural remedies for arthritis that you can use to help alleviatethe discomfort.
Natural Remedies for Arthritis
1. Keep Your Joints Moving
While it may be difficult, it is important to move your joints as much as you can to help keep them functional. Walking, housecleaning, gardening and other basic activities can be helpful in keeping your joints from losing their functionality.
2. Do Different Exercises
Specific exercises can be helpful in keeping arthritis pain at bay. These routines greatly focus on range of motion exercises that help to encourage flexibility. Aerobic exercises can also be helpful in encouraging circulation to damaged joints. Just be aware that you should not exercise more than you can manage. Excessive stress from exercise can cause you to feel worse.
3. Head to a Pool
Exercising in a pool can help you perform aerobic exercises without putting excessive pressure on the joints and limit your discomfort. The water will help support your body weight so you have a larger range of motion while you work out.
4. Limit Using OTC Cream and Pain Killers
Over the counter medications will help temporarily ease the pain, and are generally inexpensive which is a benefit to people who suffer from arthritis. However, these drugs can have side effects that can affect certain individuals if they try to use them on a regular basis. Talk with your doctor about which medications would be most appropriate and how often they can be used to prevent potential health concerns.
5. Keep Your Joints Warm
Wrapping an aching joint in a scarf can help relieve the discomfort. Just be sure not to wrap the joint too tightly. Wearing a pair of stretchy gloves on the hands can help make your swollen knuckles feel better. Electric mittens are available to help you manage pain on cold mornings or other times when your hands tend to swell. Sleeping with a down or electric blanket can help you ease your discomfort while sleeping.
6. Maintain Healthy Weight
People who are heavier put more pressure on their joints. Losing excess weight can help you function more efficiently, especially if you have trouble with your knees.
7. Watch for Magic Cures
There are many cures that claim to provide complete relief for your arthritis pain. Diets, new drugs or alternative treatments commonly make these claims. Just remember, there is no cure for arthritis. If you notice products making these claims, they are probably too good to be true. Talk with your doctor before buying into any expensive cures to avoid wasting your money.
8. Make a Plan
When you suffer from arthritis you will need to be realistic about what kinds of activities you can manage throughout the day. If you need to complete chores that will put a lot of strain on your joints, tackle them earlier in the day when you have more energy, then plan to rest afterward.
9. Spread the Pressure
Avoid activities that will put a lot of pressure on particular joints. If you need to grip something, use the palms of the hands rather than the fingers. Avoid holding items with clasped hands and place them in the crook of your arm instead.
10. Avoid Holding a Position
Sitting with your joints locked in a particular position for a long period of time can make you feel stiff. Take the time to get up and stretch the joints to prevent this discomfort.
11. Work with Your Arms
Whenever you can, use your arms to carry things instead of the hands so you can prevent your joints from unnecessary discomfort.
12. Have a Rest
Make a point of resting between stressful tasks to help keep your energy levels high. Just be sure to avoid sitting in the same position for too long as this can cause you more discomfort.
13. Change Handles
Instead of using knobs install long handles on your doors that will allow you to use them with a lighter grip. This will help you avoid stressing your joints. Look for utensils, tools and other items with larger handles or those that are coated with foam rubber to increase your comfort.
14. Make Use of Automatic Appliances
Take advantage of electric knives or can openers that will allow you to use a lighter grip and avoid harsh motions that can hurt your joints.
15. Put Stuff at Hand
Adjust your shelves so you can easily reach everything without having to strain.
16. Purchase a Long-Handled Gripper
A long-handled gripper can help you reach items on grocery store shelves or things that you would normally have to bend over to reach, allowing you to avoid straining.
17. Go with Velcro
Shoes with Velcro can help you avoid tying your shoes, which will make things easy on your hands.
18. Go Up and Down Stairs in a Specific Way
When you walk up stairs, lead with your stronger leg and the weaker of your legs when you are walking down.
19. Bend Your Knees
When you have to reach something on the ground, bend your knees and keep your back straight to avoid straining.
20. Apply Loops
Tying loops around handles will allow you to pull open doors like those on your oven without having to tighten your grip. You can also add loops to your socks and use your handled gripper to pull them off.
21. Buy a Cart or Wagon for Heavy Loads
Rather than trying to strain when carrying items outdoors, load them in a cart or wagon and pull it along.
22. Sit on a Stool
There are stools specifically designed to help you sit in the tub so you don't have to worry about getting up and down.
23. Ask for Assistance
Be honest about whether or not you can manage a task at hand. Ask someone to help you when you need to lift something heavy so you don't risk hurting yourself.
24. Use Hot Compress
Applying heat to your joints will help ward of stiffness. A moist towel can make a comfortable hot compress. You can also use an electric blanket, heating pad or hot bath to ease the pain in your joints.
25. Apply Cold Compress
Cold compresses will help reduce swelling in your joints that can add to your pain. Do not put a compress on more than two joints at a time and avoid putting frozen items directly on the skin to prevent frostbite.
26. Go for Certain Things
Given below displays something that are said to effectively work on your arthritis.
- Aspartame. Aspartame is a common ingredient in sugar-free beverages. Research suggests that this product may have anti-inflammatory properties that can help you manage joint pain. However, sodas can cause other health risks so talk to your doctor about how much soda is safe to drink.
- Epsom salts. Epsom salts are a common anti-inflammatory agent. Make a bath filled with Epsom salts and soak for 20-30 minutes to decrease your discomfort.
- Dairy products. Some arthritis medications may cause you to lose calcium in your bones. Make sure that you increase your calcium intake to help avoid these side effects. Consuming dairy products is an excellent way to manage this.
- Calcium. Women should work to get at least 1200-1500 mg of calcium in their diet each day after they have experienced menopause. Men should consume 1000-1300 mg of calcium daily.