3 Natural Remedies for Arthritis To Try
Millions of Americans live with the pain of arthritis. Here’s what you need to know about the best natural arthritis remedies worth trying.
The human body is immensely capable, and this is thanks to the many different bodily systems that work together in harmony to keep us not just alive, but thriving. Your ability to walk, run, and be mobile all relies on the proper functioning of your muscles, circulatory system, nervous system, bones, and joints.
There are many types of joints, and they allow for the wide range of motion that you are capable of. When you walk, the hip joint allows for the rotation of the femur while the knee joint allows for the hinge-like motion of the lower leg. The joints act as a junction between two bones, and their proper health allows the joints to do their job with minimal resistance and friction.
Arthritis is a category of ailment that is constituted by the inflammation of joints. Some common forms of arthritis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and gout. These types all can result in the inflammation of joints, but they differ in what exactly causes them.
Arthritis can be immensely difficult to live with since so many daily functions rely on your ability to have full use of your joints. Tasks such as walking or even opening a jar can become tasks that are met with pain for those with arthritis.
Below is a closer look at some ways you may be able to attain some additional level of relief from arthritis, naturally.
Treating the Pain
One of the largest complaints when it comes to arthritis is the pain that is felt. Arthritis pain can differ from case to case in that some people may feel it as a dull pain all the time while others may experience sharp pains with certain movements or tasks.
When it comes to getting tailored pain relief for your specific arthritis, you should have a conversation with your Healthcare Provider to find out what medications may be best suited for your pain and arthritis type.With that being said, below is a closer look at some natural ways you may be able to attain some level of pain relief from arthritis.
Topical Pain Relief
Many people are familiar with over-the-counter oral pain medications, but there are also options that come in a topical form. Topical pain relief is ideal for those with arthritis because the topical gel or cream can be applied directly to the affected area and provide a targeted form of pain relief.
There are a number of different topical pain relievers available on the market today. Some contain ingredients such as NSAIDs, such as the diclofenac in the topical cream Voltaren, while others provide relief utilizing all-natural ingredients — if you are looking for natural topical arthritis joint pain relief, you can look for options that contain menthol, aloe, or capsaicin (which comes from chili peppers).
You may have heard of acupuncture, and while the thought of placing thin needles into your body may not initially seem that appealing for pain relief, some people have found great success in using acupuncture to help with their pain management.
Acupuncture is a technique that has been utilized for hundreds of years and is an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). While acupuncture is not rooted in modern evidence-based medical practice, the technique has shown promise as a means of assisting those with chronic pain.
When looking at pain management as a whole, there are a number of limitations when it comes to prescribing certain medications such as opioids since they are so addictive. Acupuncture on the other hand has a relatively low level of risk when performed by a trained professional, and could help naturally provide some pain relief.
The use of acupuncture for arthritis pain relief is a perfect example of how integrative medicine is able to merge the worlds of evidence-based medicine and complementary medicine such as those found in TCM.
While treating the symptom of pain can come with some level of relief, there are other aspects of arthritis that can still be present and cause you discomfort.
Whether that be the swelling of your joints that make it uncomfortable to walk, the mental angst of having a chronic illness, or the stress you have over your condition, there are a number of different things you may need to consider and address.
Below is a closer look at some different forms of therapy you can utilize to potentially attain some level of arthritis relief.
Temperature therapy refers to the use of hot and cold to manipulate the body's natural response to external temperature changes.
When the body gets cold, it responds by constricting blood vessels and reducing blood flow. When it comes to arthritis, the decreased blood flow can help to reduce swelling, and the cold itself can help to provide some temporary numbing to the area.
The utilization of heat can also be used to help with arthritis. The application of heat brings about the opposite response with the body, where blood vessels dilate and allow for more fluid flow across the tissue. When it comes to heat application for arthritis, the heat can help to relax the surrounding muscles and alleviate some of the stiffness across the joint.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a form of therapy that utilizes behavior modification in addition to traditional talk therapy to help address certain automatic and intrusive thoughts. When it comes to chronic conditions such as arthritis, this form of therapy can be immensely helpful.
CBT works by helping you train yourself to have a better relationship with a certain stimulus.
When people have arthritis, it can be easy to take the feelings of discomfort, pain, and stiffness and internalize them, which can reduce your mental wellbeing.
CBT for arthritis may focus on how you react when you face the symptoms of arthritis such as stiffness. Your automatic inclination may be to feel down on yourself that you cannot do the things you used to be able to do, but CBT over time can allow you to avoid this automatic response and have a more optimistic or at least neutral view of your arthritis, which has been shown to help reduce the severity of physical symptoms.
Another therapy that may help manage arthritis is the utilization of massage. Massage therapy consists of the strategic utilization of pressure and manipulation to help relax and release tight muscles.
When it comes to arthritis, joint stiffness can be quite common, and the muscles that go across the joint may grow increasingly stiff as motion is reduced. Working out those muscles through massage can help to reduce some level of stiffness.
Another benefit of massage therapy is that it promotes general relaxation. Those with arthritis may become stressed as a result of their condition, which can worsen their perception of symptoms such as soreness and tension. Getting a massage can help to reduce stress levels and provide a relaxing environment.
One of the best natural remedies for arthritis is to take charge of your health. Staying hydrated, eating well, getting exercise, and all of the other usual components of good living can help to ensure your body is operating to the best of its abilities.
Below is a closer look at some lifestyle modifications you may want to consider to potentially help your arthritis while simultaneously increasing your standard level of health.
Manage Your Weight
One thing that can place added pressure on your joints is excess weight. On a day-to-day basis, your joints are utilized to not only allow you to move but to help carry the weight of your body.
Ensuring you are within a healthy weight range for your height and age can help to take off some of that additional load on your joints which can help your joints.
Many people with arthritis tend to reduce their physical activity, and while this may sound like a good idea when your joints are sore and hurting, it may not be the best thing for your overall joint and muscle health.
Choosing low-impact physical exercise such as riding a bike, swimming, or even hopping on the elliptical can help to keep your joints active and moving while simultaneously helping to improve your overall cardiovascular health.
The foods you choose to eat on a daily basis have a large bearing on your overall health and can impact your energy level and even arthritis.
Gout, which is a form of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the joints, is actually able to be effectively managed through dietary changes. Avoiding foods such as red meat can help to mitigate uric acid buildup and manage gout-associated arthritis.
In summary, there is a large degree of variation in the types of arthritis. Each form of arthritis has a treatment that is most effective, and you should consult with your Healthcare Provider to find the best one for you.
While getting tailored care is important, sometimes you may need additional assistance, and there are many natural remedies and therapies that may be able to help arthritis.
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