If you are among millions of people suffering from joint pain and arthritis and living on pain-killers for quite a while, there is a good news for you – you can have natural remedies to get rid of your pain. Whether you are facing stiffness, reduced range of movements, and difficulty walking, there are certain natural therapies that are pretty much safer alternatives to taking drugs.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of the adults who have arthritis report that they have severe limitations in function on a daily basis. The intense joint pain makes it very difficult for people to be physically active and soon become home bound. The most worrying aspect is as the patients get older, the pain becomes more debilitating and unendurable.
There are different conditions that can lead to painful joints, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, gout, strains, sprains, and other injuries. The pain can range from mildly irritating to chronic. Sometimes it goes away after a few days, some other times it may last for several months. That said, whatever is the cause of your joint pain, it’s worth giving natural treatments a chance.
Here are some of the best natural remedies for your joint pain:
Exercise can be very useful for people with arthritis and joint pain. A daily dose of exercise increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue. Working out boosts bone density, which means stronger bones and fewer fractures. Exercise keeps your muscles and surrounding tissue strong, which is crucial to maintain support for your bones. So if you don’t work out at all, your supporting muscles get weakened, thereby creating more stress on your joints.
How exactly exercise helps you? Your joints are surrounded by a soft tissue called the “synovial” membrane, which produces a fluid that allows your joint bones to move past one another smoothly. A regular exercise increases blood circulation throughout your body – including your joints. As a result, the synovial membrane is exposed to a steady supply of nourishing oxygen and nutrients.
Acupuncture has been benefiting people since centuries. It can have an amazing ability to naturally relieve arthritic conditions: pain and inflammation of the joints. It’s a traditional Chinese therapy that aims to bring balance of energy in the body. The practitioners of this therapy insert hair-thin needles into the skin at specific points around the body. In order to control pain acupuncture works in your body in three ways. First, it produces endorphins that inhibit the sensation of pain naturally. Second, it blocks the transmission of pain signals to the brain through the nervous system. Third, it deactivates trigger points. As NCCIH puts it, “results from a number of studies suggest that acupuncture may help ease types of pain that are often chronic such as low-back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis/knee pain.”
Turmeric has been traditionally used in Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine to treat a variety of pains, especially joint pain. Turmeric contains a compound called “curcumin” blocks inflammatory cytokines and enzymes, including cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). Curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties and modifies immune system responses. It doesn’t just prevent damage from chronic inflammation, it helps you to actually recover from and undo the damage. Due to the medicinal effects of curcumin, when the inflammation settles down, your joints feel less painful and the stiffness goes away. To avail its benefits, you need to add a teaspoon of turmeric to a glass of hot milk and mix well, and consume the mixture.
- Hot and cold therapy
One of the least expensive and most effective ways of treating your arthritis or joint pains is to incorporate heat and ice therapy. Heat enhances circulation, delivering nutrients to joints and muscles. It’s good for getting your body ready for exercise. Cold, on the other hand, is best for acute pain; it restricts blood vessels, slowing circulation and reducing swelling.
Heat therapy is of two types – dry heat and moist heat. The dry heat uses methods like heating pads, dry heating packs, and even saunas. Moist heat uses resources like steamed towels, moist heating packs, or hot baths. The cold treatment includes ice packs, frozen gel packs, coolant sprays, ice massage, and ice baths.
To get relief, more and more people with arthritis are seeking a natural approach by using ointments. Following are some powerful herbal ointments for joint pain relief:
- Aloe Vera: Many studies have indicated, aloe vera has the potential to provide joint support by helping with inflammation and swelling because it helps modulate the body’s immune system. Most importantly, aloe vera does not cause any side effects and should be safe to try for arthritis.
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil can help reduce the inflammation and pain associated with knee joint pain with its anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities.
- Peppermint oil: Peppermint contains menthol, which is naturally anti-inflammatory and can help relieve the pain and inflammation.
- Apple cider vinegar: It contains acetic acid that exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce the pain and swelling in the affected area.
- Eucalyptus oil: Eucalyptus oil also has a number of anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
- Other effective topical ointments: There are many other powerful ointments that can heal your arthritis and joint pain.
- Epsom salt soak
Epsom salt is type of mineral compound which is made up of magnesium and sulphate. Epsom salts are easily absorbed through the skin to provide quick relief as they lower inflammation, reduce muscle spasms and relax tense areas. Magnesium is one of the major compounds required by the human body for everyday regulation of numerous pathways. Sulphates promote absorption of the nutrients, treat headaches caused due to migraine and also detoxification of the toxins by flushing them out of the body.
- Collagen-rich foods
Collagen is a protein — the most plentiful protein in your body. It’s in your muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, organs, blood vessels, skin, intestinal lining and other connective tissues. There are 16 types of collagen, but nearly all the collagen in your body is type I, II or III. Types I and III are found in your skin, tendons, organs and bone. Type II collagen is found in your cartilage – and hence, it is linked to joint pain. Therefore, you need to eat protein-rich foods, like beef, chicken, fish, beans, eggs and dairy products.
A considerable number of people around the world are suffering from arthritis and joint pain. Their lives are devoid of fun, activities, and work, and they are only dependent on drugs and pain killers that can have many side effects. So the above mentioned treatments are purely natural, proven and safe.