When we talk about arthritis, we are not talking just about a specific disorder. The term describes numerous conditions, most notable among which are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Common symptoms of these disorders are inflammation and pain. There are other undesirable effects these conditions can have on a person’s health and well-being.
These conditions have no known cures. But there are luckily drugs and a variety of other treatment options that can help manage arthritis. The available treatments, especially medications, often come with side effects, though. This is where natural remedies for arthritis come into play as they are thought to be safer.
We discuss here some of the natural treatment options you may want to check out for management of arthritic conditions.
Herbs and Spices
Many researchers have found that numerous herbs and spices can be used to promote health outcomes. However, more research is needed on the efficacy of some of them.
Common herbs and spices recommended for the treatment of arthritis include:
Turmeric – Boasting potent anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric has for been used for relieving pain due to arthritis for a long time. It is not entirely clear how this popular spice can help though. But the consensus among the majority appears to be that it helps because of the curcuminoids it contains – most notably curcumin.
The compounds have been found to reduce inflammation which contributes to pain sensation. The use of this yellow spice led to a reduction in joint inflammation in lab animals, according to the NIH.
Cinnamon – If you can get the dosage right, this is another spice that can help manage your arthritis. Cinnamon bark contains anti-inflammatory properties that make it potentially useful. You can find this helpful for relieving pain and aches.
White willow bark – Popularly called natural aspirin, this herb has been used for many centuries for its analgesic effect. It contains salicin, which converts to salicylic acid in the body. White willow bark is less likely to cause side effects, which is why it may be preferable.
Ginger – You probably know by now that this root offers numerous benefits to health. Like most other natural remedies for arthritis, ginger has properties that can help you fight inflammation. You can consume it raw or drink ginger tea.
Cayenne pepper – contains a compound that you will find in many OTC products for pain relief. The active ingredient in cayenne pepper is capsaicin. You probably thought about capsaicin creams at the mention of that.
The alkaloid extract inhibits a compound known as Substance P. The latter facilitates the transmission of pain signals to the brain. By inhibiting substance P, capsaicin helps you get relief from pain.
Green tea – Here you have another herb widely known for its medicinal benefits. Green tea contains a high amount of antioxidants that are the secret behind its benefits. The properties assist your body in fighting inflammation and enhance immune responses related to arthritis.
In a study, researchers gave an equivalence of four cups per day to a group of mice while the control group drank water. They found that those who got green tea were significantly less likely to have arthritis.
Besides the above, there are many other herbal remedies you may find helpful for arthritis. They include chamomile, boswellia, stinging nettle, Gingko biloba, and devil’s claw.
Essential oils have proven to be a potent natural remedy for arthritis. Some people use them for aromatherapy – that is, they inhale them for their benefits. Other people use them for massage, which can help reduce pain and stiffness while also improving the range of motion.
Essential oils that are believed to be capable of producing analgesic effect include peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus, and lavender. You may blend two or more of these oils together to improve the results.
It is not always a case of doom and gloom when we talk about fats. You cannot really enjoy awesome health when you avoid them completely.
Omega-3 fatty acids, which you get mainly from fish, are leading examples of fats that you need to enjoy superb health. There is evidence that fatty acids support joint health.
Omega-3 fatty acids reduce pain and joint stiffness. This explains why you will commonly find them recommended for people with arthritis.
But Omega-3 fatty acids aren’t the only ones that can improve your arthritis and overall health. Gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) is another that can help. This is present in the seeds of some plants, including black currants, hemp, and evening primrose.
Linoleic acid is an important fatty acid that your body uses to produce prostaglandins. These lipid compounds regulate your immune responses. They help you fight inflammation, the main problem in arthritis.
Ensuring sufficient levels of vitamins in your body can prove helpful in fighting arthritis. Vitamin C is essential to give special attention. This promotes a strong antioxidant effect.
The vitamin helps you to get rid of problematic free radicals, thus protecting joint health. It improves the production of collagen, a crucial component of joints and bones. No wonder research suggests that vitamin C slows the progression of these painful conditions.
Orange and other citrus fruits are notable sources of vitamin C. You can also get it from black currants, broccoli, and strawberries, among others. Dandelion leaves are rich in the vitamin as well and they also offer linoleic acid that helps to fight inflammation.
Many people are aware of the importance of calcium to bone health. The mineral is crucial for maintaining strong teeth.
It has been observed that calcium deficiency increases the risk of osteoporosis in people with arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis. Developing that brittle bone disorder will only serve to aggravate the discomfort.
Broccoli also offers a good source of calcium. Many other vegetables also have it. These include kale, cabbage, turnip greens, and cauliflower.
Dairy products are arguably the best source of calcium. The thing is just that the form from veggies is less tasking for the body to absorb.
Hot and Cold Therapy
Anyone can carry out these treatments in that they are so simple. They simply involve the use of a cold or hot object to get relief.
You can relieve joint stiffness with heat therapy. All you need is to apply some form of heat to the arthritic joint to enjoy relief. This may take the form of immersing the affected part in slightly hot water or having a hot bath. An electric heating pad or moist heat packs can also be used.
For cold therapy, you just need to apply an ice pack to the affected joint. This can relieve inflammation, swelling, and pain.
Many experts will attest to the efficacy of magnesium sulfate for pain relief. People have used it for that for many years.
This naturally occurring mineral is what you will find in Epsom salts. As a result, soaking a joint affected by arthritis in a bowl of warm water with Epsom salt may provide you pain relief.
You may still get the benefit by taking a bath with the water if you cannot dip the affected joint into a bowl. Of course, you are going to need more warm water and Epsom salts in this case. You may need to fill a tub for this purpose.
This highly-revered traditional Chinese medicine practice offers many benefits for overall health and well-being. It is for this reason that people in different parts of the world have now adopted it. The WHO even recommends it for treatment of more than 100 disorders.
The treatment involves the insertion of thin needles into certain points on the body. This restores the balance of energy flow in your body, thus promoting good health outcomes.
Relief of arthritis pain is one of the benefits you may get from having acupuncture.
It is possible that the pain you are experiencing is a sign that you are not getting enough dose of sun exposure. Yes, we know that the sun is said to be responsible for some health problems. But you can’t do without it completely; it has its benefits.
You need adequate sun exposure for the production of vitamin D. This group of fat-soluble secosteroids is crucial to several processes in the body. And it is feared an increasing number of people are having too low levels these days.
Vitamin D seems to play a role in the natural production of collagen. It not only helps to guard against pain but also to prevent the joint damage typically seen in osteoarthritis.
The vitamin enhances the absorption of calcium in your body.
You will probably be delighted to know that you don’t have to spend long hours in the sun to improve vitamin D production. Exposure lasting 10-15 minutes a day or about 3 times a week may be all you need.
You obviously have so many options within your reach when talking natural remedies for arthritis. These are only a portion of non-drug treatments for these painful conditions.
Ideally, you should consider trying out the natural remedies first before resorting to drugs. The main concerns about them have to do with side effects and potential for addiction.
If you wish to try out some of the suggestions here, we advise that you should speak with your doctor. Your medical history and some other factors we might not have taken into consideration will determine whether these treatments are appropriate for you or not.
- 7 Home Remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis… But Only One Work – RheumatoidArthritis.org (https://www.rheumatoidarthritis.org/home-remedies/)
- Arthritis Pain Relief: Natural Home Remedies | Reader’s Digest (https://www.rd.com/health/conditions/natural-arthritis-remedies/)
- 14 Home Remedies for Arthritis & Joint Pain | Everyday Roots (http://everydayroots.com/arthritis-remedies)