Can I get natural pain relief for arthritis?
There definitely are several natural pain relief alternatives for the symptoms of arthritis, if you’re not inclined to taking medications because of their side effects, or simply like to keep your treatment options open. Those options include lifestyle changes, massage, hot and cold therapy, meditation, acupuncture and more.
- Weight loss can take a lot of pressure off your knees, hips, and feet joints, which can in turn not only reduce the pain from arthritis but also enhance mobility, and delay future joint damage.
- Exercising is not just one way of losing weight, but it can also help keep your joints flexible. Avoid running, walking, and other weight-bearing activities, and instead focus on low-impact workouts such as water aerobics or swimming; that way, you will be able to flex your joints without putting extra pressure on them.
- Prolonged morning warm showers or baths and electric blankets and heating pads at night loosen stiffened joints, while ice packs on painful joints brings quick relief. Together, hot and cold therapy can lead to more temperate joints.
Even though the therapeutic effects of acupuncture are solely the product of classical conditioning and the placebo effect –proven by the fact that sham acupuncture is just as effective as the real thing- many people have indeed experienced natural pain relief for arthritis with this alternative medicine.
- The National Institutes of Health have listed meditation as method of relieving joint pain by lowering stress levels and allowing people to deal better with the symptoms of arthritis.
- Yoga has also been mentioned as a means of improving strength, flexibility and physical function, as well as reducing the number of tender and swollen joints. However, yoga positions may have to be modified for people with limited mobility or spinal problems.
- Omega-3 and omega-6 (gamma-linolenic acid) fatty acids are believed to be able to relieve joint pain and stiffness. You can find the former in fish oil supplements and fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel, and the latter in primrose, borage, hemp, and black currants, and also in the form of a supplement. Other supplements that are often recommended contain herbs like boswellia, bromelain, devil’s claw, ginkgo, stinging nettle, and thunder god vine.
- Turmeric has been reported to reduce joint inflammation in lab rats, and this is thought to be due to an anti-inflammatory chemical known as curcumin, which this spice contains.
- Massaging arthritic joints on a regular basis can alleviate pain and stiffness and increase range of motion. A physical therapist with experience in arthritis can provide the massages or even teach you how to give yourself one.
- Electrotherapy pain management devices are machines, which may not seem so natural, but the fact remains that they use electrical impulses, and electricity is first and foremost a force of nature. Units like the TENS 3000 or TENS 7000 harness that power to provide pain relief for arthritis, as well as other musculoskeletal conditions.