Inflammation of the joints which causes pain and stiffness is called arthritis. The most common form is Osteoarthritis, which affects the lives of 27 million Americans. Often treatment of arthritis will include anti-inflammatory medications or other pain medications, but sometimes there are natural ways to help reduce the pain without needing medication. Here are a few tips that may help you ease arthritis pain naturally.
-Lose weight. Extra weight puts extra pressure on the joints. Maintaining a healthy weight is important because when you lose weight you are taking that extra weight and pressure off your joints. Often you can see improvement of symptoms, or for some, may even be able to see them disappear.
-Exercise more. Regular movement allows your joints to maintain flexibility. Swimming is an ideal exercise because it reduced stress on the joints, but any kind of exercise can be beneficial, aerobics, walking, strengthening exercises and biking. Movement is important, but do so without adding extra stress and pressure.
-Hot and cold therapy. Hot therapy can help to ease the stiffness that arthritis sufferers have in the joints. Cold therapy is great for quick pain relief. Together they are a great at home treatment for arthritis pain.
-Acupuncture. Acupuncture is one way to help relieve pain without medications. This ancient Chinese treatment involves putting long thin needles into specific points on the body and is said to restore balance in the body.
-Meditation. Relaxation techniques can help reduce your pain by reducing your stress. This allows you to cope with everything better. Meditation can also greatly help those who suffer from both depression and arthritis together.
-Massage therapy. Regular massage can help reduce stiffness and pain, and possibly even increase range of motion. Working with a physical therapist to learn self-massage techniques is a great idea, or if you can afford it, schedule appointments with a massage therapist regularly.
-TENS units. Electrical energy may be able to ease swelling in arthritic joints. You may have used a TENS machine at your physical therapist, but there are machines that you can use at home. TENS stands for transcutaneous electrostimulation and involves putting electrodes on the affected area and sends pulses through the skin.
-Fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are great for everyone, and they may help to relief joint stiffness from arthritis. Gamma-linolenic acid, GLA, may also be a beneficial fatty acid for arthritis sufferers. Be sure to talk to your doctor before adding any supplements or medications to your routine before you begin taking them to make sure they are right for you and your condition.
-Turmeric. This yellow spice most often seen in Indian dishes actually may be able to reduce arthritis pain. The chemical curcumin gives turmeric it’s yellow color and is said may have anti-inflammatory properties.
-Creams. There are some creams that may have proven benefits for arthritis pain. Capsaicin cream is said to be made from chili peppers and it is unknown why it works, but may deplete the nerve endings. Also, Diclofenac gel or Pennsaid may help to ease the pain.
Before trying a new supplement, cream, or exercise routine, it is important to discuss with your doctor whether it is right for you and your condition. The physicians at Non-Surgical Orthopaedics, P.C. can help advise you. Give them a call at (770) 421-1420.