Arthritis, and the joint pain that comes along with it, is a condition that affects millions of Americans each year. The best defense that the medical world has against it is to over-prescribe chemical-filled pain medications. While these medications work, they can be dangerous and can have debilitating side effects.
Home remedies are incredibly useful and are a great alternative to medications. In most cases, they cost less than medicines, and some of the activity-based treatments can be a lot of fun. Below are ten home remedies that are proven to beat joint pain from arthritis.
Ten Ways to Rid Yourself of Joint Pain at Home
1. Do yoga.
Yoga is like an exercise from heaven. It helps to relieve so many ailments, including joint pain. You’ll even reduce the stress that comes with dealing with the disease. Plus, it’s easy to get started, and you only need minimal gear to do it in the comfort of your own home.
Yoga has excellent poses and stretching routines that will work out those achy joints. At first, it may be slightly painful when you start, but if you start with beginner poses and stretching routines, it can be manageable. As your pain get better, you can work your way to more advanced poses and continue stretching out those achy joints until your arthritis is at bay (at least for a while).
2. Eat the right foods.
You are what you eat, so if you eat foods that cause inflammation, you’ll be an achy, inflamed person. It seems simple, but you may be unaware that some things you eat are aggravating your arthritis. You should adopt an anti-inflammatory diet.
A plant-based diet is a great choice. Fruit and vegetables provide antioxidants that fight against inflammation. This tip doesn’t mean you have to become a vegetarian. Eliminating red meats and increasing plant-based foods could be an excellent place to start.
Stay away from processed foods, added sugars, and trans fats. These foods will aggravate inflammation. They’ll also expand your waistline and cause several other health problems.
3. Go for a swim.
Swimming is a great way to relieve joint pain or almost any kind of health problem for that matter. Not only does it provide much pain relief, but it’s a great way to exercise, and it’s fun. You could even turn it into a family or friends outing.
One reason swimming is so effective at relieving joint pain is that the water supports 90% of your body weight. Getting weight off your joints (discussed further along in the article) dramatically reduces pain.
This sport makes it perfect for people with mobility issues because they don’t have to deal with the pressure of moving around all their weight. It’s also a reason that going for a swim is used as an exercise for morbidly obese people who suffer from joint pain.
4. Stay hydrated.
This is an easy tip since you are supposed to stay hydrated anyway. At least 60% of the human body is made of water, so you need a lot of it to stay alive. Fortunately, drinking water can help relieve your joint pain.
Drinking water helps to keep your joints pliable and fights against stiffness. The stiffer and drier your joints get, the more they will hurt. You may get to a point where it hurts too much to use them at all if you are dehydrated for extended periods.
Drink plenty of fluids, mainly water. It’s excellent for your joints and your overall health.
5. Try meditation.
Meditation provides you with mental relief from your achy joints. It’s been proven that the mind and the body are connected, so mental relief can trickle down into your body and make those joints less painful. It’s essentially “thinking” the pain away.
Studies show that Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is the best form of meditation for reducing arthritis. Essentially it’s about recognizing the pain and, instead of associating a negative thought with it, you acknowledge it and let it go. Negative thinking makes the problem worse, so MBSR teaches you to push those negative thoughts away.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in the cannabis plant. It only contains small, negligible amounts of THC, the substance that gets people high, so it is often used for medicinal purposes. In some people, CBD helps to relieve pain from many ailments, including arthritis.
The use of CBD is still being researched by scientists. While there isn’t any conclusive evidence yet, it’s hard to deny the millions who’ve gotten relief from it. Plus, it’s a natural substance, so giving it a try won’t hurt.
Cannabidiol supplements are widely available in the form of oils, tinctures, and more. It doesn’t matter which way you try because one isn’t necessarily better than the other.
7. Lose weight.
As mentioned in the section about going for a swim, getting the weight off your joints is a great way to get pressure off your joints. This relieves pain.
Losing weight isn’t going to be a fast solution. It’s going to take an incredible amount of effort, considering that you have to deal with the pain while you’re losing weight. It’s recommended that you use some other remedies along with the weight loss to ease your problem until you get to your desired weight.
If you’re already at an ideal weight, this may not be the remedy for you. However, don’t give up. There are plenty of others you can try.
8. Try hot and cold therapies.
Hot and cold therapies have been used forever to relieve pain. They’re two of the oldest remedies in the book. They’re so effective that trainers and therapists for professional athletes often use hot and cold therapies for their clients. There are a few tips for applying hot and cold treatments that you should follow:
- For arthritis, heat is the best choice out of the two. It encourages blood flow to the area. This promotes muscle relaxation and is better for chronic pain.
- If your joint pain is acute, cold treatment is best if applied within 48 hours. It reduces blood flow to the area, which slows down inflammation.
- Never apply ice directly to your skin.
- Never apply extreme heat directly to your skin.
9. Herbs and spices can help.
As a part of your anti-inflammatory diet, you should incorporate certain herbs and spices. They have been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties, which help to reduce pain. Plus, they’re inexpensive, and many of them taste great in foods and drinks.
Some of the best herbs and spices to use for reducing pain include:
- Turmeric – the anti-inflammatory agent in turmeric is curcumin. Turmeric is excellent in curries, soups, and vegetable juices.
- Maritime Pine Bark – the anti-inflammatory agent in this, is pycnogenol. It’s one of the most potent antioxidants around and is also great for reducing blood pressure.
- Boswellia serrata – also known as frankincense, this is a common herb that’s used to treat inflammation and arthritic pain. You can take the extract as a supplement.
- Green tea – green tea is excellent as an anti-inflammatory agent. If you don’t want the caffeine spike, you can get the decaffeinated version.
- Black pepper – the anti-inflammatory agent is piperine. Not only does piperine give black pepper it’s kick, but it reduces the perception of pain.
- Chili peppers – this spicy choice has capsaicin as the anti-inflammatory agent. The agent is also what makes the pepper hot. There are a plethora of dishes you can use chili peppers in.
10. Treat yourself to a massage.
A massage is a great way to relax, relieve pain, and forget about all your medical troubles for a while. A day, or even an hour at a spa or massage parlor, can put your mental and physical health in a positive spirit. Positivity melts away the pain.
Christopher Moyer, PhD., a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin, stated that the scientific world doesn’t quite understand how a massage relieves pain. However, there is no denying that it does. It reduces the production of cortisol (a hormone from stress), the production of inflammatory cytokines, and lowers blood pressure.
When getting a massage, make sure you are visiting a licensed massage therapist for the best results. You’ll also want to be cautious if you have a severe bone or muscle damage, or if you have brittle bone syndrome.
Arthritis is a challenging condition to deal with on a day to day basis. It can be relentless and can severely impact your quality of life. Getting relief from arthritis is an absolute necessity.
There are plenty of medications on the market that a doctor may prescribe for pain relief, but these medicines can be harsh on your system or create even more medical problems than you had in the first place. Plus, they taste horrible, and it can be frustrating having to swallow tons of pills every day.
Using home remedies – natural alternatives to the chemicals in medications – is the safest way to get pain relief from arthritis. Some of them may take a little more effort than popping pills, but it’s much safer. The list above has great tips for home remedies, so you won’t lose anything by giving at least a few of them a fair chance.