In this article: About arthritis | Types | Causes | Symptoms | Home remedies (Foods) for arthritis pain relief | Natural remedies for arthritis pain relief (Aromatherapy & Acupuncture)
Do you know, according to the CDC, the leading cause of work disability is arthritis? Arthritis is an informal term that refers to joint inflammation or joint pain. The pain can be chronic in a few, or it may come and go. About one-third of adults in the US affected by arthritis say the pain is severe, limiting their leisure time activities.
The condition is more common in women than men and usually starts in people between the age of 40-60 years. The approach of modern medicine towards arthritis is to treat symptoms such as pain and swelling, aiming to improve the quality of life. Here we have listed a few home remedies that you can try to get relief from arthritis pain.
Before we educate ourselves about the home remedies for arthritis, let’s quickly look at the common types, causes, and symptoms.
Most common types of arthritis
There are more than 100 types of arthritis, and the two common types are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is caused by damage to the cartilage. The damage can occur over the years due to wear and tear or can be sudden due to an injury or infection. Sufficient damage of cartilage reduces the cushion effect it provides between bones in a joint. Thus, when a joint is moved, the friction between the bones causes one or more symptoms of arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by an autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system starts attacking the lining of a joint. This type of arthritis usually affects both sides of the body, that is, both wrists, both knees, or both hands etc. This symmetry sets it apart from the other types of arthritis.
The most common symptoms of arthritis include,
- Pain in joints
- Stiffness in joints
- Decreased range of motion
Home remedies for arthritis pain
The generally prescribed medications for arthritis pain relief are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) and pain killers. Both these medications are bound to have side effects in the long run; hence arthritis patients are educated to manage pain with food choices, exercise, and other natural treatments.
Foods that can help in arthritis pain relief
The active ingredient curcumin present in turmeric possesses amazing anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, turmeric is effective in treating arthritis pain.
Add it to your diet like this-
You can easily prepare turmeric tea by boiling a cup of water with a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Also, to enhance curcumin absorption, you can add ½ teaspoon black pepper powder. Optionally, you can also add lemon and honey for added flavour.
This simple ingredient in our spice cabinet has the potential to relieve pain and improve joint function in arthritis patients owing to its remarkable anti-inflammatory properties.
How to consume?
Ginger is easy to add to your regular diet. You can grate a piece of ginger onto salads, soups or any savoury dish. Besides, you can consume it in the form of tea by boiling a piece of ginger root in a cup of water. You can also add turmeric to your ginger tea to make it all the more effective.
3. Willow bark
Willow bark has been traditionally used for pain relief and is known as “nature’s aspirin” for this reason. It contains a chemical called salicin which is similar to aspirin. Hence, it is effective in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis-related pain relief.
Method to consume-
Willow bark is available in the form of actual tree bark that can be chewed. It is also available as powder, tea, and liquid extract. Read the packing instructions and follow them to ensure safe dosages.
Consuming fish rich in omega3 fatty acids such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardine is beneficial for relieving arthritis symptoms as they are effective in fighting inflammation.
If for some reason you cannot eat fish, you can choose fish-oil supplements.
“In general, focus on including anti-inflammatory foods as a part of your diet to manage arthritis symptoms effectively as it is a disease of inflammation mostly.
Aromatherapy using essential oils is one of the natural remedies suggested to manage arthritis pain. In fact, some studies show that inhaling scents of essential oils induce the emotional centre of your brain, releasing feel-good dopamine; so, patients experienced lesser pain and had elevated moods.
Which oils to use?
Oils of Eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass, Frankincense, ginger, turmeric and basil are effective in reducing arthritis symptoms including pain relief.
How to use the oils?
You can inhale the aroma of the essential oils by using it in a diffuser or steam inhaler. Further, you can add it to your bath. You can also mix with a carrier oil such as coconut oil and massage the joints using it.
The TCM practice of Acupuncture is beneficial for reducing inflammation and improving blood circulation. It also relaxes your body. Hence, it helps relieve joint pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis inflammation.
In addition, you may explore other traditional medicine systems such as Ayurveda or Siddha or more contemporary herbalism or naturopathy as accessible to you. The practitioner, besides a suitable diet, will recommend treatment procedures, medicines, and massage oils to improve the condition.
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