4. It is important not to forget that arthritis is a group of painful and degenerative conditions marked by inflammation in the joints that causes stiffness and pain.
Doctors traditionally treat arthritis with anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers. However, some medications cause side effects, and a natural approach to pain relief is becoming more popular. But still, you have to remember to consult your doctor before trying these natural remedies.
Below are few remedies that are good for arthritis of the knee.
Your weight can make a big impact on the amount of pain you experience from arthritis. Extra weight puts more pressure on your joints — especially your knees, hips, and feet.
Reducing the stress on your joints by losing weight will improve your mobility, decrease pain, and prevent future damage to your joints.
Get more exercise
There are more benefits to exercise than just weight loss. Regular movement helps to maintain flexibility in your joints. Weight-bearing exercises such as running and walking can be damaging.
Instead, try low-impact exercises such as water aerobics or swimming to flex your joints without adding further stress. Daily exercise to keep the joint moving reduces knee pain in some people. For those with arthritis, keeping the leg stationary or reducing the range of motion to avoid pain can stiffen the joint and make matters worse.
Use hot and cold therapy
Simple hot and cold treatments can make a world of difference when it comes to arthritis pain. Long, warm showers or baths — especially in the morning — help ease stiffness in your joints. Use an electric blanket or moist heating pad at night to keep your joints loose.
Cold treatments are best for relieving joint pain, swelling, and inflammation. Wrap a gel ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables in a towel and apply it to the knee for quick relief.
Studies has proven that some people with arthritis experienced pain relief using willow bark. The extract is also commonly used by herbalists to treat fever, pain, and inflammation. Do not take willow bark if you have allergies to aspirin or you’re taking blood thinners. Do not give willow bark to children under 4 years old.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical treatment that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on your body. This is supposed to reroute energies and restore balance in your body. Acupuncture is the most researched complementary therapy and is recommended by the World Health Organization for treatment of over 100 different conditions.
It is thought that acupuncture has the ability to reduce arthritis pain. This treatment method should be carried out by a certified acupuncturist recommended by your doctor.
Include the right fatty acids in your diet
Everyone needs omega-3 fatty acids in their diet for optimum health. These fats also help your arthritis. Fish oil supplements, which are high in omega-3s, have been shown to reduce joint stiffness and pain.
Another fatty acid that can help is gamma-linoleic acid, or GLA. It’s found in the seeds of certain plants such as evening primrose, borage, hemp, and black currants. You can also buy the oils of the seeds as a supplement.
Add turmeric to dishes
Turmeric, the yellow spice contains a chemical called curcumin that may help to reduce arthritis pain. The secret is its anti-inflammatory properties.
Get a massage
Regular massaging of arthritic joints can help reduce pain and stiffness and improve your range of motion. Work with a physical therapist to learn self-massage, or schedule appointments with a massage therapist regularly.
Your massage therapist should be experienced with working on people who have arthritis.
Consider herbal supplements
There are many kinds of herbal supplements that are able to reduce joint pain. Some of the herbs touted for arthritis pain include:
• devil’s claw
• stinging nettle
• thunder god vine
• Mastic and sesame oil
Ginger is available in many forms. It can be purchased in pre-packaged supplement form at health food or vitamin stores. Health benefits include relief from stomach upset and nausea as well as pain relief for many conditions. A study of people with arthritis found that ginger helped to reduce pain when used in combination with a prescription treatment for arthritis.
Use meditation to cope with pain
Meditation and relaxation techniques may be able to help you reduce pain from arthritis by reducing stress and enabling you to cope with it better. Research has it that the practice of mindfulness meditation is helpful for some people with painful joints. When stress is reduced, inflammation and thus swelling and pain drop.
NOTE: If you’ve twisted your leg, taken a hard fall, or otherwise strained your knee, first aid at home can be helpful. Always try to remember the acronym “RICE” for treating strains and sprains:
R – Rest
I – Ice
C – Compression, that is using a cold bag of ice to compress or using compression bandage to avoid swelling
E – Elevation, that is keeping your foot elevated while resting