Health & Wellness

13 Natural Ways to Help Ease Arthritis Pain

Arthritis affects approximately 50 million people in the United States, according to the Arthritis Foundation. It is the second most frequently reported chronic condition in the United States and costs the U.S. economy $128 billion annually. Gain insight on natural ways to help ease the pain of one of the nation’s leading and most costly health ailments.

Let The Numbers Speak

According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis strikes 1 in every 5 American adults and is the nation’s leading cause of disability. Within 20 years the numbers of those projected by this debilitating disease are projected to soar as exponential numbers of Americas turn 65 each day. In fact, by 2030, an estimated 67 million Americans will have arthritis—unless the trend is reversed, reports the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).

Easing Joint Pain and Inflammation

Arthritis is classified as a complex family of musculoskeletal disorders with many causes, not yet fully understood—and of which there are currently no cures. In layman’s terms, when joint cartilage wears away, bone rubs against bone, which causes osteoarthritis, a very painful condition for the sufferer. And while arthritis includes more than 100 different diseases, or conditions that destroy joints, bones, muscles, cartilage and other connective tissues—which affects physical movement and every day accessibility and comfort— there are ways to help ease pain, and naturally.

Naturopathic Physician and A Place for Mom nutrition expert, Dr. Lindsay Jones-Born comments: “Diet and nutrition have the ability to affect gene expression and have a direct effect on one’s health and overall well-being. To help ease arthritis suffering, adding-in anti-inflammatory foods into one’s diet is one of the safest and most effective routes to accomplish this effect.”

In honor of National Bone and Joint Health Week, Dr. Jones-Born provides 13 tips on how to help ease arthritis pain using natural remedies. But remember, that it’s always important to consult your health care provider to determine the right exercise plan and diet for specific health conditions:

1. Weight Loss

This is the obvious natural remedy, but it can often be difficult to accomplish as any simple movement can be painful and may lead sufferers to want to limit any movement at all. But if you are overweight or obese, losing weight can help take pressure off your joints and help ease symptoms. Not moving enough basically worsens the symptoms of arthritis, leading to increased swelling and pain.

It’s important to keep in mind that range of motion—anything from dancing, swimming, walking or gardening—can help alleviate stiffness and improve flexibility. And strengthening muscles through exercises such as lifting weights, can help support and protect joints. Endurance exercises are also beneficial as they can help maintain the arteries and heart, which can improve general health and may even decrease the swelling of some joints.

2. Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care focuses on physical adjustment and alignment, so that joints can benefit from adjustments aimed at reducing pain and stiffness. The incorporation of massage in chiropractic care can play a role in reducing stiffness, helping the arthritic patient move more freely. And if you or a loved one suffers from acute lower back pain, chiropractic manipulation can break up the muscle spasm and scar tissue, helping to ease the pain. Professional chiropractic treatments, in conjunction with hot and cold presses, are a natural way to help treat muscle spasms. Many additional approaches of chiropractic care address the needs of arthritic patients, so again, check with your care provider to cater the care specific to your loved one’s needs.

3. Fish

Fish contains omega 3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation caused by arthritis. According to Dr. Jones-Born, there is strong evidence that the omega-3s EPA and DHA can help improve endothelial function. These newly discovered substances, aptly called resolvins and protectins, may help provide arthritis relief without the side effects of conventional arthritis drugs. Omega-3 fatty acids have also shown to help provide some relief from rheumatoid arthritis. Read more about how fish can be healthy for the senior diet.

4. Acupuncture Treatment

Acupuncture can be effective at treating chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis. Acupuncture can help relieve pain and disability for some arthritic conditions, but not all. Rheumatoid arthritis is commonly treated through acupuncture. The idea is that acupuncture points to treat Arthritis are located all over the body, not just directly over the affected area, so during the acupuncture treatment, tiny needles could be placed along your loved one’s legs, arms, shoulders or wherever the practitioner determines is best to treat the condition.

The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary, but acupuncture is a common natural method for relieving discomfort, preventing swelling and easing arthritic inflammation.

5. Green Tea

Green tea helps to modify the epigenome to suppress inflammation, according to Dr. Jones-Born. So for people who suffer from arthritis, green tea may be able to produce chemical changes to the DNA and histone proteins of an organism, which can be passed down to offspring and help them from suffering from arthritis.

6. Physical Therapy

Physical therapy not only helps people recover from injuries and avoid surgery, it also helps alleviate pain from chronic conditions like arthritis. Physical therapy techniques can help your loved ones strengthen muscles and gain flexibility to help them with mobility and every day life. Once again, it’s important to contact a professional physical therapist for techniques and exercises that will work best for specific cases of arthritis.

7. Exercise

Regular exercise is a great way to alleviate arthritis. In fact, exercise is considered key to arthritis management, as mentioned above in “Weight Loss.” Exercise promotes the maintenance of healthy, strong muscles, flexibility, endurance and joint mobility. Since rest helps to lessen active joint inflammation, fatigue, and pain, it’s important to strike a balance between resting and exercise.

Something to think about: Resting more during active phases of arthritis and exercising more during the times when symptoms decrease is a good way to manage the condition. During times when symptoms ‘flare-up,’ patients can gently exercise their joints. Consult your loved one’s health care provider to help you determine the best exercise routine for your loved one’s condition.

8. Vitamin C and Flavonoids

Dr. Jones-Born comments that Vitamin C and Flavonoids help to “prevent cells from oxidative damage and excessive inflammation.” By keeping a diet that incorporates the recommended daily allowance for both Vitamin C and Flavonoids, any powerful antioxidant fruit or vegetable—such as blueberries or grapes—can help ease arthritic pain and swelling.

Other sources rich in Vitamin C and Flavonoids include: apples, apricots, pears, raspberries, strawberries, black beans, cabbage, onions, parsley, pinto beans and tomatoes.

9. Glucosamine

Glucosamine is an important constituent of the cartilage between joint bones that is a jelly-like substance, so it’s a natural supplement for arthritis sufferers. Basically, when the cartilage between bones wears away for any reason, the bones start rubbing against each other resulting in damage and pain. Glucosamine is available over-the-counter at many drug stores and provides natural anti-inflammatory relief. As with any supplement, moderation and physician consent are recommended.

10. Chondroitin

Chondroitin is often used in conjunction with glucosamine to help slow or prevent the degeneration of joint cartilage, which is the underlying cause of osteoarthritis pain. Chondroitin sulfate dietary supplements are also believed to help alleviate joint pain associated with the condition. Chondroitin is available without a prescription, but it’s important, once, again, to check with your loved one’s health practitioner.

11. Proanthocyanidins

According to Dr. Jones-Born, Proanthocyanidins have major antioxidant activity which can help ease symptoms of arthritis. These disease-fighting compounds can be found in purple and red foods, such as blueberries, blackberries, red and purple grapes (those with seeds have extra proanthocyanidins), cranberries, plums black currants, bilberries, cinnamon, red and kidney beans—and even red wine! Hazelnuts, pistachios, pecans and almonds are also proanthocyanidin-rich foods.

12. Capsaicin (Chili Pepper) Cream

Capsaicin cream can also relieve osteoarthritis pain, and it’s available without a prescription. The capsaicin comes from chili peppers, which gives peppers their characteristic pungence, producing mild to intense spice; which also produces heat. Capsaicin is a potent inhibitor of substance P, a neuropeptide associated with inflammatory processes. Capsaicin used as a topical cream helps alleviate arthritis pain as it helps keep down the inflammation of the disease and helps soothe the pain.

Nobody knows exactly how it works, although one theory is that the cream relieves pain by depleting the nerve ending of pain-impulse-transmitting chemicals known as “substance P” and calcitonin gene-related protein.

13. Ginger

According to Dr. Jones-Born, Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called, ginerols, which can help ease arthritis. So think about adding a little ginger to your favorite dishes!

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Keita cosgrove
10 months ago

After trying several treatments, I finally went to a care clinic where x-rays showed advanced Arthritis/OA. My condition worsened with severe pains and stiffness, so a friend introduced me to Herbal Health Point and their Arthritis Formula treatment protocol, I immediately started on the treatment, few weeks into the treatment the pain and stifness were completely gone and I had regained complete use of my leg. The treatment totally reversed my Arthritis condition, since I completed the treatment 11 months ago I have not had any symptom or pain

williams
3 years ago

(MUST READ: RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS CURE) In 2014 I started having pain in my left foot. The doctor tested me for gout and it was negative. A couple of months later I started having pain and stiffness in my left hand that was very severe at night. The doctor did blood tests for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and I tested positive for anti-CCP (134). Then the pain started spreading to other joints. I was so tired some days that I didn’t feel like driving myself home from work. My eyes were dry and irritated and I had a dry cough. All medications… Read more »

Ida Larson
6 years ago

I hear teabags rattling and the kettle calling my name…I\

Cougar
6 years ago

Why wasn’t DMSO mentioned????? I know first hand that DMSO is the most potent pain reliever there is for arthritis. More potent than aspirin or narcotics and with no negative side effects. ‘Google’ or ‘Bing’ DMSO and learn the truth about this amazing product.

Kay R
6 years ago

I used a combination of four different essential oils on my arthritic knee twice daily for maybe 2 1/2 weeks, and I no longer have any pain at all in that knee. One was ginger, the others, marjoram, thyme and wintergreen. I use my essential oils for just about anything that bothers me, and they do the trick. Ylang Ylang keeps my blood pressure in a good range.

WEBB
6 years ago

I do the golden grape and Beefeaters Gin and it seems to relieve some of the pain. I also drink Tart Cherry juice, about 4 oz a day and also apple vinegar cider in water with a little lemon juice and honey. The only pain reliever my Dr. will allow me is Tylenol because it does not react against the med. I have to take for ulcerative colitis. I am getting hit 3 different ways as ulcerative colitis can cause joint pain and muscle stiffness and the med. I take has several side affects, one of which is joint pain… Read more »

Mike H
6 years ago

All good suggestions above. The one missed is Niacinamide. (A form of vitamin B but not niacin) Available over the counter. Very inexpensive. I take two 500mg capsules after each meal. Alleviates the pain of arthritis, even the bone on bone. Takes about three to four weeks to work and must be taken continuously, otherwise the pain returns.

jack mancusi
6 years ago

smoking a little weed is an excellent source to alleviate whatever ails you! this is not intended to be a laughing matter, it really works!!!

Field General Yerassmus B. Brown
6 years ago

My wife says that Beefeaters Gin helps her pain and I’m not sure she has a handle on reality but it helps her. But I think the real reason is she does add a few ounces of vermouth. Sometimes an olive will be added.

Joan Neel
6 years ago

This article is fantastic, it contains more quality information than I’ve found anywhere. I’ve had R.A. for over two years and suffered horribly – even suffered side effects from prolonged use of Prednesone. I’ve been on Methotrexate for over a year now, which gives me relief, but the two days each week I take the three doses makes me very ill, and I know the possible problems associated with Chemo drugs. I take Vitamin D, C, B, A and Magnezium, but I’m going to concentrate more on the listed foods, as well as the other recommended advice. Thank you for… Read more »

Sally
6 years ago

My mom and, others known to me, have been helped by the supplement Boswellia! ;)

James G.Mallloy
6 years ago

10yrs+ have been using BLUE SPRING STUFF made in Oklahoma City. Tried several knock-offs but none come close to it

Suzie
6 years ago

Golden raisins soaked in gin…seven each morning,three days and the pain in my hands was gone

Suzie
6 years ago

Golden raisins soaked in gin,seven a day,,,,,here days and pain in my hands is gone

Eloise
6 years ago

I juice up ginger root in my slow juicer and mix it (2 tbs) into my green tea every morning. It’s as if my arthritis DISAPPEARED! I mix it into my vegetable juices too. It tastes gingery, but I love it.

Ignatius T.
6 years ago

Vitamin D especially for rheumatoid arthritis. Also curcumin derived from turmeric (curry) is a great anti-inflamatory substance. A combination of curcumin (bcm-95 which is highly bioavailable) and ginger is sold by The Life Extension Foundation (lef.org).

Marietta L
6 years ago

I am sharing this article on my pain blog, it will appear in a few weeks! Thanks for the info.

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