5 All-Natural & Effective Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain
If getting out of bed in the morning is difficult due to a chronically sore back or knees, or your hands or ankles ache throughout the day, you may be among the 52.5 million adults in the United States that the CDC estimates have some form of arthritis.
While many people who suffer from osteoarthritis are prescribed pain medication by their physicians, some may wish to find alternative ways of dealing with their discomfort.
Fortunately, there are a variety of natural and simple ways that can help people manage their arthritis pain.
While it may seem counterintuitive to exercise when you are in pain, the Arthritis Foundation says activities like walking, water aerobics and yoga can help to improve flexibility and decrease joint pain. If you have not worked out in some time, check with your doctor first to see what types of exercise he or she recommends. As a bonus, people with arthritis who are physically active tend to sleep better.
As Everyday Health notes, the herb mustard seed can help to give relief from arthritis pain in many cases. To use it, warm some mustard seed oil and create a plaster of it, applying it to the most painful parts of your body. The natural warmth of the mustard seed can help boost blood flow to the joints and reduce pain.
Warm water stretches
If you have a hot tub in your backyard or can use one at your local spa, the warm and soothing water combined with some muscle and ligament stretching exercises can give you some reprieve from arthritis pain. As your muscles relax in the warm water, their range of motion will increase and the joints will feel better. For example, if your arthritis is centered in your knees, try some easy calf and thigh stretches in the water. Be careful not to overdo it; start with just five minutes of gentle stretching and work up to 15 minutes. Be sure to breathe deeply before and during stretching, and for best results, set the hot tub’s thermostat between 92 and 100 degrees.
Another natural remedy that may give relief from arthritis pain is glucosamine sulfate. This supplement works by keeping cartilage healthy and may help rebuild broken-down cartilage in the joints. Glucosamine seems to be especially effective at relieving knee and lower back pain. Unlike over-the-counter and prescription pain medications, glucosamine sulfate does take time to build up in the system; most people say they start to feel better after taking the supplement for three to five weeks.
If you are overweight, losing even a few pounds will help take the pressure off of your painful joints and help you to feel better. Losing weight doesn’t have to involve following a strict diet; just follow the mantra of “eat a little less, move a little more” and the pounds should slowly start to come off. For example, instead of focusing on what you shouldn’t eat, think about what you should try to eat more often, and walk around farmer’s markets shopping for local produce that you can transform into tasty summer salads.