Walker Methodist is a provider of housing, healthcare, and rehabilitative services in the Twin Cities – Metropolitan area. If you are experiencing serious arthritic pain or issues, please seek professional medical help as needed. If you are currently being treated for arthritis, please speak with your doctor before trying anything new to your treatment plan.
Arthritis occurs when cartilage in the joints wears down. The most common form of arthritis is called osteoarthritis. It's a painful, debilitating disease that affects nearly 27 million Americans. The good news is, there are several natural remedies that actually do help relieve arthritis pain.
Reduce Arthritis Pain with Weight Loss
Did you know that you can reduce the pressure on your knee joints by about four pounds just by losing one pound of fat? Maintaining a healthy weight for your height is the best way to relieve arthritis. Many people actually see their painful symptoms disappear with a 10 to 20 pound weight loss.
Increase Physical Activity for Good Joint Health
People used to think that exercise actually made arthritis symptoms worse. It is now known that the opposite is true. Physical activity keeps the joints and their surrounding tissues and muscles strong. Everyone who has arthritis should be getting exercise in some form. Whether it's walking around your house or spending time at a local fitness center, physical activity is a must.
Ideally, exercise for arthritis should include some type of aerobic activity such as walking, as well as strengthening exercises such as isometric and isotonic exercises.
Glucosamine for Arthritis Pain
You've probably heard of glucosamine for arthritis pain. Glucosamine products have been on the market for years. However, the type of glucosamine does matter. Studies suggest that the best arthritis pain relief comes from glucosamine sulfate. Unfortunately, most of these products here in the United States are of the glucosamine hydrochloride variety, which aren’t as effective at providing relief.
If you choose to use a glucosamine product, look for glucosamine sulfate and take a once-daily dose of 1,500 milligrams. The instructions may tell you to split the dose up, but research has shown that taking it all at once results in better absorption in the body.
Some studies suggest other supplements may be helpful in relieving arthritis pain. Results vary, but the list includes:
- Baswellia serrate
- Avocado-soybean unsaponifiables
- Fish oil
It's important to note here that unfortunately, research doesn't keep up with public demand, so while these supplements show promise, they haven't been adequately "tested" for their effectiveness. In fact, until recently (the last 15 years or so) supplements have been completely ignored as a source of arthritis pain relief. Always do your research and use supplements responsibly.
Hot and Cold Compresses Relieve Arthritis Pain Temporarily
As with any injury or strain, hot or cold compresses can help soothe stressed joints and/or reduce swelling. Osteoarthritis produces a fair amount of swelling, so using an ice pack when pain is present can really help reduce the inflammation and pain.
Arthritis Pain Gets Better with Support
Many assistive devices exist to help alleviate arthritis pain. Canes, shoe inserts, splints, and braces all help provide support for weak and painful joints. They redistribute your body weight and take the pressure off your arthritic joints. They can be very beneficial in conducting your day-to-day activities.
Arthritis is a common disease that affects millions of people. There is no cure for it once it strikes, but many natural remedies exist to help alleviate the symptoms. The list above suggests several ways you can treat your arthritis pain without chemicals or surgery. Use one method or combine several to find the best relief for your arthritis pain. If you have questions about any of these suggestions, contact your doctor to discuss your pain relief options.
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