Five ways to relieve arthritis pain

Along with the cooler weather comes the likelihood of aches and pain caused by arthritis.

Traditionally, doctors will treat arthritis with painkillers, anti-inflammatory medicines and topicals, but some of these medicines are harmful to your health over the long term and can even have nasty side effects.

There are, however, some natural remedies for arthritis pain relief that you may wish to consider.

Remember though, you should always consult your doctor before trying any of these remedies, or any changes to your health plan for that matter.

1. Mind your weight
Every 450g of mass on your frame, that’s not including your bones, puts 4kg of pressure on your knees, so you can see how important it is to keep your weight in check – especially when it comes to relieving pressure on your joints. More weight puts more pressure on your knees, hips and feet – all common arthritis hotspots. Losing weight will not only improve your mobility but has wider benefits for your overall health as well.

2. Exercise more
One way to lose weight and maintain the flexibility in your joints is to exercise more. Regular movement helps to keep your joints mobile, fluid and also increases blood flow to help minimise inflammation. Stay away from too much weight-bearing exercise as it can be harmful. Instead, try low-impact exercises such as walking, water aerobics or swimming.

3. Hot and cold therapy
A long, warm shower in the morning will loosen you up and ease your pain, while at night, an extra blanket, electric blanket or hot water bottle will prevent you from stiffening up while you sleep.

For quick relief of aching joints, try wrapping a cold gel pack, a bag of frozen peas, or ice in a tea towel around the offending area.

4. Acupuncture and massage
An ancient Chinese medical treatment that involves the insertion of tiny needles into special points on your body, acupuncture has been helping people with the relief of pain and also with many other health issues for more than 1000 years. The treatment resets and restores energy and balance in your body and is recommended by the World Health Organisation for treating more than 100 different conditions, including arthritis.

Regular massaging of your joints can also help reduce pain and stiffness. Find a good therapist who’s worked on people with arthritis and ask for advice on how to self-massage, or schedule a regular appointment with them.

5. The right diet
Make sure you have plenty of the right fatty acids in your diet. Fish oil tablets are a concentrated source of omega-3s, which reduce joint stiffness and pain. Another good fatty acid is gamma-linolenic acid, which is found in evening primrose, borage, hemp, and blackcurrants, or in supplement form.

Turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin, which is also wonderful for reducing inflammation. You can add turmeric to your diet or buy curcumin as a concentrated supplement.

You can also include foods proven to relieve arthritis, increase your vitamin D intake or try a natural balm to relieve your pain.

There are also many herbal supplements that may be able to reduce joint pain, such as boswellia, bromelain, devil’s claw, ginkgo, stinging nettle and thunder god vine.

Again, you should always talk to your doctor before trying supplements to make sure there are no interactions or complications with existing treatments or medicines.

Read more at www.healthline.com

Do you have arthritis? How do you manage the pain?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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