Arthritis is a condition that is marked by inflammation in the joints that causes stiffness and pain in the joints. There are some natural approaches that can cure arthritis as opposed to traditional medication. You can try these foods, exercises and natural remedies to relieve arthritis pain. However, remember to consult your doctor before trying any of these natural remedies.
One natural remedy is to make use of ginger. Ginger works by reducing pain-causing chemicals that are part of the body’s inflammatory response. You can make your own ginger tea by simmering slices of ginger or ginger teabags for 15 minutes in a cup of boiling water. You can also consume ginger with your food by sprinkling powdered ginger or chopping raw or lightly cooked ginger on your food.
Another way to make use of ginger is to make a paste of ginger and olive oil to be applied to the painful joint. To make, peel and finely crush a piece of fresh ginger. Mix the crushed ginger with just enough olive oil to form a paste, and then apply to the painful joint. Leave the paste in place for about 10 to 15 minutes. Depending on the joint in which the pain is located, you might need to secure the paste in place by wrapping a gauze or bandage around it.
Another option is to consume green tea every day. Research has shown that green tea contains polyphenol antioxidants which are anti-inflammatory and reduce cartilage destruction. Studies have also shown that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), another antioxidant present in green tea, blocks the production of molecules that cause joint damage in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Turmeric is another remedy for reducing arthritis pain. Turmeric contains curcumin, which works against enzymes and proteins that promote inflammation. Several studies have found that turmeric specifically reduces pain and swelling in arthritis patients. You can sprinkle half a teaspoon of turmeric on food daily, or make turmeric tea by mixing half a teaspoon of turmeric and half a teaspoon of black pepper in warm water. Take this drink every night before going to bed, and in a matter of days, you will begin to feel better.
Increased intake of Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps produce collagen, a major protein in joint tissue and bone. It is also a powerful antioxidant that fights against free radicals in the body, which are harmful to joints. Studies have shown that people who consumed diets rich in vitamin C had significantly less risk of their arthritis progressing. Due to the fact that the body does not store vitamin C, make sure you spread out your vitamin C intake throughout the day. This is because when vitamin C is consumed, no matter how high the dosage, the body takes out only what is needed and discards the rest. Thus, a large dose of vitamin C at once will not have much benefit. You can consume vitamin C –rich foods and vegetables such as oranges, strawberries, guava, red and green peppers, and black currant.
Consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are excellent at relieving inflammation and soothing joints. It can be found in fish such as salmon and tuna. You may also need omega-3 supplements, such as fish oil supplements, as you may not get enough of these fatty acids from consuming fish alone. Fish oil supplements have been shown to reduce joint stiffness and pain. Another way to increase your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids is to cook with canola oil, as canola oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Regular exercise helps to maintain flexibility in the joints. Avoid exercises such as running or walking as these can put stress on the joints. Instead, opt for swimming. Swimming is considered as the best exercise for people who suffer from arthritis, as the resulting weightlessness from the water reduces the impact on the joints. Water aerobics or swimming encourages joint flexibility without undue stress on the joints. You can look out for swimming classes and programmes tailored to meet the needs of people with arthritis.
Another remedy is hot and cold therapy. To do this, get two containers and fill one with chilled water and another with hot water. The hot water should not be scalding or too hot to bear. First, immerse your joint for a minute in the container of cold water, then switch to the hot water and immerse for 30 seconds. Afterwards, alternate the immersions from cold water to hot water for a total of 15 minutes, with each immersion lasting for 30 seconds. Finish the therapy with cold water for a minute. This is beneficial as hot water helps to relieve stiffness in the joint while cold water helps relieve joint pain.
You can also take warm showers or baths in the morning, to help ease stiffness in your joints, while you can use an electric blanket or moist heating pad at night for the same purpose. For situations where you need quick and immediate relief, wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply it to painful joints. Cold treatments help in relieving joint pain, swelling, and inflammation.
Another way to ease arthritis pain is to make sure your body has adequate vitamin D. Studies have shown that many people suffering from osteoarthritis of the hip and knee, and rheumatoid arthritis are deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D appears to play a role in health of joints. To boost your vitamin D levels, spend a few minutes in the sunshine, between 10:00am and 2:00pm, each day; those few minutes are enough for your body to make vitamin D from sun rays. Make sure you apply or reapply sunscreen after getting some brief exposure to sunshine.
However, in areas where the sun’s rays may not be strong enough, it is a good idea to consider taking vitamin D supplements and you should talk to your doctor about this.
With these natural remedies, you should begin to feel better in no time.