The condition of arthritis is characterized by inflammation in one or more of your joints.
Arthritis is a condition that progresses with age and involves symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness.
There are several different types of arthritis, with the most common being rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Treatments for arthritis vary according to the type of arthritis you have. Though there is no cure, the main goal of treating arthritis is to reduce the symptoms and improve quality of life.
Common Symptoms of Arthritis
Most commonly, the signs and symptoms of arthritis involve the joints. Depending on which form of arthritis you are suffering from, you may experience the following:
- Decreased range of motion
Common Treatments for Arthritis
There are many treatments for arthritis available, depending on the type of arthritis you have.
You may need to try several different ones before you figure out which one is best for you. Some of the most common treatments include medications, therapy, and/or surgery.
Medications to Treat Arthritis
There are several medications used to treat arthritis, depending on which type of arthritis you’re dealing with:
Therapy to Treat Arthritis
Since therapy doesn’t involve medications of any sort, it is actually considered a natural treatment.
This can be effective for treating arthritis in some cases. Exercise strengthens the muscles around the joints, and therefore works to improve range of motion.
If none of the above measures help, your physician may suggest doing surgery to correct the problem, such as:
- Joint fusion
- Joint replacement
Naturally Treating Arthritis
Due to the unpleasant side effects of some of the medications, and the fact that surgery is an extreme form of treatment, many individuals are seeking natural treatments for their arthritis.
Several herbs have been proven to be effective for treating arthritis, as well as a few alternatives such as massage, acupuncture/acupressure, meditation/relaxation, and so much more.
Treating Arthritis Naturally with Herbs
There are several herbs that have been proven effective to help with the pain and inflammation of arthritis. They are as follows:
Burdock root contains essential fatty oils, which could be what contributes to its reputation for acting as an anti-inflammatory.
Increasing your intake of fatty acids is one of the greatest thing you can do to reduce your pain.
You can take it in capsule form, drink it as a tea, or eat it in stir fry.
Flax seed is common way to get Omega-3 fatty acids, which are very important for an overall strong immune system as well as fighting off inflammation.
Never heat or cook flax seeds or flax oil. Make sure that you include two tablespoons of either the seeds or the oil in your diet every day.
If you suffer from IBS, you may want to use the oil, as the seeds could irritate your condition.
Turmeric is known to be very effective at relieving pain and inflammation. There are at least two chemicals in turmeric: Curcumin and Curcuminoids that act much in the same way that NSAIDs do.
Though you can add this spice into your daily diet, in order to experience the full benefits, you’ll need to take it in supplement form.
When you’re cooking with it, add black pepper or dried ginger to activate it. Additionally, you can apply it topically to relieve pain.
Nettles are not just good for your arthritis, they’re good for your overall health. They contain protein, phosphorus, beta-carotene, calcium, magnesium, and iron, as well as Vitamins A, C, D, and B-complex.
You can put this herb in water to make a tea- at least one cup per day. It will relieve and prevent retention of water and inflammation, as well as nourish your adrenal glands and kidneys.
Licorice acts a lot like your body’s natural corticosteroids, by decreasing the free radicals that promote inflammation and discourage the production of specific enzymes that are involved in the process of inflammation. You can take licorice as a supplement or drink it in a tea.
However, when taking licorice, you should know that you may experience high blood pressure, headache, or heart problems.
If you already have a condition such as high blood pressure, low potassium, or heart or kidney disease, you should not use licorice to treat your arthritis.
Naturally Treating Arthritis with Alternative Therapies
In addition to herbal supplements, there are several natural alternatives for treating arthritis. You can use acupuncture/acupressure, Yoga/Tai Chi, or massage.
Acupuncture is a therapy that uses extremely fine needles inserted into certain points on the body.
It is thought that pain is a result of blocked energy channels in the body. By inserting the needle, these energy channels become unblocked, and therefore the pain and inflammation is relieved.
Acupressure works along the same lines, but instead of using needles, practitioners use their fingers, hands, or other blunt objects.
The very slow stretching that is associated with both yoga and tai chi could possibly help to promote range of motion and joint flexibility in some forms of arthritis.
If you experience extreme pain when practicing either yoga or tai chi to treat your arthritis, you should stop. Never push through extreme pain, as that could indicate or lead to injury.
Light kneading and stroking of muscles and joints could increase the flow of blood to the affected joints, which could relieve pain temporarily.
Make sure to speak with your massage therapist about which joints are affected so he/she knows which ones to work on.
One final treatment that has been proven to be quite effective is transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS.
This therapy uses a small device that sends out mild electrical impulses. The TENS therapy stimulates the nerves that are located near the affected joint and prevents pain signals from making it to the brain.