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Natural Remedies for Arthritis Pain

May 13th, 2008

natural-arthritis-remedies.jpgThis article by Kristie Leong provides some interesting ideas for using natural remedies to treat the painful symptoms of arthritis. It should serve as a good companion for the articles that I have already written on scurvy and tuberculosis. If I can manage to tackle a few more disease-related issues, I may eventually make a separate category for them.




Arthritis can be a painful and debilitating condition that can interfere with the ability to carry out normal, everyday activities that many of us take for granted. The pain, stiffness, and joint swelling can take its toll on even the most stoic of patients. Traditionally, prescription anti-inflammatory medications have been used to treat the symptoms of arthritis but with recent studies showing the potentially serious side effects of these drugs, many people are seeking natural remedies for arthritis pain. Fortunately, there are a variety of natural ways to reduce the pain and discomfort of arthritis. Here are some of the most promising:

Lifestyle modifications

This is probably the most important way to naturally relieve the pain and discomfort of arthritis. The two main lifestyle changes that can have a major impact on arthritis symptoms are daily exercise and weight reduction. Daily exercise such as a brisk walk or a daily swim can help to increase joint mobility and reduce stiffness. Swimming is an ideal form of exercise for the arthritis sufferer as it doesn’t place additional stress on the joints. If you choose to walk, be sure to select a quality walking shoe with good support to lower the impact of your foot against the pavement. Weight loss also helps to reduce stress on the joints which can help relieve arthritis symptoms. Make a commitment to a healthy diet and exercise plan and you’ll go a long way towards soothing your aching joints.

Fish oils

The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties similar to prescription anti-inflammatory medications without the negative side effects. If you’re unable to add more fatty fish to your diet, consider supplementing with three 1,000 milligram omega-3 fatty acid capsules on a daily basis. These can be found at your local health food store.

Glucosamine with chondroitin sulfate

The results of medical studies have been providing some conflicting information with regard to glucosamine. Several large trials have shown glucosamine to be beneficial in treating the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis, but more recent studies are showing minimal effect. It’s thought this supplement may help to rebuild the damaged cartilage in patients suffering from osteoarthritis. Many practitioners are still prescribing glucosamine and believe it does have some benefit for treatment of arthritis when taken for at least a three-month time period. Glucosamine is a safe supplement with minimal side effects, making it worth a trial if you suffer from arthritis. Diabetics should proceed with caution and follow blood sugars closely since glucosamine is a form of carbohydrate.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture has shown success in treating chronic pain including the pain of arthritis. It’s thought to exert its effects partially by stimulating release of endorphins which are “feel good” biochemicals that have morphine like effects on the body, suppressing the perception of pain. This is a safe and natural treatment that doesn’t involve the use of medications, which is appealing to many people.

Foods and spices

There are a variety of foods and spices that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Three of the most potent anti-inflammatory foods and spices are sour cherries, turmeric, and ginger. Turmeric and ginger have been examined in several small studies and have shown positive benefits in reducing the joint discomfort associated with arthritis, although results are too preliminary to suggest taking these spices in supplemental form. Sour cherries have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and many arthritis sufferers swear by the use of sour cherry juice to relieve their symptoms. Until further studies document their effectiveness, try adding some sour cherry juice to your daily regimen and season your food with ginger and turmeric. These spices also have other health benefits which makes them a good choice regardless of their effects on arthritis.

Before self-treating for arthritis, be sure to let your doctor know what you’ll be taking to avoid interference with any conventional medical treatments.



One Response to “Natural Remedies for Arthritis Pain”

  1. comment number 1 by: sweet jasmine

    Hi,,….I am an RA (rheumatoid arthritis) sufferer for more than a decade now…..and this article here is very helpful too…can I use this link to my health post on Arthritis on my blog..at:-http://mohlee56.blogspot.com. Pls notify me at my recent comment post…if possible. Thks.

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