According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50 million Americans now suffer from arthritis, meaning that one in five people over 18 have some form of the disease.
And every one of these 50 million America’s suffers from one of two types of arthritis.
The first type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is caused by the wearing down of one’s joints. The second type is rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune arthritis.
Living with arthritis means that performing daily tasks can be painful and difficult, which is why it’s important to find remedies to soothe painful joints.
Conventional treatments for arthritis often don’t treat underlying causes, have negative side effects, and put sufferers at risk of developing dependency long-term–leading many sufferers to seek alternative and natural pain management solutions.
Here are four ways you can naturally soothe the pain that comes with aching joints and treat the causes of arthritis.
#1: Ginger & Turmeric
Both turmeric and ginger are considered to be powerful anti-inflammatory ayurvedic herbs.
According to the Medical School at University of Michigan, the active constituent in turmeric, curcumin, is a potent anti-inflammatory compound that protects the body against damage from free radicals.
And, a 2005 report published in the Journal of Medicinal Foods stated that ginger extract derived from Zingiber officinale and Alpina galanga plant species inhibits the induction of several genes involved in the inflammatory response.
You can take turmeric in capsule form, and the recommended dose is 250 to 500 mg, three times a day.
Although you can take ginger in many forms, it’s nice to consume as a tea–the recommended serving for pain alleviation is 4 cups daily.
#2: Staying Active
It’s understandable that, if you deal with aching joints, exercise may be an activity that you avoid to minimize instances of pain.
However, contrary to what might seem logical, physical activity actually improves joint health in the long term and is instrumental in treating arthritis.
This is because strengthening the muscles around the afflicted joint provides added support and less strain.
Experts recommend doing at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise every week.
You can start with daily stretches and move on to more aerobic exercises such as walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming, or using the elliptical machine.
#3: Weight Management
Reducing your calorie and fat intake is essential if you’re overweight and have arthritis. There are two reasons for this:
- Additional body fat can put a strain on already-weakened joints, especially in areas like your knees and ankles.
- Excess body fat also releases hormones and chemicals that promote inflammation and worsen arthritis in all areas of your body.
It’s best to aim to lose a pound a week, but, in general, give yourself time–six months is a reasonable time frame to see a big enough difference for pain alleviation.
#4: An Optimized Diet
Certain foods and food groups are known to help alleviate symptoms and causes of arthritis. For example…
- Omega-3 foods: These foods, such as salmon, grass-fed beef, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts, are known to decrease inflammation.
- Foods high in sulfur: Onions, garlic, asparagus, and cabbage are foods that have a high sulfur content, meaning they contain a form of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) that reduces joint inflammation and works to rebuild tissues.
- Foods high in Vitamin C: A 2011 study from the University of South Florida reported that people who took vitamin C supplements were 11 percent less likely to develop knee osteoarthritis than those who didn’t take the supplements. It’s believed that the antioxidants in vitamin C are responsible for this. You can find vitamin C in fruits such as strawberries, kiwi, pineapple, or cantaloupe.
Foods to avoid include excess sugar; hydrogenated oils (soybean oil, cottonseed oil, even canola oil); and refined grains like gluten, flour products, and wheat products.
With arthritis claiming the spot as the nation’s number one cause of disability, it’s important to become aware of how to manage and treat arthritic pain, whether it be for yourself or loved ones.
Be sure to take healing a step at a time and incorporate the four suggestions above at an effective pace.
An additional natural treatment to soothe joint pain is a castor oil pack. Learn how to make them in this blog post.