Arthritis is a very common illness that affects different areas of the bones in our body. Causing striking pain, inflammation, and stiffness in the joints.
Although there are a lot of varieties of arthritis, thus this term is used to refer to a wide range of bone-related problems. The most common types of arthritis are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis.
This illness is so common that almost one out of five adults have some variation of arthritis.
Arthritis, however, does not have a proper cure. Various measures can always be taken though, to make the symptoms and the quality of life better. From surgeries to exercises there are a lot of ways a patient suffering from this condition can benefit.
In this article, we are going to look at a few home remedies for arthritis that really works.
A thing to note: as we have already mentioned that there are a ton of varieties of arthritis. So it will be practically impossible to include remedies tailored for each one of them. Instead, these remedies apply to the most common of them (majorly Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis).
Here are 7 best home remedies that will help a patient tremendously with their arthritis
While arthritis, it may look like a bad idea to move too much or engage in any demanding physical activities. But some light movement or strengthening exercises can actually benefit your situation rather than making it worse.
During arthritis, it’s crucial to keep the joints flexible along with high muscle and bone strength. That is because the muscle weakens as time passes and also becomes stiff. This can cause more harm and pain in the longer run.
That’s why exercises are so important. It helps keep the joints mobile, which can be achieved with a different range of motion and movement exercises and also increase bone and muscle strength via various strengthening exercises. Not to mention that this will also help in keeping a good weight.
It’s important to keep in mind that: not all exercises will be suitable for all patients. This includes exercises that exert a large amount of pressure on the joints or is very physically demanding.
Rather, light but effective exercise routine should be ideal. This will not at all aggravate to the condition but will make it a lot better. The patient should first consult with their physical trainer or doctor for an exercise plan fit for the respective individual.
Applying a heating pad on the muscles can also help a lot, as it relaxes the muscle beforehand thus providing more mobility.
- Weight Loss
Maintaining a healthy weight is one of those things which have unbelievable benefits for being such a straightforward (yet tricky) task.
Overweight people’s chances of suffering from arthritis are much higher than their fit peers. Thus, it should be obvious that losing weight will benefit the patient with this condition for good.
More the weight of the body; more the pressure on the joints. A study made in 2005 suggests that losing one pound of body weight will result in 4 pounds of weight/pressure relief on the knee. Sounds great right!
Reducing weight will also lower the inflammation as fat is one of the tissues which release “pro-inflammatory” chemicals.
Moreover, losing those excessive fats will make the person fit and healthier in general. Being overweight increases the risk of many chronic diseases. Increases the risk of stroke and heart attack. Not to mention diabetes and several other lifelong illnesses.
As we have discussed earlier in the exercise column, one should always go consult with their physical trainer or doctor before following a plan. Every patient is different and will need different treatment according to their lifestyle and their physical health. Though one thing is certain for all – the much worth benefits!
- Heat and Cold Therapy
This is one of the simplest yet very effective of these remedies.
As we’ve already mentioned, heat helps to relax the muscles. It increases blood flow which in turns helps bring the much-needed nutrients to the joints and muscles. This is why it is very good for a warm up before an actual exercise session.
One can take hot showers and also apply heating pads to the affected area. But too much heat can cause more harm, so it’s crucial to make sure the temperature is right and not burning.
Cold, on the other hand, helps in reducing inflammation and pain. More like, a symptom improver. Unlike heating therapies which speed up the blood circulation, cold therapies slow it down. It numbs the nerve endings which help reduce the pain. Improvements can also be noticed in the swellings.
Cold showers or a bathtub filled with ice cubes can be good cold therapy. Applying an ice pack to the arthritic points is also much beneficial. It will not only help in the pain and inflammation but will also reduce the swelling.
This remedy goes way back, right to the medieval period.
It is said in that energy called qi flows along certain pathways called meridians which are laid throughout the body. Whenever there is a disbalance in the flow of this energy, diseases or illnesses occur.
This method is used to correct the flow of the energy (qi) throughout the body. It’s done by placing fine needles across different acupuncture points.
This will then help reduce the pain and also release endorphins (fighting hormones).
Although, there is no certainty if this method works or not. But several studies have shown people attending acupunctural session had slightly less pain.
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Massage is also one of the oldest remedies used to improve the pain and soreness of the muscles.
This method is used to stimulate the skin and underlying receptors to decrease the pain.
Let it be a self-massage session, where you gently massage your affected area or be it by a professional massager. They all help in reducing stiffness and pain.
Although one should always consult with their doctor before attending a professional session. A doctor can give suggestions to which kind of massage would be best and which to avoid. And whether or not massage is for the respected patient in the first place.
It’s also recommended to choose a massager that has experience with arthritis patient and knows how to deal with certain sore spots etc.
One thing to note is that this method may not work for every individual. Some people react very well and some do not. So it’s up to the patient if he/she wants to try this particular remedy out.
Turmeric – a golden spice, hailing from India and Indonesia. It’s widely used in Ayurvedic medicines in India as well as China to reduce the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis.
The science behind it is – turmeric contains a chemical called “curcumin”. This chemical has been found to block inflammatory enzymes. This help in improving the inflammation and other symptoms.
Turmeric can be taken via the dishes, not only does it help in the condition but it increases the taste of the food as well. There are also curcumin capsules available in the market which are extracted from the purest lab turmeric.
Ever wondered what made your mouth so hot after accidentally munching a chili? It’s a chemical that’s present inside it called “Capsaicin” that made you feel that.
A person can make a cream or get one from the pharmacy store which has capsaicin in it and apply on the pain areas. It’s shown that capsaicin help reduces pain in various arthritis types.
How it works is it burns and stings the area on which it has been applied. Thus, triggering the pain receptors there. Prolong application of capsaicin will lead to more and more activation of those receptors. This will then lead to the malfunctioning of the receptors and they will not be able to properly carry the pain signals to the brain. This ultimately means – less pain.
Though one thing to keep in mind is that, the application of capsaicin has to be regular or else the receptors will start functioning as usual.
Arthritis – a very common chronic illness which affects different parts of the bone (mainly joints). There are a ton of varieties of arthritis. Though there is no proper cure for this illness, various measures can be taken for a better overall lifestyle.
A patient can choose to exercise and lose weight, this will help keep the joints mobile, the muscle strength high and also keep away excess load off the joints.
Some patients have received good results from physical therapies like massages and acupuncture which stimulates the skin and underlying receptors.
Simple yet very effective heat and cold therapies are very useful for the improvement of the symptoms.
Alas, chemicals like curcumin and capsaicin that found in turmeric and chili respectively can help reduce the pain by playing with the receptors.