When joint pain flares up, you probably have a “go to” natural remedy—like applying ice or heat—that helps reduce the inflammation. But sometimes, even your most tried and trusted natural remedy might not offer much relief, and you want something different—but you also want to avoid taking more medication.
Fortunately, there are many natural remedies to try that may help reduce your joint pain. Here are some of the best ways you can take care of yourself and feel better:
- Use an Assistive Device: Assistive devices such as canes, splints, walkers and shoe inserts can be very helpful in reducing joint pain. That’s because when you use them, they redistribute your weight, which immediately takes pressure off your joints. If you already use one, consider using a second device at the same time.
- Get Braces: Braces are another option that can help—for instance, if knee pain is an issue for you, try a knee brace. It will provide extra support, improve your joint alignment while you walk and can help reduce your pain.
- Meditate: Studies have shown that meditation can help reduce pain—and as a bonus, anxiety and depression, too. If you’ve never tried it, don’t worry about “how” to do it—there is no right or wrong way. Read up on different approaches and try some out to see what works best for you.
- Exercise: Although high-impact activities, like running, can often be hard on your joints, low-impact exercises can help reduce your pain. Some great ones to try include walking, biking, water aerobics, swimming or biking. Another option is tai chi—it’s a low-impact form of exercise than helps strengthen the muscles around your joints and may help increase your range of motion and reduce the symptoms of joint pain.
- Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods: Did you know the foods you eat can cause inflammation? Not only eliminating inflammatory foods, but consuming anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce joint pain. Get started by keeping anti-inflammatory snacks in your kitchen or take them with you when you are on the go. Some simple options are blueberries and walnuts—choose them instead of foods that contain sugar, which is known to cause inflammation.
- Lose 5 Pounds: Sometimes the idea of losing weight can seem daunting, especially if you have more than a few pounds to lose. But here’s some good news—even a small loss can go a long ways. For instance, did you know that every pound you lose results in about four pounds less pressure on your knees (July 2005 issue, Arthritis & Rheumatism, Stephen P. Messier, PhD, Wake Forest University)? That means a five-pound loss can feel like 20 pounds off your knees. So, don’t be discouraged, and remember that every pound counts.
Why not give some of these natural remedies a try? Even if they don’t make your pain disappear, chances are, they may help reduce it. And be patient and keep in mind that sometimes the results of your choices might not be noticeable right away, but if you stick with them, your efforts will likely begin to pay off sooner rather than later.