There’s good news and bad news when it comes to treating arthritis. The good news is that modern medicine provides us with a variety of effective options to relieve arthritic pain. The bad news is that these treatments are often associated with several risks and side effects from long-term use. More and more, patients are turning to natural treatments that can relieve joint pain and inflammation without the associated risks. If you’re looking to take a more holistic approach to your arthritis therapy, consider some of these all-natural remedies.
Hot & Cold Therapy
Applying heat to sore joints stimulates blood flow and helps to alleviate stiffness, while cold treatments ease pain and reduce inflammation. Hot and cold therapy is easy and inexpensive, and it can be performed safely within the comfort of your own home. Apply heat therapy by soaking in a warm bath or applying a heating pad, electric blanket or warm compress to affected joints. For cold therapy, wrap an ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables in a towel and apply to sore joints for 10 to 15 minutes.
Epsom Salt Soaks
Epsom salt is a mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate that is believed to reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. Add up to two cups of Epsom salt to a tub of water as warm as you can handle without scalding yourself, and soak for at least 12 minutes. Repeat up to three times weekly.
Aloe vera is a natural anti-inflammatory that has a wealth of healing properties. Aloe vera gel can be applied directly to affected joints to relieve pain and swelling, or aloe juice can be ingested to ease inflammation and calm the symptoms of arthritis. Because aloe juice may lower blood sugar or interact with certain medications, always check with your doctor before adding aloe to your diet.
There is no cure for arthritis, but there are several supplements that can alleviate arthritis symptoms. Fish oil supplements contain omega-3 fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory properties to relieve stiff joints. Chondroitin is a supplement that has been shown to slow the progression of arthritis in various studies. Glucosamine sulfate is believed to relieve pain associated with arthritis and improve joint function (Source: Health).
Mustard seed is a natural healing remedy that dates back thousands of years. To use mustard seed to relieve arthritic joints, create a plaster using dry mustard, flour and warm water. Mix until the ingredients reach a paste-like consistency and apply directly to sore, swollen joints.
Natural remedies can be an excellent supplement or alternative to traditional arthritis treatments, but they should never take the place of a doctor’s care. Always check with your doctor before adding any new treatments to your daily regimen, and be sure to stay current with check-ups and follow-up visits. Working hand-in-hand with your doctor is the best way to ensure you receive the best and most thorough care possible for your arthritis symptoms.