15 Natural Ways to Help Alleviate Arthritis Pain 

Arthritis is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disorder that affects between one and one hundred million people worldwide. It causes joint pain, stiffness, swelling, loss, and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and lymphoma. Prescription medications, such as pain relievers and NSAIDs, have limited efficacy.

Botanical medicines with anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties include black cohosh, angelica sinensis, licorice, triterygium wilfordii, centella asiatica, and Urtica dioica. Understanding the mechanisms of action of these herbs may open up new avenues of treatment for RA patients.

Arthritis pain can be degenerative or autoimmune, and there are two types: osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis  (RA). Doctors can prescribe medication to relieve arthritis pain, but natural methods are also advised. Before attempting any arthritis treatment, whether medication or not, consult a doctor.

Here are 15 Natural Ways to Help Alleviate Arthritis Pain 

1. Manage your Weight

Weight significantly impacts arthritis symptoms, especially in the knees, hips, and feet. 
Excess body weight puts more strain on the knees, weakening the joints and increasing the likelihood of hip or knee replacement. It is critical to lose excess weight to improve knee strength and stability. 
Other tips include avoiding high-heeled shoes and prolonged standing or sitting positions. 
Doctors can assist in determining a target weight and developing a program to reduce joint stress, improve mobility, reduce pain, and prevent future damage.


2. Anti-inflammatory Foods

Inflammation can also cause knee pain and weakness, so eat anti-inflammatory foods like spinach, ginger, turmeric, olive oil, avocados, walnuts, flaxseeds, salmon, tart cherries, blueberries, and sweet potatoes. On the other hand, inflammatory foods such as soda, sugary foods, white flour products, white rice, and foods high in saturated fats should be avoided.

3. Get Enough Exercise

Exercises improve knee condition by strengthening knee muscles, bones, and joints. Knee bends, lunges, step-ups, straight-leg raises, hamstring stretches, single-leg squats, and Swiss ball squats are all beneficial. Perform these exercises 4-5 times per week for 30 minutes. A suitable exercise program with a trainer or partner can boost motivation in arthritis patients. Walking, cycling, Tai Chi, water activities, and swimming are all recommended low-impact exercises.

4. Vitamin D

Because it is a threshold nutrient for perfect joint and bone health, lacking this vitamin increases the risk of minimal trauma fractures and bone loss. Furthermore, if the body does not have enough vitamin D, it will be unable to absorb enough calcium. The body produces this vitamin when exposed to sunlight, so spend at least 15 minutes in the sun each day, early in the morning. Dairy products, cod liver, oil, fish-fortified cereals, and egg yolks are good sources of this vitamin. Your doctor may also advise you to take supplements.

5. Use Hot and Cold Therapy

Heat and cold treatments can help relieve the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. Heat treatments include taking a warm shower or bath in the morning and placing an electric blanket or moist heating pad on the affected joint. For example, wrapping gel ice packs or frozen vegetables in towels can help relieve joint pain. Capsaicin, which is found in topical ointments and creams, provides warmth and can alleviate joint pain.

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6. Calcium 

Because calcium is essential for bone health, a lack of it leads to bone thinning and weakening, thus osteoporosis. Because our bodies do not produce calcium naturally, it must be obtained through supplements and dietary sources. Edamame, cheese, milk, blackstrap molasses, almonds, dark leafy greens, sardines, calcium-fortified cereals, and fortified orange juice are all good sources of calcium. If you take it as a supplement, ensure it contains vitamin D, which aids calcium absorption. Your doctor will advise you on the appropriate dosage.

7. Try Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical treatment in which thin needles are inserted into specific points on the body to reroute energies and restore balance. The ACR/AF conditionally recommends it because of its potential to lessen arthritis pain. Despite the lack of evidence, the risk of harm is low. For proper treatment, finding a licensed and certified acupuncturist is critical.

8. Use Meditation to Cope with Pain

In conjunction with meditation, relaxation, and breathing techniques, Tai chi and yoga can help reduce arthritis pain by reducing stress and improving coping. The ACR/AF recommends these techniques for reducing inflammation and pain. Some people with RA may benefit from mindfulness meditation. Stress, anxiety, and depression are common complications of chronic pain conditions such as arthritis.

9. Epsom Salt

People with weak knees or knee pain due to rheumatoid arthritis or osteoporosis have extremely low magnesium levels. As a result, because Epsom salt contains a high concentration of this mineral, it can significantly reduce the severity of the problems. Because it promotes calcium absorption, it reduces inflammation around the knee joints. It allows muscles to function properly. 2 tablespoons should be dissolved in half a cup of water, and a washcloth should be soaked in the solution. Then, apply it to the knees and leave it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water. This should be done twice a week. You can also take an Epsom salt bath once or twice a week. Place a cup of salt in a warm bath and soak for at least 20 minutes.

10. Follow a Healthy Diet

A plant-based diet high in fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole foods can strengthen the immune system and improve overall health. It has antioxidants, which eliminate free radicals and help reduce inflammation. On the other hand, a diet high in red meat, processed foods, saturated fat, added sugar, and salt may make arthritis pain worse. These foods can worsen being overweight, having high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or having heart disease. Even though current OA guidelines don’t recommend vitamin D or fish oil supplements as treatments, eating these nutrients as part of a balanced diet may help overall health.

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11. Add Turmeric to Dishes

Turmeric, a yellow spice used in Indian cooking, contains curcumin, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound. Turmeric has been shown in animal studies to reduce arthritis pain and inflammation. According to an animal study, a small amount of turmeric added to dinner is a safe option. More research is needed to comprehend its effects fully.

12. Fish Oil

Bone density and knee strength can be improved by taking fish oil, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids like docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). In addition to relieving pain and stiffness in the joints, it also has anti-inflammatory properties. Those who ate cold-water fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel twice weekly or took up to 6 grams of fish oil (at least 30% DHA/EPA) twice daily saw improvements in cognitive function, according to a study published in The International Journal of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience in 2006.

13. Get a Massage

Massage therapy is an effective treatment for knee pain and joint strengthening. Rubbing warm coconut, mustard, or olive oil on the affected area improves circulation and provides nutrients. An experienced massage therapist is recommended for chronic knee pain. Although the ACR/AF does not recommend massage therapy, it may provide indirect benefits such as stress reduction. Consult a massage therapist with arthritis treatment experience or a physical therapist to learn self-massage.

14. Vitamin C

Collagen, the primary component of knee cartilage, cannot be synthesized without vitamin C. Bone growth, bone matrix quality, and collagen synthesis cannot occur without it. Additionally, it increases bone mass density and reduces the likelihood of fractures. You can take supplements in the form of capsules and chewable tablets as directed by your doctor, or you can up your levels naturally by eating foods like lemon, oranges, papaya, kiwi, strawberries, spinach, berries, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.

15. Consider Herbal Supplements

Herbal supplements like boswellia, bromela, indevil’s claw, ginkgosting, nettle, and under god vine may help with joint pain but haven’t been proven to treat arthritis. Because the FDA does not regulate herbs and supplements for quality, purity, or safety, it is critical to purchase from a reputable source and consult a doctor before trying new supplements, as some may cause side effects and dangerous drug interactions.

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LINKS TO RESEARCH REFERENCES

Scientific Basis of Botanical Medicine as Alternative Remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis | SpringerLinkJoint Pain and Arthritis | CDC

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