Have you ever had stiff and painful joints? Do you feel it getting worse with age? Your symptoms may be caused by arthritis. Osteoarthritis, aka osteoarthrosis, is the most common type of this condition. Bone can rub against bone if the cartilage in your joint wears out. This is especially common in larger joints, such as your knees. Sounds distressful, right? Osteoarthritis can get pretty painful indeed. So why should you look for natural remedies for osteoarthritis?Up to 27 million are affected by this disabling condition. And this is just in the US. When treating OA disease, doctors usually resort to painkillers or non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs. It must be said that these medications do have unwanted side effects. For this reason, it’s much better to try some natural remedies for osteoarthritis. It may work for you quite well.
Because OA disease is so common, incapacitating, and incredibly painful there are lots of different treatments out there. Unfortunately, most of these are less than effective. Nevertheless, there are a few proven osteoarthritis remedies that can ease the pain, fight off inflammation, and help you live a more active lifestyle. Keep reading for top 7 natural remedies for osteoarthritis disease.
1. Lose some weight
Your body weight can influence how much pain arthritis causes you. Those extra pounds will put more pressure on your hips, knees, and feet. So losing weight seems like one of the best natural remedies for osteoarthritis. It is also probably by far the most difficult one.
One way or another, every lost pound means that your knees get to experience less pressure. In fact, losing even 10 pounds of your body weight may cause your symptoms to disappear completely. The benefits of losing weight are endless. You will not only be able to decrease your pain, but also experience improved mobility, as well as prevent future joint damage for sure.
2. Exercises for osteoarthritis
Exercising with joint pain may seem as counterproductive. However, stopping all physical activity is probably the worst thing you can do at this point. The truth is exercising does not make osteoarthrosis worse, unless you are putting a lot of pressure on the affected area.
So what are some of the exercises for osteoarthritis? If you are an older person you can do water aerobics at your local swimming pool. If your shape is a little better, some walking or swimming may be a good idea. Runners should cut their mileage and find softer surfaces for their routine. Make sure your exercises for osteoarthritis are balanced. This means there your workout should have two main parts. Start off with some knee friendly cardio, such as swimming, walking, or biking and progress to leg strengthening exercises. These should include isometric and isotonic holds for the quads as well as the hamstrings.
3. Hot and Cold Therapy
There are no universal rules for whether you should use hot or cold treatment on your joints. Most health professionals recommend that you experiment and find what works best for you. Nonetheless, you will feel a tremendous effect when you figure out how to use these home remedy methods correctly.
If your joints are stiff, especially in the morning, or before a workout session it is a good idea to take a long hot bath or apply a heat pack. This will surely help relieve joint stiffness. If you want to keep your joints loose during the night, get an electric blanket or a heating pad. A hot pack will not only relax your muscles and take away any spasm, but also help your joints stay lubricated.
If you think your joints may be swollen and inflamed, a cold pack will be your best choice here. Low temperature of an ice pack will reduce inflammation, bringing the swelling and pain to a minimum. Just wrap a bag of frozen peas in a towel, or get a reusable cold pack for a quick and easy relief.
Some of us will find that alternating between hot and cold therapy may be their best choice. In this case use heat therapy after waking up and before exercising in order to loosen up that stiff arthritic knee. A cold pack will come in handy a few hours later, as well as after exercising to reduce pain and swelling. It’s OK to repeat this process several times during the day.
Many people with OA disease find this method helpful. This has also been proven by several WHO studies. Acupuncture originates from China and involves inserting needles into your body. We must say that this method does not help everybody, but despite this it’s the most well-researched non-conventional method of osteoarthrosis therapy. If you do decide to try acupuncture, make sure to look for a certified specialist.
5. Meditation is one of the simplest natural remedies for osteoarthritis
Can taking a few minutes every day to stop what you are doing in order to relax and breathe relieve osteoarthritis pain? According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) it can. And this is not magic, it’s science. Their studies found that Tai Chi – an ancient Chinese practice that includes meditation, deep breathing, and gentle movements can help some people ease knee pain as well as fight off stress and depression. What you have to do here is change how your view the pain. Apparently if you adjust your thoughts and feelings about it, your stress levels will drop, and so will the inflammation. This is one of the simplest natural remedies for osteoarthritis.
6. See a Massage Therapist
According to the experts from Arthritis Foundation, massaging painful arthritic joints can bring you anticipated pain relief. Massage therapy will also improve your range of motion, as it will bring joint stiffness to a minimum. The key point here is that this has to be done regularly for it to be effective. You can even ask the massage therapist to teach you self-massage techniques. You can use these when you are at home, and they can be just as beneficial, as regular massage therapy. Another thing to consider here is that your massage specialist must know how to work with arthritis patients, so make sure you chose carefully.
7. Get information about osteoarthritis
This is not an actual treatment method. But the more you know, the sooner you will be able to help yourself feel better. So learning about your condition can be a powerful tool in your fight against osteoarthritis. You can get a lot of useful information from places like the Arthritis Foundation, and CDC. The most important thing for you is to understand what you can and can’t do if you have OA disease.
Finding a good physician is another important aspect. Some doctors are always time-constrained and can only give you 5-10 minutes of their time. Look for a doctor who can educate you, answer all of your questions, and develop an extensive treatment plan. If you follow his or her advice, taking into account the above natural remedies for osteoarthritis, you will see amazing results in no time.