8 Natural Treatments for Arthritis Symptoms
Aches and pains are normal as aging occurs – but for many, those aches and pains are chronic and caused by something entirely different. For 54 million adults¹, joint pain is caused by arthritis.
Arthritis is a chronic disease that causes swelling, stiffness, and pain throughout the body’s joints. And while there’s no cure for arthritis, there’s no need to live with the debilitating effects of this condition. The aches and pains of arthritis can be soothed with the use of natural treatments.
From dietary supplements to dietary changes, natural treatment options can provide temporary arthritis relief. Try the following natural treatment options to help ease the painful symptoms of this condition.
1. Eat Foods with Fatty Acids
Fatty acids – better known as omega-3 fatty acids – are a healthy component of any diet. However, they can be particularly beneficial to those suffering from arthritis symptoms. These fats can, according to the Arthritis Foundation², reduce joint stiffness and soothe pain.
To incorporate more fatty acids into a balanced diet, supplements are a great option. Fish oil supplements offer a great dose of omega-3s, while gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) oil offers another option.
Acupuncture is one of the oldest natural pain remedies in existence – and, as a traditional Chinese medicine, it’s been used for centuries around the world. Acupuncture is the process of inserting super-fine needles into different areas of the body, such as pressure points and locations of chronic pain, to stimulate energy and blood flow throughout the body.
According to WebMD³, acupuncture has been found to reduce inflammation, soothe back pain, and potentially calm some of the symptoms of different types of arthritis like osteoarthritis. Acupuncture requires nothing more than a relaxing session with a qualified practitioner who’s dealt with arthritis symptoms before.
A spice found most commonly in curries, turmeric is so much more than a delicious dinner time addition. Turmeric, which is a staple in India and Indonesia, is actually a spice that’s been used in traditional medicines for centuries. The brightly colored ingredient can prevent and soothe inflammation and eliminate pain.
In fact, turmeric is so effective for both arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis pain that WebMD⁴ reports it’s as effective at providing pain relief as many nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Turmeric can be taken as a supplement or made into a paste to be rubbed on different joints and areas of the body.
4. Hot and Cold Therapy
Hot and cold therapy is a tried-and-true way to alleviate many different types of aches and pains – but these at-home natural remedies can be particularly beneficial and helpful for those suffering from any type of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis.
Cold therapy, which can easily be applied by ice packs, reduces or prevents joint swelling and calms inflammation at specific sites. Applying ice packs to areas of pain for 15 minutes at a time can provide quick relief, and ice packs can be reapplied every half hour.
Hot therapy alleviates pain in a similar way. The heat from a heating pad, microwavable hot pack, or a warm, damp towel relaxes stiff joints, restores mobility, and gets blood flowing. Just make sure the heat isn’t too unbearable for the skin’s surface.
Low-impact exercises are ideal for arthritis sufferers as they keep the joints protected and don’t require quick, sudden movements that can be difficult for those with stiff, painful joints. Yoga is a perfect way to get a bit of exercise and treat arthritis symptoms naturally – this centuries-old ancient practice of breathing, meditation, and flexible movements is suitable for those new to exercise and those who are experienced.
Yoga helps to improve flexibility, which in turn helps ease joint pain. The breathing and meditation included during yoga practice also offer stress relief, helping to alleviate any tension the body may carry. Just check with a doctor before beginning yoga to ensure it’s safe to practice.
6. Topical Capsaicin Cream
Capsaicin may be the source of spice in hot chili peppers, but it can also work wonders as a natural treatment option for arthritis symptoms. An ingredient in a number of topical gels, creams, and lotions designed for pain relief, capsaicin can work wonders when rubbed onto the skin thanks to its spicy nature.
And capsaicin is especially beneficial for rheumatoid arthritis. It can counteract inflammation and provide soothing pain relief when applied directly to the skin above aching joints.
Better known as frankincense, boswellia is an herb that’s packed with anti-inflammatory properties. Sourced from trees of the same name, boswellia is actually a form of gum – but arthritis sufferers can find it as an herb or an herbal supplement included in oral tablets or topical creams.
Boswellia works so well because, as Healthline⁵ writes, it’s able to block the types of substances that attack healthy joints – meaning it directly counters the effect of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
8. Ginger Tea
Black, green, and herbal teas may be familiar, but there’s one type of tea in particular that arthritis sufferers should try: ginger tea. Made from ginger, the very same herb used in many delicious recipes, ginger tea include ginger root. And ginger root offers both a strong, distinct flavor and evident anti-inflammatory properties.
Research, the NCCIH⁶ reports, is proving that ginger can reduce joint swelling and increase blood circulation. Like heat therapy, this increase blood flow throughout the body can lead to natural healing. And ginger is a natural remedy that those with any type of arthritis can benefit from.