For the millions of adults who struggle with arthritis, new and natural relief for arthritis pain is always welcome news. While traditional treatments such as pain medication and injections tend to be temporary and long term use result in unwanted side effects, natural treatments remain safe and effective for long term use.
We could provide you story after story of people who are traveling Europe with arthritis in their knees and toting grandbabies through Disney World with hip arthritis because they have cracked this code of arthritis pain relief – naturally.
To be clear, osteoarthritis is a condition of degeneration or breaking down of cartilage. This means that none of the treatments we are going to discuss will be a “cure” for arthritis. However, most of the patients we talk to see surgery as a last resort and avoid the side effects of medication when at all possible. They are also generally very happy when a natural solution decreases their discomfort and improves their quality of life.
Here are treatments that require no prescription, are non invasive, and have been shown in research to provide relief for arthritis pain.
1. Increase Anti inflammatory Foods
Choosing meals that include fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil, leafy greens, and berries will help the body decrease inflammation in the joints and surrounding tissues.
2. Decrease Inflammatory Foods in the Diet
In the same way that we increase anti inflammatory foods, we want to decrease foods that cause more inflammation (and thus pain) in the body. This includes highly processed foods – especially those with added sugar and hydrogenated oils.
3. Drink Herbal Teas
The polyphenols in tea can reduce symptoms of arthritis and are a simple addition to your routine. Smart choices include ginger, chamomile, and green tea. We know these top 3 nutrition strategies can be “easier said than done” so we have a Functional Nutrition Specialist on our team to support you in implementing an anti inflammatory diet.
4. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
Carrying around extra body fat adds extra stress to your joints. For example, losing 10 pounds can take up to 30 pounds of pressure off of the knee joints. If this is a concern for you, reach out to our Integrative Health Coach for guidance.
5. Exercise Regularly
When it hurts to move, we tend to move less. Unfortunately, that makes our muscles weaker and our joints weaker. Frequent movement or any form of exercise is shown to improve function and mobility in patient’s with osteoarthritis. Low impact activities like walking, biking, weight lifting, or Pilates for example do not cause more damage.
6. Incorporate More Relaxation
Stress is inflammatory, so any way that we can increase relaxation and decrease the stress hormones our body produces will be beneficial. Research shows relaxation techniques like deep breathing, mindfulness practices, or even laughing with friends improve current symptoms and outlook for patients with both arthritis and other chronic pain conditions.
7. Add in Anti Inflammatory Supplements
The most exciting research that has emerged recently is the use of natural supplements in significantly decreasing arthritis pain and improving mobility in patients. The two that stand out among the rest are turmeric and fish oil. In fact, research shows that these supplements when taken regularly were as effective as the anti inflammatory medication that patient’s were taking without the negative side effects.
The take away . . .
The overarching theme of all these natural remedies is decreasing inflammation in the body. We must dial down the inflammatory factors that are weighing on our joints – processed food, stress, extra body weight. In addition, well within our control is dialing up choices that flight inflammation – healthy fats, quality supplements, adequate sleep, and strong social connections.
If you have tried everything you know to do for your arthritis concerns – or you just want to prevent mild aches and stiffness from getting worse – contact us for a Free Discovery Visit with one of our Doctor’s of Physical Therapy. They can review what has and has not worked for you and help you take the next best step in living your most active life free of pain.
We don’t want you to survive with arthritis, we want to see you THRIVE!