Arthritis is a debilitating condition that affects millions of people around the world. There are many different types of arthritis, but the primary characteristic is pain and inflammation in the joints.
There is no cure for arthritis, but many treatments can help manage and reduce the symptoms, such as pain medication, corticosteroids, and anti-inflammatory drugs.
But these treatments can come with their risks and side effects, so many people are looking for other options.
Here are seven other evidence-based remedies for arthritis that may help relieve symptoms without the use of medication:
Joint inflammation can be worsened by eating meat.
On the other hand, plant-based diets are associated with a reduced risk of arthritis and significantly improved health outcomes.
If you’re struggling with arthritis, try eliminating or reducing meat from your diet and see if it makes a difference. Prioritize plant-based whole foods (vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, and seeds) and make them the foundation of your diet.
Carrying excess weight puts unnecessary stress on your joints, which can worsen pain and inflammation.
Even a small amount of weight loss can cause a huge improvement in your symptoms. This is because each pound of body weight contributes approximately three pounds of pressure onto our joints. So 10 pounds of weight loss can relieve over 30 pounds of pressure from your joints.
Exercise is important for people with arthritis, but it can be difficult when your joints are painful and inflamed.
High-impact activities such as running and weightlifting can be hard on the joints, so people living with arthritis may want to try something else. Exercising in the water is a great option.
The water’s buoyancy helps support your body weight and takes the pressure off your joints, while the water’s resistance helps build strength. Water therapy or aquatic exercises can also help improve your range of motion without putting too much stress on your joints.
Massage therapy provides a safe and effective way to relieve pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.
A massage therapist can use different techniques to target specific areas of pain and inflammation. Massage therapy may also help improve your circulation and increase joint flexibility.
However, it’s not entirely clear how long the effects of massage last or if routine massages continue to provide improvements beyond the first few months.
Still, many people with arthritis find significant relief from massage therapy and regularly receive massages.
Hot and Cold Therapy
Heat and cold have different effects on the body, but both can help manage arthritis pain.
Heat therapy increases blood flow and helps relax muscles, which can reduce pain and stiffness. Cold therapy numbs the area and reduces swelling and inflammation.
Physical pain and psychological distress often go hand-in-hand.
When the pain gets worse, it can lead to stress, anxiety, anger, and depression. And also, these negative mental states can make pain feel even worse.
This is where mindfulness meditation comes in. Mindfulness helps break the cycle of pain and suffering by giving you tools to deal with difficult emotions.
When you are feeling pain, bring your attention to your breathing. Slowly and fully breathe all the way in and all the way out. This probably won’t cause your pain to disappear, but it can help you feel less overwhelmed by it.
See if you can separate the physical sensation of pain from the emotional experience of suffering. The pain may still be there, but you don’t have to suffer from it.
Yoga is often considered to be a moving meditation. It combines low-impact stretching and strengthening exercises with deep breathing and emotional relaxation.
This means that it can simultaneously help improve your physical health and mental well-being. Yoga can help improve your joint strength and range of motion while also promoting relaxation and stress reduction.
If you are living with arthritis, talk to your doctor about how diet and lifestyle choices such as these can be integrated into your treatment program.