This occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the membranes that line the joints and causes inflammation.
Rheumatism is not a specific disease, but a vague collective term used to cover a wide range of aches and pains affecting joints, muscles, tendons, and connective tissues. The symptoms usually presented may include: swollen, stiff joints; aching joints that look red and inflamed; joints are swollen, red, stiff, and sore; recurring or constant joint pain; pain is worse in cold or damp weather.
There are many self-help treatments you can try. The following natural remedies may bring effective relief from rheumatic aches and pains.
Anti-inflammatory massages, cleansing teas, and warm compresses can all be helpful. The herbs you choose depend on your symptoms. Add rosemary or two handful of Epsom salts to a warm bath. Many natural anti-inflammatories have been turned into supplements, including bromelain (enzymes found in pineapple) EGCG (green tea extract) oleanolic acid (from olive oil) and herbs such as boswellia (Indian frankincense) devil’s claw, ginkgo and thunder god vine.
Experiment with aromatherapy, use different essential oils in a carrier oil for a massage or adding a few drops to a warm bath. Choose from chamomile, ginger, lavender, and rosemary.
Stress can exacerbate RA symptoms, so finding ways to ease tension can play a big role in relieving your pain. Studies have shown that meditation, biofeedback and massage often help. Plus, studies show big benefits from doing tai chi, a slow and rhythmic form of Chinese exercise that combines breathing and movement. Besides increasing flexibility, strength and balance, tai chi can help relieve chronic pain.
Try soaking in a hot bath or Jacuzzi, or taking a hot shower to relieve your aching joints, help relax tense muscles and ease stiffness.
Follow an anti-inflammatory diet rich in whole grains, fruits and veggies, olive oil, fish, beans, herbs, spices and green or white tea. It’s scant on red meat, sugar, flour and saturated fat.
SOURCE: 1000 home remedies, safe and sensible treatments for everyday aliments, Anova Books, 2011