Natural Ways to Ease Arthritis Pain
Arthritis is a catchall term used to describe more than 100 types of joint diseases, according to the Arthritis Foundation. And it affects approximately 53 millions adults and 300,000 children. Symptoms usually include pain, stiffness, inflammation and a decreased range of motion. If you have arthritis, your doctor will usually prescribe certain medications, but some of these drugs can cause adverse effects over time. That’s why it behooves you to try using more natural methods. Following are eight ways to alleviate your symptoms naturally.
Try starting your day with a warm morning bath. The heat will help ease the pain and stiffness in your affected joints and prepare you for the daily activities ahead. The reason heat works in relieving pain is that it increases blood flow and oxygen, a natural healer, to your joints, according to the U.S. National Library of Health. Blood also carries certain nutrients, including vitamin C, which can help mollify your symptoms. As your day progresses and you start getting stiffer, use a heating pad to assuage the pain. Sleep with a heating pad or electric blanket for overnight comfort.
Olive Oil to Your Diet
Olive oil, especially the cold-pressed extra virgin oil, contains anti-inflammatory enzymes that rival the affects of ibuprofen on easing pain and discomfort. Add olive oil to your salads or use it in lieu of butter on potatoes and vegetables. Olive oil can also be used as a topical soother. Just pour some into the palms of your hands and rub it into your joints a couple times daily.
Eat More Fruits
Since vitamin C has healing properties, eating foods that contain this vitamin can ease painful arthritis. And many fruits are loaded with vitamin C or ascorbic acid. The Arthritis Foundation recommends consuming five or more helpings each day to alleviate arthritic symptoms. Some recommended fruits include grapes, watermelon, tart cherries, avocados, strawberries, red raspberries and various citrus fruits (i.e. oranges and grapefruits).
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Get a Daily Dose of Ginger
Ginger is a wonder supplement that has been proven to not only fight infections but alleviate pain and discomfort. There are several ways to add ginger to your diet. Drink several cups of ginger tea each day. Add it to sauces, vinaigrettes or granolas, or purchase a ginger supplement at the health food store.
Improve Your Diet
While certain foods alleviate inflammation, others such as pizza, donuts, refined breads, pizza, sodas and beer can exacerbate inflammatory conditions, the Arthritis Foundation reports. That’s because many of these foods are either high in saturated fats or sugar. To control your arthritis pain, eat more vegetables, brown rice, yams, almonds and lean meats, and limit the junk food.
Wear Tight-Fitting Gloves to Bed
Similar to keeping shoes on with swollen feet, snug gloves can work wonders in controlling inflammation, stiffness and pain while you sleep. And you’ll feel much better when you wake up to start your day. If you have arthritis in your elbows or knees, try tying a scarf or elastic band around them at night.
Exercise increases strength and flexibility for arthritis sufferers, reduces joint pain and combats fatigue, according to Mayo Clinic. But you don’t have to become a fitness buff to benefit from exercise. A half hour of walking per day will suffice. But start out slow. Start with 10 minute walks two or three times daily to increase mobility. Add some resistance exercises such as light weightlifting or exercise bands to build strength. Exercise strengthens muscles surrounding your joints which, in turn, reduces the stress placed upon them. Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine. He or she may recommend some exercises to mitigate your symptoms.
Get Plenty of Sleep
A lack of sleep can worsen your arthritis symptoms, so try to get at least seven or eight hours each night. If you have trouble sleeping, make your room cooler and darker at night. Also, avoid stimulants like caffeine at bedtime. Use natural sleep aids containing melatonin or valerian root, but check with your doctor first.
Start implementing some of these natural methods instead of relying on just prescribed drugs. You’ll be surprised how much they can help and increase your quality of life.