Inflammation is the culprit behind a surprising number of diseases. Just about anything in your body can become inflamed. Most people still associate inflammation with joint pain and muscle injuries, but inflammation can crop up in your digestive system, your heart, and even in your brain.
Inflammation can be localized to a specific spot or it can be spread out. It can affect large organs and the tiniest cells. It’s no wonder that inflammation can lead to health problems like diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis. Thankfully there are natural remedies for inflammation and arthritis.
And if you’re looking for a way to stop inflammation from contributing to adverse health issues in your life, we’ve even explored herbal remedies for arthritis in previous articles.
New Blood Test for Predicting Arthritis Risk
The most recent studies in the battle against arthritis have been eventful. Scientists can now predict one’s chances of suffering from rheumatoid arthritis approximately 20 years before the condition starts to take effect.
A new blood test, where doctors test antibodies that recognize a protein called tenascin-C, is able to accurately detect the predisposition to rheumatoid arthritis in 50% of patients—with a 98% accuracy rate.
In previous studies, Japanese researchers looked into the role of olives, citrus fruits, grapes, and green tea for their inflammation-reducing abilities. They noted that one particular substance, a cytokine called “tumor necrosis factor,” played a pivotal role in the development of chronic inflammatory diseases. Their research shows that the intake of polyphenols contained in the following natural sources can effectively help shut down tumor necrosis factors. The polyphenols target mechanisms that set inflammation in motion and reduce an individual’s chances of suffering from joint pain and long-term illnesses:
- Hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, and oleuropein (found in olives)
- Naringin and hesperidin (found in citrus fruits)
- Resveratrol, procyanidins and oligomeric procyanidins (found in grapes or grape-seed extract)
- Epigallocatechin gallate (found in green tea)
- Quercetin (found in grapes, green tea)
These special substances are able to modulate the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease. This could translate into more pain relief for you!
Natural Remedies for Arthritis Pain
Arthritis can seriously impact one’s life. Joint inflammation can become so debilitating that it can prevent one from moving, staying active, or working. Close to 30 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis alone.
The good news is that there are many natural treatments for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. These treatments include natural remedies that can fight the inflammation caused by arthritis. This is beneficial considering the side effects of prescribed and over-the-counter medications. Natural remedies for arthritis include:
- Exercise: Exercising more regularly can help people lose weight and reduce the amount of stress on the joints. Exercising also helps keep the joints flexible and strengthens the muscles. It’s better to do low impact exercises like swimming if you already suffer from arthritis.
- Ginger tea and turmeric: Both of these are well known anti-inflammatory foods. Turmeric has become popular recently because it contains a powerful antioxidant called curcumin. Either of these foods can be mixed in tea or swallowed in pill form.
- Magnesium: Adding magnesium supplements into your diet relieves stiffness by relaxing muscles and nerve endings. Studies have also shown magnesium to strengthen bones and improve bone density.
- Soak in Epsom salts: Epsom salts contain high levels of magnesium. We’ve just detailed how magnesium plays a role in fighting arthritis; soaking your body in Epsom salts is one way for your body to get the magnesium it needs.
- Massages: Getting regular massages is a great way to loosen up your joints and relax your muscles. It’s best to work with a professional to maximize the effectiveness.
- Acupuncture: This is still a bit controversial, but people suffering from arthritis have seen a reduction in pain when turning to acupuncture. The treatment is said to restore the balance the body needs. It is advisable to use an acupuncturist who is experienced.
- Glucosamine: Glucosamine has been proven in some studies to reduce arthritis pain; however, only glucosamine sulfate is thought to be effective, not glucosamine hydrochloride.
There are many natural remedies to treat pain and inflammation from arthritis. From olive oil to fatty acids, arthritis sufferers have tried many ways to alleviate their pain! Even when taking natural products, it’s still important to consult with a doctor.
Exercises to Reduce Arthritis Pain
For people who suffer from arthritis, the thought of exercise can be daunting. But exercise is actually one of the best methods to treat the condition. Increased strength and flexibility are just some of the benefits of exercise. The key is to understand your boundaries while still being able to push yourself to do more. Check out these amazing exercises for arthritis pain in hands and low-impact exercises for knee arthritis.
Here are a few factors to keep in mind before embarking on an exercise plan:
- Ease your way into exercising: Speak to your doctor about starting a new exercise program and they will be able to guide you on what type of movement will work best with your type of arthritis.
- Range of motion exercising is a good way to start: Simply extend your body parts in normal movements. Raise your arms over your head, bend and stretch your legs and roll your shoulders. All of these movements are fairly simple and can be done first thing in the morning.
- Aerobic exercises are effective: Aerobic exercises are beneficial and won’t take too much of a toll on your body. Your energy will be higher; you’ll likely lose weight and sleep better. Aerobics, swimming and walking are examples of aerobic exercises.
- Strength training is recommended: Keeping the muscles around the joints strong will help prevent joint pain—just make sure to use light weights at first. Perform strength training every other day to give your body time to recover.
Lifestyle Changes to Help Treat Arthritis Pain
We’ve already spoken about exercise and how vital it is to alleviating and preventing arthritis, but there are a few other factors to keep in mind:
- Healthy diet: Along with exercise, follow a healthy diet that includes low-fat, low-carb foods. Speak with your doctor about a healthy nutrition plan.
- Proper sleep: Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night. If necessary, take short naps during the day.
Sources for Today’s Article:
Goodall, C., “14 Home Remedies for Arthritis & Joint Pain,”EverydayRoots web site; http://everydayroots.com/arthritis-remedies, last accessed December 29, 2015.
“13 Natural Remedies for Arthritis,” Health.com; http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20443624_6,00.html, last accessed December 29, 2015.
“Exercise helps ease arthritis pain and stiffness,” Mayo Clinic web site, February 14, 2013; http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/in-depth/arthritis/art-20047971.
Rodriguez, D., “Lifestyle Changes to Manage Arthritis Pain,” Everyday Health web site, October 9, 2014; http://www.everydayhealth.com/arthritis/taking-control-of-arthritis.aspx.