Abnormally large number of people across the world suffer from joint pains and in particular Osteoarthritis. As the condition has become quite common so are its drugs. You can get free advice from almost everyone on how to tackle it and what are the anti-inflammatory drugs to try just in case the condition gets severe. But apart from these drugs, there are numerous other measures you can take which can help to get relief from the condition on the long term while keeping your wellness and free movement of your joints intact.
Medically there are over 100 types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is one of the most common types of the condition. Symptoms of it include pain, swelling in the joints, and feeling of stiffness in the joints. Arthritis pain mainly occurs due to the damage to the cartilage found in the joints. Cartilage is the jelly-like substance that is found in-between the joints, it mainly acts as a lubricant and a shock absorber reducing friction between the joints. Damage to this cartilage leads to direct bone content in the joints leading to severe pain.
Osteoarthritis can happen at any age, but it’s more common among old age people who are over 45 years of age. Other popular forms of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Glucosamine and chondroitin: Supplements that contain these compounds are found to be very effective on people with mild to moderate arthritis. Combination of these compounds restricts or slow down the cartilage damage/loss thereby reducing the pain. These supplements should be used as per the dosage advised on the label. It takes a while for these supplements before you notice results, so take it regularly at least for one month to absorb the reduction in pain.
Ginger Powder: Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory properties so it gets rid of inflammatory agents present in the joints. Additionally, it increases the blood circulation to the joints. Take half a teaspoon of powdered dry ginger once a day, if you cannot eat it raw you can add it to warm water and add a little honey to taste and drink it off.
SAM-e: Our blood contains proteoglycan molecules, these molecules have been scientifically proven to protect the cartilage present in the joints by supplying it with needed oxygen. Some other studies conducted by U.S government also proved that its effects are similar to that of anti-inflammatory drugs when it comes to combating against arthritis pain. SAM-e increases the levels of proteoglycan in blood, so it helps arthritis patients to get much need relief from their pain. Take two doses of 400mg SAM-e a day, which comes to 800mg a day. If you start to notice good results, you can try to reduce the dosage by half to 400mg. On the contrary, if you are not satisfied with the results, then you can increase the dosage to 1600mg a day. SAM-e is free from any side effects so it can be taken in combination with other anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed by your Doctor.
Warm treatment: Warmness soothes joint pains. You can make use of a towel dipped in hot water and wrap it around the joints whenever you feel pain and repeat the process once the towel gets cold. Alternatively, you can make use of heating pads or hot pads. Taking a hot shower or sitting in a hot bathtub for some time can be soothing as well.
Cold Treatments: Chillness can suppress the pain as well, and it works best when the joints are inflamed. You can use ice directly on the joints or make use of ice pack, or a bag of frozen peas.
Use Woollen or Leather Gloves: If you experience joint pain or stiffness in the joints when you wake up every morning, then wear a woolen or leather gloves before heading to sleep in the night. It will bring down swelling and keep it in check.
Omega 3 Fatty Acid
- People sourced Omega-3 fatty acid from a cold water fish such as salmon found out their arthritis pain reduced to a greater degree with the decrease in stiffness. Many studies prove that omega-3 fatty acid is anti-inflammatory and it acts as a shield against inflammation thereby protecting you from arthritis.
- If you cannot find fish or hate eating one, then you can make use of fish oil supplements. Doctors recommend taking 2000mg of fish oil capsules three times a day.
- Flaxseed oil contains similar omega-3 fatty acid like the one present in cold water fish like salmon. You can consume 1 teaspoon of flaxseed oil directly or you can add it by adding it to your salad.
- Another source of omega-3 fatty acid is nuts. So much on some of it every day, but do not go overboard.
Eucalyptus oil: Apply some oil to the joints where you feel the pain and rub it gently.
Capsaicin: Capsaicin creams are available in most drug stores, slather some cream on the joints where you feel the pain. Capsaicin is one of the main ingredient present in hot peppers that gives its hotness. When you apply some of this cream to the painful area, it irritates the nerve ending present in the zone and suppresses the nerves from taking the pain signals to the brain. In other words, it suppresses the pain temporarily.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a much more serious condition over osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs as a result of our body’s immune system acting against the body itself. So instead of defending the body, it attacks it. Symptoms of this problem are not isolated to joint pains, it also includes tiredness, fatigue, poor blood circulation, eyesight problems, and even anemia.
There are few things you can do to fight Rheumatoid arthritis yourself at home and find some relief or get some extra relief adding to your main treatment.
Track your diet: There are certain foods that can make the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis much worse, keep a journal and note down all the foods you intake on a particular day and corresponding response by your body. In this process, you can get to know all the foods that elevate the inflammatory response.
Some common foods that are found to increase inflammation include wheat, milk, milk products, lemon, citrus, fruits, corn, eggs, and tomatoes.
Go vegan or Vegetarian: Many studies have revealed that people who followed the vegetarian diet that is free from inflammation inducing fruits, vegetables, eggs, alcohol, caffeine, salt, refined sugar, and milk products for one month noticed a very good improvement in their condition with reduced pain in the joints. Additionally, they were able to include milk products in their diet after three months. I know it kind of sounds extreme but you can take it up as a challenge in your fight against arthritis.
Gamma linolenic acid: A study that was conducted on Gamma-linolenic acid revealed that people with rheumatoid arthritis who took GLA supplement regularly for 6 months saw better improvement in their pain and inflammation over people who took placebo. GLA is the main ingredient in evening primrose oil. You can take 1000 milligrams of evening promise oil two to three times daily.
Try fasting: There is a strong belief among some Doctors that fasting for one or two days can help to relieve the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis. The reason they put forward is, it gives the immune system the much-needed rest thereby helps with their patient to find some relief.
Moderate and regular Exercise: Moderate and controlled exercises helps to keep your joints in good shape. Also, people who do not exercise regularly tend to put on more weight which puts more stress and pressure on their joints which in turn will increase their pain. If you find yourself joints getting swelled and inflamed then take a day or two off from your workout session.
Strong muscles will support your joints and helps you to get relief from the pains.
Measure your legs: It might sound weird but a study finds out that one in five arthritis patients have one leg which is slightly shorter than the other one, which made them put more strain on one leg over the other all their life. So measure your legs and if you find any inequality between them, then consult your Doctor about corrective shoes to overcome the problem.
Weird but True
It might sound stupid and totally unscientific but it has been proven to be true scientifically. People who wear copper bracelets and used aspirin experienced less pain over people who just used aspirin reveals researchers in Australia.
Weather Change: Changes in weather conditions does impact your joint pains and it is not your imagination if you felt it. A rapid increase in humidity and sudden decrease in air pressure are known to decrease the blood flow to your joints and will increase the pain. If you notice a sudden change in weather or an approaching thunderstorm stay inside your home and switch on the air-conditioner.
How to Prevent?
- Maintain a healthy weight: Like mentioned earlier more weight means more pressure and stress on your affected joints. This will overdrive your arthritis pain and swelling. The good thing is people who maintain a healthy weight and healthy BMI reduces their chances for Arthritis and joint pains.
- Walk in different conditions: If you practice walking exercise regularly, then you should vary your walking location from time to time. When you repeatedly walk on the same location you will exert more stress on the same part of the joints every day, this can damage your cartilage.
- Choose Right Footwear: Always opt for footwear with a flat bottom. Let there be enough cushioning effect which will reduce the direct impact of your weight on the joints. If you walk or jog regularly choose a nice pair of quality running and walking shoes that fit you well and is comfortable. Say no to high heels.
- Vitamin-C: Include Vitamin-C rich foods in your daily diet. Citrus fruits are known to be rich in Vitamin-C and antioxidants. Antioxidants put on a direct fight against harmful oxygen molecules that cause tissue damage. There are many studies that reveal that antioxidants minimise the risk of arthritis and can even stop it in its tracks. If you cannot source enough Vitamin-C through foods, then you can make use of the Vitamin-C supplements. Doctors recommend 500mg of vitamin-C every day.
- Zinc: A long-term study which involved nearly 30,000 women proved that those who took zinc supplements minimised their risk for Rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, deficiency of zinc can lead to joint pains in the long run. So consume zinc rich foods and if you can use zinc supplements with Doctor’s advice.