Arthritis is a form of joint disorder, which includes inflammation, swelling or stiffness of joints leading to ache in joints. There are various types of arthritis out of which osteoarthritis is the most common type. The pain is the result of wear and tear of cartilage, the gel-like shock absorbing material between joints.
Arthritis is a common problem faced by men and women over 45 years of age, while osteoarthritis is commonly seen in women in the same age group.
Rheumatoid arthritis is considered to be a more serious form of arthritis. It occurs when the immune system attacks the body, rather than defending it. It causes joint pain, swelling, fatigue, poor circulation, anaemia and even eye problems.
- Although anti-inflammatory and over-the-counter drugs can ease the pain and provide temporary relief, there are plenty of other remedies you can take for easy-moving joints and pain-free days.
- Applying heat and cold treatments on the painful joints can provide significant relief. Use electric blankets or hand-warmers, heating pads or hot packs, as they work well on the affected joints. Warm the joints that pain for at least 20 minutes and repeat at regular intervals.
- Take a hot bath with eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils. It helps to ease the painful and stiff joints. Add five drops of each oil to lukewarm or hot water and soak the aching joint for around 15 minutes.
- If you feel inflammation in your joints, cold treatments work the best. Wrap ice-cubes in a towel and hold against the sore joint. You can also use a bag of frozen peas as an alternative for ice-cubes.
- Researches say that ginger roots help to reduce the pain in the joints caused by arthritis. This may be due to its ability to increase blood circulation. Include half teaspoon of ginger powder or about 35 gms of fresh ginger in your daily diet.
- If your suffer from arthritis, you may frequently have stiff, swollen hands in the morning. Try wearing a snug-fitting pair of gloves when you go to bed. They may keep the swelling under check and even reduce it to some extent. In case you observe that the stiffness gets worse by wearing gloves, don’t practice this remedy.
- A regular oil massage on the joints is a sure-shot remedy for all those who suffer from arthritis.
- Rubbing or massaging of eucalyptus oil can help to cure the achy joints. Put few drops and massage it carefully on the affected area. However, avoid it using along with the heating pad or hot compress, as the oil can cause irritation of the skin.
- Turmeric reduces the inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis. In Ayurveda, it has been used to treat arthritis due to its antioxidant activity.
- Niacinamide (vitamin B3) is a supplement that may help to improve joint flexibility and reduce inflammation.
- If you are a non-vegetarian, include more oily fish in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, and trout discourage the inflammation in the body and reduce or lessen the stiffness of joints.
- According to a research, omega-3 fatty acids in cod liver oil can slow and may even reverse the destruction of cartilage that leads to osteoarthritis. For this, you are required to take 2000mg of an omega-3 supplement three times a day, with meals.
- If you are averse to taking fish oil, take one tablespoon of flaxseed (linseed) oil a day. Mix it with orange juice or use it as a salad dressing.
- Nuts, too, contain beneficial oil and are considered as a great home remedy for the patients of arthritis.
- A regular exercise regime can help to reduce the severity of arthritis. Walking, swimming, cycling or yoga can help to ease the movement of your joints, making them more flexible. The better your physical condition, the less pain and stiffness you’ll have. If you have arthritis in a leg joint, take help of a walking stick to stabilise the joints.
- If you suffer from arthritis in the hip or knee joint, ask your doctor to measure the length of your legs. One in five people with arthritis in these joints has one leg that is slightly longer than the other. Your doctor may be able to refer you to a podiatrist to have corrective shoes made for you.
- Being overweight can cause arthritis of knees, as the knees have to bear the entire body weight. Maintain a healthy weight to help prevent osteoarthritis.
- Acupuncture may reduce the requirements for conventional pain-killers. A series of treatments by a qualified acupuncturist is definitely one way of seeking relief for paining joints.
- Mind-body therapies like yoga, meditation and visualisation have all been proved to have a great benefit in helping people with arthritis deal with chronic pain.
- Good walking shoes lessen the impacts and jerks on your foot, ankle, knee and hit joints. Invest in good shoes, which are flat and have a good grip.
- In case you suffer from severe arthritis, consult a physiotherapist. He may show you various exercises like shoulder stretch, knee exercise, finger exercise, ankle exercise to make the movement of your joints more flexible.
- People with arthritis have long worn copper bracelets to ‘draw out of pain’. Researchers in Australia have found that people who wear copper bracelets and also take aspirin experience less pain than people who treat their pain with aspirin alone.
It becomes necessary to discuss your physical condition with your doctor in case of joint stiffness, swelling, pain or redness. If you have already been diagnosed with arthritis, see your doctor in case of any adverse effect of remedies or a new development in the achy joints.