Natural Remedies for Arthritis
Over 50 million Americans suffer with chronic arthritis pain. While the risk of developing the disease increases with age, nearly 3 out of every 5 arthritis patients are under 65.
Researchers now agree that the name “arthritis” is just a catch phrase for over 100 different conditions. The one symptom they all share is stiff, swollen, painful joints. Here are common conditions that fall under this disease umbrella.
Osteoarthritis means that the slippery, shock-absorbing lubricant that should help bones glide easily against each other has begun to dry up. Typically it involves not just pain but limited motion as well, and it tends to attack knee and hip joints first.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune condition that causes the body to attack its own soft tissues and joints. It can cause swollen joints as well as pain in hands and feet, elbow, shoulder and neck.
Gout is also a form of arthritis, caused by the build-up of uric acid. When acid levels get too high, urate crystals travel through the blood and settle in joints and tendons, causing painful inflammation.
Aspirin and other grocery store pain relief products are often the first line of defense for arthritis sufferers. Unfortunately, the body acclimates to these drugs and soon it takes twice as much to get half the relief. That’s a dangerous cycle because most over-the-counter products can have serious side effects, ranging from stomach and intestinal ulcers to high blood pressure and liver damage. Unfortunately, prescription drugs are no better because they too can have serious side effects.
Moderate exercise is good. Research shows that endurance and resistance exercise contribute to pain relief.
Watch your weight. Many experts say that good weight control can actually prevent arthritis. If you already have the disease, remember that every pound you lose means 4 pounds of pressure off each knee.
Use a topical menthol analgesic. While these products can’t cure arthritis, they can offer fast, powerful relief. And good ones, like Premiere’s Pain Spray Mist or Roll-On, can offer relief that lasts for hours.
Take a good omega-3. Numerous studies suggest that this dietary supplement can help the body tip toward an anti-inflammatory state. (If you’re on blood-thinners, including aspirin, check first with your doctor before starting any supplement program.)
Try Hydrotherapy. This is basically exercise done in a warm water swimming pool. Research finds that it contributes to good pain management in many arthritis patients.