Best Natural Pain Relievers for Hand Arthritis
Natural pain relievers for hand arthritis exist, my friends. You don’t have to suffer in silence anymore while you pop over-the-counter pain medications that can cause more problems than they solve.
If you’re like me, hand arthritis affects everything you do. Think of how many times a day you use your hands to caress, feel, grasp, hold, manipulate, or touch something. You’d probably lose count if you ever tried to keep an accurate record.
Hand arthritis causes the kind of pain that interferes with those everyday tasks. Fortunately, there are natural pain relievers you can rely on to reduce inflammation and pain so you can get back to enjoying life.
In this article, we share some of the best natural pain relievers for hand arthritis and how you can add them to your health and wellness routine to achieve optimal results.
1 – Acupuncture: A Natural Pain Reliever
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to address an array of physical and emotional ailments. Research backs the notion that acupuncture addresses inflammation in the hands and wrists, improving motion and decreasing pain short term.
Other ways acupuncture helps hand arthritis include:
- Improving circulation in the affected areas of the hands by stimulating nitric oxide in the body. Acupuncture increases blood flow to the treatment area, carrying with it the rich oxygen and nutrients that keep joints healthy and pain-free.
- Reducing stress and promoting relaxation by alleviating muscle tension in the hands. When muscles get tense, it adds to the pain you’re already feeling from hand arthritis.
- Stimulating the body’s natural healing process by activating the immune system and promoting tissue regeneration.
2 – Capsaicin for Hand Arthritis Pain
Capsaicin is the active compound in chili peppers. If you like your food hot and spicy, you’re already doing something that can help ease your hand arthritis pain naturally.
Fairly simple science explains why capsaicin works. The compound is shown to block pain signals to your brain. If the brain doesn’t know something hurts, it can’t send signals to your nerves, which register discomfort and cause you to feel it.
Don’t worry. You don’t have to eat chili peppers to get the benefits of capsaicin.
You can get capsaicin very easily in topical products like creams, extended-release patches, and lotions. They’re sold over the counter at most pharmacies and stores that carry pain relievers.
3 – Ginger for Combatting Inflammation
Most people know that ginger is effective at calming an upset stomach. What you may not realize is that it’s also a natural pain reliever for hand arthritis.
Ginger’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties come from the compounds gingerols and shogaols. Together, they reduce joint inflammation and swelling, which is a common cause of hand arthritis.
You can get the benefits of ginger for natural pain relief from hand arthritis by drinking it in tea or taking it as a supplement.
4- Menthol for Natural Pain Relief
Menthol is a compound found in plants like peppermint and eucalyptus. It’s a common ingredient in natural pain relievers because it’s so effective.
When applied directly to your skin, menthol produces a cooling and numbing sensation that distracts you from pain. However, it does more than just divert your attention away from painful hand arthritis. Science proves menthol has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that reduce pain and swelling in your joints.
It works by activating your body’s cold receptors, which are found in nerve endings in the skin. These receptors send signals to your brain that can either intensify or reduce pain.
Menthol is one of the most effective natural pain relievers for hand arthritis because (like ginger) it affects the production of anti-inflammatory chemicals in your body. You can find menthol in many topical creams, gels, and roll-ons which can be applied directly to the affected areas.
5 – Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Hand Arthritis
Consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids is one of the best natural pain relief strategies for hand arthritis as well as other joint pain and swelling throughout your body. Found in fatty fish (like mackerel, tuna, and salmon), omega-3 reduces the pain, swelling, and stiffness that come with many types of arthritis.
If you suffer from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in your hands, omega-3 fatty acids are worth adding to your diet. Don’t like the taste of fish? No problem! You can enjoy the same benefits by adding an omega-3 supplement to your health care regimen.
6 – Turmeric to Reduce Pain and Swelling
Pain and swelling are common symptoms in people suffering from hand arthritis. Joints get stiff and swollen, which triggers a pain response. If you use your hands for work or other tasks throughout the day, finding natural pain relievers is a must.
Turmeric is a spice that’s been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Its active compound – curcumin – has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce pain and swelling in arthritic joints.
You can work turmeric into your diet in several ways. Use it as a spice in your cooking or drink it in a cup of tea. If neither of those methods sounds appealing, you can also take it in supplement form.
Stop Hand Arthritis Pain Naturally
Hand arthritis pain can stop you in your tracks, preventing you from doing just about anything you need or want to do throughout the day. Don’t assume you have to pump yourself full of OTC pain relievers or prescription medications to cope with the discomfort.
Using any of the natural pain relievers mentioned above – or a combination of them – can reduce inflammation that causes joint swelling and stiffness.
As always, before starting any new supplements, consult with your medical provider to ensure they won’t react with any of your current medications or pre-existing conditions.
About the Author: Shari Berg is a researcher, frequent blogger, feature writer, and author of Wars End with Me.
- Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Curcumin in the Inflammatory Diseases: Status, Limitations and Countermeasures. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed April 12, 2023.
- Benefits of Ginger and Its Constituent 6-Shogaol in Inhibiting Inflammatory Processes. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed April 12, 2023.
- Capsaicin (Topical Route) Description and Brand Names. mayoclinic.org. Accessed April 12, 2023.
- Changes of Local Blood Flow in Response to Acupuncture Stimulation: A Systemic Review. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed April 12, 2023.
- Lipid Mediators | Leukotrienes. sciencedirect.com. Accessed April 12, 2023.
- Prostaglandins. my.clevelandclinic.org. Accessed April 12, 2023.
- The Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Arthritis. arthritis.org. Accessed April 12, 2023.
- The distinctive role of menthol in pain and analgesia: Mechanisms, practices, and advances. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed April 12, 2023.
- The Effect of Acupuncture on Hand and Wrist Pain Intensity, Functional Status, and Quality of Life in Adults: A Systemic Review. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed April 12, 2023.