Arthritis is an issue that affects millions of people around the world. In the United States alone, it is estimated that over 54 million people have been diagnosed with this issue. What’s worse is that experts are projecting that the prevalence of arthritis may increase. This could mean that by 2040, approximately 26 percent of the population could be diagnosed with arthritis.
What is truly awful about all of this is that there isn’t any cure for arthritis. Instead, it is all about managing the various symptoms that spring up during your lifetime. Unfortunately, there are far too many people who aren’t aware of all of the remedies available to them. So, this article takes a look at some of the options people suffering from arthritis have.
What Are the Symptoms of Arthritis?
So, first things first, what are the most common indicators associated with arthritis? Well, you are most likely going to experience various issues with your joints. To start with, you may notice a great deal of discomfort in your joints or they may be tender to the touch. You may even see some redness in these areas. This is because arthritis causes your joints to swell up considerably. Sometimes, the swelling can be so bad that your movement is compromised as well.
Depending on the type of arthritis that you have been diagnosed with, you can expect a different number of joints to be afflicted. Occasionally, as in the case of juvenile arthritis, it is just one joint that is affected.
One of the more popular routes with managing the pain linked with arthritis is traditional medication. The only issue with these pills and injections is that they offer temporary relief and often have side-effects that show up with long-term use.
One of the medicines prescribed is painkillers or analgesics. These work well for short-term flare-ups or when you need to engage in strenuous activity. Some of the painkillers are over-the-counter treatments while for more intense conditions, the doctors may prescribe something stronger.
Then there are the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or (NSAIDs). As the name suggests, these drugs are responsible for reducing inflammation as well as stiffness resulting from arthritis. They can also work to ease the pain.
Last but not least, there are steroids which are great for getting rid of inflammation. These can be injected either directly into your joints or can be taken in pill form. Like with the other two forms of medication, there can be serious complications arising from using steroids for too long.
Natural Remedies for Arthritis
Thus, it has been established that medicines aren’t necessarily the way to go when it comes to arthritis. Instead, people have found relief and improvement in their quality of life by using more natural methods. Let’s take a look at what these are:
An Improved Diet
One of the best ways to cut down on the pain and stiffness you are encountering is to make sure that you are including the right foods in your diet. The main benefit of the foods that will be mentioned is that they are all excellent at lowering inflammation.
You will definitely need to increase the amount of omega-3 fatty acids you consume. The quickest and healthiest way to do this is by eating more fatty fish. Mackerel, tuna, trout, and salmon are all on the list of fish that you can indulge in frequently.
Another thing that you should add to your dinner plate is certain types of cruciferous vegetables. Now, this type of vegetable is incredibly healthy for any individual. However, if you have been diagnosed with arthritis, broccoli, cabbage, and even Brussels sprouts can greatly improve your condition.
While you are it, you should start adding certain kinds of seasoning to your food as well. Garlic and turmeric, in particular, are chock full of anti-inflammatory agents. So, not only will they make your food taste better, they will also be helping in the process.
If you are suffering from swollen joints and can’t move all that much, the last thing that you would want to do is start exercising. Well, by exercising, you can actually help your joints and your body in the long run. Of course, you don’t have to do anything too strenuous – after all, extreme activities can result in even greater pain or damage.
Running, in particular, is not advised for arthritis patients. While walking isn’t all that easy, this is something that you have to do practically every day. So, it is a good idea to use assistive devices such as knee braces and walking canes. These will prevent you from putting too much strain on particular joints and instead, spread the pressure out.
What you should focus on are workouts that limit the pressure placed on your joints. This is why water-based sports like water aerobics and swimming are often recommended. Here, your joints are put under practically no stress at all! This is not all that you can do, nonetheless. Tai chi has also found to be quite useful as it involves slow movements. If you only suffer from flare-ups and aren’t always in pain, then your doctor may suggest light strength training. In these instances, yoga can be quite beneficial as well.
If you are willing to take a chance with a few unusual remedies, then you may find that these work quite well for you too. For instance, some find that meditation is good for dealing with pain. It can even help to decrease the discomfort a bit. Meditation leads to a drop in stress and this, in turn, can reduce the inflammation in your joints.
Then there is acupuncture. While there has been no scientific evidence to back up the fact that acupuncture can ease arthritis pain, certain people believe it to be helpful. At the very least, it can help to lower your stress level which, as mentioned, can make you more comfortable.
If acupuncture seems a little out there to you, there is a more common route available – massage. This works to get rid of stiffness and can even help if you are having mobility issues. Best of all, there are lots of self-massage techniques that you can use, and you could try them out any time the pain flares up.
This is what you can do to ease the symptoms of any type of joint pain, including arthritis. Hopefully, you find it beneficial.