Arthritis is a condition (in reality, a whole range of conditions – there are over 100 different types of arthritis) characterised by joint pain, inflammation and stiffness.
Around 10 million people in the UK (that’s almost 15% of the entire population) are thought to be affected by one or another type of arthritis – the most common being osteoarthritis. It’s almost certain that you, or somebody you know, has been affected by arthritis at some point in their lives.
There are many ways to help alleviate pain caused by arthritis, including natural remedies. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of 4 natural remedies for arthritis that’ll help soothe those painful joints. First, though, what are natural remedies?
What are Natural Remedies?
Natural remedies are plant-based/herbal medicines as opposed to those that have been manufactured using synthetic chemicals. The history of natural medicines is rich and storied, with archaeological evidence indicating that herbal medicines were used as far back as 60,000 years ago in ancient Iraq.
Most of us will have used at least one natural remedy in our life, whether subconsciously or consciously. Applying dock leaves to nettle stings, drinking lemon tea when we’re bunged up with a cold, and using ginger as a means of easing travel sickness – all common examples of natural remedies in everyday life.
Why Should People Opt for Natural Remedies?
There are many reasons why people consider opting for natural remedies. For one, they’re often easier to source and implement into your daily routine – after all, you can pick up some ginger, whether fresh or in powder form, from any supermarket worth its salt.
Natural ingredients can also have more than one benefit, rather than solely targeting one specific ailment. Taking a ginseng supplement, for instance, is thought to not only boost immunity and reduce inflammation, but also increase general energy levels, too.
What do Studies Say Regarding Natural Remedies When Compared with Medical Pathways?
Natural remedies can (and for centuries have) helped ease the pain of countless people the whole world over. That’s not to say, however, that they’re a panacea for all ills. There are certainly instances where more conventional medical pathways should be prioritised, particularly when it comes to ingestible herbal/natural medicines.
It’s generally thought that you should avoid taking natural medicines if:
- You’re already taking other medicines. The active ingredients within the two medications might react adversely with one another.
- You’re scheduled for an imminent surgery.
- You’re breastfeeding.
4 Natural Remedies to Ease Your Arthritic Pain
Although we may be biased, CBD cream is one of the best natural remedies for arthritic pain because it reduces inflammation in the joints – one of the chief causes of arthritic pain.
What’s more, several types of arthritis can also lead to significant muscular pain (rather than joint pain) and CBD cream can also alleviate that muscle pain, too.
Initial research has shown that CBD may interact with other drugs commonly used to treat arthritis, including: corticosteroids, naproxen and tramadol, to name just three. If you’re in any doubt, get in touch with your doctor to see what they suggest.
2. Acupuncture for Arthritis
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice that’s thought to date all the way back to around 3,000 years ago. It involves inserting incredibly fine needles into the skin at various points on the body.
Many believe acupuncture holds the most benefit for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA). For this type of arthritis, the benefits of acupuncture include: anti-inflammatory effects, antioxidative effects and improved immune functioning.
3. General Changes to Diet (and Exercise)
One of the easiest ways to combat arthritic pain is to switch to a diet that features more foods with anti-inflammatory properties. Oily fish, nuts and seeds, pomegranates, cinnamon, turmeric and wholegrains (like buckwheat and quinoa) are all cited as having anti-inflammatory properties.
Regular exercise (both before the onset of arthritis, as well as once you’ve developed it) can help ward off the worst of its effects. Strengthening your joints and muscles, and working them regularly, keeps them more limber and reduces stiffness. Stiffness and a reduced range of motion are common complaints amongst those with arthritis, hence why exercise can help with this.
4. Ginger Supplements
Now, we know we just talked about diet, but there’s one ingredient in particular that deserves its own section. And when it comes to ingestible supplements to help tackle arthritic pain, there are surely few better than ginger.
Alongside helping the motion-related nausea we talked about earlier, ginger also has significant anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger capsules (which you can pick up from any major health or drug store) work on a cellular level to reduce inflammation.
And the best part is that it’s one of the cheapest remedies out there. Whether you buy capsules, or simply make a strong ginger tea, people of all backgrounds can get the benefits that ginger has to offer.
A Round Up…
So, there you have it! 4 natural remedies to help ease your arthritic pain (or that of a loved one). The key takeaways to remember are:
- Natural remedies are a popular (and widespread) option for people suffering with arthritis.
- If you’re ever unsure about a natural remedy, always consult your doctor first.
- Top natural remedies for arthritis include topical CBD cream, acupuncture, an appropriate diet, and specific supplements (like ginger).
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