How to Treat Arthritis Pain
Arthritis is a painful condition of a joint or joints of the body. This is due to inflammation of the ligaments and tendons, which results from problems in the autoimmune system.
Arthritis may be classified to different types depending on its cause. The most common are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The first is due to an autoimmune disorder and the second is due to the wearing down of cartilage.
How do you know you have arthritis? Usually, the affected joints are stiff, painful and swelling. You can notice these symptoms usually in the morning after resting the bones overnight.
Doctor prescribed arthritis treatment varies. In this article, however, you will find some ways to reduce the pain, stiffness and inflammation of arthritis.
Tips to Relieve Arthritis
Exercise is important for everybody. Some benefits are especially good for arthritis patients. When you exercise, you’re able to control your weight, which is important to persons with arthritis. Exercise helps to lubricate joints by making the synovial fluid in them viscous. If you do not exercise, the synovial fluid turns into a thick gel making the joints stiff.
Exercise also strengthens the muscles in the joint, which makes moving around easy. It’s not necessary to exercise much, just 15 to 30 minutes of walking each day will suffice. Doing stretches and joint exercises will be helpful to alleviate stiffness.
As mentioned above, exercising helps control body weight. Why is this important to arthritis patients? Well, the more weight a person has, the more joint pain he/she will likely feel and vice versa.
There are other ways to lose weight including diet and taking herbal medicines. When losing weight, arthritis patients are relieved of the pain as there’s reduction in pressure exerted on the knees. They are also able to move more and avoid further joint damage.
Taking arthritis remedies
There are natural herbal supplements that are safe to use for reducing joint pain. These supplements usually contain anti-inflammatory agents, which disable the white blood cells. The effect is a reduction in swelling of affected tissues.
Some supplements may be taken like medicine or added to food. Be sure to ask for your doctor’s advice before taking any supplement.
There are also some arthritis remedies in the form of cream or ointment. By applying these on the affected area, anti-inflammatory substances like calcitonin gene-related protein penetrate the skin to the joint. The chemicals touch on the nerve endings easing up stiffness and pain.
Alternative arthritis treatment methods
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese method that’s been used for treating the pain and inflammation of people with arthritis. It uses fine needles with endorphins, a natural painkiller chemical, and serotonin, a mood enhancing brain chemical. Acupuncturists insert fine needles at specific points on the skin to relieve arthritis.
Many doctors use the hot and cold therapy to treat arthritis. To do the cold therapy, place an ice pack on the joint for 15 minutes to reduce swelling. To do the hot therapy, place heated pads or towels on the affected area to relax the muscles. This will also increase blood flow to the joints.
Photo credits: Image by Andreanna Moya via Flickr, CC by 2.0