There are more than 100 types of arthritis, and regardless of which one you have, it will cause pain and inflammation. Common types of arthritis are degenerative, meaning the symptoms will worsen over time, and when left untreated, arthritis can become debilitating. Although treatments like physical therapy and medications might help, using them alongside natural ways to relieve arthritis pain might help drive better results. These include lifestyle changes or using natural wellness ingredients to relieve pain.
Talk to a doctor first and work out a disease management plan before using these natural ways to reduce arthritis pain. These ways are not meant to replace traditional treatments for arthritis but rather complement them.
Even though no diet can cure arthritis, a healthy diet can boost your immune system, support bone health, and minimize the symptoms. Besides, a healthy diet is crucial for overall health and can help manage weight (relieving stress on joints).
Arthritis Foundation recommends including the following foods in your arthritis diet:
Experts recommend about 3 to 4 ounces of fish twice a week as it is a good source of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids. Fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, tuna, mackerel, and herring.
Not all are fish fans, and if you don’t enjoy seafood, another great source of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids is soy. Incorporate nutritious heart-healthy foods made with soybeans like tofu or edamame in your diet. They are low in fat and a rich source of protein; in short, they are good-for-you foods even if you don’t have arthritis symptoms.
Extra virgin olive is rich in heart-healthy fats good for your health. Moreover, it features oleocanthal. Oleocanthal is a natural phenolic compound with similar anti-inflammatory properties as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Other oils you can add to your diet include avocado and safflower oils. They have cholesterol-lowering properties. If you want to infuse your foods with omega-3 fatty acids, try walnut oil – it has ten times more omega-3 than olive oil.
Low-fat dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese provide good calcium and vitamin D sources, essential for bone health and strength. Vitamin D is vital for calcium absorption and supports the healthy functioning of the immune system. If you have eliminated dairy from your diet, opt for natural vitamin D and calcium sources such as leafy green vegetables.
Read more in the 12 best foods for arthritis by Arthritis Foundation.
When you feel the pain in the body, you might want to avoid physical activity due to the fear of experiencing more pain or because it seems too overwhelming. However, exercise is crucial for managing arthritis. It increases your muscle strength and flexibility, maintains bone strength, helps manage weight, gives you more energy, elevates mood, and enhances your overall quality of life.
Speak with your doctor about pairing exercise with your treatment plan. The best activities for you will depend on the type of arthritis, pain, and joints involved. Depending on that, you can work out a plan and set goals for your exercise, such as improving flexibility, reducing stiffness, strengthening muscles and bones, or managing weight. Any physical activity, even walking around the block, can significantly impact your overall health and help reduce arthritis pain.
Try Natural Ingredients
Natural ingredients coupled with lifestyle habits and proper treatment can provide an additional layer of relief. Popular remedies like eucalyptus can relieve pain by lowering inflammation in the body. You can topically apply its diluted essential oil or use it in aromatherapy. A study found that inhalation of eucalyptus oil can decrease pain, blood pressure, and inflammation. You can also use topical products with eucalyptus; they provide a cooling sensation that can instantly reduce pain.
Peppermint is another natural ingredient that can temporarily reduce arthritis pain. Peppermint is rich in menthol, which provides a hot or cold sensation relieving pain. You can use its diluted oil to apply topically on painful joints.
CBD is a popular ingredient among people with arthritis pain. Although there’s insufficient scientific evidence to support its pain-relieving properties, 58.1% of CBD consumers have tried CBD for aches and discomfort, and 67.4% reported it as an effective ingredient. CBD topical products usually combine CBD oil with other natural pain-relieving ingredients like eucalyptus or peppermint, thus providing temporary results. CBD in these products will travel to ECS receptors under the skin, thought to play a role in many bodily processes like inflammation and pain.
Although natural ways might help relieve arthritis symptoms or prevent them from worsening, it’s essential to talk with a specialist and combine them with traditional treatment for the best result. Rheumatologists can diagnose arthritis and provide you with a treatment plan. In addition, if you don’t yet have arthritis symptoms, remember that a healthy lifestyle can prevent various diseases from developing or worsening; therefore, adopting a healthier lifestyle might save you from intense, sometimes debilitating, arthritis pain.