Arthritis is a degenerative disease of the joints that affects people of all ages, but it is most commonly seen in the elderly. These people experience joint stiffness, pain and eventually the inability to use their joints properly.
Although the disease really has no cure, the symptoms can be alleviated with both medication and natural remedies. We are going to explore 5 simple things you can do to improve your quality of life in terms of reducing pain and increasing mobility.
Hot and cold treatments
Heat makes your joints more mobile which is why it is recommended to give long warm baths to the affected joints. Electric blankets and heating pads are also effective and maybe more convenient than baths. The advantage is that using them at night prevents you from waking up because of the pain.
On the other hand, cold treatments are also effective but they have a different purpose. When you experience high pain on your joints, the cold has an analgesic effect. Never put ice directly on the skin. You are advised to wrap the pack of ice or frozen vegetables in a towel before you place it on the joint. You obtain quick pain relief but you should not keep the ice there for a long time.
Although acupuncture is thought to be useless by skeptics, evidence proves its positive effect on joint mobility and pain relief. It has nothing to do with rerouting energies, it is all about the nerve endings that release chemical substances when stimulated by a very thin needle. These substances make you to not feel the pain anymore.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These fatty acids are proved to have anti-inflammatory properties that may slow the progression of the disease. Making small changes to your diet can bring you a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids although you can find them in over-the-counter supplements.
There are certain types of fish high in omega-3s, such as: sardines, mackerel, herring, anchovies, halibut, lake trout etc. You can find them in non-animal sources as well: walnuts, flaxseed, kale, canola oil, algae.
There is no doubt turmeric decreases inflammation through its active ingredient called curcumin. This substance degrades the enzymes that cause inflammation thus helping people who deal with inflammatory arthritis. Turmeric is sold in capsules but also as powder to prepare a spicy tea. You could add ginger as well because it has anti-inflammatory properties. Add ½ teaspoon each for 2 cups of water and sweeten the tea with honey.
Epsom salt is rich in magnesium sulfate and is known to relieve arthritic pain. Some people have full baths with Epsom salt but you could simply soak the joints in a large bowl of warm water with ½ cup of Epsom salt. The soak must last for at least 15 minutes. If you prefer to take a bath, 2 cups of Epsom salt are needed for a full tub of warm water. Make sure the water is not hot, but only warm.