Arthritis is a chronic medical condition that causes pain and inflammation of the joints. Although there are more than 100 different types of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) are the most common that can affect your mobility. Some natural and alternative therapies can help you relieve the symptoms of arthritis pain, such as swelling, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. However, it is important to discuss these interventions – natural or not – with a humble arthritis pain specialist to find out if they can improve or worsen your condition. Some therapies to put on your discussion list include:
Your weight can affect your arthritis pain levels – if you have extra weight, it exerts pressure on your hip, knee, and foot joints. In fact, the American College of Rheumatology and Arthritis Foundation (ACR/AF) advises arthritis patients to lose weight if they are obese or overweight. The best way to do this is usually to work with your doctor to create a diet and exercise plan that works for you. Maintaining a healthy weight can protect your joints from further damage and relieve your pain.
Hot and Cold Therapy
Heat and cold treatments are easy-to-accomplish therapies that can help combat inflammation and pain caused by arthritis. Heat treatments like warm baths and using a heating pad can ease swelling and stiffness, improving your discomfort. On the other hand, cold treatments like using an ice pack can alleviate inflammation, swelling, and joint pain.
Exercise and Physical Therapy
Exercise is an excellent way to manage your weight, which we have established is recommended for arthritis patients. It can also help strengthen your joints, restore flexibility, and increase mobility. When considering exercise, consult your doctor, who can prepare a customized exercise regimen for you. They can also guide you through low-impact routines like swimming, tai chi, and cycling.
Medical experts maintain that what you eat impacts your health. In this case, eating a diet rich in whole foods, fresh fruits, and vegetables can help improve your immunity and relieve your symptoms. While the effect may be mild, it will be worth it if you can live without the inflammation and pain. Plant-based or vegan diets are also reportedly good at fighting inflammation since they contain antioxidants that get rid of free radicals in the body. Foods to avoid include added salt and sugar, saturated fat, and red meat.
A popular Chinese medicine treatment, acupuncture involves stimulating specific pressure points in the body by inserting thin needles into your skin at different points. Modern medicine confirms that the treatment can stimulate the body’s natural healing responses, and ACR/AF recommends acupuncture for some arthritis pain cases.
Discuss Arthritis Pain with Your Doctor
Did you know that arthritis is the leading cause of work disability in the US? If the symptoms or arthritis pain are not addressed promptly, they can make work and overall life unbearable. This is why these natural therapies are an important first step to addressing arthritis pain. If they work, they can help you manage painful symptoms without the need for medication and invasive treatments. If they do not, however, you can discuss minimally invasive techniques with a pain management specialist. Call them today to discuss your symptoms and how they are affecting your life.