The term arthritis refers to a range of conditions that involve pain and inflammation in the joints.
Is it a degenerative condition, meaning the symptoms tend to worsen over time.
Osteoarthritis is the more common version, which results when wear and tear of cartilage causes bones to rub together, leading to friction, damage, and inflammation.
Rheumatoid Arthritis on the other hand, is a systemic condition that triggers symptoms throughout the body. It’s an autoimmune disease and happens when the immune system mistakenly targets healthy joint tissue. In this case, it can be accompanied by other symptoms.
While there are medical interventions for pain management, doctors also recommend natural approaches to help manage the pain and discomfort that can come along with arthritis of any type.
Managing Your Weight
Extra weight will put more pressure on your joints. Depending where your arthritis shows up, losing weight could help you to experience fewer symptoms. This is particularly the case if your arthritis is in your knees, hips, or feet.
Reducing the stress on your joints by losing weight will improve your mobility, decrease pain, and prevent future damage to your joints.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical treatment which involves inserting thin needles into specific points on your body. It works by rerouting energies and restoring balance in your body.
Acupuncture may reduce arthritis pain, and swelling/inflammation associated with it. Using acupuncture as a part of your overall pain management plan is a good idea. Be sure to find a licensed and certified acupuncturist to work with.
Meditation for pain management
Stress plays a role in inflammation throughout the body. Chronic pain from arthritis will be affected by your stress level. Therefore, meditation and relaxation techniques may help reduce the pain of arthritis by lowering stress and enabling you to cope with it better.
Guided meditation practice isn’t the only form of meditation that can be helpful. Moving meditation like tai chi and yoga can be just as beneficial. These combine meditation, relaxation, and breathing techniques with low-impact exercise, which is good for overall health.
Since anxiety, stress, and depression are all common complications of chronic pain, adopting a meditation practice will support you mentally as well as physically.
Healthy Diet and Natural Supplements
We all know that eating nutritious food supports the body. But when you’re dealing with chronic inflammation and pain, it becomes even more important to pay attention to what you’re eating.
A diet that’s concentrated in fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole foods can help boost your immune system and your overall health. A plant-based diet provides antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation by eliminating free radicals from the body.
Try to stay away from overconsumption of red meat, processed foods, saturated fat, and added sugar and salt. These may aggravate inflammation, which is a characteristic of arthritis.
In addition to your diet, consider natural supplements that can help manage inflammation in the body. Some supplements to consider include:
- Curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric)
- Devil’s claw
Each has its own supportive effect on the body. It’s advised to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement as they could have an interaction with medication you’re currently taking.
Arthritis comes in two main forms – Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Both cause pain and inflammation in the joints which can be managed naturally through a variety of interventions. Talk to your doctor to discuss what is best for you.