If you look online for natural remedies, you will see as many hoaxes and unproven facts as real cures, and unfortunately it can be more than a little difficult to sort through the chaff. Because arthritis is no joke, no matter where or what type you have, finding a cure or temporary relief that doesn’t affect your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery can help to improve the quality of your life. We aren’t suggesting any quick or ‘miracle’ cures as there are none, but instead, here are eight ideas that studies show do have some effect on arthritis.
Exercise is one of the world’s best natural remedies and it can definitely help arthritis. However, you do want to avoid bone damaging exercises like running that can cause more damage. Instead try yoga, swimming, or walking to stretch and strengthen your muscles without tasking your joints. Light aerobics, hula hoops, and biking are also great options. Remember to consult with your pain management and injury relief specialist before starting any sort of aerobic or strength building exercise.
If you’re afraid of needles then this won’t sound very relaxing, but it has been proven to help with pain relief. According to WebMD, acupuncture has been proven to reduce pain for a number of different chronic issues including arthritis. Your insurance may also be willing to help pay for your treatment, so make sure you talk to your GP first and your insurance company first.
Chondroitin Sulfate is a natural supplement that does not help to improve arthritis, but when taken in doses of 800-1200 milligrams per day can help prevent arthritis progression. While this may seem like a small thing, it can be very beneficial over time. Most importantly, chondroitin is extremely well tolerated by the body, meaning that there are no side effects.
Mentholated rubs like common over the counter balms can actually help to reduce pain, but only temporarily. Good options include Tiger Balm and Voltaren gel. Because of their smell, these types of rubs are not long term solutions, but can be a great way to temporarily reduce pain in the hands and feet. Menthol rubs have not been tested on the hips, but do work on the extremities.
Capsaicin is another topical remedy that provides temporary relief to arthritis pain but it has also been suggested that the substance offers pain relief when taken internally as well. Capsaicin is what makes peppers hot, and is found in capsaicin rubs, as well as in pepper seeds. While available without a prescription, it is important to use caution whenever trying anything new, consider an allergen test, and consider talking about it with your GP first.
Transcutaneous Electro Stimulation
This is something that you should definitely talk to your GP about first. You can most likely find this sort of therapy at a pain management and injury relief specialist, and they will be able to advise you as to whether or not it will help you. TENS or Transcutaneous Electro Stimulation delivers electromagnetic pulses to the skin in order to temporarily reduce pain and stiffness. Electro-acupuncture is another option with a similar treatment method, but it is still important to consult a doctor first.
While some forms of glucosamine do not help with arthritis, Glucosamine sulfate does. It is important to take at least 1,500 milligrams of glucosamine a day in one dose in order to see the best effect. While glucosamine is available without a prescription, the majority of glucosamine for sale in drug stores is glucosamine hydroxide, which is not proven to help with arthritis.
While exercise, supplements, and taking care of yourself can all help you to feel better, nothing beats learning about your arthritis. Learning what you can and cannot do, learning the effects of arthritis, and what you can do about it, is empowering in that it allows you to take preventive measures, avoid injury, and take medication correctly. You will most likely want to have a thorough discussion with a specialist about your arthritis, and if possible, ask for recommendations on books that you can read.
While none of these remedies offer instant relief they do offer guaranteed effects that have been proven in medical studies. While there are plenty of herbs, quick fixes, and other supplements that ‘may help’, these options will help. Just remember to consult a pain management specialist before starting anything new, and that none of these natural remedies are miracles.