Arthritis robs a person’s freedom to move freely and naturally carry out everyday activities. It is associated with chronic pain and stiffness in the joints. Flaring of finger joints, knees, and feet are a common sign of arthritis.
There are two main types of arthritis, rheumatoid and osteon arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a severe form of arthritis which involves inflammation of the tissue or the synovial membrane that prevents wear and tear of the bones. Osteo arthritis, on the other hand, is caused due to the dissolution of cartilage between the bones which exposes them to wear and tear or grating. Infections, lupus or build up of Uric acid in the body can worsen or could be precursors of arthritis.
The common symptoms of Arthritis include redness, tenderness, swelling, warmth, limping, locking, stiffness, and weakness in joints.
The signs of Arthritis usually become visible between the ages 35 to 60. A person with a family history of arthritis has greater chances to face this problem at some point in life. Arthritis can result into frequent fevers, fatigue, and weight loss. In women the symptoms like dry eyes, dry mouth, damaged nerves, shortness of breath and anemia are common. Any treatment of arthritis may not bring a permanent cure. The usual treatment of arthritis involves prescribing anti-inflammatory drugs, pain medications, and injections. In severe cases, surgery might be required. If you are suffering from arthritis you might be already taking some form of treatment. But you can also follow some home remedies to better manage the stiffness, pain and other symptoms that come with arthritis.
Here are a few home remedies you can try to alleviate arthritis.
1. Dandelion Leaves
Studies have shown the presence of linoleic acid in dandelion leaves, which gives it the anti-inflammatory properties. The linoleic acid helps the body to produce prostaglandin – a lipid component that controls the immune responses and reduces inflammation in the joints. Dandelion leaves are rich in vitamin C and A that makes it a natural liver detoxifier and a good tissue repairer. All these make it an excellent herb for treating arthritis.
- 1 handful dandelion leaves or dried dandelion powder – 1 teaspoon.
- ½ teaspoon olive oil
- hot water – 1 cup
- Add 1 teaspoon of dried dandelion powder to 1 cup boiling water.
- Let it boil for a while and then put off the flame.
- Add honey as a sweetener.
- Stir it well. Strain the liquid into a cup and drink it two times a day.
- Chop a handful of Dandelion leaves into small pieces.
- You can prepare a salad by mixing these leaves with raw veggies and olive oil or toss the dandelion leaves with other veggies and olive oil.
2. Soaking in Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is used as a pain reliever for treating various ailments. It contains a rich amount of natural mineral magnesium sulfate, which helps the body to reduce inflammation and pain in the joints. This method can provide a soothing effect to people who suffer from chronic arthritis pain.
- Hot water
- Epsom salt – ½ cup
- A large tub or a bowl.
- Add a half cup of Epsom salt to 1 large bowl of hot water.
- Adjust the water to a warm temperature by adding cold water.
- Mix well
- Soak the painful joints in this Epsom salt water for 15 to 20 minutes to get relief from pain.
- People whose joints are painful and cannot be soaked can use Epsom salt bath as an alternative. For this add 2 cups of Epsom salt to your bath water.
3. Camphor and Mustard Oil:
Mustard and camphor together are a great healer for joint related problems. The applying their mix in the form of oil improves blood circulation in the joints and reduces stiffness, pain, and inflammation.
- mustard oil – 1 cup
- camphor – 10 grams
How to apply
- Add camphor to mustard oil.
- Heat this until the camphor completely dissolves.
- When the oil is warm, use it to massage on the painful joints.
- Repeat this every day for better results.
4. Hot compresses
Heat is very beneficial when it comes to reducing stiffness and relaxing muscle and joints. Hot compresses heal inflammation and soothe the affected area. If you are suffering from inflammation which has turned your affected area hot, it is better not to try hot compress as it may aggravate the condition. But it sure does help to relieve inflammation.
Dip a bath towel into warm water and place it on the affected area to soothe the muscles. You can also prefer using the electric heating pad for consistent dry heat supply.
5. Cold compresses
Cold compresses are best for those who suffer from hot inflammations in the joints and muscles. Cold, when applied to the joints, create a chilling effect on the painful joints and help you to relieve the pain. Don’t use cold compress if you suffer from Raynaud’s phenomenon or vacuities.
There are different ways to apply a cold compress to your painful joints. Here are a few easy ones
- Run cold water from a tap on the affected area.
- Take cold water in a bowl and soak a piece of cloth in it. Squeeze and place it on the joints.
- Fill a plastic bag with ice cubes and place it on the affected area.
- Make sure to apply the cold compress for 10 minutes with intervals in between every application to avoid frost bite.
6. Keep arthritis pain under control by following a proper diet plan
A diet comprising of plenty of vegetables and fruits, Nuts, olive oil, fish, and seeds not only keep your heart and brain healthy but also help to curb further inflammation of joints. Avoid bad fat, added sweeteners and processed food from your diet.
Here are a few diet tips for a person with arthritis
- Opt for healthy fat: replace the cooking oil that you use with olive oil – healthy fat. Look out for saturated or trans-fat in food labels.
- Eat healthy fish: Fish contains omega 3 fatty acids which work miraculously on the body to reduce inflammation.
- Foods of high iron content: Consumption of iron will boost up your blood levels and help the body to heal inflammation. Eat foods that contain vitamin C with iron foods to facilitate good iron absorption in the body. You can eat red meat, egg, green leafy veggies, dates etc.
- Calcium foods: Calcium is a key nutrient that is responsible to maintain healthy bones in the body. Healthy bones prevent the risk of osteoporosis in arthritis patients. Sources of calcium include milk, Broccoli, kale, Yogurt, cheese etc.
- Sulfur rich foods: methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) compound present in sulfur foods have been working wonders for people with arthritis. People who consume sulfur rich foods have observed a reduction in painful inflammation and improved tissue repair. Some of the sulfur rich foods are cabbage, onions, asparagus, and garlic.
- Fruits and vegetables: Fill your plate with all colors of vegetables and fruits to feed your body with vitamin A, vitamin C, Antioxidants, potassium, Magnesium and other nutrients. These foods help you to combat inflammation and digestive problems. Add as many fruits and vegetable you can to your everyday diet routine to keep away the symptoms of arthritis.
- Avoid these foods: Hydrogenated oil, refined sugar, refined grains, processed foods, yeast products and nightshade veggies.
7. Massage Therapy
If you ignore arthritis symptoms for a long time, you could face problems related to body movement. To avoid the stiffness in the affected area, it is necessary to get the regular massage of the joints. Massaging your joints will help you reduce inflammation and ease the range of motion. Make sure you get your massage by a trained massage therapist, who has experience with arthritis patients. You could also seek advice from your doctor.
Consult a therapist to learn self-massage techniques or get it done at the massage center regularly.
8. Exercise and boost yourself
People who suffer from arthritis often feel weak and are less active, so it is necessary to boost yourself by doing physical activities. Exercises or any physical activity can be painful, but with consistent effort and perseverance, one can treat arthritis well.
Regular exercise Improves blood circulation in the body, balances the hormones and reduces inflammation in the joints. It will help you manage arthritis by strengthening your muscles and making the movement smooth. It is recommended to do exercise for about 150 minutes every week to obtain better results.
Exercises suitable for arthritis patients:
- Stretching: These exercises help you to improve the flexibility of joints and enable proper movement of joints.
- Aerobic exercise: exercises such as swimming, cycling, jogging, and walking builds physical strength and stamina.
- Walking: Brisk walking supports heart health and boosts the immune system.
- Strength building: Train yourself with lightweight cables, weights, and other resistance exercises, which will make muscles stronger.
- Avoid lifting of heavy objects
- Do not perform rigorous exercises- jogging, running, gym etc
- Take omega-3 fatty acid and fish oil supplements
- Avoid smoking
- Practice yoga that involves stretching and flexing of body
- Avoid the intake of dairy products, corn oil, and fried food