Arthritis shows up in the form of stiff, aching joints, which can make day-to-day activities difficult.
Many medical treatment options can help reduce symptoms of arthritis, but home remedies can be helpful, too. Some lifestyle changes may even slow the progression of arthritis.
In this article, we’re walking through science-backed methods for managing arthritis that you can practice at home. But first, it’s important to answer the question...
There are two main types of arthritis. Understanding which type of arthritis you’re managing can help you develop a plan to manage it.
Osteoarthritis is the result of worn down joint cartilage. Cartilage cushions joints and is usually smooth. As it breaks down, the cartilage goes from slick and smooth to rough and porous. As you can imagine or may be experiencing, sandpaper-y joints are painful.
Over time, the cartilage can wear away completely, altering other parts of the joint such as bones, ligaments, and tendons.
The focus for those with osteoarthritis is on managing pain and inflammation.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that attacks joints, causing inflammation and pain. Chronic inflammation in joints from rheumatoid arthritis can lead to osteoarthritis.
This makes reducing inflammation and improving immune function priorities for those with rheumatoid arthritis.
There are over 100 types of arthritis, but they all affect the joints:
Now that we’ve covered the ways joints can be impacted by arthritis, let’s explore some simple home remedies that you can implement today.
Spices are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can improve immune response and reduce pain caused by inflammation. These flavorful seasonings can be a boon for people with any form of arthritis.
Some of the best spices for reducing inflammation are:(1)
Wondering how on earth you’re going to incorporate these spices into your diet? Look to global cuisines for inspiration! Indian, Chinese, and Mexican cuisines often feature these ingredients.
Not a fan of spiced-up foods? Find them in pill form from a trusted supplement source.
Modern footwear is often designed based on looks rather than putting comfort and functionality first. Lack of arch support, poor fit, and the weight of the shoes can aggravate joints, causing arthritis pain flare-ups.
One study of people with knee osteoarthritis found that walking barefoot reduced pain and disability by 12%.(2)
That doesn’t mean you have to become a full-time barefoot walker — the study also found that shoes designed for appropriate mobility helped reduce pain. The shoes also helped train folks to have better walking mechanics, which reduced their knee pain overall.
Although the study didn’t consider other joints or other types of arthritis, it may be worth a shot going barefoot more often and wearing well-fitting, flexible footwear to see how it affects you.
Omega-3s are fatty acids that fall into the category of what you may have heard referred to as “good fats.” They’re essential for overall physical and mental health, with anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting effects.
Another bonus: Omega-3 supplements have been shown to improve the effect of anti-inflammatory drugs such as those for arthritis pain relief.(3)
Omega-3 fatty acids are naturally abundant in:
It’s also easy to find omega-3 supplements in the form of fish oil, cod liver oil, or vegan omega-3 supplements.
Regardless of which type of arthritis you have, you can’t go wrong with adding a healthy dose of omega-3s to your diet.
All forms of arthritis are linked to vitamin D deficiency.
Several studies have found that vitamin D supplementation helps relieve pain and inflammation in people with rheumatoid arthritis.(4) Vitamin D is often recommended to those with rheumatoid arthritis to prevent the development of osteoarthritis.
Vitamin D may also help people with osteoarthritis. Based on current research, it may be more useful in preventing progression than relieving pain.(5)
Regular exercise benefits balance, flexibility, and mobility — a winning combination for anybody with a body!
That said, you wouldn’t want to jump into the nearest CrossFit class. Low-impact forms of exercise such as tai chi and gentle styles of yoga are joint-friendly exercise options. They’ve both been found to help relieve symptoms of arthritis, too.(6, 7)
Incorporating hot and cold therapy can go a long way in managing arthritis pain.
Hot therapy stimulates blood flow and helps muscles relax, which can help reduce pain. Hot baths, heating pads, sauna, and hot washcloths are all great ways to apply heat therapy.
Cold therapy does the opposite, constricting blood vessels, which reduces swelling, pain, and inflammation. That makes it great for red, swollen joints and sharp pain. Ice packs or cooling rubs will get the job done.
But how do you know which to use? Heat or ice?
It may be one or the other, or it could be both. Some people find that one is best for their arthritis. Other folks prefer to alternate between hot and cold therapy in the same session.
Whether you’re going for heat or ice, apply it for 10-20 minutes at a time. And be sure to protect the skin to avoid burns.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring chemical found in cannabis. It doesn’t have psychoactive effects like its cousin THC. Many legal CBD products are available for purchase in person and online.
CBD has properties that can reduce pain and inflammation and enhance immune function.(8, 9) Combined, these properties suggest that it may be useful for all forms of arthritis. Research done on animals suggests that topical CBD, such as CBD creams, may reduce pain and inflammation in arthritic joints.(10)
A survey conducted by the Arthritis Foundation found that 29% of those who were surveyed use CBD to manage arthritis symptoms.(11)
If you’re ready to get started with CBD for arthritis, follow these best practices:
Arthritis can be challenging, but small changes to your daily routine may prevent it from affecting your quality of life. Certain solutions may benefit some types of arthritis more than others.
With these seven home remedies for arthritis to choose from, you’re set to take action and develop a plan that fits your lifestyle.
If CBD is part of your arthritis management regimen, opt for high-quality CBD oil products. A combo of a CBD topical cream plus CBD tincture or CBD softgel may be the most effective approach.
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