Whether you are looking to book that family walking holiday, or simply climb the stairs in your home without feeling those frustrating joint twinges, you might find natural remedies for Osteoarthritis a useful addition to your pain management programme.
Osteoarthritis is a common joint disease that occurs as a result of wear and tear on your joints1. Cartilage, the smooth, rubbery substance that cushions the bones in your joints, starts to deteriorate, leaving bone to rub on bone, which can be quite painful. This friction can lead to inflammation that leaves your joints painful and stiff. Reducing inflammation is a key component to managing Osteoarthritis symptoms.
Osteoarthritis pain can be treated with medications, such as paracetamol for pain relief, or NSAIDs like diclofenac, an ingredient in Iodex UltraGel which helps to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.2 However, there are a number of natural remedies that you might want to consider for Osteoarthritis. You might find one as a nice complementary treatment in your pain management toolkit.
Natural Pain Relief for Osteoarthritis
Pain relief doesn’t have to be all about taking pills. Sometimes a simple lifestyle change, or new understanding of how to make use of an everyday object in your home, can provide that much-needed relief and get you back on your feet.
Iodex provides a range of products that provide pain relief and fight inflammation, but there are plenty of natural remedies for Osteoarthritis that you can use alongside medication.
What to Eat to Help Osteoarthritis
There have been a number of studies on the connection between what you put on your plate, and the improvement - or worsening - of Osteoarthritis3.
A major hypothesis in these studies is trying to show which foods, if any, have an impact on inflammation. A major contributing factor in the pain felt by Osteoarthritis sufferers is inflammation of the joint, which has also been connected to various food sources.
No one food has been proven to improve everyone’s osteoarthritis, and everyone’s body is different; there isn’t yet an overall conclusion on anti-inflammatory diets when it comes to pain relief, and the European Food Standards Authority has rejected some of those claims – so take them with a pinch of salt!
But what natural, non-medicated, and home remedies for Osteoarthritis can you begin to explore from today? Well the good news is there are activities and simple actions in the home that you can incorporate in your life from now. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Hot and cold packs
- Physical Therapy
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Support from others
- Get creative in your daily routine
You don’t have to be a seasoned gym goer to try out a bit of yoga. It is good for building strength, flexibility and balance, even when following the simpler, gentle movements, and is recognised as Osteoarthritis natural treatment.4 Find a local class, or sign up to an online course if you prefer to practice in the privacy of your own home.
If you’re undertaking yoga at home, there are number of stretches and exercises that might gently help arthritic joints that you may want to check out here.
Use hot and cold packs
These two home remedies for Osteoarthritis pain can help provide short-term relief in certain cases.5 Even applying a hot water bottle to the area can be effective in reducing pain. Cold packs that have been cooled in the freezer, work in a similar way. Remember not to apply cold packs or ice directly to your skin, but wrap them up in material or a towel to protect you!
Book a massage
Ah yes, we saw the idea of this one made you sit up! But while you might associate massage with a bit of pampering, massage could actually be the natural remedy for Osteoarthritis that you were looking for. Various studies have seen a reduction in pain for those undergoing regular massage.6 Check with your medical practitioner before booking a treatment, and ensure you have a trained massage therapist in order to avoid injury.
Going for a stroll around the park is a great way to catch up with a friend, while getting those muscles moving. Even if you need a walking aid such as a stick or a cane for support, that daily movement can help to ease pain.
Atrained physical therapist can guide and help you learn different movements, stretches and exercises that can help you manage your Osteoarthritis symptoms. Physical therapy can also help restore function to joints that have a decreased range of motion due to Osteoarthritis. Physical therapy relies on at-home exercises as well as guided in-person sessions with a physical therapist.
Maintain a healthy weight
Sure, we can all stand to lose a few grams. But this is especially true if you experience Osteoarthritis symptoms. Excess weight puts unnecessary stress on your joints. Losing just a few kilos can go a long way in easing arthritis pain7.
Many people find that acupuncture can help alleviate the aches, pains, and stiffness associated with Osteoarthritis. If you think this could be right for you, do consult first with a healthcare professional and ensure you go to a qualified professional to administer the therapy.
Get a good night’s sleep
Sleeping well can help ease the stress of pain. Being well rested can help you cope with managing your Osteoarthritis symptoms. It is an important part of self-care and important to your body’s self healing process. To ensure you remain well-rested, be sure to go to bed at the same time every night. Make yourself comfortable with pillows for support, especially around achy joints (even between your knees if you sleep on your side)8, that may flare up in the evenings after being in motion all day.
Reach out for support
Being in pain has a way of making you retreat into your own little world, shunning activities that you once loved. This can be very isolating. Reach out for emotional support – because pain is not just physical. It’s often emotional and mental, as well. Support can come in the form of a listening ear from a compassionate friend or something more practical like getting help bringing in groceries after a day at the shops. You can also be referred to pain clinics which can be in group or individual settings, where those in pain can connect with healthcare professionals and other sufferers.
Get creative in your daily routine
If household chores are starting to get affected by your joint pain, it might be a good time to think how simple items around your house might provide you with Osteoarthritis pain relief home remedies.
If you love to get out in the garden, but your ankles and knees hurt when you kneel to weed, think about putting a yoga mat under you, or even wearing knee pads. Or if you enjoy making the family meal each evening, but standing chopping veg takes its toll, keep a stool handy in the kitchen so you can take the weight off your feet.
Each of these tips may seem small, but sometimes the small things (which taken together add up to big things!) are all it takes to put a spring back in your step and a smile on your face.
Treatment by pain type