Osteoarthritis, a type of degenerative arthritis caused by age-related wear, and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common forms of a condition that affects approximately 50 million Americans. Natural remedies are especially appealing if you’re looking to reduce the risk of side effects associated with some medications. Though severe arthritis-related pain may eventually result in the need for help from a Marina del Rey spine surgeon, here are 5 natural treatments worth considering.
1. Weight and Diet Management
Diet and weight are the leading lifestyle factors affecting arthritis. For every pound of excess weight lost, about four pounds of pressure is removed from the joints, according to a 2005 study on arthritis and weight. In addition to green, leafy vegetables, berries, oily fish like salmon and mackerel, and other foods with natural anti-inflammatory properties, spices such as turmeric have similar benefits.
2. Regular Exercise
Though people with chronic arthritis should avoid weight-bearing exercises, regular physical activity is still necessary to keep muscles strong and joints flexible. Water-based activities and low-impact exercises such as casual walking and some forms of yoga provide the desired results without added stress on joints.
3. Heat or Cold Application
Start your day off with a warm shower or bath to ease joint stiffness. A heating pad or electric blanket can serve the same purpose at later times in the day or overnight. Applying ice or using a cold gel pack can counter inflammation.
Massage is a form of relaxation therapy that helps relieve pain on two levels. In addition to relaxing muscles and increasing range of motion, massage also helps ease stress. According to the Arthritis Foundation, stress and worry can have a significant impact on pain related to rheumatoid arthritis.
5. Alternative Remedies
Involving the insertion of sterilized needles into specific points on the body, acupuncture is a fairly safe alternative remedy for pain relief believed to work by stimulating parts of the nervous system. Devil’s claw (harpagophytum), bromelain, and ginkgo biloba are just a few of the herbal remedies said to have natural anti-inflammatory properties. Check with your doctor before taking herbal supplements.
If arthritis-related pain has been significantly affecting your quality of life, there are other solutions you can turn to. Dr. Hamid Mir specializes in a variety of spinal procedures, including the spinal fusion surgery Marina del Rey residents claim has alleviated their chronic pain. Call 949-860-7498 to learn more and schedule an appointment.