Natural Remedies for Arthritis
Natural remedies for arthritis are safer and sometimes more effective than prescription pain killers. There are literally hundreds of botanical, nutritional and herbal remedies for arthritis. Some of them may, in fact, slow down the deterioration of the bones and cartilage in the joints.
Arthritis simply means inflammation or swelling of the joints. There are several different arthritic conditions. The most common is osteoarthritis which affects over 20 million people in the United States alone.
Once thought to be a normal part of the aging process, it is now known that the wearing away of the cartilage that cushions joints and the synovial fluid that lubricates them doesn't have to transpire in the vast majority of cases. Although some aches and pains increase with age, most people need not suffer from the disabling pain that can accompany the condition.
There are three basic groups of natural remedies for arthritis: nutritional, herbal, and physical. In each group, there are a variety of options that may be recommended, depending on your individual needs.
Nutritional supplements support the production of cartilage and the function of healthy joints. Herbal remedies for arthritis are natural pain relievers that have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Some physical therapy is recommended to help patients maintain strong muscles and improve flexibility. Others, such as acupuncture, massage, and healing touch are suggested for relieving pain and stiffness.
In order to determine the best treatment plan for your individual needs, a consultation with a naturopathic doctor (ND) is advisable, even if you are seeing a medical doctor. One reason is that ND's keep up with the latest research concerning natural remedies for arthritis and provide an entirely different perspective than mainstream medical solutions.
Another reason is that they are highly educated on specific herbal remedies for arthritis. They can, after meeting with you, recommend the correct dosage and also advise you about possible interactions with prescription drugs that you may take or be taking.
What follows is a list of some of the natural remedies for arthritis. An ND may suggest some of these, others, or none at all; the list is by no means exhaustive.
Vitamins A & E —- research has shown that arthritis sufferers have lower than normal levels of these in their bloodstream.
Glucosamine —- used by the body to build and repair cartilage.
Chondroitin -— a component of cartilage, decreased pain and improved joint function in clinical trials
Omega 3 fatty acids -— 17 separate trials reported a reduction of pain, stiffness and tender joints after 3-4 months of supplementation.
Herbal Remedies for Arthritis
Willow Bark —- the forerunner of aspirin, when taken in the form of a tea there is less risk of stomach upset.
Ginger —- a natural anti-inflammatory, relieves pain and swelling.
Pineapple —- the active component is bromelain, which has been shown to prevent inflammation.
Yucca —- appears to promote the production of cartilage
Turmeric -- Turmeric has been used in India's Ayurvedic medicine for centuries and deserves special mention. If you've eaten Indian cuisine, you've probably had turmeric, as it is used frequently as a spice. Turmeric harbors a substance called curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant, and acts as an anti-inflammatory, which may help counter arthritis aches.
Massage -— employed to reduce tension in the muscles and improve flexibility.
Aqua-aerobics —- recommended to increase flexibility and improve muscle strength.
Healing Touch —- used as a form of energy medicine and may effectively alleviate pain.
Acupuncture —- to mitigate pains, aches, and other bodily discomfort.
Chiropractic -— known especially for back pain, but also can help improve conditions of the legs, knees and hips.
Other Natural Remedies for Arthritis
The best treatment is prevention. Nutritional supplements that support healthy bones and joints may prevent arthritis pain in later life. While some arthritis pain can be the result of strenuous athletic activity or injury, regular daily physical activity reduces the risk of developing the condition.
The muscles support the ligaments and the joints. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces stress on the joints. Although rheumatoid arthritis is often accompanied by weight loss, it is common to see osteoarthritis in overweight and obese people.
There are many other natural remedies for arthritis. One or several may prove to be most effective for you. Your ND can help you find the treatment plan that’s right for you.
My name is Dr. Rami El-Hussieny and I am a practicing naturopathic doctor who practices in East Lansing and Ann Arbor, MI.
Should you need the services of a highly trained and educated ND, feel free to fill out the form below and I will return your message promptly.
More than natural remedies for arthritis discussed back at the Home Page