Eight Natural Remedies for Arthritis
It is estimated that in the UK, 10 million people live with arthritis. If you don’t suffer from the condition, it’s likely you know someone that does.
So, what is arthritis? It’s a condition that causes inflammation and severe pain in the joints, and the most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The former affects around 8 million people and harms the cartilage lining of the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis happens when the body’s immune system specifically targets affected joints.
The pain arthritis causes can make even simple tasks challenging. Although there’s no cure, there are natural remedies for arthritis that can help to alleviate symptoms. Here are our top eight.
1. Prioritise your diet
Our first home remedy for arthritis is a simple one – maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
Studies show that certain foods can reduce inflammation in the body and provide relief from the pain caused by arthritis, but also, that some foods can exacerbate flare-ups. There is a widespread belief that following a Mediterranean diet, rich in fatty fish, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, oil and beans is the best way to reduce inflammation.
However, ensuring that your diet includes all five food groups is a great way to fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to strengthen bones, boost your immune system and promote overall health.
It’s also important to note that carrying excess weight places more pressure on your joints, so maintaining a healthy weight can reduce pain.
2. Exercise regularly
It’s no secret that exercise is fantastic for our health; it can help you to maintain a healthy weight, build strength and improve mobility.
Any kind of exercise, whether that’s walking, running, swimming or strength training will increase blood flow and boost your overall wellbeing. However, it doesn’t have to be high intensity; tai chi and yoga have also been shown to build muscle, increase range of motion and joint functionality. That’s why getting moving in any way can be a great arthritis remedy.
3. Try hydrotherapy
Another way to reduce arthritis pain is hydrotherapy – using water to try to alleviate the symptoms of conditions or ailments. Exercising in or simply bathing in water has many benefits, such as reducing the pressure on your muscles and joints, relieving general stiffness and lessening inflammation, as the buoyancy of the water naturally supports your body weight. Because of this, movements which usually cause pain on land can be easily performed when submerged in water.
The extra resistance you feel when exercising in water is also good for increasing strength, stability and range of movement. Scientific studies have found that hydrotherapy is an effective way of improving the strength and fitness of people with arthritis and there are almost no side effects, so it is considered a great form of alternative, natural therapy.
4. Use hot and cold therapy
Using hot and cold therapy can also reduce the aches and pains caused by arthritis. Heat relaxes muscles and increases blood flow, whilst ice reduces inflammation and swelling. Hot therapy could include a hot shower, a water bottle, or heat pack, whereas cold therapy could be an ice pack or a cold bath. Some people find that alternating between the two is most effective.
Physiotherapy, when used effectively with medication, can help to minimise the pain experienced by someone with arthritis. Physiotherapists have an extensive understanding of body movement and can offer tailored exercise plans that you can do in your home to improve mobility, flexibility and build strength to support joints.
They can also recommend assistive devices like braces and splints to support joints and relieve stress.
A podiatrist will examine the way that you walk to assess the best way to help you. As arthritis frequently affects the feet, it is no wonder more people are turning to podiatrists. Discomfort can be greatly reduced by specialist orthotic insoles and shoes.
7. Occupational therapy
Occupational therapy enables people to maintain their independence by using personalised solutions that can make daily life easier. This might include advice, exercises and specialist gadgets such as ergonomic cutlery, bath rails, walkers and stairlifts. If you are struggling with arthritis, then speaking to an occupational therapist could help you to experience less pain and live your life to the fullest.
8. Rest well
Our final way to relieve pain is to rest up. This means supporting your joints in expertly designed furniture that can help to alleviate the pain caused by arthritis and help you to move better. If this is a riser recliner to assist you in sitting and rising, or a comfortable armchair, our chairs, handcrafted with CleverComfort™, are well worth a look at.
Whether you decide to soak in a hot bath, visit a podiatrist, or change your diet, there are lots of natural ways to help reduce the pain caused by arthritis. To find out more about arthritis and how to manage it, visit the NHS online for more information.
At HSL, we understand the importance of comfort, that’s why our chairs are designed to give optimal support and are approved by our expert consultant Occupational Therapist, Julie Jennings Dip COT HCPC. Our Aysgarth Dual Motor Riser Recliner has even been awarded a Which? Best Buy in 2020.