Arthritis is one of the world’s most common inflammatory diseases, causing aching, painful joints. It can be categorized into two main types: rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis (also referred to as degenerative joint disease).
While arthritis can impact any joint in the body, particular types of arthritis tend to impact certain parts of the body. For instance, the rheumatoid category of arthritis has been known to most commonly cause problems in the larger joints in the limbs, and knuckles, wrists, neck. On the other hand, osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) tends to target finger joints, hips, knees, thumb bases, lower spinal cord, and shoulders.
There are many possible causes of arthritis, which include genetics, injury, injection, or simply long-term wear and tear. Lack of exercise, continuous poor diet, and obesity can also give rise to symptoms of arthritis.
Currently, the disease is most commonly treated through therapy combined with prescription drugs. With patients suffering from more serious symptoms, doctors may consider performing surgery to replace their joints.
While it’s advisable to seek expert opinions and medical help from healthcare professionals, there are many natural remedies you can practice side-by-side to help with arthritis symptoms. In this article, we’ll discuss 12 of the most effective natural ways to help with arthritis symptoms. Keep reading to learn more.
Most Effective Natural Remedies For Arthritis
Muscle or joint massage can significantly help in reducing pain and inflammation for arthritis patients, whether it’s a self-massage at home or performed by a licensed therapist.
According to a recent study held on adult knee osteoarthritis patients, the group reported experiencing noticeable improvements in knee stiffness, function, pain, walking, and range of motion after receiving two Swedish massages every week for eight weeks, as compared to patients who didn’t receive any massages.
Regular massage can potentially help with arthritis symptoms throughout the body, including wrist, hand, or knee arthritis.
One particular study on wrist and hand arthritis patients showed that upon receiving four massages every week and being taught self-massage techniques, merely fifteen minutes of self-massage improved flexibility and grip strength, while also reducing anxiety and pain.
There are countless tutorial videos available on the internet teaching you how to give yourself self-massage to treat the area of inflammation. It’s worth following them, as they’ve proved effective for many people.
In all aspects of mental and physical health, aromatherapy is starting to gain the recognition it deserves in reducing pain and helping with symptoms of several types of ailments.
The secret behind aromatherapy’s effectiveness lies in its direct impact on the amygdala. The amygdala is the brain’s primary department for dealing with emotions, which is why it’s often referred to as ‘the brain’s emotional center.’
Aromatherapy is widely used to achieve stress relief and relaxation; however, it’s also becoming popular as a helpful tool in regenerating the body and relieving muscle and joint pain.
If you’re looking to give aromatherapy a try, it’s advisable that you use about fifteen drops of any essential oil, such as eucalyptus, chamomile, or lavender, and mix it with about one ounce of neutral oil like avocado, almond, or jojoba. Once mixed, dab your skin with this oil combination and you’ll instantly feel relief. With aromatherapy oils, short-term exposure is key, because once you get used to the scents around you, you may stop responding to them.
3. Indian frankincense
How about trying something a little more exotic as an arthritis remedy? It’s well worth checking out Indian frankincense. It contains active components called ‘Boswellic acids’, which have shown remarkable pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties in several studies.
According to experts, the exotic herb could also be useful to regular the autoimmune process and prevent cartilage loss. In one particular study, Indian frankincense extract was used on osteoarthritis patients. The study found that the herb helped improve functioning and pain within a week.
The easiest way to get your hands on the special herb is in its supplement form. You can easily find it in your local health store or simply order it online.
4. Weight loss
As a direct natural remedy for countless health issues, weight loss can also be significantly helpful for people suffering from arthritis. This can, however, be tough to achieve, as weight loss requires workouts and rigorous body movement which can be particularly painful for arthritis patients.
It’s a slippery slope. The arthritis pain associated with body movement may cause you to put on a few pounds, and in turn, the extra weight can cause you even more pain—and the nasty cycle continues.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to fight through the pain and shave off a few pounds to help take some pressure off your joints. This can notably ease symptoms, such as reduced knee pain.
Luckily, there’s more to weight loss than workouts. You can combine your light workouts with a healthy diet, both of which can help decrease inflammation and improve arthritis symptoms. Drink plenty of water to help reduce water weight (it really does make a difference), and limit your salt intake. Say no to fatty foods and other high-calorie processed items!
5. Fatty fish
Fatty fish benefits are too extensive to leave it out of this list. From improving cognitive function and heart health to treating arthritis pain, there’s so much that a single portion of fatty fish is capable of.
The omega-3 fatty acids in this food have been scientifically proven to have a direct impact on reducing arthritis-caused inflammation. Research studies have revealed convincing evidence to show that omega-3s EPA and DHA can promote endothelial function, which helps with the prevention of joint swelling.
It’s also that that arthritis can be relieved by fatty fish alone, without having to worry about the possible side effects that conventional prescription drugs could cause. Some of the omega-3 rich fish include salmon, seabass, mackerel, sardines, oysters, trout, and shrimp
Remember to avoid frying your fish in unhealthy oils or fats, choosing instead to always bake or grill it. Also, if you’re not a big fan of fish, you can consider taking fish oil in supplement form to secure your regular omega-3 intake.
6. Chiropractic treatment
Involving the physical alignment and adjustment of the body’s joints, chiropractic treatment is a form of therapy that’s a direct remedy for arthritis joint pain. Though it may sound scary at first, it’s more therapeutic and stress-relieving than it seems.
Your joints and bones can benefit a lot from particular chiropractic adjustments, aimed specially to ease stiffness and relieve pain. A trained chiropractor may choose to incorporate massage into one of your sessions to further help with muscle or joint stiffness, which helps with mobility, flexibility, movement, and range of motion.
For people experiencing lower back pain due to arthritis, chiropractic adjustments can significantly help break up scar tissue and prevent muscle spasms, which helps in easing the pain they cause. If you’ve never tried it, it’s worth looking into as an alternative form of therapy to manage your symptoms and find relief.
Continuing the weight loss discussion, exercise probably isn’t the most enjoyable activity during arthritis flare-ups. As ironic as it may be, it’s still one of the most effective ways to help with symptoms of inflammation.
As exercise promotes the maintenance of strong and healthy muscles, endurance, flexibility, and mobility of joints, it’s considered an essential activity to manage arthritis symptoms in the long term. Try and find a healthy balance between exercise and rest, though, as rest is also essential to reduce inflammation and allow your joints to heal up.
Experts recommend resting more when your arthritis flare-ups are on the rise, and exercising more when the symptoms subside. On the worst days of arthritis pain, it’s best to stick only to light exercise. If you’re not sure about what’s best for your current condition, talk to your doctor and obtain their recommendation.
8. Vitamin C and flavonoids
Found in various plant-based healthy foods, many research studies have shown vitamin C and flavonoids to be effective for preventing excessive inflammation and oxidative damage to cells. To help with swelling and pain, arthritis patients should maintain a healthy daily intake of vitamin C and flavonoids by including antioxidant vegetables and fruits into their diet.
Here are some of the best vitamin C and flavonoid sources:
- Black beans
If you’re lacking vitamin C in your daily diet, consider taking it in tablet form as a dietary supplement.
9. Capsaicin cream
It may sound a bit unusual as a remedy for arthritis, but Capsaicin cream happens to be remarkably helpful for arthritis pain relief. Capsaicin comes from chili peppers, and can inhibit a neuropeptide known as ‘substance P’, which is associated with inflammatory processes.
Scientists are still unsure about how Capsaicin cream works, though many believe it to somehow relieve pain by diminishing the nerve endings of certain pain-transmitting chemicals. It’s available in most health stores and can be applied directly to your skin over inflamed areas. You can purchase it here
- Two 3.5 oz/100 g tubes of Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel for Topical Arthritis Pain Relief
- Voltaren relieves arthritis pain, improves mobility and reduces stiffness to provide prescription strength arthritis joint pain relief
- Non-greasy Voltaren Emulgel combines the properties of an arthritis pain relief cream and a gel to target pain
- Diclofenac sodium topical gel penetrates deep to attack arthritis pain directly at the site, treating pain rather than just masking it
- ACTIVE INGREDIENT: Amazon Basic Care Acetaminophen Extended-Release Tablets, 650 mg active ingredient is acetaminophen 650 mg,. Compare to the active ingredient in Tylenol 8HR Arthritis Pain.
- PURPOSE: Amazon Basic Care Acetaminophen Extended-Release Tablets, 650 mg is a pain reliever and fever reducer that can be used for the temporary relief of minor pain of arthritis.
- TEMPORARY PAIN RELIEF: This product may also be used to temporarily relieve other minor aches and pains due to: muscular aches, backache, premenstrual and menstrual cramps, the common cold, headache, toothache.
- ASPIRIN FREE, GLUTEN FREE: Extended release caplets (capsule-shaped tablets) each provide 650 mg of acetaminophen, pain reliever and fever reducer, and contain no aspirin. Effective for minor arthritis pain. This product is gluten free.
- 100-count bottle of Tylenol 8 Hour Arthritis Pain Extended-Release Caplets with acetaminophen to provide fast-acting, temporary relief of minor arthritis and joint pain, as well as other aches and pains
- Each extended-release tablet contains 650 mg of acetaminophen, a known pain relieving and fever reducing ingredient, with two layers of effective pain relief - the first layer acts fast and the second lasts up to 8 hours
- Use this oral pain reliever as a fever reducer and to relieve minor aches and pains, including those due to arthritis, joint ache, knee pain, muscle aches, backache, headache, toothache, the common cold, and pre-menstrual and menstrual cramps
- These oral arthritis pain relief caplets can be used by adults 18 years and older and have an excellent safety profile when used as directed
- PROVIDES FAST RELIEF FROM PAIN: Carefully formulated with active ingredients that target pains, Amish Origins Deep Penetrating Pain Relief Cream is formulated to provide long-lasting relief from pains associated with Arthritis, aching joints, sore muscles, restless legs, bruises, sprains, backache and more.
- QUICK-ACTING PAIN RELIEF FORMULA: Amish Origin medicated pain relief cream has earned its reputation as one of the best on the market, and that’s because it delivers on its promises. As a powerful pain relief cream, Amish Origins pain relief cream absorbs quickly and delivers fast relief from pain.
- GREASELESS FORMULA: While other pain relief formula leave behind annoying greasy residues after application, Not Amish Origins. This is because Amish Origins is carefully formulated to deeply penetrate the skin without the greasy feel.
- EASY TO USE: This pain relief cream is easy to use. Simply apply a little amount topically, wherever you feel pain, and watch the magic unfolds.
As an ancient natural health remedy, ginger has been used in Asian medicine for centuries. It possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties, shown to be similar to ibuprofen in terms of effectiveness.
Ginger also has the potential to suppress or deplete certain anti-inflammatory molecules referred to as ‘leukotrienes.’ It can also even neutralize certain inflammatory genes. According to some experts, ginger might be even more effective than many over-the-counter pain-relieving medicines.
You can easily include ginger into your diet to help with arthritis symptoms. For instance, you can add grated or chopped ginger to your curry and stir fry recipes directly. An even simpler way would be to use ginger capsules, powder, extract, or oils. If you’re into aromatic beverages, you could also make yourself a cup of ginger tea by simply adding some ginger extract to a cup of hot water!
Found in healthy cartilage surrounding the joints, glucosamine is a naturally occurring compound consisting of a jelly-like substance. It’s one of the best organic supplements you can take as an arthritis patient. As the cartilage between the bones wears away, your bones may experience damage and pain as they rub against each other, and that’s when they require additional glucosamine.
It’s widely sold over the counter at many pharmacies, as a natural way to achieve anti-inflammatory relief. If you’re unsure about taking glucosamine medicines, it’s best to speak to your doctor about it to obtain their opinion on your condition. You can buy glucosamine here.
12. CBD oil
In the human body, there’s an essential mechanism called the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for the regulation of all sorts of bodily functions. One of the core functions it regulates is registering pain.
CBD-based products primarily consist of a chemical compound called cannabinol found in cannabis plants, which can improve endocannabinoid system functioning. Experts associate CBD oil intake with reduced production of pain signals in the brain, alleviating the discomfort caused by arthritis symptoms.
If you’re interested in taking CBD oils for your condition, you can use them in several forms, including applying them to your skin on affected areas or ingesting it in oil or tablet form.
What to avoid
Arthritis symptoms can be eased by introducing many different types of lifestyle changes into your routine. Similarly, avoiding certain practices can also keep arthritis flare-ups at bay. You shouldn’t continue performing activities that trigger your condition to get worse. For instance, if you’re suffering from wrist arthritis, typing on a keyboard may be a no-go for you if it keeps worsening your symptoms.
Cold weather has also been known to elevate arthritis symptoms, so make sure you cover up well when going outside in the winter.
Additionally, try to avoid foods that are known to be problematic for arthritis patients. Several types of foods and ingredients can cause inflammation, including sugars, processed and fried foods, tobacco, alcohol, dairy products, carbs, preservatives, and salt-rich foods. Aim to avoid consuming these foods, or limit their intake, while replacing them with the healthier foods we’ve mentioned above.
Managing the symptoms of arthritis constantly can be immensely challenging. It may feel like fighting an endless battle, but it’s essential to be patient and implement the appropriate lifestyle and dietary changes to make things progressively easier in the long run.
Arthritis takes different forms from one patient to the next, and most remedies take some time to show results. It could take a while to figure out which remedies work best for you. With a bit of resilience and determination to get better, you’ll hopefully be able to alleviate your flare-ups, joint pain, and inflammation through all-natural means.