ARTHRITIS: relieve the pain of inflamed joints using some natural treatments.
ARTHRITIS: relieve the pain of inflamed joints using some natural treatments. nandyphotos

Arthritis relief that you crave comes in several forms

IT'S incurable, but the joint pain, stiffness and inflammation caused by arthritis can be managed by using a range of natural products, a better diet and regular exercise.

The trick to helping you deal with arthritis is to learn more about the disease, its symptoms and how to manage it, all of which can help delay its onset.

What is it ?

It's a medical condition that damages the body's joints.

Joints are points where two or more bones meet, such as in the wrist, knuckles, hips, knees and ankles

It can range from mild to severe, and can affect people of all ages.

There are about 100 forms of arthritis, but there are three common types experienced by Australians, which are -

  • Osteoarthritis is a common chronic joint disease of the knees, hips and small joints of the hands and base of the big toe.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes pain and swelling in the joints.
  • Gout, which is more common in men than women, is the painful inflammation of a joint such as in the big toe although it can affect hands, wrists, knees, ankles and elbows.

Symptoms

The symptoms vary from person to person, but the most common are pain, swelling, redness and heat, and stiffness or reduced movement.

Natural Relief

After talking to a doctor about your condition and how to integrate a natural product to your health management plan, one or more of the following products could give you the relief you crave.

  • Fish oil, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids, can be found naturally in tuna, mackerel, salmon and sardines or taken in capsules and liquid form and is ranked the highest by Arthritis Australia.
  • Krill Oil, which is made from small crustaceans which are similar to prawns and found in the icy waters of the Arctic and Antarctic oceans, Is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can be taken in tablet form or added to your cooking.
  • Epsom salts can help with the imbalance of pH in your system. Mix it with lemon juice in a glass of warm water or place two cups of Epsom salts in a bowl or bath and soak in it. Just watch out for the diuretic effect of the salts; you could find yourself visiting the bathroom in a hurry.
  • Ginger may relieve inflammation and can be added into cooking or drink it in juice or as a hot drink.
  • Extra virgin olive oil contains oleocanthal. Use it for cooking or add it to salad dressings. You could also use it as a lubricant, rubbing it directly over the joints to help ease the pain.
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate, which are found naturally in the cartilage, can be taken separately or together.

Then there is the more unusual offerings -

  • Green-lipped mussel extract contains omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Indian frankincense is gum resin from the bark of a Boswellia tree.
  • Phytodolor is a blend of tree bark and plant extracts that alleviates arthritis pain.
  • Pine bark is extracted from the bark of the French maritime pine tree.
  • Rosehip extract contains polyphenols and anthocyanins, which are believed to ease joint inflammation and prevent joint damage.
  • Avocado-soybean unsaponifiables is a natural vegetable extract made from one-third avocado oil and two-thirds soybean oil.
  • Evening primrose oil, borage seed oil and blackcurrant seed oil all of which contain the omega-6 fatty acid gamma linoleic acid.

Copper bracelets seemed to have fallen out of favour with experts arguing there is no scientific proof they work.

Apparently there is a snake venom being tested, but until more news on its effectiveness is published, it is recommended you stay clear of snakes.

Other strategies to ease the pain of arthritis are modifying some of your lifestyle choices such as exercise and diet.

Exercise

  • It can ease the pain and stiffness, and improve flexibility and help with your overall health.
  • Wear supportive footwear to reduce the strain on joints.
  • Regular exercise of 30 to 40 minutes per day will help to increase a person's metabolism and increase the speed of weight loss.
  • Get walking.
  • Tai Chi.
  • Dancing.
  • Low impact aerobics.
  • Swimming and exercise classes in warm-water.
  • Strengthening exercises are recommended, such as yoga, pilates and weight training.

Diet

  • Losing weight will reduce the stress on your joints.
  • Balance your diet with fruit and vegetables, protein foods, dairy, cereals and grains.
  • Eat foods rich in omega-3 such as oily fish, linseed oil, canola oil and walnuts.
  • Increase dietary calcium to reduce the risk of osteoporosis in later life.
  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids, especially water.
  • Avoid alcohol or avoid binge drinking.
  • Avoid offal meats, such as liver, kidneys and brains.
  • Avoid shellfish, such as prawns and scallops, sardines, herrings, mackerel and anchovies, and yeast containing products such as beer and Vegemite.
  • Avoid crash dieting or fasting and take your time when eating.

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