As you age, your joints are most likely to suffer the most wear-and-tear. This condition is called arthritis. While there are therapies and medications that are available commercially, there are natural supplements for arthritis, too. These have been used for years with great success.
Before learning about the ways to ease arthritis, it is important to know more about what it is and how it affects the body.
What is Arthritis?
The term “arthritis” can refer to conditions that mainly affect your joints. Generally, arthritis is the inflammation of one or more of your joints.
Joints are usually located between bones, so that the human body can do a wider range of movement. Without joints, you would not be able to bend your elbow or knees.
When a person has arthritis, there can be pain associated with movements involving the use of joints.
Although arthritis can affect people of all ages, it is most prevalent among adults who are 40 years old and older. Data shows that you are more at risk of developing arthritis if you are a woman, or if you are someone who has family members who suffer from arthritis.
What Causes Arthritis?
The cause of arthritis depends on the types of arthritis which affect the joints in different ways. The two main types of arthritis are the following:
Osteoarthritis (OA), or sometimes referred to as “wear and tear arthritis,” mainly affects the cartilage on the end of bones, where joints are formed. Worn out cartilages can cause bones to directly rub against each other during movements, which can cause pain and stiffness. Joints that are most prone to osteoarthritis are the neck and lower back, hands, knees, and hips.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder, which means that your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues. When a person has RA, their immune system attacks the lining of the joints. Over time, this can cause deformity of the joins or even erosion of the bone.
One defining feature of RA is prolonged stiffness in the morning, which may last for a few hours or the entire day. What makes RA an especially serious form of arthritis is that it can also affect other body systems like the skin, blood vessels, lungs, or even the heart.
Natural Supplements for Arthritis Pain and Remedies
There are a variety of treatments available for arthritis, like painkillers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and corticosteroids, among others. These medications help improve the symptoms caused by arthritis or help prevent any further damage to the joints. However, research has been done on alternative medications for arthritis, which involve the use of natural medicine.
It is important to note that these natural remedies should be taken in moderation, and should not be a replacement for the medication prescribed by your physician. If you are really determined to try herbal medicine for arthritis pain, make sure to consult your doctor regarding its safety to be used with your other medication.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of fat that the body cannot make on its own and has to come from sources like the food we eat. This type of fatty acid plays an important role in helping cells create hormones that regulate vital body functions like inflammation.
Studies have shown that Omega-3 has significant effects on people who suffer from arthritis. People who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis reported reduced amounts of joint pain when they were taking Omega-3 supplements. Some patients have also reported that Omega-3 supplements helped lower the dose of NSAIDs that they had to take.
Indian Frankincense (Boswellia)
Studies have also looked into how Boswellia or Indian Frankincense can be one of the potential natural supplements for arthritis. This plant extract helps alleviate arthritis pain by inhibiting the production of substances that cause inflammation in the body.
A small study showed that people with arthritis who were taking Indian Frankincense supplements showed significant improvement in arthritis pain and stiffness in just a span of one week. However, more research is needed to prove its effectiveness as a treatment for arthritis.
Turmeric is widely used as a spice in dishes like curry or for beverages like tea. However, turmeric can also be a dietary supplement that can help alleviate symptoms associated with arthritis, like inflammation. Turmeric is extracted from a plant called “curcuma along,” which contains curcominoids that may help ease inflammation in the joints caused by arthritis.
Studies have linked turmeric as an effective treatment for symptoms specific to osteoarthritis, with some patients reporting reduced pain after six weeks of taking turmeric.
A common drink in Southeast Asia, green tea has been considered a powerful medicinal drink that offers numerous benefits. It is known for being an antioxidant and can help prevent cancer and other cardiovascular diseases. For arthritis, it can be used for anti-inflammatory treatment. While it can cause stomach irritation in some individuals, for the most part, it is safe to consume – up to three to four times a day.
The humble chili does more than just liven up dishes. Due to the capsaicin, the chemical in the chili that is responsible for the “heat,” chili is used for pain relief and as an anti-inflammatory. It is usually not used on its own. Rather, it is mixed into other natural anti-arthritic treatments.
Other Ways to Manage Arthritis
In some cases, arthritis is impossible to prevent. If you are currently suffering from arthritis, there are some simple but effective ways to manage your pain. Incorporating physical activity into your daily life, like walking or swimming, are low-impact exercises that may help ease any discomfort.
However, exercise caution when it comes to exercise, because some movements may make arthritis pain even worse.
Maintaining a healthy weight is also important for people with arthritis. Excess weight can increase the stress on the joints, especially in the knees or hips. Other lifestyle habits like smoking can also increase the stress on connective tissues which can worsen arthritis pain.
Arthritis pain can keep you from doing the things that you want to do. Aside from the medication prescribed to you by your doctor, taking natural dietary supplements may help ease any discomfort or pain caused by arthritis. For more information on your options regarding herbal medicine, it’s always best to consult your doctor.
Learn more about Herbals & Alternatives here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.