Pain Management – Naturally

When your joints are stiff and the pain is severe, you might think your arthritis has gotten the better of you.  You may feel that you are a slave to painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications.  While, it is not advisable to ignore your doctor’s orders, there are some natural solutions you can try as well.  Be sure to inform your healthcare professional before changing your pain management regimen.

  1. Hot and Cold Therapy – long, warm showers or baths can help ease joint stiffness, especially in the morning. If your pain intensifies at night, try a heating pad to loosen joints.  For joint pain, use cold therapy – ice packs or even a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel can alleviate some of the pain.
  2. Glucosamine– there has been some controversy surrounding the efficacy of glucosamine for arthritis pain management. However, it comes down to the type of glucosamine.  There is a fair amount of data supporting the benefits of glucosamine sulfate.  However, the same is not true of glucosamine hydrochloride.
  3. Massage – According to the Arthritis Foundation, regularly messaging arthritic joints can help reduce pain and stiffness as well as improve your range of motion.
  4. Lose Weight– losing just a little bit of weight can have a big impact on the amount of pain you experience. Extra weight puts more pressure and stress on your joints.
  5. Exercise – it can be hard to think about exercising when you’re in pain, but regular movement can help maintain flexibility in your joints. Avoid weight-bearing exercise like running, and choose low-impact options like water aerobics or yoga.
  6. Diet – eating the right foods can help as well.  There are some foods with anti-inflammatory properties that can help joint pain management. Fatty fish high in omega-3 fatty acids and turmeric, a spice common in curries have been shown to reduce inflammation.