Osteoarthritis is a condition of the bones which is said to occur when the joint cartilage wears away, exposing the bones and causing them to rub against each other. The condition can be extremely painful and disabling, and is known to occur in aged individuals although youngsters are not totally immune towards it.
There are many standard cures for arthritis.The condition can also be treated with natural remedies that are as effective as standard medications and treatments, but do not pose the threat of side effects. So if you are looking for a natural cure for your arthritic problem, here are some solutions that can be of help to you.
Natural Remedies for Arthritis
Before actually finding out different natural remedies for arthritis, it is considered imperative that you learn about the condition, its causes, symptoms and effects in detail. For getting to know about the disease in detail is half the battle won!
Check up on the internet. Sites like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Arthritis Foundation provide detailed information about many medical conditions including arthritis.
Visit a doctor or a rheumatologist who would give you precise information about the effects of the condition and your limitations associated with it. General physicians who take no more than 5-10 minutes to explain your condition would in no way help you properly. You need to find a doctor who would sit down with you and explain about the condition in detail in addition to discussing in detail, the best ways you can cope with it.
Maintaining a healthy weight is considered as one of the best natural remedies for conditions like arthritis.The lighter you are, the less pressure you would exert on the fragile bones of your knees.
Studies have revealed that many individuals suffering from arthritis tend to feel better after losing weight. Accordingly, the severity of the symptoms would reduce considerably if you lose up to 5 pounds, and disappear completely if you lose somewhere around 10-20 pounds.
Regular exercise is considered as a must for individuals with osteoarthritis.Any kind of exercise would be ok as long as you don’t exert pressure on your knees. Exercises like walking can suit elderly individuals while exercises like jogging, swimming or biking are best suited for younger individuals.
The exercises that you choose should involve aerobic and strengthening workout. So try including some isotonic and isometric exercises into your daily routine as well.
While most cases of osteoarthritis would not need physical therapy, the treatment can be considered effective for those who are injured or too weak to recover on their own. Physical therapy would improve the flexibility of the joints and reduce the pressure exerted by the body on the knees.
In these cases the individual would most probably require treatment at a clinic or have the therapy administered at home by a professional physical therapist.
Several studies have noted that acupuncture treatments can provide relief from the pain and disability caused by conditions like osteoarthritis.
The effectiveness of the treatment would depend on the severity of the condition and other existing medical anomalies at the time of treatment.
Assistive Devices for Arthritis
Arthritis can cause conditions like knock knees and bowlegs which occur due to the excess pressure exerted by the body on the knees and hip. In these cases, assistive devices like shoe inserts, wedges, braces, canes and splints etc. can be used to shift the body weight from the arthritic joint, knee or hip.
These devices can aid in weight distribution, thereby reducing the pain experienced due to arthritis.They can also prevent the condition from worsening. Devices like wedges can effectively handle leg length differences of more than1/2 inch.
Although Chiropractic Therapy does not treat arthritis, it helps to treat and control mild-severe muscles spasms that are considered to be frequent symptoms of the condition. Muscle spasms cause acute pain the body and can even disrupt an individual’s sleep.
Chiropractic Therapy can effectively break up the muscle spasm along with the scar tissue, and ease the pain caused by the same. Hot and cold treatments are also included in chiropractic therapy sessions for better results.
Electrical energy can be manipulated in many ways to offer relief from arthritis and its effects on individuals, including the pain, stiffness and swelling experienced at the arthritic areas. Accordingly, the Electroacupuncture procedure would involve using acupuncture needles that are connected to electrodes.
An electrical charge would be passed through the acupuncture needles into the body, targeting the arthritic areas. The charge would provide short term relief from the pain and stiffness caused by the condition. Another procedure called as ‘transcutaneous electrostimulation (TENS) is often employed by physical therapists to treat arthritis.
In this case, electrodes are placed over the affected joint, hip or knee etc. Electromagnetic pulses are then passed through the electrodes to the affected areas, thereby easing the pain, stiffness and swelling to a great extent.
Topical Creams for Arthritis
Certain creams derived from natural, herbal ingredients can help reduce the pain, stiffness and swelling in arthritic joints.
These include Volataren Gel (also called as Pennsaid or Diclofenac gel) which is used to treat arthritic knees, feet, wrists, hands, ankles and elbows etc., and Capsaicin Cream which is used to relieve arthritic pain in the body. While the latter can be obtained without a prescription, you need one for the former.
Natural Supplements for Arthritis
Studies have revealed that certain natural supplements can be pretty effective in reducing arthritic pain, stiffness and swelling in individuals. Some of the more commonly used natural supplements in this case would include Glucosamine, Chondroitin, rose hip, fish oil, concentrated ginger and avocado soybean unsaponifiables (also called as ‘ASU’ and made from soybean oil and avocadoes).
These supplements tend to get absorbed by the body easily and are as effective as standard medications when it comes to reducing arthritic pain in the body. They don’t produce any unnecessary side effects as well.