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Arthritis can be a painful and debilitating condition. However, there are a range of natural health treatments you can try in order to reduce your risk of arthritis. There are also various alternative medicines you may choose that offer pain relief and management for arthritis.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis refers to a number of conditions that cause inflammation of the joints. This inflammation in turn leads to chronic pain, stiffness and swelling in areas such as the fingers, wrist, elbows, knees, hips and ankles. There are over 100 different types of arthritis with the most common forms being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis is not only a condition that affects the elderly. In fact, 2.4 million sufferers are of working age. Here are some natural therapies and natural health options to treat joint inflammation and lessen your chances of developing arthritis.
Natural health options for arthritis prevention
Exercise is a beneficial way to keep your joints nourished. Regular exercise in moderation such as yoga, walking or swimming will help keep your joints active and lubricated. This will also build muscle strength and help slow muscle and joint deterioration.
Another natural health option is to choose an anti-inflammatory diet. Adopting an anti-inflammatory diet can be a preventative measure if you have a history of arthritis in the family or are experiencing joint pain.
Beneficial foods known for their anti-inflammatory properties include fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Eating more fruit, vegetables, turmeric and ginger is a natural health option which also has the potential to reduce arthritis onset and symptoms. It is also important to reduce your intake of foods that can flare up joints, such as full cream dairy products, caffeine and alcohol.
Natural health options for arthritis sufferers
Acupuncture is a natural therapy option that can benefit arthritis sufferers. Acupuncture has been shown to have positive results in patients with chronic pain, especially in cases of osteoarthritis in the knee or hip. Acupuncture has the potential to improve joint function and mobility. Acupuncture has also produced effective results for reducing symptoms of pain and stiffness of fibromyalgia, an arthritis-related disorder.
There are a number of herbal medicines and natural supplements that can be taken to reduce your chances of developing arthritis.
Black cohosh has a number of beneficial properties including its anti-inflammatory effects, making it useful in the treatment of arthritis. It is also a muscle and nerve relaxant.
Licorice root also has many anti-arthritis properties. This herb has an anti-inflammatory effect as it nourishes the adrenal glands which release corticosteroids.
Borage seed oil is another herbal remedy used as an anti-inflammatory for chronic conditions such as arthritis. Borage seeds are a good source of gamma-linolenic (GLA) acid. The body uses this fatty acid to fight inflammation.
The seed oil of evening primrose can also aid arthritis pain, and reduce inflammation especially in cases of rheumatoid arthritis due to its GLA content.
Other natural health options for arthritis sufferers include herbal medicines such as chaparral, cayenne pepper and slippery elm.