Ways to Alleviate Joint Pain Naturally
If you’re one of many adults who experience joint pain, there may be some things you can try at home before seeking professional help.
The problem with joint pain is that nearly all our movements involve joints. It’s hard to walk, sit up, turn, pick up a pencil, or even use the TV remote without using your joints—which is one of the reasons this common ailment can feel so unbearable. About one-third of adults report having joint pain in the past 30 days.
So what can you do? Besides typical drugs your doctor may prescribe, there are several natural remedies that can help alleviate you of your pain at a cheaper cost.
Related: 3 Ways to Prevent Osteoarthritis
Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet
Unfortunately, some of the foods you love might be heightening your joint pain. Processed or foods and those high in sugar can cause inflammation. Instead, focus on eating anti-inflammatory foods like fruits and vegetables, chia seeds, walnuts, and fish. When you’re on an anti-inflammatory diet, fiber is key, and most of these foods provide plenty of it.
Some herbs and spices such as turmeric or ginger may alleviate joint pain. Add them to your cooking or take them in a pill form. Always check with your doctor before trying a new herb or supplement.
Choose the right type of exercise
No health article would be complete without mentioning exercise, but some types of exercise can be damaging for joint pain. Low-impact activities like swimming or water aerobics are great for your joints—and the rest of your body, too.
Take it easy
If you’ve been working your joints too hard, it’s possible that what they really need is a little break. Take a few days off to let them recover, and before you jump back into running (a high-impact sport that is hard on your joints), start out with swimming.
Use hot or cold compress
You’ve likely heard or used this on your aching joints or muscles before. How do you know which is better for you—the heat pack or the ice bag? Pay attention to how the joint or muscle feels.
Heat is relaxing and increases blood flow. If it feels tight, try using a heating pad or soaking in a hot bath to relax it. But if it feels hot and irritated, you’ll want to try out an ice pack. The cold reduces inflammation.
Lose extra weight
Not everyone has it, but extra weight means your joints have to support the extra weight. Losing this can relieve pressure on your joints.
Take an Epsom salt bath
Although this method is not scientifically proven, Epsom salt baths have been used for years. The idea behind these baths is the magnesium and sulfate that breaks down from the Epsom salt (not to be confused with table salt) is absorbed by your skin and into your body. At the very least, the warm bath will help relax and soothe your aching joints.
See a professional
If your healthy lifestyle changes haven’t alleviated your joint pain, visit a professional. Your primary care doctor is a good place to start—though he or she may refer you to a specialist, depending on the cause of your joint pain.
Some causes of joint pain are easy to identify and can be eliminated quickly. Others may be more vexing, but try these ideas to help alleviate pain in the simplest ways possible.
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