Osteoarthritis, also known as osteoarthrosis, is the most common form of joint disorders. Osteoarthritis is predominantly caused by wear and tear of the joints as well as aging.
Osteoarthritis causes swelling, pain, and reduced motion in the joints. It often affects the hands, hips, knee, and spine. However, it can affect any joint. Osteoarthritis usually develops between the ages of 40 and 60 years.
Osteoarthritis is caused when the cartilage, that cushion bones at the joints, start to wear and break down. This increases the tendency of the bones, at the joint, to glide over each other. This wearing of the cartilage and rubbing of the bones is responsible for the stiffness, pain and swelling symptoms that accompany osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is more common in women. Risk factors that can increase the likelihood of having osteoarthritis include; obesity, genetic tendencies, getting older, jobs that put additional stress on certain joints, joint injuries, diabetes, bone deformities, and weak thigh muscles.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis could worsen over time as one age. These symptoms include; joint stiffness, joint pain, grating feeling at joint (crepitation), diminished flexibility, and, joint feels tender and sore.
If osteoarthritis is not managed and treated early and properly, it could lead to late-stage disability that could degenerate to hip and knee replacement surgery. You could adopt some lifestyle changes and natural treatments to help relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, when dealing with osteoarthritis;
- Staying active and exercising is of huge benefit if you are dealing with osteoarthritis. Water exercises, such as swimming, are extremely beneficial.
- Apply hot and cold treatment to the joint.
- Ensure you eat healthy foods. You could also ask your healthcare provider for nutritional supplements that would help with your osteoarthritis symptoms.
- Ensure you get enough sleep and rest.
- If you are overweight, strive to lose the excess fat.
- Ensure you protect your joints from injuries.
- Drop bad habits of smoking and excessive alcohol consumption as they may exacerbate your condition.
- You could take up yoga to improve your stretching and joint mobility.
- You could try using braces, splints, walking canes, to help ease your discomfort and prevent injury.
- You could take up meditation to help keep your mind off the pain.
Below are natural treatments and home remedies for osteoarthritis;
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the stiffness that occurs in the joints. As well as reducing the stiffness in the joints, ACV can also help in flushing out toxins that might be present in the joints. You can make a mixture of 1 teaspoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, honey and a glass of warm water. Drink the mixture twice daily before having a meal.
Alternatively, you may mix 1 tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar with extra-virgin oil and use it to massage the joints a few times a day. Continue to follow this remedy until the pain and inflammation are alleviated.
Being an antioxidant and having anti-inflammatory properties, fenugreek is one of the best home remedies for osteoarthritis. You can grind fenugreek seeds into fine particles, mix one teaspoon of the ground seeds with a glass of warm water and drink the solution. Drink the solution every day in the morning until the joint pain is gone. Alternatively, you can leave one teaspoon of fenugreek seed in water overnight and then eat them the following morning.
Dandelion leaves and roots, due to their bioactive compound called taraxasterol, are one of the best remedies for joint pains that you can easily use. Dandelion is rich in both Vitamins A and C which aid in repairing the damaged tissue and getting rid of toxins in the blood. Additionally, dandelion contains linoleic acid, which is an essential fatty acid that produces prostaglandin which aids in suppressing inflammation as well as controlling immune responses.
You may want to take the leaves or roots in form of tea, by putting 1 teaspoon of dried dandelion leaves or roots in a cup of boiling water for several minutes. Strain and enjoy it twice daily. If you feel the tea is very bitter, you may add some honey to drink it easily. Alternatively, you can make a salad with dandelion leaves, mix them with some olive oil and eat.
4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin oil can lubricate and soothe your joints and also relieve the pain of arthritis. Olive oil contains oleocanthal which is olive oil’s main natural phenolic compound that can help inhibit inflammatory enzymes. You can use this remedy by rubbing a little olive oil, on your affected joints, and massage them twice daily.
5. Peppermint And Eucalyptus Oil
Peppermint and eucalyptus make one great combination as a home remedy for osteoarthritis. They both have analgesic properties that help in relieving joint pain. They also give a cooling effect on the affected joints which temporarily overrides your discomfort as well easing the pain from arthritis.
For you to ease the pain, you will need to mix about 5 to 10 drops of eucalyptus oil and 5 to 10 drops of peppermint oil together to a carrier oil, such as olive oil or almond oil. Keep the mixture in a dark bottle and rub it onto your joint anytime you feel pain. The carrier oil helps dilute the essential oil in order to avoid irritating the skin when using it. You could also inhale diluted eucalyptus oil for relief of pain.
6. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne has capsaicin that has analgesic properties which can help relieve joint pain. You can use cayenne for osteoarthritis by heating slightly a half cup of coconut oil and mix it with 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper powder. Apply the mixture on your affected joint and wait for about 20 minutes and then rinse it out. Do this a few times daily until your pain is gone. Another option is to use a capsaicin cream and apply it on your affected area daily.
Garlic is an excellent herb for treating osteoarthritis. Garlic is very rich in selenium and sulfur which are good for people suffering from osteoarthritis. Sulfur aids in soothing your joint pain and inflammation. You can fry 2 cloves of garlic in 2 tablespoons of sesame oil till the cloves darken or get black. Turn off the heat, strain the oil and wait until it gets cool or warm. Then, massage the oil into your affected area. You can rinse it off after leaving it for about 3 hours. Repeat this twice daily until you get your desired results. Alternatively, you can add eat raw or cooked garlic.
Aside from being a popular spice in the Asian kitchens, ginger is also a great herb and a remedy for osteoarthritis. Ginger has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that help in soothing the joint pain. You can drink ginger as tea by cutting it up into small pieces and boiling it in a cup of water for about 10 minutes. After boiling strain it and enjoy it with honey.
9. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt helps your body absorb magnesium through the skin which can help relieve knee joint pain. Magnesium is also very important for its anti-inflammation property and its ability to detoxify the body tissues. Using Epsom salt is very simple. You need to dissolve 2 cups of the salt in warm bath water and soak yourself in this bath for about 20 minutes. Repeat the procedure about 3 times a week and your joint will surely get better.
Alternatively, you may add half cup of Epsom salt in a bowl with warm water and stir until the salt dissolves. Then, submerge your affected joints in the solution for at least 20 minutes. Repeat this daily until you get better.
Turmeric is highly rich in curcumin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that make it a great remedy for osteoarthritis. According to a study in 2009, curcumin was found to be as effective as ibuprofen in relieving pain caused by osteoarthritis. You can use this remedy by mixing 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with a little honey in a glass of warm milk and drink it daily until your pain is relieved.
Alternatively, you can combine half teaspoon of turmeric powder with half teaspoon of ground ginger and add them to 2 cups of boiled water and then simmer for about 10 minutes. After simmering, strain it and, preferentially, add some honey to make your tea taste better. Take this twice a day to get your desired result.
Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help relieve joint swelling and pain. You can mix 1 teaspoon of Cinnamon powder and 1 tablespoon of honey in a glass of warm water and drink it every morning on an empty stomach. Alternatively, you can add little water to the cinnamon powder and make a paste. Then, use this paste to massage the affected area for a few minutes daily. Repeat the remedies until you get your desired results.
12. Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle is rich in boron which is necessary for healthy bones and joints. You can take stinging nettle as tea by putting 2 or 3 teaspoons of dried nettle leaves in a cup of hot water for about 15 minutes, then strain to drink. Drink this tea 3 times a day until you get better. Alternatively, you can crush fresh nettle leaves and apply the paste on the affected area for about 30 minutes. you can repeat this once daily for about a week.
13. Burdock Root
Burdock root has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve pain caused by osteoarthritis. Additionally, burdock root is rich in sterols, tannins and fatty acids that aid in reducing inflammation. To use the burdock root, you will need to put it in a cup of boiling water, cover the cup for about 20 minutes and then strain. Drink it when it is warm 3 times a day.
14. White Willow Bark
The white willow bark has salicin as an active ingredient. Salicin is effective in reducing joint pain. When it is absorbed into the body it is usually converted into salicylic acid that can help relieve pain. White willow bark can be used in form of an extract that can relieve pain, inflammation, and fever.
Also, it can be taken as tea. Boil 1 cup of water, lower the heat to simmer it, then add 2 teaspoons of powdered white willow bark into the water and leave it for about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and steep for about 30 minutes. You can add some honey or lemon into the tea since it may be bitter. Take it twice daily.
15. Licorice Root
Licorice root can be put in the same category as the natural corticosteroids in terms of its action in the body. This is because licorice helps the body release cortisol that aid in relieving pain. Licorice can inhibit the enzyme production associated with inflammatory process. Licorice also has glycyrrhizin that helps the body release cortisol and reduce the pain in your joints. You can make licorice root tea and enjoy it. However, it should not be used by people suffering from high blood pressure.
16. Cold And Hot Treatments
You can give your joint cold or hot treatments by filling up two containers with water. One container should be filled with cold water and ice cubes and the other one with hot water that you can touch. Immerse your affected joint into the cold water for about a minute, and then immerse it in hot water for about 30 seconds. Repeat the procedure for about 15 minutes, alternating the immersion of the affected joint in the cold and hot water for 30 seconds each. Make sure you finish with cold water for a minute.
17. Green Tea
Green tea has polyphenol antioxidants and anti-inflammatory property that can help relieve pain and swelling. Green tea has been studied and proven to improve arthritis-related immune responses. Taking 4 cups of green tea daily can give better results.
Cloves contain eugenol which is an anti-inflammatory chemical that can inhibit processes that trigger arthritis. Eugenol can inhibit the release of COX-2, a protein that triggers inflammation. Cloves are also antioxidant which helps to slow down cartilage and bone damage caused by arthritis. Take 1 teaspoon of clove daily until the affected area gets better.
19. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 has anti-inflammatory property that can reduce the pain caused by osteoarthritis. You can take omega-3 fatty acid supplement daily. Consult your doctor before taking any supplement. You can also add some flaxseeds or flax oil to your diet for better results.
20. Carrots And Onions
Carrots are rich in carotenoids and antioxidants that promote body healing. Onions are potent anti-inflammatory foods that you can eat. They both have phytochemicals that are essential in improving your immune system. Onions also have sulfur compounds that can inhibit the enzyme production that causes pain. Grate carrots in a bowl, pour some lemon juice and enjoy them raw. You could also add onions to your diet to relieve joint pain.
Choosing some exercises such as walking and other types of exercises that will target your joints can help get rid of stiffness and pain. You can do some yoga exercise which is very good for your joints, thus reducing joint pains.
22. Blackstrap Molasses
Blackstrap molasses has several essential minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium which play a role in repairing connective tissues and strengthening the bones. One tablespoon of blackstrap molasses daily can relieve painful joints. You can add 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses into one cup of fresh warm water. Stir and drink the solution. Drink it once every day for better results.
Pectin is a polysaccharide very common in fruits such as pears, apples, gooseberries, and oranges. Pectin is also found in jam and marmalade. When combined with grape juice, it can help relieve joint pain. Take 1 tablespoon of liquid pectin and mix with 250 ml grape juice. Drink the solution twice a day for about 2 weeks to achieve better results.
24. Golden Raisins
Golden raisins have sulfides which are very useful in treating arthritis. You can use golden raisins with gin that is derived from juniper berries which have anti-inflammatory property. Place 1 cup of golden raisins in a dish and pour half cup of gin into the dish. Cover it with a clean towel and keep them in a dark place until you start seeing gin evaporate, and this can take about 2 weeks. Eat about 10 raisins per day for a few weeks until you experience your desired results.
Magnesium can help mineralize bones and relieve stiffness and pain in the joints. You acquire more magnesium in the body by adding magnesium supplements into your diet and also magnesium-rich oil. Nuts, dark green leaves like spinach and legumes are a good source of magnesium. You can also use magnesium oil to rub on your affected joints, in which it would get absorbed through the skin and relieves pain.
Massaging the sore joints can soothe inflammation and also improve circulation of blood which can relieve the pain in your joint. Having regular massage can greatly reduce the pain and stiffness in your joint as well as improve your range of motion in your joints. You can combine some oils like olive oil, castor oil, coconut oil or mustard oil in order to have a better massage.
27. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is an anti-inflammatory that can ease joint pain. You can make strong infusion using four chamomile tea bags in a cup of hot water, cover for 20 minutes and then squeeze and remove tea bags. Soak a clean cloth in the tea and apply it on the affected area. You could also apply topical chamomile oil for pain relief.
28. Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps in the production of collagen which is a major component of joints. Collagen also helps get rid of free radicals which pose some danger to the joints. You need to take a lot of vitamin C all through the day. You can get Vitamin C from citrus drinks as well as fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, broccoli or melon.
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