Arthritis is a term used to describe more than 100 different conditions that affect and cause pain to your joints. However, along with medication and exercise therapy, here are some other helpful ways you can try when treating arthritis:
1. Physical therapy
This form of therapy restores or keeps the range of motion in your joints and strengthens the surrounding muscles. A physical therapist can help you learn how to use supportive devices, such as crutches, canes, and braces, and also teach you to do everyday tasks with as little pain as possible.
2. Heat and cold therapy
Apply heat to your joints to increase blood flow and loosen the joints. Apply cold to your joints to relieve pain.
Not only is soaking in a whirlpool or hot tub pleasurable, but it may also help to loosen tight joints and reduce some of the pressure on your aching joints by providing heat and buoyancy.
4. Diet therapy
Certain foods are linked to arthritis symptoms. Milk and cheese were found to cause symptoms. Other research shows foods in the nightshade family (chilli and bell peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, and potatoes) trigger arthritis flare-ups.
Other studies show that foods containing omega-6 fatty acids (vegetable oils such as safflower, soy, sesame, and sunflower) can produce inflammatory chemicals in the body. On the other hand, foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, sardines, and mackerel) may have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Not having enough antioxidants (molecules that help fight against free radicals - destructive molecules made in the body by a chemical process called oxidation), such as vitamins E and A, and beta-carotene, could be a precursor to rheumatoid arthritis. People with rheumatoid arthritis had lower levels of several types of antioxidants, including the beta-carotene and vitamins A and D. Additional studies have found that vitamin E may help ease swelling, pain, and morning stiffness associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
6. Dietary supplements
Supplements such as chondroitin and glucosamine, two compounds found in healthy joints, have shown promise in relieving pain and improving mobility. They are taken separately or in combination - either in a pill or as a powder that can be mixed with a liquid. Because these are sold as dietary supplements in your local health food store, they are not monitored or tested for safety and efficacy by the FDA.
7. Herbal therapy
Some herbs that may help to relieve arthritis pain include arnica, feverfew, meadowsweet, and stinging nettles. However, because not all herbal therapies are effective or safe for everyone, you should speak with your doctor.