Remedies For Arthritis


Table of content

  1. 3 Ways to Get Rid of Arthritis Pain - wikiHow
  2. How to Recognize Arthritis Symptoms: 11 Steps (with Pictures)
  3. 3 Ways to Prevent and Treat Arthritis - wikiHow
  4. How to Treat Arthritis in the Knees: 12 Steps (with Pictures)
  5. How to Live with Arthritis

3 Ways to Get Rid of Arthritis Pain - wikiHow

Take analgesics. You can take over the counter analgesics, such as acetaminophen or tramadol, to help relieve your pain. These medications help with pain, but they do not help with inflammation. Popular over the counter brands include Tylenol and Ultram.[3]

Try nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). To help with the pain of arthritis, you can take over the counter NSAIDs. These drugs, such as Ibuprofen and naproxen, can be used to relieve occasional pain that comes with arthritis or overworking muscles that leads to joint and muscle pain. They also help reduce inflammation, which is a major component of arthritis pain.[5]
Use topical analgesics. There are some over the counter topical creams that you can buy that might help with arthritis pain. These creams contain menthol or capsaicin, which, when applied to the skin over a painful joint, can help relieve pain. They may also interfere with the transmission of pain signals from the painful joint.[8]
Ask your doctor about corticosteroids. You can take prescription corticosteroids to help reduce severe arthritis pain and swelling. Your doctor can give these to you in the form of a shot or a pill. Injections can provide you with quick relief, but they can only be used a few times a year. This is because they break down bone and cartilage.
Take SAM-e. SAM-e, also known as S-adenosylmethionine, is a supplement that has anti-inflammatory properties and can stimulate cartilage. It also affects neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which helps to reduce pain perception.
Use avocado-soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU). ASU is a supplement that blocks chemicals in the body that cause inflammation. It also prevents the deterioration of the cells that line joints and may help regenerate joint connective tissue.[14] This supplement is a combination of 1/3 avocado oil and 2/3 soybean oil.
Take fish oil. Also known as Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, fish oil is a supplement that has been extensively studied. The Omega-3s help block inflammatory cytokines and prostaglandins and also are converted by the body into anti-inflammatory chemicals.
Understand the difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Though they may have similar characteristics, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis have different causes.[18] If you have rheumatoid arthritis, then your joints are being attacked by your own immune system, which is the source of the pain. With osteoarthritis, the pain is caused by use of the joints. The type of arthritis you have may influence which treatments are most appropriate for you.
Manage your weight. Being overweight can cause or increase complications associated with arthritis. It can also contribute to arthritis pain.[23] You should try to slowly make changes in your life to lose weight, such as exercising more and eating better.[24] You need to build muscles around your joints, but you don't want to damage the joints themselves.
Keep moving. In addition to exercise, you should stay mobile throughout the day. The more stationary you are, the more pain you will experience once you get going again. When you are at work, try to get up and move at least once an hour. You should adjust your position frequently, move your neck from side to side, change the position of your hands, and bend and stretch your legs whenever you can.
Work with a physical therapist. If you find yourself losing range of motion in your joints, your doctor may have you work with a physical therapist. The physical therapist can show you exercises to help keep your muscles and joints strong and loose, so you don't become too stiff.
Do yoga. Yoga is a combination of deep breathing, meditation, and body poses. It will help decrease joint pain and stiffness as well as reduce any stress you have. Make sure you listen to your body and only do those poses that will help you move and that don't hurt your joints.
Assist your movements. If you are suffering from extreme pain, you may be able to use devices that help you move easier or in ways that don't hurt your joints as much. Try using a cane or walker whenever your joints are hurting too much. This will help you ease some of the pain on the joints that hurt and allow them to stop swelling and have less pain.
Put less pressure on your joints. To avoid overworking your joints and bringing on more pain, you should learn to put less pressure on your joints. Incorporate new items or activities into your daily life in order to preserve and protect your joints. Try using pens with a larger base, which will make them easier to hold and write. You can also buy objects with larger and longer handles, so you don't have to strain as much to carry them.[31]
Use heat. When you are suffering from arthritis pain, one of the best ways to alleviate it is to use heat. It relaxes the muscles and helps to temporarily relieve the pain. Try applying heat pads or patches, taking a hot bath or shower, or using paraffin wax on the painful areas.[33]
Make an Epsom salt soak. Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate, which is a natural mineral that has been used for years for pain relief. The high levels of magnesium help reduce the pain in your joints when you soak it in water.
Get more sun. Instead of relying just on food to get Vitamin D, you can also use the sun to get vitamin D. Try going out of the house into the sun without sunscreen for 10-15 every other day. This can help you absorb a lot of vitamin D in a natural way without running the risk of causing skin problems due to UV rays from the sun.
Quit smoking. Smoking is bad for your overall health, but it can also cause arthritis pain. Smoking puts chemicals in your body that causes stress on connective tissues, which will lead to more arthritis pain.
Eat bananas. Bananas are great for arthritis because they help fight the underlying causes. Bananas contain high levels of potassium, which is necessary for the proper functioning of your cells. It also contains vitamin C, vitamin B6, and folate, which help to improve your immune system.
Add turmeric to your food. Turmeric is a spice that can be added to food to help with arthritis pain. It contains curcumin, which is a chemical that reduces joint pain and swelling through the blockage of inflammatory cytokines and enzymes.
Incorporate more ginger. In recent studies, ginger has been shown to have similar anti-inflammatory capabilities to ibuprofen and, as an extract, has been shown to work almost as well as steroids. Put ginger in more recipes, from chicken recipes to desserts.
Eat foods with vitamin D. People who suffer from arthritis need to take care of their bones, which means they need more vitamin D. Those who take corticosteroids need it even more, because this type of medication actually lowers the amount of vitamin D in your system. Try to eat fish, especially salmon, mackerel, or herring. Three ounces of these fish have your recommended daily amount of vitamin D.
Eat foods with probiotics. Probiotics, also known as "good" bacteria, can help with pain. In recent studies, foods such as yogurt that have these bacteria in it significantly reduced the pain associated with arthritis. It can also help increase mobility as well.
Consume foods with sulfur. You body uses sulfur in detoxification, but it can be depleted when you use NSAIDs and other pain fighting medications. To replenish your body's supply, you should eat foods with rich is sulfur that have a certain kind of bite, such as onions and garlic.
Increase your intake of foods with magnesium. Magnesium relaxes your muscles and nerve endings and eases pain. It also helps your bones to mineralize. Try to eat more magnesium-rich foods, such as dark leafy greens, nuts, and beans.
Have more sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are great for those with arthritis. They are rich is beta carotene, vitamin A and C, minerals, anthocyanin, and soluble fiber. All of these ingredients help with pain, inflammation, and joint health.
Drink green tea. There is an antioxidant in green tea known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) that blocks the production of molecules that cause joint damage. This will help lower the pain in your joints because your joints will be less damaged.

How to Recognize Arthritis Symptoms: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

Take notice of any joint pain. Joint pain is the most characteristic symptom of all types of arthritis.[3] You might notice the pain after exercising or using the joints extensively, which is the case with "wear and tear" arthritis (OA), or upon waking and after periods of disuse, which is more characteristic of RA.

Look for joint swelling and redness. Although the term arthritis literally means joint inflammation, some types involve much more swelling than others. In general, the wear and tear of OA doesn't lead to much swelling or redness. In contrast, RA involves lots of swelling and redness because the body's immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule (synovial membrane).[4] Gout is also known for lots of inflammation due to the deposit of sharp uric acid crystals within joint capsules, particularly of the big toe.
Watch for joint stiffness. Stiffness is another common early sign of virtually all types of arthritis.[5] It's the inability to freely move joints due to pain, swelling and/or some degree of joint destruction. Along with stiffness, you may also feel or hear creaking or cracking sounds as you move joints after periods of inactivity, especially with OA.
Be aware of unusual fatigue. Fatigue (extreme tiredness) can be another early sign of some types of arthritis, but not all types.[7] The autoimmune types (RA and PsA) tend to cause inflammation and other problems throughout the body, not just individual joints. As such, the body gets fatigued and rundown from trying to combat all the inflammation. Chronic fatigue can adversely affect emotions, mood, sex drive, attentiveness, creativity and productivity.
Be aware of reduced range of motion. As pain, inflammation, stiffness and/or damage progresses within joints, you eventually begin to lose the ability to move them normally. As such, reduced range of motion (limited movement) is a common sign of advanced arthritis and one of the main causes of disability.[8] You may not be able to bend down as far or be as flexible as you once were.
Take note of sudden weakness. Associated with progressive pain and reduced range of motion within joints is weakness. The weakness may be due more to trying to avoid pain or it may be due more to destruction of the joint's integrity. Furthermore, lack of exercise (common with arthritis sufferers) leads to loss of muscle tissue, which leads to loss of strength.[10] You may notice you can't lift as much or walk as far as you once could. Your grip strength and hand shake may not be as firm.
Look for any joint deformities. Joint deformity or disfigurement eventually occurs with all forms of arthritis, although it can develop quicker and be more noticeable with certain forms. RA is notorious for severe joint deformity in the hands and feet because the inflammation leads to erosion of cartilage and bone, as well as ligament laxity (loosening).[11] Long term, RA is more destructive than virtually all other types and causes the most disability in people.
Watch for any skin changes. Another late-stage sign of arthritis is associated skin changes.[14] Aside from potential nodules, RA and PsA often cause characteristic changes in skin texture and color, both near painful joints and in distant locations of the body. RA tends to make the skin look more red, mainly due to swelling of small blood vessels beneath the skin's surface (called vasculitis).
Understand what OA is. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis and is caused by the gradual wearing out of joints due to overuse, obesity and/or joint injuries.[16] OA doesn't involve much inflammation and can often be managed by losing weight, switching activities/exercises that are more gentle on joints and changing your diet (less sugar and preservatives, more water and fresh produce).
Learn about RA. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is not nearly as common as OA, but it seems to be more prevalent compared to past decades. What causes it is a bit of a mystery, but it's assumed that the immune system gets confused and attacks joint tissues and other parts of the body by mistake — also described as an over-active immune system.[17] RA is characterized by lots of inflammation and pain, which can come and go (called flares).
Don't confuse gout with OA or RA. Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood from having a purine-rich diet.[19] High levels of uric acid eventually precipitates out within the blood, forming sharp crystals, which get deposited in and around joints. The sharp crystals quickly create lots of inflammation and severe pain, most often in the big toe, but also in other joints of the feet, hands and limbs. Gout attacks are typically short-term (a few days or so), but can re-occur on a regular basis.

3 Ways to Prevent and Treat Arthritis - wikiHow

Meet your daily calcium requirements through food or a supplement. Calcium supports strong, healthy bones, so it's important for lowering your risk of arthritis. Adults up to age 50 should ingest 1,000 mg of calcium each day, while adults over age 50 should intake at 1,200 mg per day. Don't consume more than 2,500 mg of calcium daily, as this can cause harm in the long term. Eating your calcium is best, but you can always take a supplement if your doctor approves it.[2]

Engage in physical activity at least 5 times a week. Exercise not only helps you maintain a healthy weight, it also keeps your joints active and healthy. Moderate exercise strengthens your heart and lungs and builds the muscles that support your joints.[4]
Avoid activities that involve repetitive movements. Overuse of joints may lead to the development of arthritis. If you type extensively for work, play a musical instrument, or engage in other repetitive activities, you may be at a higher risk of developing arthritis.[5] Talk to your doctor about your risk profile and look for ways to reduce repetitive activities so that they don't cause long-term harm.
Maintain a healthy body weight. While anyone at any weight can develop arthritis, excess weight puts additional pressure on your weight-bearing joints, particularly your hips and knees. For this reason, being overweight is one of the biggest risk factors for developing arthritis.[7]
Use effective stress management techniques. Excessive stress causes physical tension and added pressure on your joints, increasing your risk of developing arthritis. If you frequently feel anxious or have difficulty coping with life's demands, you may want to talk to a professional about ways to manage stress more effectively.[8]
Avoid smoking cigarettes and drinking excessively. Smoking cigarettes impacts your overall health, and also leads to bone loss and damaged cartilage. Drinking alcohol regularly also increases your risk of developing arthritis.[9]
Exercise with moderate intensity for 30 minutes 5 days a week. Staying active slows the progression of arthritis. If you have difficulty exercising for a full 30 minutes, break your exercise sessions into 3 10-minute sessions a day.[10]
Keep your weight within the healthy range for your height and age. Anyone can experience arthritis, but carrying around extra weight can make it worse. Your doctor can help you determine if your weight is in a healthy range. If it isn't, you can work with a dietitian and possibly a physical therapist to learn new ways of managing your weight that work for your life. You can also try apps and support groups that can provide you with valuable resources.[11]
Try alternative remedies to reduce pain. There is limited evidence that alternative remedies, such as acupuncture or massage, effectively treats arthritis. However, many people find relief from these methods.[12]
Apply a heating pad or ice pack to the affected joint. Alternating hot and cold therapy may help ease arthritis pain and reduce inflammation. Apply heat to the affected joint for 10 to 15 minutes, then apply an ice pack for another 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat the cycle 2 to 3 times.[13]
Do paraffin wax treatments to help manage pain and stiffness. You can use paraffin wax as a source of wet heat on your arthritic joints. Melt your wax in the specialized machine provided in your treatment kit. After the wax melts, dip the affected area into the wax, then immediately remove it. Repeat this 10-12 times. Cover the treated area with a piece of plastic wrap or a plastic glove, then wrap the area in a towel. Leave the wax on for 20 minutes.[14]
Use a cane or other assistive device to protect your joints. Look for assistive devices in drug stores and department stores. You typically don't need a prescription from a doctor to buy these devices. Experiment and see what helps you.[15]
Get a medical diagnosis from your doctor as soon as possible. If you suspect you are developing OA, visit your doctor for a physical exam. The earlier the condition is diagnosed, the more options you'll have for treatment.[16]
Discuss medication to address your symptoms. Both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications are used to treat arthritis. Which medications are right for you depends on your symptoms, the type of arthritis you have, and how far the disease has progressed.[17]
Try physical therapy to improve your range of motion. Your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist, particularly if joint stiffness has decreased your range of motion. Physical therapy stretches and exercises help improve your flexibility and strengthen the muscles surrounding the affected joints.[18]
Have surgery if other treatments are not effective. If your arthritis has advanced, your doctor may suggest surgery to reduce your pain and help improve the function in your joints. Your doctor will help you evaluate the risks and potential benefits of surgery.[19]

How to Treat Arthritis in the Knees: 12 Steps (with Pictures)

Lose weight if you're too heavy. As a general rule, people who are overweight or obese suffer more arthritis because of the increased amount of pressure on their joints — especially weight-bearing joints such as the knees, hips and low back. Furthermore, overweight people are more likely to have flat feet and fallen arches, which promotes "knock knees" (also called genu valgum). Genu varum is hard on knee joints because it causes misalignment of the thigh (femur) and shin (tibia) bones. Thus, do your knees a favor by losing excess weight. The best way to lose weight is by increasing cardiovascular exercise (such as walking or cycling) while decreasing your daily calories at the same time.

Use moist heat for osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA) involves some inflammation, but not nearly as much as either types, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), gout attacks or psoriatic arthritis (PA). Instead, OA involves wearing out of the knee cartilage, formation of bone spurs, grating sensations, pain, loss of flexibility and stiffness, particularly first thing in the morning after many hours of disuse. As such, moist heat is a much better choice for OA instead of ice because the warmth dilates blood vessels (larger diameter) around the knee, improves circulation, loosens up muscles and helps to alleviate joint stiffness.
Use cold therapy for inflammatory arthritis. Using cold therapy, such as crushed ice, ice cubes, frozen gel packs or veggies from the freezer, is much more appropriate and effective for inflammatory types of arthritis that involve severe swelling and redness.[5] Cold therapy causes blood vessels to constrict (smaller diameter) and reduces the amount of blood flowing to an area, which helps to control inflammation and pain. Gout, RA, and PA can all affect the knee and typically create considerable throbbing pain and disability — making it very difficult to walk and impossible to run.
Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Consider taking over-the-counter NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve) or aspirin for short-term relief of pain and inflammation.[6] However, these medications can be hard on your stomach and kidneys, so it's best not to rely on them for longer periods of time — much more than a few weeks. It helps to take NSAIDs with food (on a full stomach), preferably non-acidic varieties, to reduce the risks of stomach irritation and ulceration.
Get regular exercise. Some exercise for your legs is important because the muscles around your knees sort of act as secondary shock absorbers for the joints and help reduce impact. Thus, the stronger the muscles surrounding your knee joints (thigh, hamstring and calf muscles), the more stress or impact they can absorb or dissipate.[8] However, not all exercise is appropriate for your knees — high impact exercises such as jogging, running, tennis and climbing stairs will make arthritic knees worse. Stick to walking and cycling, either outside if weather permits or at your local gym
Eat more foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Dietary factors play a role in either irritating or helping soothe arthritis. Diets high in refined sugars tend to make arthritic pain worse, whereas diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids have a mild-to-moderate anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Omega-3 fats can be particularly helpful for controlling the pain of RA, but not for slowing its progression.
Consider taking glucosamine and chondroitin supplements. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are substances naturally found in all joints. Glucosamine essentially acts as a lubricant, whereas chondroitin allows the cartilage to absorb more water and be a more effective shock absorber. Both compounds can be taken as supplements, and although the research is somewhat mixed, the evidence suggests that they can be helpful for reducing the pain of all types of arthritis — particularly large weight-bearing joints such as the knee.[9][10][11]
Get stronger prescription medications from your doctor. Make an appointment with your family doctor to confirm if you have arthritis in your knees. Your doctor will likely take x-rays and blood tests to confirm a diagnosis of OA, RA or other types of arthritis, such as gout. If the arthritis is causing lots of pain and stiffness, over-the-counter medications may not be strong enough to lessen the symptoms. In such cases, your doctor will likely prescribe stronger anti-inflammatories.
Ask your doctor about steroid injections. An injection of corticosteroid medication (cortisone) into a knee joint can quickly reduce inflammation and pain, and allow normal movement of the joint pretty quickly.[14] Corticosteroids are hormones that display powerful anti-inflammatory properties and are made by the body's adrenal glands. They are injected by an orthopedic surgeon under anesthesia. The most commonly used preparations are prednisolone, dexamethasone, and triamcinolone. The effects of the medications are short-term — lasting from weeks to months typically.
Consider infrared therapy. Using low-energy light waves (called infrared) is known to be able to speed up wound healing, decrease pain and decrease inflammation in a variety of joints, including the knees.[15] Use of infrared radiation (via a hand-held device or within a special sauna) is thought to penetrate deep into the body and improve circulation because it creates heat and dilates (opens up) blood vessels. Furthermore, there are virtually no negative side effects of infrared therapy.
Try acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture therapy involves sticking thin needles into specific energy points within your skin/muscle in efforts to decrease pain and inflammation and to potentially stimulate healing.[17] Acupuncture is gaining popularity as an arthritis therapy and some studies indicate that it can relieve pain and improve function in people with OA of the knee. Acupuncture is relatively painless and has an excellent safety record — the only risks are local bruising and infection. It seems to be worth a try if your budget allows for it, as it isn't covered under most health insurance plans.
Consider surgery as a last resort. If conservative home-based remedies and non-invasive treatments from your doctor aren't effective at reducing the symptoms of your knee arthritis, then surgery may have to be considered. Surgery should only be done in severe cases of arthritis where the knee joint is severely damaged and all other modes of treatment have failed. There are many types of surgical replacements, ranging from minor arthroscopic surgery to complete knee replacement surgery.[18] Surgery is more common for advanced OA and not as common for inflammatory types of arthritis, unless the cause is clearly understood or the entire knee joint is destroyed.

How to Live with Arthritis

Take over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers to treat occasional arthritis pain. Talk with your doctor about taking acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium according to the manufacturer's directions when you feel arthritis pain.[1] Use OTC pain relievers if you've overextended your joints, by exercising or getting active after a long rest, for instance.[2]

Soak the aching joint in warm water for 20 minutes. Fill a basin with warm, not hot, water and submerge the aching joint. This works well if you're soaking your hand or foot, but you could also soak in a bathtub if your back or hips are aching.[3]
Place an ice pack or heating pad on the painful joint for 10 to 20 minutes. Wrap the ice pack in a cloth or towel before putting it on the aching joint so you don't apply ice directly to your skin. If you prefer, try putting a heating pad on the joint instead. The heat can relax your muscles and relieve pain.[4]
Massage the joints to relieve tension and relax your muscles. Getting a massage is a great way to treat sore muscles, reduce pain, and improve your range of motion.[5] If you can't make it to a massage therapist or physical therapy clinic, learn a few strategies to give yourself a massage. This is especially helpful if you have arthritis in your wrists or feet.[6]
Practice meditation, yoga, or guided breathing to manage the pain. It's easy for people who don't have arthritis to tell you to just ignore the pain, but it's not that simple. Learn to manage chronic arthritis pain by relaxing and adjusting your breathing. Although more research is needed, meditation may relieve pain and feelings of depression.[7]
Exercise to reduce pain and improve your range of movement. Although some exercises, such as gymnastics or jogging, can strain your joints, light exercise is a great way to strengthen your joints and improve joint flexibility.[8] You could walk, do light aerobics, practice yoga, go swimming, or do tai chi.[9]
Take frequent movement breaks throughout the day. If you sit or stand in the same position for a long period of time, try to move about every 15 minutes. This will prevent joint pain and improve your range of motion. For example, if you're curled up on the couch watching a movie, just stand up and stretch your shoulders, arms, legs, and ankles.[11]
Practice good posture when you sit or stand. If you're in the habit of slumping over or slouching, you may be putting unnecessary pressure on your joints. To protect your neck, back, hips, and knees, imagine your body forming a straight line from your ears to your heels when you stand. Draw your shoulders back to bring your chest forward. To sit:[12]
Pace physical movement with rest breaks. Recognize that pushing yourself too hard can make your arthritis pain flare up. Instead, plan for physical activity and build short break times into it so you can balance the activity. For example, if you're going to swimming class, rest up properly the night before and don't be afraid to take a break during or after the session.[13]
Try to lose weight if you're overweight. Carrying extra weight will put more stress on your joints and increase inflammation which can be painful.[14] Consider working with your doctor to come up with a personalized diet and exercise plan to lose weight.[15]
Follow your doctor's treatment plan. Depending on your arthritis diagnosis, your doctor will create a personalized treatment plan that might include prescription medication, natural supplements, exercises, or joint surgery. If you're prescribed medication, it's important to take it as prescribed even if you're not feeling pain at the time.[16]
Eat an anti-inflammatory diet to manage your arthritis. Research shows that cutting back on processed foods which cause inflammation, white pasta, rice, and bread, for instance, and eating a Mediterranean-style anti-inflammatory diet can relieve arthritis.[17] To get the health benefits of this diet, start eating:[18]
Ask your doctor about taking supplements.[19] Since research is constantly changing, talk with your doctor about supplements they recommend to manage your arthritis. Recent studies have found that chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine are actually not effective in relieving pain or improving joint movement. You might ask your doctor about these promising supplements instead:[20]
Make labor-saving modifications around your house. You may find that simple tasks are challenging to do with your arthritis. Make these chores easier by using or installing adaptive aids. For example, use electric can openers, mixers, and slow cookers in the kitchen to cut down on manual movements. You could also use extendable dusters to clean your house so you don't have to bend over or reach awkward spaces.[21]
Ask for help if you're feeling overwhelmed. It's natural that you'll sometimes feel depressed or frustrated about living with arthritis. Don't forget to reach out to your friends and family if you need a bit of assistance or someone to talk to. For example, if you struggle to carry your laundry and sort it into the machines, ask a friend to come over and help you.[22]