Along with eating a nutritious diet to manage weight and exercising to help strengthen joints, there are plenty of other remedies that can help the symptoms of arthritis. Certainly there are medications, but many with arthritis prefer to use natural remedies either alone or in conjunction with conventional medicine.
Studies have shown that patients who incorporate natural remedies into their arthritis management regimen report less pain and better mobility than those using only medication. There are several different supplements, home remedies and alternative treatments that have brought relief to millions of arthritis sufferers.
The natural supplements, glucosamine and chondroitin, have been shown in over 40 clinical trials to be beneficial for arthritis symptoms. Researchers saw significant improvement in the pain, stiffness and joint mobility of participants who took these supplements. Glucosamine showed the most promise, but chondroitin showed similar benefits. And, taking them together may prove to be even better. Some think it is merely a placebo effect, but although they may not offer the same amount of relief as first-line therapies such as weight control and exercise, many have found relief from using them.
The jury is still out on whether or not copper or magnetic bracelets actually help people with arthritis. There have been no definitive findings one way or the other, but these items are fairly inexpensive and are not harmful, so they may be worth a try.
Foods and Spices
Some arthritis patients use various spices or other things found in the kitchen to treat their aches and stiffness. These include apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, turmeric and ginger. Many of these are known to have anti inflammatory properties which may, in theory, decrease joint inflammation. Others swear by increasing their intake of foods high in omega-3s such as fish, broccoli, flaxseed, soybeans, tofu or walnuts.
A form of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture has helped many people who suffer from chronic pain, including arthritics. It sounds intimidating but is virtually painless because the needles are so thin. Some acupuncturists use warmth or electricity to for added benefits. Acupuncture is not normally covered by insurance, but it is a good drug-free option for those looking for relief.
No matter what treatments or remedies you decide to try, always discuss your intentions with your doctor before starting. Natural remedies are becoming increasingly common and are often inexpensive and have little to no risk or negative side effects. So, in other words, even if there is not definitive scientific proof that some of them work, they may still be worth a try. They haven’t been passed down from generation to generation for nothing!