Whether it’s from arthritis, hurting yourself doing something you shouldn’t have, or “just old age setting in”, aching joints can really slow you down. The things you once did with ease and panache are now a struggle and seem more like some form of personal torture. You need to ease the pain and stiffness, and you need to do it now.
Here are five natural ways to do just that:
1 – Have a Soak in the Hot Tub
Experts have used hot water for years to improve movement and flexibility by reducing joint pain, stiffness, muscle spasms, and inflammation. Called thermotherapy or heat therapy, hot water is a useful treatment for diseases such as fibromyalgia, infections, and headaches. Some experts have even used it experimentally to treat some forms of cancer.
The healing component in hot tubs, hot water bottles, and other hot water treatments isn’t something they’ve added to the water. It’s the temperature of the water itself, combined with the moisture. This moist heat transfers to the body much faster than dry heat, making it a more effective method.
Why? The subsequent change in temperature increases the blood flow in the tissues. The body can then provide higher levels of proteins, nutrients, and oxygen, while removing carbon dioxide and metabolic waste more quickly. This promotes healing, eases pain, and relieves stiffness.
2 – Take Natural Supplements
Studies and tests show that natural herbs can ease joint pain caused by various illnesses and diseases. Glucosamine, produced from the ground shells of crustaceans, is believed to replace the fluid missing from your joints and promote cartilage growth. Chondroitin sulphate prevents cartilage from breaking down. Viscosupplementation and hyaluronic acid replenishes joint fluid, allowing the joint to move more smoothly.
Bosswellia, devil’s claw and ginger are all natural anti-inflammatories that promote cartilage growth. Cayenne improves blood flow and is a natural pain reliever, as is nettle leaf. Want to strengthen the collagen in your joints? Try some gotu kola.
3 – Try Some Exercise and Get Fit
When you’re suffering with stiff and sore joints, the last thing you probably want to do is move, but that may be just what you need. Some experts believe exercise is the only way to re-lube your joints, loosen your muscles, and build muscles to improve your support and stability.
When you add joint exercises to your regular routines, you’ll notice:
- Less pain and stiffness
- Improved joint movement
- Better balance and stability
- Reduced wear and tear on your joints
Pilates, yoga, and even walking are great ways to get started.
But what if you’re in too much pain, or find it too difficult to move? The Arthritis Foundation suggests water walking or exercise programs. The water reduces the impact on your joints, and adds some resistance to your movements to help you achieve better results.
4 – Get a Massage
Touch can be a powerful thing, but exactly how it helps your aching joints will depend on the type of massage you get. Myofascial massage is a light soft tissue massage that relaxes and stretches your muscles and increases lymph drainage — both of which relieve joint pain.
Swedish massage combines massage oils and firm pressure to treat key points to relax both your body and your mind. These ‘trigger points’ are particular spots in your body that cause a pain response. Deep tissue massage uses firm pressure to align your connective tissue, as well as your joints.
5 – Sleep and Eat Right
Yes, yes. We’ve all heard this. But guess what? Getting enough sleep and eating the right foods really can help. Sleep not only helps you (and your muscles) relax, but it also promotes healing. And sometimes just getting s break from it all can be enough to ease the stress and tension, so you can start fresh.
As part of your well-balanced diet, include foods rich in natural anti-inflammatories like EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) and GLA (Gamma Linoleic Acid). Antioxidants such as vitamins C, E and selenium can help repair damaged joints and reduce inflammation. Foods to watch out for include fish oils, olive oils, red peppers, oranges, nuts, seeds, green beans, and Brussels sprouts.
These five natural pain relief methods probably won’t cure anything, but they can become an important part of your overall pain management program. And you’ll feel a lot better too. And this is what really matters.