Natural Remedies for Treating Osteoarthritis
Arthritis sufferers in the Pacific Northwest may find the often damp climate to be painful on their joints. Research has shown that changes in thebarometric pressure can make stiff and swollen joints feel worse. At the same time, many older adults are reluctant to use some of the medications often prescribed for managing arthritis pain. Many come with side effects that can be as unpleasant as the pain of arthritis. Fortunately, there are natural remedies that can often bring relief.
Holistic Tips for Treating the Pain of Osteoarthritis
The pain of osteoarthritis can be disabling. When joints become inflamed, it makes it painfully difficult for older adults to maintain a normal lifestyle. While most people living with arthritis know exercise can help to manage inflammation, it can be difficult to find the motivation to do so when pain is at its peak.
Here are a few suggestions you or your senior loved one may find helpful:
- Alternating Cold and Hot Therapies: Instead of just using a heating pad on painful joints, try alternating back and forth between hot and cold. Using cold packs on swollen joints can help with pain relief while heat helps reduce inflammation.
- Joint-Friendly Exercise: Types of exercise that help improve range of motion can also decrease the symptoms of arthritis. Some joint-friendly exercise programs to talk with your primary care physician or rheumatologist about include Chair Yoga, Tai Chi, water aerobics and Pilates.
- Smart Food Choices: Diet and the food choices you make each day can have an impact on inflammation throughout your body. While some foods have been proven to help beat inflammation, others are known for making it worse. Sugary carbohydrates should be on your list of foods to avoid. Candy, pastries and sodas can increase inflammation. The same is true for breads and pastas. By contrast, tomatoes, berries, tart cherries, walnuts, ginger, raisins, kale, olive oil and sweet potatoes can help decrease it.
- Hands and Fingers: For many seniors, arthritis in the fingers and hands can limit every day activity. Heated lavender gloves and paraffin dips have both been shown to provide relief. Performing range of motion exercises for the hands like the ones shown in this video can also help.