If you suffer from arthritis then you know how painful and debilitating it can be. Although medicines like Ibuprophen can take the edge off of your pain, regular consumption of it can lead to other health problems if it is taken long term. Arthritis, by nature, gets worse over time. So how can you relieve your pain and stay healthy at the same time? It’s easier than you think. Below is a collection of tips to help ease your pain and make you feel better.
1. Consume Natural Anti-Inflammatories
While this may sound unusual, there are certain spices and other natural foods that can help reduce arthritic pain. Turmeric is one such resource. It is a spice that originates from India and comes from the root of the turmeric plant. The active ingredient in it, curcumin, is used for a wide variety of medical purposes such as: lowering blood sugar, reducing inflammation from osteoarthritis, hay fever, depression, and high cholesterol. It also helps in improving memory skills, improving thinking, avoiding liver disease and many more. The spice is highly regarded as a superfood.
To utilize the many health benefits of turmeric, start by adding half of a teaspoon to either tea or food. One tea recipe that tastes amazing with half a teaspoon of turmeric is Cosmic Chai. A teaspoon of turmeric will be too strong for one eight-ounce mug. Adding a splash of unsweetened almond milk (or cow’s milk) will make the tea richer. Top it off with some cream and vanilla to make a sweet blend that is almost good as the professionals.
If you want to add it to food, one way to start is to add to scrambled eggs along with cheese and butter. You don’t need to add much. Half to one teaspoon is plenty. Once you are used to the taste, you can always add more. Experiment with other foods and drinks, and you’ll soon discover what your favorites are.
2. Stretching and Exercise
Stretching seems to mainly benefit those with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Still, others will also see an improvement in the reduction of inflammation. Stretching not only improves flexibility but also increases range of motion, just like exercise does. The types of stretches to benefit you will depend on which joints are the most inflamed. A good place to start is with the following:
- Begin with a three to five-minute walk to warm up your body
- Practice Tai Chi or Yoga (or both)
- Strength Training is always good because it helps shed weight too
- Try a water workout. This form of fitness is light impact on the joints.
- Hand exercises. Those that suffer from RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) have reduced use of their hands. If this is something that affects you, squeezing a stress ball is a great way to get started with hand exercises. Just remember to be consistent. Inconsistency with any form of exercise means not reaping any of the benefits.
A massage can ease arthritic pain by increasing your range of motion. The massage can be a few minutes every day or an hour-long treat once a week. The other benefit of having a massage is one sixty-minute session equals a full night’s sleep! So, if your arthritic pain has been causing you to lose rest each night, a massage will help you recover some of the energy needed to rejuvenate you to get through your day.
Losing weight can dramatically reduce pain from arthritis by reducing inflammation in the body. One of the potential culprits of an increase in inflammation is the hormone Leptin. When this hormone does not function correctly (along with insulin resistance), it can cause Type 2 Diabetes. Reducing inflammation can lead to better sleep and overall better health as well.
5. Avoid Cow’s Milk
The dairy industry has long claimed that cow milk consumption will help protect against osteoporosis and osteoarthritis because it contains calcium. Newer scientific claims suggest this is untrue. In fact, it can cause the opposite situation and can exasperate arthritis by increasing inflammation in the body. This is due to an enzyme that is naturally present in a cow’s body that doesn’t harm them but is detrimental in humans.
Sources of calcium can be found in many other foods – anything from broccoli to kale or even a glass of orange juice. As long as you eat or drink 1,000mg per day, you are good to go! Post-menopausal women need 200mgs more to achieve optimum bone health.
Overall, there are many different options when it comes to reducing arthritis and joint swelling and stiffness. Depending on the severity, you may want to speak with your physician before starting a new exercise routine. Those suffering from RA for example may find it challenging to lift dumbbells and strength train. Start with a light exercise routine first or incorporate multiple options from this list. If you’re consistent, you’ll be pleased with the new and improved you.