Slight aches and pain are common while you age, but a constant discomfort in your joints may be a form of arthritis. While traditional arthritis affects your joints and cartilage, osteoarthritis causes severe damage to your joints and surrounding cartilage over time. Affecting an estimated 25 million Americans, osteoarthritis creates discomfort and intense pain that may require prescription medications for relief. Thankfully, using this guide, you will better understand osteoarthritis and learn how to naturally treat your pain.
The Lowdown on Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis affects your joints, but this wear and tear can quickly weaken the surrounding cartilage. This is not only painful to your joints, but also to nearby bones and muscles. Although pain is the most common sign of any type of arthritis, osteoarthritis can create other signs including the following:
- Weakness/Fatigue – The condition causes muscles to weaken drastically. In addition, patients with osteoarthritis pain have trouble sleeping at night, leading to sleepiness and fatigue during the day.
- Stiffness – Joints become stiff and hard to move. You may have trouble getting up from a chair or out of bed each morning. Unfortunately, this stiffness may decrease your mobility.
- Swelling – You may notice swelling around your knees, fingers, wrists, elbows, or ankles. In severe cases, joints may appear deformed due to the enormous amount of swelling.
- Clicking/Popping – Joint stiffness may cause a noticeable clicking or popping when moving positions.
Natural Pain Relief Options for Osteoarthritis
After a diagnosis, your doctor will most likely recommend ibuprofen for pain relief. Unfortunately, ibuprofen does not offer long term relief for your discomfort. You may experience ongoing pain, so finding safe, long term pain relief is wise. Fortunately, many natural pain relief options are available for your osteoarthritis.
Placing needles in your skin may not seem like the best option for treating pain, but the therapy stimulates the body, sending pleasant signals to the brain. This releases positive energy, which can improve your overall health and decrease pain. Used in ancient China as a form of treatment for many illnesses and disorders, acupuncture is also an effective way to relieve joint pain.
In a typical treatment, acupuncturists will place 5 to 15 needles into various points of your body. Known as acupoints, these points on the skin represent the areas of your health that need improvement.
Consult your physician before undergoing acupuncture, but the natural treatment is safe and successful for most patients. Go to websites to get more information from professionals.
Developing an exercise plan with a physical therapist can also decrease your osteoarthritis pain. Stretches, weight training, walking and jogging, and swimming can strengthen your weakened joints and muscles while decreasing your overall pain.
Physical therapy is great for building strength and losing weight, but it can also reduce the risk of further damage to your joints and cartilage.
Diet and Supplements
Following a healthy diet is smart if you are suffering with any type of medical condition. However, a healthy diet improves and protects your weakened joints, cartilage, and muscle. If you are currently exercising and treating your osteoarthritis, consider adding the following supplements to your daily diet:
- Glucosamine – 1,500 mg of glucosamine each day can reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
- Fish Oil – The Omega-3 fatty acids in a fish oil supplement will decrease the inflammation in and around your joints.
- SAM-e – Also known as S-adenosylmethionine, Sam-e is a natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory, which reduces pain. In addition, Same-e can heal damaged cartilage.
Osteoarthritis does not have to be a terribly painful, frightening, or overwhelming condition. While medications are available to lessen your pain, natural options are healthier alternatives. Using this guide, you can understand and naturally treat your osteoarthritis.