A whopping 52.5 million American adults between 2010 and 2012 were told by doctors that they had some form of arthritis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 2 people develop symptomatic knee osteoarthritis by the age of 85. But arthritis also effects younger populations. An estimated 294,000 American children under the age of 18 (or 1 in every 250 children) are afflicted by an arthritic or rheumatic condition. No matter what age, arthritis is characterized by debilitating joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and inflammation.
Luckily, there are a number of home remedies that can significantly decrease the pain and discomfort caused by all different kinds of arthritis. According to Health Line, arthritic stiffness and pain is caused by inflammation in the joints. Therefore, if you target the source of inflammation and take measures to reduce inflammation, you can prevent and treat arthritis using natural methods.
1. Ginger. The ginger root is a natural anti-inflammatory that in studies, has been effective in decreasing joint paint and reducing inflammation. The Arthritis Foundation explains ginger works similar to ibuprofen and in some cases, is more effective than traditional pain relievers. To use ginger as a home remedy, drink up to four cups of ginger tea per day. You can also use ginger in sauces, vinaigrettes, chutneys, and granolas.
2. Nuts and Beans. Magnesium is required in over 300 biomechanics responses, including the processes of relieving stiffness and pain. According to Everyday Roots, magnesium is also important for helping bones mineralize. This means magnesium keeps bones strong. To combat arthritis, eat a diet rich in magnesium, which should include dark, leafy greens like spinach, nuts and beans. You can also take a magnesium supplement or apply a topical magnesium oil directly to your joints.
3. Morning bath. Health Line recommends starting your day with a long, warm bath. This type of "hot therapy" will loosen any stiffness you feel in your joints. You can also sleep with an electric blanket or heating pad to prevent waking with debilitating stiffness.
4. Turmeric. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health verifies that curcumin, the chemical found in turmeric, may be effective in reducing arthritic inflammation. The pungent yellow spice is delicious and can easily be incorporated into any diet. Make turmeric tea, mix it in with an omelet, or make an Indian curry.
5. Olive oil. Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil contains anti-inflammatory enzymes that work in the same way as does ibuprofen, explains Everyday Roots. In addition to consuming olive oil as part of your daily diet (simply substitute olive oil for butter in all dishes!), you can also massage olive oil into your joints twice daily.
6. Eat more fish. Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce joint stiffness and paint. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in herring, mackerel, salmon and tuna, can help relieve tender joints and morning stiffness, according to The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. For a higher intake of Omega-3 fatty acids, you can take a daily fish oil supplement.
7. Wear gloves to bed. You may feel a bit silly to begin with, but your fingers and wrists will thank you in the morning. Best Health Magazine recommends wearing snug-fitting gloves to bed to prevent hands from being swollen and stiff in the mornings. You can also wrap a scarf around aching elbows and knees to bring relief.
8. Get more citrus. Vitamin C has proven to protect against osteoarthritis and is important in the formation of the major components of cartilage. It is also a powerful antioxidant in the fight against catilage-damaging free radials, reports the Arthritis Foundation. One of the best ways to get more Vitamin C, is to simply drink more orange juice and eat more oranges. You can also make it a healthy habit to drink water with lemon or lime.
Arthritis can be debilitating and painful. But it does not have to be. Adopt some or all of these home remedies today and start experiencing relief.
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