Joint pain is a very common problem for many, particularly as we age. Wear and tear on the joints over time, or health conditions like arthritis, lupus, or other autoimmune diseases can mean chronic pain in the knees, back, shoulders, neck, and hands — really any place there’s a joint!
Because joint pain is frequently the result of inflammation, chronic sufferers often take NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) on a regular basis, which can cause additional problems of their own.
But there are safer, more natural alternatives to reducing inflammation.
Lose weight if necessary. Carrying around extra weight puts added stress on already inflamed joints, so it makes sense that maintaining a healthy weight will reduce the pressure and result in less pain.
Choose an anti-inflammatory diet. Many foods, including sugar and trans-fats, contribute to overall body inflammation. Reducing, or eliminating, processed foods and opting instead for more Omega3-rich nuts, seeds, and cold water fish will make a huge difference. Many berries, leafy greens, herbs and spices are also great for naturally lowering inflammation.
Keep moving. It may seem counterintuitive to work out on sore joints, but getting regular exercise actually reduces stiffness and pain, especially in synovial joints (ball-and-socket and hinge joints.) Movement triggers the release of synovial fluid at the joint, which works to reduce friction and absorb shock. Low-impact exercise or workouts with light weights are best, and adequate warm-ups and stretch sessions are helpful.
Consider chiropractic. By relieving joint restriction, chiropractic adjustments can improve mobility and function of the joints. In addition, misalignment of the spine is often the cause of undue joint pressure and can be detected through chiropractic assessment and corrected with subsequent treatments.
Ask about acupuncture. Acupuncture not only helps control pain, but deals with its causes. Studies have shown regular treatments to be effective in relieving certain arthritic conditions by halting the inflammatory process which translates to less pain and stiffness in the joint.
Other natural ways proven to be effective in treating joint pain include certain essential oils, such as juniper, clove, rosemary and peppermint or dietary supplements designed to reduce inflammation.
Sometimes pain is the result of an injury or condition that needs more serious intervention, so if it persists, seeing a specialist to rule out injury is wise. If you would like to consider natural relief for your joint pain, we would love to talk to you.