10 At-Home Arthritis Remedies
Osteoarthritis is the most common form. OA, an irreversible disease, can affect any joint but occurs mostly in knees, hips, lower back and neck, and small joints of the fingers. “Osteoarthritis is usually described as wear-and-tear arthritis,” says Rebecca Manno of the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. “Prior injuries and repetitive movement contribute to OA, along with age.”
The primary therapy for OA continues to be pain control to maximize function. “You can treat symptoms to help maintain function and minimize the pain.” Here, Manno offers some effective at-home remedies.
1 / Heat or Cold
A hot pad or compress relaxes muscles and lubricates joints. An ice pack can reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain.
2 / Topical, Menthol-Based Patches
Use over-the-counter therapies with menthol, lidocaine, and aspirin. Your doctor may prescribe a compounded gel or cream.
3 / OTC Pain Killers
Acetaminophen or anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can relieve mild to moderate pain. Consult a doctor before taking.
4 / Footwear
Choose well-fitting shoes with arch support.
5 / Braces/Support
During activity, use a compression sleeve for elbows or knees to help minimize overextension.
6 / Exercise
Exercise strengthens the muscles around the joints, taking strain off the joint itself. Low-impact (walking, swimming, yoga, etc.), but not necessarily low-intensity, exercise is preferred.
7 / Supplements
Things like fish oil and turmeric can reduce systemic inflammation.
8 / Massage
Massage relaxes muscles around joints and decreases discomfort.
9 / Epsom Salt Baths/Paraffin Treatments
Soaking in warm water or with a hot parafin treatment stimulates circulation. The magnesium in Epsom salt may reduce inflammation.
10 / Restorative Sleep
Give your body time to heal by getting at least seven to nine hours of sleep.
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