The most common way to deal with osteoarthritis pain is to take pain medication that may have side effects, such as heart attacks and kidney damage. These include both medications that contain steroids and those that do not have steroids. Fortunately, there are alternatives to arthritis pain relief medication. You can opt for a lifestyle change or use supplements for arthritis and joint pain.
Natural alternatives for arthritis pain relief
Natural alternatives for pain relief pose fewer risks compared to pharmaceutical options. Here are some natural pain relief options:
- Wolf’s bane: also called leopard’s bane or arnica. It is a plant in the sunflower family and can be taken topically or orally to reduce inflammation.
- Fish oil: derived from oily fish, such as salmon and tuna. It contains fatty acids that fight inflammation and can treat arthritis pain when used in high doses.
- Turmeric: this spice is primarily used for cooking, but it can also treat things like headaches, joint pain, and more. It works by blocking proteins that cause inflammation.
- Capsaicin: Capsaicin cream is extracted from hot peppers and can relieve pain from backaches, arthritis, and sprains.
- Bromelain: this is an enzyme found in pineapples that can be used to relieve osteoarthritis symptoms.
- Glucosamine and Chondroitin: these are nutritional supplements that help some people manage pain from arthritis. Discontinue usage of these supplements if they do not relieve your pain.
These supplements may not be safe for people with certain illnesses or pregnant women. So, talk to your doctor before you take them.
Other ways to relieve arthritis pain
Using supplements for arthritis and joint pain is not the only way to deal with pain without worrying about side effects. Other options for pain relief include:
- Hot and cold therapy: A simple warm shower in the morning can ease stiffness on your leg and reduce arthritis pain. Besides this, use an electric blanket throughout the night to minimize discomfort.
- Cold treatments: Apply a gel ice pack or a bag of ice to the painful joints to relieve pain.
- Massage: A qualified massage therapist will know to rub the affected joint to increase blood flow and ease the pain.
Lifestyle changes to relieve joint pain
Some people get joint problems because of genetics, but the main reason why people get arthritis joint pain is because of athletic injuries and obesity. You can make the following lifestyle changes to complement the pain medications or supplements you take:
- Lose weight: The more weight you gain, the greater the stress on your joints. Obesity also hinders blood circulation and may even lead to some parts of your body getting cut off from your blood supply. Losing weight leads to better blood circulation.
- Exercise: Exercise not only helps you lose weight, but it also helps strengthen your muscles and tissues that support the joints.
- Healthy diet: Another alternative to arthritis pain relief medication is following a healthy diet. A healthy diet for arthritis pain includes foods that reduce inflammation, such as beans, nuts, and seeds.
You should avoid diets that aggravate inflammation, such as diets rich in processed foods, saturated fats, and added sugars.