Do you have signs and symptoms of arthritis? Arthritis is a medical term for joint inflammation. There are two different types of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a common type of arthritis that involves wear and tear on the cartilage in your joints. The cartilage acts as a protective cushioning between your joints. As you age, this cushioning slowly degenerates and begins to wear out. Worn out cartilage causes your bones to rub together and is typically painful. This type of damage occurs naturally as you age or due to an injury or an infection in the joint.
Osteoarthritis typically affects one joint and doesn’t cause problems in multiple joints. Depending on the severity of damage to the cartilage in the affected joint, it is possible that you might encounter joint deformity, structural changes. Lastly, the damage can be seen using x-rays or other imaging, decreased range of motion, joint stiffness, pain, or swelling.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, and it causes chronic inflammation in multiple joints. The disease causes the synovium to thicken and fill with fluid. The thickened synovium can cause the cartilage to degenerate as well. The fluid causes your joints to swell. The constant swelling eventually causes the tendons and ligaments to stretch and weaken. When the tendons and ligaments are no longer supporting the joint properly, you will begin to notice signs of joint deformity.
People often tend to see signs of the disease in the smaller joints first such as the hands, feet, wrist, elbows. During the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis, you may notice redness or swelling in your joints. However, patients usually notice pain, increased stiffness especially in the morning, and tenderness. If you notice joint pain in multiple joints, you should be examined by a doctor to rule out rheumatoid arthritis or other major health problems.
Arthritis in your hands, wrists, feet, and elbows tend to get noticed frequently and send people running to the doctor. These joints are used when you are completing your daily activities. Overuse, abuse, and aging can cause arthritis, and it often leads to severe pain, swelling, stiffness, and decreased range of motion. The intensity of your symptoms can vary and can change throughout the day.
Best Home Remedies to Ease Arthritis Symptoms
Many people often attempt to treat the problem with home remedies before they even consider heading to the doctor to rule out major complications or arthritis. For this reason, we compiled a list of home remedies to help ease arthritis symptoms.
Joint stiffness is worse first thing in the morning and can last for several hours depending on the severity of your arthritis. Heat therapy can be beneficial for warming up your joints and ease arthritis symptoms. It helps improve blood circulation, eases stiff joints, and improves range of motion.
We suggest using moist heat on painful joints. Many people who suffer from painful joints in the morning benefit from taking a warm shower, placing a warm towel over the joint, or using a moist heat pack (you can even make your own). Use caution when using moist heat on your joints, you don’t want to burn yourself accidentally. Moist heat therapy is safe to use several times a day on your stiff and painful joints.
Ice can reduce painful and swollen joints. It helps decreases pain and swelling. We suggest placing a covered ice pack over the affected joint. Never put ice directly on the skin. Putting ice directly on the skin can cause frostbite.
Do push past the initial reaction to remove it and keep the ice in place for 15 minutes. Leaving the ice on will allow the ice to penetrate the joint for maximum effectiveness. Use this several times a day to help keep pain and swelling at bay. Using ice therapy is an effective way to ease arthritis symptoms.
Whether you have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, it is important to keep moving as much as possible. Many people tend to avoid certain activity or movements that increase pain. Over time skipping these activities can cause additional joint stiffness, increased pain, reduced range of motion, weak muscles, or further injury from falls.
A physical therapist is trained to help people with arthritis problems by creating a strength training program that is designed to help improve joint stiffness and weak muscles. Their job is to teach you gentle exercises to target your problem areas. A therapist will also teach you how to perform daily activities without straining your joints or hurting yourself.
Rheumatoid arthritis can make multiple joints hurt at the same time, or it moves around from joint to joint. Most of the time, I feel it in the smaller joints in my fingers, ankles, elbows, or feet. Depending on the affected joint, sometimes my joints will swell, and other times I don’t notice it. Medication only goes so far when it comes to managing the painful symptoms of arthritis and often medication only reduces the pain a small amount. When arthritis pain is unbearable, and the medication isn’t helping, many sufferers have to turn to alternative ways to cope with arthritis pain.
A neoprene compression sleeve can be an effective home remedy for treating rheumatoid arthritis. The compression sleeve simply slides over your affected joint. The firmness and added warmth can be comforting to swollen and painful joints. The light compression helps reduce swelling and inflammation and helps your joints warm. Don’t be fooled by copper infused compression sleeves, gloves, and apparel it isn’t a miracle drug or a replacement for surgery. However, they can be used as a tool in your toolbox to help you manage your arthritis symptoms.
Like I mentioned above, many people find that they have to deal with break thru pain and have to to find home remedies to treat their arthritis symptoms. Topical analgesics are designed to help relieve sore joints and painful arthritis symptoms temporarily. If you plan on using this topical analgesic, make sure that you follow the directions on the bottle.
Don’t want to use a ton of chemicals on your skin; you can even make your homemade rub using coconut oil and essential oils such as peppermint, wintergreen, spearmint, or eucalyptus. Before using essential oils on your skin, it is important that you understand how to use essential oils on your skin properly. Or you can purchase Deep Blue by DoTerra here.
Don’t be afraid to seek help from a licensed counselor. Talking about your pain with a therapist is super helpful. They can work with you to deal with your disability and help you find ways for you to cope with your chronic pain.
When you are stuck in a rut with chronic arthritis pain, it can be very overwhelming and a lonely feeling. Chronic pain from arthritis can lead to depression or anxiety. Support groups are an excellent way to find support and even possibly new friendships. On the other hand, it is comforting to know that you aren’t alone in your suffering.
Add Turmeric to your Diet
Turmeric is a popular Indian spice that contains curcumin. Curcumin may reduce inflammation and ease arthritis symptoms. There have been studies done on rats, and it showed a positive reduction in inflammation. Using turmeric offers arthritis suffers promising news, but it hasn’t been studied on people yet. Turmeric can be added to your food or taken as a supplement. Always talk to your health care provider before adding turmeric to your diet.
Lose the Weight
Excessive weight adds additional stress and wear n tear on your joints. Reducing your weight can help improve mobility, decrease pain, and prevent further joint damage or injury. It is tough to lose weight while taking certain medications but it is worth making an effort. MyFitness Pal is an excellent way to track your caloric intake and log any fitness activity. Any weight loss can make a huge difference in your joint health.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, massage can be beneficial for those who have arthritis. A massage therapist needs to be specially trained to give massages to people who have arthritis. Your doctor can usually refer you to a physical therapy clinic that offers massages. The therapist will be able to work on specific joints that are bothering you and help relieve tense muscles.
Arthritis pain can range from mild to debilitating. Many people tend to seek home remedies to ease arthritis symptoms before heading to the doctor for a proper diagnosis. Arthritis pain isn’t normal, and there are things that doctors can do in addition to these home remedies to ease arthritis symptoms.