Natural Joint Pain Relief
Joint pain is caused by many different conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, gout, lupus, injury, tendonitis, fibromyalgia, weight changes, many infectious diseases, and overuse. No matter what the cause, joint pain relief is readily sought, as joint issues can impair mobility and lessen the quality of life. Many of those who suffer from joint pain are elderly, and the combination of joint pain and other medical conditions can become a real nuisance late in life.
Joint pain relief should be approached from different angles, depending on the cause of the pain. Joint pain caused by arthritis is one of the most common and results in inflammation, swelling, stiffness, redness, and soreness at the joint and surrounding areas. Though there are hundreds of different types of arthritis, relief from joint pain for this variety of issue can be approached a few different ways. Some turn to prescribed medications, some opt for over the counter joint pain relief pills, and others prefer to stay away from medication and instead choose natural pain remedies.
Prescription drugs for joint pain relief are usually non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs work by reducing inflammation which in turn reduces pain and stiffness and greatly improves mobility. However, because these medications increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, they should only be taken in severe cases. Two COX-2 inhibitors, Vioxx® and Bextra®, were pulled by the FDA because of the risk of side effects. An alternative for those who do not wish to take such strong medications are over the counter NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen.
A more natural way to go is to take supplements like chondroitin, glucosamine, turmeric, SAM-e, and some fish oils. These supplements do not directly stop joint pain, but they have properties that positively affect the joints and improve conditions before inflammation and pain occur. For instance, glucosamine, an amino sugar, stimulates the production of proteins that aid in repairing connective tissues. Experimenting with different supplements is necessary to determine the specific supplements that will work for each individual.
For joint pain caused by injury, it is important to closely follow doctor’s orders. Most injuries require a period of rest, and joint pain can be relieved with warm baths, massage, and stretching exercises. Physical therapy is often prescribed, with an increase in aggressive movement as time progresses. Injuries to the joints can lead to arthritis later in life and should always be treated with care.
Easy, at-home remedies include a cold compress, also known as cryotherapy or ice therapy. Cold temperatures reduce blood flow, and therefore reduce tissue swelling. The first time you experience pain, apply an ice pack on the affected area every hour for the majority of the day for a duration of 15 minutes. The next day, apply the ice only four or five times, still for 15 minutes. This process is vital for joint pain relief. Remember, to avoid ice burns, do not place the ice directly on the skin, wrap it in a towel or washcloth.
Alternatively, a warm bath can also help by increasing blood flow to the affected area, adding Epsom salts to your bath helps many with pain, one cup per 50 pounds. Combining this method with a massage is also very beneficial, or even massage on its own. Natural herbal mixtures, such as herbal teas, are an excellent means by which to alleviate, as well as prevent, joint pains. Light exercise is also sometimes recommended, remember to choose one that allows you to move within the limits of your pain and does not put stress on your joints – swimming is an excellent example of an appropriate exercise.
One of the best ways of alleviating joint pain is to get plenty of rest and to relax. This will restore energy, as well as allow the body to repair itself naturally. Furthermore, resting in between periods of exercise will allow your body to cope with the demands being made on it, thus preventing potential joint pain.
If you are suffering from joint pain, it is absolutely vital that you schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible in order to properly assess and alleviate your joint pain.