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Natural Ways to Relieve Arthritis Pain

arthritis

Do you find your knees or hips hurting after sitting for too long? Has bending or squatting become difficult or even painful? This is a common complaint of people with knee or hip osteoarthritis. Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that 1 out of every 2 people will have symptoms of knee osteoarthritis sometime before age 85?

 

The incidence of osteoarthritis generally starts to increase after age 35 and decreases one’s ability to perform walking, bending and every day tasks.

 

Osteoarthritis can occur for a variety of reasons:

  • Normal or abnormal wear and tear of joint cartilage
  • Injuries that damage cartilage and joints
  • Diseases that damage cartilage
  • Lack of joint support from poor muscle strength and tissue flexibility

 

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is when the cartilage from your joint surface abnormally wears and tears causing bone on bone rubbing. This can be quite painful and occurs most commonly in the knees, hips and ankles because these are the joints that bear the weight of your body and have to endure an average of 3,000-6,000 steps a day. That is over one million steps / bending and movements a year!

 

Knee Osteoarthritis:

Knee osteoarthritis is generally felt under the kneecap, but can travel up your thighs or down your lower legs. The pads below your knee generally become thicker and more swollen. At times, your knee may even become slightly swollen or even slightly red.

Hip Osteoarthritis:

Hip osteoarthritis  is generally felt in your groin on one side or deep in your buttock. This pain may actually be alleviated with walking and become more painful when you sit for a few minutes and then try to move again.

 

What can be done?

Most pain is caused by poor joint movement and/or the lack of muscle strength around the joint. This then causes instability to your joints and greater pressure on your cartilage, ultimately causing more inflammation and pain. Physical Therapy is the preferred method of treatment, because it discovers the abnormal movement in the joint and naturally corrects it. With hands-on therapy, special strengthening and balance exercises, knee and/or hip pain has a high probability of being relieved. For more information on natural ways to relieve arthritis pain, call us today and ask to speak with one of our Physical Therapists.

 

5 Ways to Naturally Relieve Arthritis Pain:

  1. Exercise – This is essential for people suffering from arthritis. It is vital to strengthen your muscles, increase your flexibility and improve your blood flow. Cartilage actually receives its nutrition from joint fluid, so the more you can exercise the better. It is also important to do both weight bearing and non-weight bearing exercises, such as aquatic exercises or bicycling and aerobic and strengthening exercises. See a Physical Therapist first before starting an arthritis exercise regime. Our Physical Therapists are medical specialists in prescribing the right exercises for individuals with arthritis and can teach you how to protect your joints.
  2. Vitamins – According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are a mix of studies showing some benefits to using glucosomine and chondroitin to relieve arthritis pain. Glucosomine is naturally made in your body and helps support your cartilage by retaining water and preventing wear. Also, some studies show that glucosomine may slow down joint damage.
  3. Avoid inflammatory foods – Foods high in fat and high in sugar such as fried foods and soda as well as processed food increase the body’s natural inflammation response. Since arthritis is a condition in which the joints become inflamed, avoiding these foods will help naturally relieve  inflammation from your body.
  4. Calcium and Magnesium – Many people are deficient in calcium and magnesium. However, these are vital minerals needed for hundreds of processes in your body. Having enough calcium and magnesium builds strong bones and reduces irritated nerve endings, decreasing pain.
  5. Sleep – Sleep is a time for your body and brain to repair itself. It is important that you are getting enough sleep, 7-8 hours, to allow your body to repair itself. When you are tired, your body does not function as well, increasing the inflammatory response in your body and reducing your pain threshold.

 

Physical Therapy is one of the best ways to improve your arthritis pain. We can help reduce the pain you feel in your joints and reduce the inflammation in your body. Better yet, we will increase your strength and flexibility so that you leave with healthier and happier  joints. Call us today for more information on our Arthritis Program and discover how you can live life pain free!