Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system — that normally protects its health by attacking foreign substances like bacteria and viruses — mistakenly attacks the joints. It causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints — symptoms usually affect the knee, hip and hands. While there is no cure, there are ways to get relief. A previous study said that women are at more risk of developing arthritis than men after the age of 40.
While doctors traditionally treat arthritis with anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers, some medication can cause side effects. This has led many people to use a natural approach to pain relief, although you should consult your doctor before trying natural remedies, reports Express.co.uk.
Here are 5 natural ways to ease arthritis pain, according to the Arthritis Foundation:
The form of Chinese medicine which involves inserting thin needles at specific points on the body is designed to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. Many experts recommend this to soothe arthritis pain. The National Health Service said, “Acupuncture is often used to treat other musculoskeletal conditions (of the bones and muscles) and pain conditions including chronic pain, such as neck pain, joint pain, dental pain and postoperative pain.”
Massages have been shown to reduce joint pain and stiffness as well as a range of motions. But the Arthritis Foundation warns to listen to your body and perhaps avoid getting a massage when joints are especially tender and sensitive.
- Weight loss
Losing one pound removes four pounds of pressure on swollen, painful joints. You can maintain a healthy weight by combining a balanced diet with regular physical activity.
- Tai Chi
Another Chinese practice, this combines gentle flowing movements, deep breathing and meditation, and has been shown to not only reduce joint pain, but also improve range of motion and function.
- Eat plenty of fish
Certain types of fish are full of inflammation-fighting Omega-3 fatty acids, and for that reason, experts recommend you eat at least three to four ounces of fish twice a week. Fish, which falls under this category, include salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring.