Natural Remedies for Joint Pain
Dr. Rachel Steiner
It is estimated that 52.5 million American adults (22.7%) annually are
told by their doctor that they have some form of arthritis, rheumatoid
arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia. By 2040, an estimated 78
million Americans ages 18 years or older are projected to have
doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Arthritis and other rheumatic conditions
are the leading cause of disability in the United States and have been
for the past 15 years. Joint pain is caused for various reasons
including injury, anomalies from birth that make one more prone to
joint destruction, obesity, and overuse to name a few. Other causes of
joint pain are a result of autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid
arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and lupus. There are obviously
different way of managing joint pain depending on what is the
underlying condition, but here are some quick tips that can benefit
everyone and are easy and natural.
Exercise is crucial for people with arthritis. It increases strength,
flexibility, reduces joint pain, and keeps motion in the joints.
Though you might think exercise will aggravate joint pain, which is
not the case at all. Lack of exercise actually can make your joints
even more painful and stiff. Keeping your muscles, ligaments, and
surrounding tissue strong is crucial for supporting your bones. Not
exercising causes weakness that will result in more stress on your
joints. Low impact exercises are best for those with joint pain such
as swimming, water aerobics, or bicycling.
A common question people with any form of arthritis have is, "Is there
an arthritis diet?" Or more to the point, “What can I eat to help my
joints?” Fortunately, many foods can help with arthritis. Following a
diet low in processed foods and saturated fat will decrease the
inflammatory process in your body that can lead to joint pain. A diet
rich in fruits, vegetables, wild caught fish, nuts, and beans are low
inflammatory and are great for your body. These foods also help with
lowering blood pressure and risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease.
Glucosamine is a major component of joint cartilage and
supplementation of it has shown to slow deterioration of cartilage.
Supplements are derived from the shells of shellfish (like shrimp,
lobster, and crab) or from vegetable sources. Glucosamine has been
shown to relieve osteoarthritic pain and improve joint mobility.
Glucosamine is produced in the body and provides natural building
blocks for growth, repair and maintenance of cartilage. It has been
proven to lubricate joints, help cartilage retain water and prevent
White Willow Bark
White willow bark is nature’s aspirin. It is effective because it
contains an active ingredient called salicin. Salicin is converted in
the body into salicylic acid-similar to acetyl salicylic acid, the
active ingredient in aspirin. But because the naturally occurring
salicin is converted after it passes through the stomach, it results
in less irritation and side effects. White willow can be taken in a
capsule form, but it is more popular as a tea. Ingredients for this
are 2 teaspoons of powdered or chipped white willow bark, 1 cup or
water, and honey or lemon to taste. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil,
and then reduce to a simmer. Add 2 teaspoons of white willow bark and
let it infuse for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it steep for
30 minutes. Add honey or lemon to taste, as the tea can be bitter.
Hopefully these tips sound easy enough to add to your daily routine.
The most of important part of managing joint pain is figuring out what
the underlying condition is that is causing pain that should be
determined by a doctor.