Arthritis is the term for a group of diseases that cause inflammation and pain in the joints. Medicines can help, but some home remedies and lifestyle changes can reduce symptoms.
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related diseases. The most common is osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease that wears away the pads between the joints, causing pain, swelling and stiffness.
Another common type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system accidentally attacks joints and other parts of the body, causing uncontrolled inflammation.
All types of arthritis can cause chronic joint pain and damage. In this article, we share the most effective home remedies to slow the progression of the disease and treat the symptoms of arthritis.
Exercising in water can help people with arthritis. Water provides resistance that helps increase the intensity of exercise.
In addition, the hydration provided by water reduces stress on the joints and helps you maintain your weight.
A 2015 scientific review found that adults with osteoarthritis who participated in an aquatic exercise program experienced the following benefits:
- Reduce body fat
- Better coordination
- Better range of motion
- Better mood and quality of life
- Participants also experienced a reduction in arthritis pain, but this was often short-lived.
For chronic pain relief, researchers recommend 40-60 minutes of water exercise three times a week.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, every pound of weight you carry means 3 pounds of extra stress on your knees and 6 pounds of extra stress on your hips.
This increased pressure causes the cartilage between the joints to break down faster, making osteoarthritis worse.
Losing weight can reduce pain and stiffness by reducing stress on the joints.
Tai Chi is a low-impact exercise that involves slow, flowing movements to improve flexibility, strength and balance.
In 2013, researchers reviewed seven studies examining the effectiveness of tai chi in relieving arthritis symptoms.
The authors concluded that a 12-week course of tai chi helps reduce pain and stiffness and improves physical function in people with osteoarthritis.
Iyengar yoga is a type of yoga that focuses on proper alignment of the body and uses props to support the body and relieve tension and inflammation.
A 2013 study looked at the effectiveness of a six-week Iyengar yoga program for young women with rheumatoid arthritis.
The researchers divided the 26 participants into two groups. Eleven participants attended two 1.5-hour yoga classes over a six-week period, while 15 participants did not attend any yoga classes.
Compared to controls, yoga participants reported significant improvements in well-being, mood, quality of life, and ability to manage chronic pain.
Cold and heat treatment
Although hot and cold compresses are different, they are effective ways to reduce arthritis pain.
Heat therapy improves blood circulation and relieves joint stiffness and muscle pain, while cold therapy constricts blood vessels, slows blood flow, reduces swelling and relieves pain.
People can try alternating hot and cold compresses, but it’s important to carefully monitor skin damage caused by these treatments and discontinue use if it occurs.
The heat treatment process includes:
- Start your day with a warm bath or shower to ease stiffness.
- Applying warm paraffin to painful joints
- Place a heating pad or hot water bottle on the painful joint
Coryza treatment should be limited to 20 minutes at a time. These actions include:
- Apply ice and wrap a towel over the painful area.
- By placing the affected joint in ice water
- cold pressed
Some of these products are available for purchase online, including heating pads, heating pads, and cold compresses.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation. When practicing mindfulness, people try to focus on their feelings and what their body is experiencing in the moment.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a program that uses mindfulness to help people cope with pain and stress that can damage the immune system.
A 2014 study looked at whether MBSR could reduce disease in people with rheumatoid arthritis by boosting the immune system.
A total of 51 participants participated in the study, of which 26 received the 8-week MBSR program and the remaining 25 received no treatment.
Participants who completed the MBSR program showed reductions in RA symptoms, including pain, morning stiffness, joint pain, and swelling.
Participants reported these improvements immediately and up to 6 months after MBSR.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, regular muscle and joint massage can help relieve arthritis pain.
Experts believe that massage reduces the body’s production of cortisol, the stress hormone and pain-related neurotransmitter B. Massage helps improve mood by increasing serotonin levels.
A 2013 study looked at the effects of massage on people with rheumatoid arthritis of the upper extremities.
The researchers divided the participants into two groups. One group received a light massage and the other group received a medium pressure massage.
A trained therapist massaged each participant once a week for 4 weeks. The participants also learned how to massage themselves and did it once a day.
After 4 weeks, participants in the moderate pressure massage group had less pain, better grip strength, and greater range of motion in the affected joints than those who received light pressure massage.
A 2015 study examining the effects of medium-pressure massage on osteoarthritis of the knee found similar benefits.
In 2020, guidelines from the American College of Rheumatology and the Arthrosis Foundation found that there is insufficient evidence that massage can reduce arthritis symptoms. But massage can also have other benefits, such as helping to reduce stress.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
TENS is a pain relief method that uses electrodes in the form of sticky pads attached to the surface of the skin to deliver a weak electrical current to the body.
Current guidelines from trusted sources recommend that people not use TENS for arthritis pain because there is no evidence that it helps.
There are nearly 100 different types of arthritis. After the first diagnosis of the patient’s type of arthritis, the doctor determines which treatment is suitable for him.
Examples of medications include:
- Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen
- NSAIDs such as aspirin or ibuprofen
- Corticosteroids that reduce inflammation
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) reduce or stop inflammation, but weaken the immune system.
Targeted DMARDs that target specific inflammatory problems rather than suppressing the immune system as a whole.
When to see a doctor?
If left untreated, arthritis can permanently damage the joints and progress more quickly.
People with arthritis should work with their doctor to determine the best home remedies for their treatment plan.
If any of the following symptoms persist for more than 3 days, you should see a doctor:
- Pain, swelling, tenderness or stiffness in one or more joints
- Redness and warmth of the skin around the joints
- Difficulty moving your joints or performing daily activities
Arthritis is a progressive disease that causes pain and stiffness in the joints. There are various remedies, but using home remedies like these can be more effective in reducing pain and increasing mobility.
Common home remedies include massage, specific supplements, heat and cold therapy, and light exercise such as yoga and tai chi.
If you have concerns about using home remedies for arthritis, you should consult your doctor. It’s also important to ask before taking supplements, as they can interact with existing medications.