Although all types of joint inflammation are referred broadly as arthritis, but there are collectively more than a 100 types of rheumatoid conditions which might also cause joint inflammation and pain. Among arthritis the important ones are considered to be osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriatic arthritis, septic arthritis, inflammatory arthritis etc. Although arthritis mainly affects the joints and bones in the legs and arms it might also spread to any other parts of the body, including vital organs.
Rheumatoid arthritis can affect both adults as well as children whereas osteoarthritis mainly occurs in adults who are above the age of 50. The causes of rheumatoid arthritis are not yet completely known but osteoarthritis is mainly attributed to the problems of being over-weight, an injury to the joint, over usage of the joints, especially in case of athletes and also heredity. Initially in case of osteoarthritis there might not be any kind of inflammation at all and the development of the condition is very gradual and subtle.
Thesymptoms of arthritis differ for the different types. While osteoarthritis mainly leads to swelling, tenderness and pain in the affected area, in case of rheumatoid arthritis, the symptoms are stiffness, swelling and also might be a complete of function in the affected area. It is also difficult to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis because of is elusive symptoms which develop very gradually.
Although there are medical treatments and medicines available for the suppression of arthritis pain and inflammation, but the treatments are expensive and long term usage also gives a lot of side effects. Hence people are getting more drawn towards natural remedies to get relief from arthritis and found them effective as well. Compared to medicines, natural remedies are safe, effective, easily accessible, and economical and have little or no side effects.
Omega 3 fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids have been found to be extremely beneficial for patients suffering from arthritis, especially rheumatoid. These fatty acids have the power of inhibiting the inflammatory actions of hormones like prostaglandins. Taking regular supplements and increasing the intake of Omega 3 sources in the diet has show to reduce inflammation, provide relief from morning stiffness, increase the grip strength etc.
There have also been cases where people needed fewer pain killers after taking Omega 3 fatty acid supplements over a period of time. However, in spite of the beneficial effects of Omega 3 on several types of arthritis, they only help to reduce the symptoms and not in complete cure. It might also be prudent to consult your physician for any contradictory effect on the drugs that you are normally taking.
Vitamins and Minerals
Deficiency of vitamins go a long way in contributing to a myriad of problems in the body and arthritis is no exception. It has been found that increasing the intake of several Vitamins like B complex, C and E have shown to be relieving for arthritis pain and also to increase the mobility in the affected areas. Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins in helping with arthritis symptoms, one of the reasons being that Vitamin C helps build “collagen” the protein which binds the joints together. Lack of Vitamin C therefore reduces the collagen, leading to less mobility and pain.
Vitamin C also has anti-inflammatory properties and reduces swelling in case of arthritis as well. Preliminary research has also shown that Vitamin E might help in reducing the symptoms of arthritis like pain and inflammation and keep rheumatoid arthritis at bay. Vitamin B complex has also been found to be helpful in healing arthritis pain and swelling. Minerals like colloidal gold and silver and plant minerals have also been used to relieve arthritis symptoms. Calcium has been found to be of great benefit for people with arthritis and the deficiency of calcium has found to have degenerative effect on the patients.
Juices and fluids
There are several fruits and vegetables which have been found to reduce arthritis symptoms when taken in the form of juice. Beta-carotene and copper have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties and are found in vegetables like parsley, broccoli, spinach, carrots, ginger etc. Drinking juices made of black cherry, apple, pineapples etc have been found to be very helpful. Carrot, beet root and cucumber juice are also highly effective in reducing inflammation.
Herbs and spices
Ayurvedic Science has been using herbs and spices in making potions to relieve a lot of diseases since centuries and these remedies are still considered to be effective by many. Preliminary research has shown that honey and cinnamon mixed with warm water will provide great relief when taken regularly. Many herbs like black cohosh, dandelion, angelica, valerian, Colombo etc are said to be helpful in relieving the pain and swelling of arthritis.
Mixing all the above herbs and infusing in boiling water for a couple of minutes and drinking everyday will ease the ill-effects. Dandelion leaves can be eaten raw as well. Essential oils like juniper, lavender, chamomile, eucalyptus, yarrow, sandalwood etc are just some of the oils which are acclaimed to be helpful in controlling and relieving inflammation and pain. All these essential oils contain anti-inflammatory properties and are helpful in relaxing and increasing mobility of the muscles and joints.
There are several alternative remedies which are being increasingly used by arthritis patients and have found them helpful. These include chiropractic therapy, magnetic therapy, clinical hypnotherapy, hypnotic therapy, ayurvedic treatment etc.
Although alternative and natural remedies are much more effective and safer as compared to drugs, there are however some risks attached to them as well. As there are several types of arthritis, the natural remedies described above might work differently for different people. There are also chances of a person being allergic to a particular herb or oil and should immediately stop usage if any signs of allergy are seen. There might also be a risk of reaction from any of the above natural remedies if you are also taking some other treatment and hence it is better not to try any home remedies without proper directions and consultation with your physician.