According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), osteoarthritis or OA affects over 30 million U.S. adults today. It is caused by damage or breakdown of joint cartilage between bones. OA is also known as “wear and tear” arthritis. It is the most common form of arthritis and occurs most frequently in the hands, hips, and knees. Although many people seek medical treatment for their OA pain, some use home remedies to ease their painful joints. These remedies can help you reduce the pain and stiffness associated with OA while you’re in the comfort of your own home.
Stay Active and Exercise
It might seem contradictory that exercise can help ease your joint pain. When your joints feel stiff and painful, the thought of being active or taking a walk might not seem very enticing. However, according to the Arthritis Foundation, exercise is critical for people with arthritis. Not only does it increase strength and flexibility, it also reduces joint pain and provides you with more energy. In addition to increasing blood flow to your joints, exercise helps keep the joints well lubricated. Your joints are lined with tissue known as the synovial membrane, which produces a substance called synovial fluid. Exercise and physical activity encourage circulation of synovial fluid, which helps your joints function smoothly.
Know How to Handle Arthritis Flares
Some people with OA experience flare-ups, which cause a sudden increase in symptoms. These symptoms may include joint pain and swelling, stiffness (especially in the morning), poor range of motion, and problems sleeping due to increased joint pain. If you have occasional arthritis flare-ups, it’s wise to talk with your doctor so you have a medication plan in place to help you manage your pain. Remember that being proactive now will help you manage OA flares in the future. You can also apply ice packs or heat to help alleviate pain and stiffness in the joints. Some people report that alternating between hot and cold therapies works best to ease joint pain during a flare-up.
Try an Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salts aren’t just part of an indulgent spa treatment. Epsom salt baths can help ease the pain and stiffness caused by arthritis. Epsom salt breaks down into magnesium and sulfate when placed in water and soaking in a warm bath can help ease stiff, painful joints. Many people use Epsom salt baths as a home treatment for arthritis pain and swelling, bruises, sprains, and pain related to fibromyalgia. Follow the directions on the Epsom salt package and talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about trying Epsom salt baths.
Use Assistive Devices
Talk to your doctor about assistive devices that might help you deal with painful joints, such as braces, canes, or other walking aids. These devices can help ease pain and prevent an injury. Other assistive products include jar openers, easy-grip utensils, or graspers to help you reach items that are out of your reach. Many of these items can be purchased at medical supply stores or pharmacies. Some specialty stores even have zipper pulls and buttoning aids, which can help you fasten your clothing without pain.
Coping with arthritis pain and stiffness can be challenging. Find a support group or walking group to help you stay active and manage your osteoarthritis. Not only will you make friends and meet new people, you will also have the opportunity to learn how other people with OA cope with pain. Ask your doctor about support groups for people with arthritis and contact the Arthritis Foundation to find out about their Walk with Ease walking program.
You can manage your osteoarthritis pain without undergoing an invasive surgical procedure with serious risks. If you’re ready to take control and learn about alternative ways to manage your arthritis pain, contact Flexogenix™ for an appointment. The experts at Flexogenix™ are experienced in a variety of therapies that allow your body to heal naturally, without a long recovery period.