Living with osteoarthritis can be frustrating if your pain is not well-managed. The stiffness and soreness can make it hard to get out of bed in the morning, let alone participate in the activities you love. Although osteoarthritis has no cure, there are some very safe, natural ways to ease your pain and stiffness. The following are four of your most promising options, which can be used independently or in any combination.
1. Chiropractic Adjustments
Most people only think of visiting the chiropractor when they have back or neck pain. However, spinal realignment can ease tension on joints throughout the body. By adjusting your spine to improve your posture, your chiropractor ensures that your sore, arthritic joints are not put under any more stress than is necessary.
The effectiveness of chiropractic care for arthritis treatment is well-documented in the scientific literature. In 2013, researchers found chiropractic care effective for managing hip arthritis, and a 2010 study found it to be a worthy treatment for arthritis in the knees.
Regular chiropractic care can not only reduce the pain associated with arthritis but also improve your flexibility, decrease inflammation, and increase your range of motion. Chiropractic care is non-invasive and safe for almost everyone, although it should not be administered to patients with osteoporosis in the neck or spine.
It sounds simple, and that's because it is. Stretching can work wonders for arthritis pain. Performed over time, stretches help maintain or even increase the range of motion in your affected joints. Stretching can also help keep your joints lubricated, with the result that you experience less pain when you bend and move.
The best stretches for your arthritis pain depend on which joints are affected. If you do visit the chiropractor, he or she can show you some stretches specific to your arthritis symptoms. You can perform these stretches when you first wake up and before any exercise to prepare your joints for motion.
3. Capsaicin Rubs
Capsaicin is the chemical that gives chili peppers their spiciness. Rubbing gels or creams that contain capsaicin on your arthritic joints several times per day can ease your arthritis pain over time.
When the capsaicin comes into contact with certain nerve receptors, it causes a heat sensation. Over time, as these receptors are continually activated, they become less sensitive - both to the capsaicin and to other signals, including pain signals due to arthritis.
Capsaicin is a safe, natural product, although you should avoid getting it near your eyes or face since this can cause burning and irritation. If you have high blood pressure or blood vessel problems, check with your doctor before using capsaicin.
4. Epsom Salts
Epsom salts are crystals of magnesium sulfate. People have long soaked in Epsom salt baths to ease soreness and stiffness, including that caused by arthritis. The magnesium in the bath gets absorbed through the skin, and then it acts to relax sore muscles and joints. The warmth of the water also helps increase circulation, which reduces inflammation in your joints.
Follow the instructions on the label to prepare a bath with Epsom salts. Generally, you only need to add a cup or two to a bathtub of water, and then soak in the tub for at least 12 minutes. You can take Epsom salt baths daily, if needed, to keep arthritis pain under control.
If you are proactive with your pain relief, you may be able to enjoy your life even more than you thought possible. A good place to start is to make an appointment with a chiropractor. Contact Alliance Chiropractor if you are looking for an office in the Louisville area.