Dealing with joint pain can be annoying on a good day, and completely debilitating on a bad one. Joint pain is characterized by discomfort, pain, or inflammation in any part of the joints, including cartilage, bone, ligaments, tendons, or muscles. This pain is most often caused by arthritis, which has several different forms, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and gout. But, it can also be caused by certain autoimmune disorders, injuries, repetitive movement, or simply getting older.
According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), arthritis affected an estimated 52.5 million adults in 2010-2012 and is projected to affect 78.4 million adults by 2040. Many of these adults are unsure of how to get their joint pain and inflammation under control. Wondering how you can naturally relieve your joint pain? Here are seven ways to relieve your pain and leave you feeling like you’re walking on air.
Maintain a healthy weight
Having excess weight on the body can put stress on your joints and bones, which causes pain and inflammation. According to the CDC, reaching and maintaining a normal weight can lower a person’s risk for developing osteoarthritis, as well as improve symptoms and function in people who already have the condition.
Light movement and exercise
You don’t have to run a marathon, but some light exercise may ease your aching knees. Studies show that aerobic and resistance training have beneficial effects for those with rheumatoid arthritis and can even reverse the effects of rheumatoid cachexia, or the loss of muscle mass.
Try soaking in Epsom salts
What better excuse do you need to take a long, hot bath? If your joints are bothering you, try soaking in Epsom salts, which are high in magnesium and sulfates. This can help lower inflammation, relax your muscles, and help you avoid muscle spasms. Don’t have time for a bath? Try making an Epsom salt compress so you can treat your joint pain on the go!
Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
Inflammation is the primary cause of joint pain, so if you can find a way to treat it directly, you’ll be better off in the long run. An anti-inflammatory diet is a great way to help you reduce your pain. Try removing inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy, and processed meats and sugars from your diet. You can replace them with inflammation-fighting treats like organic berries, green tea, and various herbs and spices.
Spice up your meals with turmeric
Turmeric is one of the latest spices to receive its 15 minutes of trendy food fame, and for good reason. This spice contains curcumin, a powerful substance shown to relieve pain and improve physical function and quality of life for those with osteoarthritis. This ingredient can also lower your risk of heart and brain disease.
Try essential fatty acid supplements
Omega-3 fats are a family of polyunsaturated fats that carry a variety of health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and preventing or managing heart disease. The omega-3 fat DHA is found in bone marrow and can enhance bone mineral content. One study shows that consuming DHA for at least three months can relieve joint pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and dysmenorrhea. DHA can be found in wild-caught salmon, sardines, mackerel, and grass-fed beef.
Get enough vitamin D and vitamin K2
Having a vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for osteoarthritis. Getting enough vitamin D or taking supplements can reduce pain and stiffness in the joints of those with knee osteoarthritis, according to a study published by the National Institutes of Health. Vitamin D and vitamin K2 also help the body absorb calcium, which is fundamental for building strong bones. Going outside to soak up the sun or eating fish are great ways to increase your vitamin D intake.