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Natural Joint Pain Relief

By on June 3, 2013
More than 50 million adults in the U.S. have arthritis, and even more suffer from other forms of joint pain. This pain can vary from slightly aggravating to completely debilitating, and treatments are often mediocre and sometimes deadly. With the number of people suffering from joint pain on the rise, coinciding with the number of people who qualify as overweight or obese, it would be remiss to ignore the possible connection. This connection between joint pain and weight, as well as many other factors that can influence inflammation, lay the groundwork for natural joint pain solutions that don’t require a prescription or surgery.

Joint pain has a variety of potential causes, including: injury, arthritis, infections, tendinitis, overuse, sprains, and diseases such as lupus. Generally, each one of these triggers causes inflammation in the joints and it’s this inflammation that causes pain. Proper joint pain relief, then, typically comes in treating the inflammation regardless of the cause.

Most people reach for the Tylenol or ibuprofen when they experience joint pain. While these traditional options may offer quick relief, it’s the other effects they have that are troublesome. A study published in the Journal of Postgraduate Medicine indicated a whopping 100,000 hospitalizations occur each year because of the intestinal side effects of these nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If that wasn’t frightening enough—an estimated 16,500 annual deaths are attributed to NSAIDs.

Fortunately, there are safe and natural alternatives.

Natural Remedies for Joint Pain

Many people who suffer from regular joint pain, including arthritis, see immediate relief when they lose weight. If you are overweight or obese and suffer from pain, the best thing you can do for your joints and your overall health is to get down to a healthy weight. Though this is easier said than done, the rewards are well worth the effort. Regular exercise, portion control, and eating whole, natural foods are all steps in the right direction.

If you are at a healthy weight or if you want to apply other natural joint relief remedies while on your weight loss journey, consider these:

Turmeric: This spice is the one that gives Indian curries their bright yellow hue. But the smoky spice is worth far more than a good dinner dish—it has amazing anti-inflammatory properties. As a matter of fact, several studies have found it to be more effective at reducing inflammation of the joints– and subsequently joint pain– than NSAIDs. You can reap the benefits of the active curcumin, by adding turmeric to all sorts of dishes—from curries to stir-frys and even on salads.

Bromelain: This is the active component found in pineapple. It is an enzyme that is particularly concentrated in the stem of the fruit and, like turmeric, it has amazing anti-inflammatory properties. Including pineapple as part of your diet (and eating the tougher center pieces) can give you a bromelain boost. But, this enzyme can also be found in supplement form.

Stinging Nettle: This plant has been used since medieval Europe to naturally treat joint pain. Interestingly, the plant itself has fine hairs on the stems and leaves—hairs that contain skin-irritating chemicals. However, when applied to painful joints, the irritants have an opposite effect. According to the University of Maryland, scientists believe the plant reduces inflammatory chemicals within the body and interferes with the way the body transmits pain signals.

In addition to weight management and the above natural joint pain relief remedies, there are others. Increasing your intake of Omega-3 fatty acids could prove helpful, as could boosting your water intake. Both exercise and massage can keep the joints limber and reduce pain and stiffness. Hydrotherapy and cryotherapy (ice) are other good, natural solutions without side effects.

Although joint pain can come from a variety of causes, many if not all are preventable and/or treatable with natural, holistic methods.

Resources

www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003261.htm

www.cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics/arthritis_related_stats.htm

www.cdc.gov/arthritis/resources/spotlights/prevelance.htm

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11381661

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19678780

www.inaactamedica.org/archives/2012/22745140.pdf

Turmeric Extract Equally Effective as Drugs for Osteoarthritis

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC538506/

www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/stinging-nettle-000275.htm

www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400149/balancing-omega-3-and-omega-6.html

Photo credit: Rahim Packir Saibo

About The Author: Elizabeth Renter

Elizabeth Renter is a freelance writer and editor based in North Carolina. Her passions are natural health and the U.S. (in)justice system -- both of which are reflected in her work. You can see more of her work and contact her through her website at www.elizabeththewriter.com.

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