Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease or osteoarthrosis, is the most common form of arthritis. It occurs due to the breakdown of cartilage in joints, which causes the bones to rub against each other.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Backention, about 27 million people in America have osteoarthritis. It usually develops between age 40 and 60. It primarily affects the weight-bearing joints like the knees, hips, spine, feet and back. At times, it may affect the neck and joints in the fingers and hands.
Osteoarthritis is more common among women. Additional risk factors include previous joint injuries, weak thigh muscles, jobs that put excessive stress on a particular joint, bone deformities, obesity, genetics, diabetes, and complications of other types of arthritis.
Symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. Common symptoms include joint pain during or after movement, joint stiffness (especially after waking up in the morning), joints feeling tender to the touch, loss of flexibility, a grating sensation in the joints when they are flexed, and bone spurs around affected joints.
If not treated timely, the condition may cause significant disability, leading to knee and hip replacement surgeries. Fortunately, simple lifestyle changes and easy-to-follow home remedies can help you manage the symptoms and lead a pain-free life.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for osteoarthritis.
Exercise can help you deal with osteoarthritis symptoms. It will help you increase your endurance and strengthen the muscles around your joints. This in turn will improve mobility. Moreover, exercise will help you lose weight.
Avoid high-impact sports, which increase the risk of injury.
If needed, get help from an expert to plan an exercise program that is suitable for your health condition and lifestyle.
You can use both hot and cold compresses to manage joint pain due to osteoarthritis. While a hot compress will help reduce pain and stiffness, a cold compress will lessen swelling and inflammation.
Note: Depending upon your condition, you can also use these compresses separately.
Regularly massaging the affected areas will help reduce the intensity of pain, swelling and inflammation due to osteoarthritis. In addition, massage improves blood circulation and has a soothing impact on inflamed muscles.
As joints become sensitive due to osteoarthritis, be sure to massage gently or go to a professional massage therapist, if necessary.
Apple cider vinegar is also effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Its anti-inflammatory and alkaline-forming properties help reduce pain and stiffness in the joints. Moreover, it helps get rid of toxins stored in the joints.
Follow these remedies daily until the pain and inflammation are gone.
Another time-honored remedy for osteoarthritis is Epsom salt. Being a good source of magnesium, it helps reduce pain, swelling and inflammation.
Note: Those who have kidney problems or diabetes must not use this remedy.
Ginger is another excellent natural remedy for osteoarthritis. A 2001 study published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology found that highly purified ginger extract demonstrated a positive effect in reducing pain in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.
This herb is rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce pain, swelling and inflammation. Moreover, ginger helps block COX-2, a chemical in the body that causes pain.
According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, turmeric is an efficacious and safe treatment for osteoarthritis. It may even slow the progression of the disease.
Turmeric has a compound called curcumin that possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Note: Avoid consuming too much turmeric if you take blood-thinning medications or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Fenugreek is a popular Ayurvedic treatment for osteoarthritis. Fenugreek seeds possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and hence help manage pain and swelling.
Moreover, the seeds contain vitamins and essential minerals like calcium, iron and phosphorus that are necessary for healthy bones and tissues.
Use any of these remedies daily until you are satisfied with the result.
According to a 2011 study in Arthritis Research and Therapy, green tea helps prevent as well as control symptoms of osteoarthritis. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help reduce joint pain and swelling. Moreover, green tea helps preserve bone density and maintain bone strength.
A popular Ayurvedic remedy for osteoarthritis is cinnamon. Known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, cinnamon can help fight joint pain and swelling. It will also relax stiff muscles.
Follow these remedies until your condition improves.
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