Alternative Treatments For Arthritis Pain Relief
Copyright 2005 Priya Shah
Natural, herbal remedies can help arthritis sufferers who have tried traditional pain medications without success. Many natural remedies and supplements have been found to actually reduce cartilage deterioration and even rebuild a patient's lost cartilage.
Many people are also seeking natural remedies because of the increasing cost of prescription medication. Conventional over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, can be very helpful in decreasing joint pain, but they do produce side effects and can cause problems in long-term users.
Before adding any supplements to your daily routine, check with your healthcare advisor, as supplements can cause adverse reactions and may not be right for your situation. Before discontinuing a prescription medication, consult a physician.
However, with a doctor's approval, there are many natural solutions, which may aid in managing arthritis.
Acupuncture 'This is a popular alternative to medication for pain relief. Although the pain-relieving effects may be temporary, these sessions can be very beneficial for those who find that drugs or supplements are insufficient or have unacceptable side effects
Aromatherapy 'Aromatherapy focuses on using pleasurable aromatic botanical oils by either massaging them into the skin, adding them to the bath water, inhaling them directly or diffusing their scents into the surrounding environment. The oils have been known to affect moods, help with relaxation, lessen or end fatigue and anxiety, and help the brain and nervous system via olfactory nerves stimulation when inhaled. It is another holistic treatment used by some arthritic sufferers for pain relief and stress management.
Cayenne Cream 'Cayenne peppers contain an substance called capsaicin which is responsible for their spicy effect. This also causes a burning sensation when it comes in contact with skin, and inhibits the body's production of substance P which is heavily involved the relaying signals of pain to the brain. You may need to apply the cayenne cream to painful areas two to three times per day for at least one week before you find relief.
Chondroitin 'The most popular dietary supplements for arthritis sufferers are chondroitin, fish oil and glucosamine. Chondroitin can draw fluid into the cartilage, improving shock-absorbing ability and weight control, as more weight equals more joint pressure.
Fish Oil 'Fish oils help with controlling inflammation in the body and may provide relief when arthritis is caused by an immune system dysfunction as in lupus. A vegetarian alternative to fish oil is flax seed or borage oil. More information can be found at http://www.omega3fats.com
Glucosamine 'Recent studies have shown that the cartilage-building substance called glucosamine is effective for the long-term relief of osteoarthritis pain. In some people, glucosamine appears to even slow the deterioration of joints over time and reinforce joint cartilage. Whether or not it can actually reverse the disease is still unclear.
Glutathione 'Glutathione is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties and can be safely boosted by consuming its precursors available in the supplements, N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) or undenatured whey protein.
Magnets 'Although magnets that are worn as jewelry or placed on bed linens have been reported by some to be effective pain relievers, results are still preliminary; doctors claim that these magnets are not strong enough.
MSM 'Methyl-Sulfonyl-Methane is an organic sulfur supplement that appears to slow down the degeneration but is not yet proven and approved. It is used in the reduction of inflammation and can be used in conjunction with glucosamine, in some instances.
Nettle leaf 'Nettles can reduce a patient's need for NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) by up to 70 percent.
Vitamin B 'It is an effective pain reliever. It works best on the knee and can help stop degeneration that is caused by free-radical molecules, not only in the joints but in other areas of the body as well.
Vitamin E 'This antioxidant is used primarily for osteoarthritis.
Ginger 'Ginger is an antioxidant that acts as an inflammatory with no major side effects.
These are merely a few examples of what an arthritis sufferer can use when seeking pain relief from natural remedies. Due to the lack of scientific study and testing on many of these alternate treatments, there is no proof of their effectiveness.
Nothing can cure osteoarthritis, but nutritional supplements, the application of heat or cold to affected joints, exercise, and weight loss can improve the function and flexibility of your joints, and perhaps even slow the progress of the disease.
For a comprehensive report on arthritis, visit Arthritis Remedies