10+ Ways To Relieve Arthritis Pain

By molly atherton 11 months ago

1. Stretching


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We all know that we should be stretching more to keep our joints nice and flexible, but this is even more important for those with arthritis. Stretching can enhance the range of motion in joins that are afflicted by arthritis and reduce your pain. But remember to try easy, gentle exercises first in case you feel any new pain.

2. Try a plant-based diet

vegan meal
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If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you might consider switching to a plant-based diet, and eating more whole foods, fruit and veg, and less meat and fish. A vegan or plant-based diet is known to have lots of health benefits, including improving heart health and decreasing inflammation in the body - which can reduce arthritis pain.

3. Keep exercising

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It's really important that you still exercise with arthritis - if your pain allows it, of course. Fitting some regular, gentle exercise into your daily life could also lower your overall pain levels, as well as improving your range of movement and your general wellbeing, including mental health.

4. Take a vitamin D supplement

vitamin d
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Most of us will probably be taking vitamin D supplements in the winter, anyway, but here's another reason to add it into your diet if not. Vitamin D is actually a natural anti-inflammatory substance, meaning that by taking it every day you're lowering your chance of pain and helping you ward off any really awful flare-ups.

5. Apply heat patches

heat pack
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If you have arthritis, you've probably already turned to this more than once. Heat patches are a classic pain reliever, but you do need to be careful when using them (such as only using them directly on the skin if the instructions say to do so.) To improve the pain-relieving properties, you could combine heat therapy with aromatherapy, introducing oils like lavender of chamomile to your heat therapy routine.

6. Or go for ice therapy

cold therapy

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Or, here's an alternative: swap the heat therapy for a dip in an ice cold bath. If you can stand the ice-cold water (or just a frozen bag of peas on your joint), cold therapy is an equally effective solution for arthritis pain, especially when your joints are physically swollen.

7. Ask your doctor for hyaluronic acid injections

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This is a relatively new solution for arthritis, but it's worth checking if your health provider can make this available to you.  You've probably heard about hyaluronic acid as an ingredient in skincare, and this is because it can prompt the growth of new cells and helps keep joints and tissue hydrated. When injected into joints with arthritis, it can reduce inflammation and pain.

8. Go swimming

swimming pool
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Swimming is one of the best exercises that you can do if you have arthritis. This is because swimming is an entirely full-body movement, but it's also low-impact - it won't have as much of a tough impact on your joints as something like running. The buoyancy of the water can also relieve some pressure on the joints, giving you some extra relief from the pain of arthritis.

9. Start a meditation practice

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Meditation is often touted as as cure-all remedy. It can help with everything from mental health to chronic illnesses, and that includes arthritis. In fact, rheumatoid arthritis patients who started a regular mindfulness meditation practice actually reported a decrease in their symptoms, including pain and stiffness.

10. Go for a massage

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Now's the time to book yourself in for that long-overdue massage! And your reason? Because it could reduce your arthritis pain. An moderate-intensity full-body massage can help with joint movement, make you less stressed, and reduce pain. If you don't fancy paying for one, you can also learn how to self-massage at home for immediate relief during the day.

11. Buy a TENS machine

tens machine
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TENS machines are a saviour for chronic lower back pain or painful periods, but they're also great at helping with arthritis pain. These machines are great for targeting specific areas that you feel most discomfort, but if you have osteoarthritis, be warned that there probably won't be any effect at all.

12. Try tai chi

tai chi
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Tai chi is another gentle and low-impact exercise that can go a long way to reducing your arthritis pain. A 2013 study found that regular tai chi could even reduce pain and improve mobility in patients with osteoarthritis, but it's likely effective on other forms of arthritis as well.

13. Eat more omega-3

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Omega-3 is a really important nutrient for our body, but some of us aren't getting enough of it. Most importantly for arthritis sufferers, omega-3 fatty acids are highly anti-inflammatory, meaning they can reduce joint pain. So, try and factor more omega-3 into your diet by eating more oily fish, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds. If you're vegetarian or vegan, perhaps try taking an omega-3 supplement daily.

14. Get over-the-counter pain relief

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It's not all-natural, but it could be a last-ditch resort if your arthritis is really stopping you from living your life to the fullest. Over-the-counter painkillers for arthritis include aspirin and Tylenol. If you want to accomplish a pain-free life without medicine, try some of the other lifestyle and diet changes on this list first - but remember there is specific arthritis pain relief at the pharmacy if you need it.

15. Try acupuncture

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There are still many who will dismiss acupuncture, but there are lots of studies that would suggest that if you have rheumatoid arthritis, it might be a helpful solution. Acupuncture may have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body and help the immune system to function better, though there's less evidence for the beneficial effects on osteoarthritis.

16. Reduce stress

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Stress is almost guaranteed in our modern lives. Work, family troubles, the climate... there are number of things that can give us stress, but if you have a condition like arthritis, all that stress could be making it worse. Do what you can to reduce stress, whether that's reducing your time spent worrying about work, getting out of a toxic friendship, or spending more time on what really makes you happy.

17. Eat more antioxidants

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Antioxidants are a sort of wonder substance that can stop all kinds of damage in the body. Well, some studies show that they can also reduce arthritis pain. A study from 2008 discovered that increased antioxidant consumption resulted in lower levels of rheumatoid arthritis pain and stiffness. Antioxidants are particularly high in things like blueberries, pecans, and artichokes.

18. Drink green tea

green tea
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You know what else has a lot of antioxidants? Green tea. This wonder tea contains a double-whammy of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, making it ideal if you suffer from an inflammatory disease like arthritis. So, try swapping out some of your daily coffees for green tea a few times a week to see the difference it could make.

19. Buy a chili pepper lotion

chili pepper
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The main substance in spicy chilli peppers is capsaicin - it's this that makes the chilli hot. This spicy ingredient is also included in certain creams and lotions, called capsaicin lotion, and it could help with arthritis pain. It'll burn at first, but persevere and you'll find that it can take away pain from those swollen and inflamed joints.

20. Eat more fermented foods

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Fermented foods are all the rage right now, and that's because they're genuinely good for you. Things like sauerkraut and kefir contain lots of good gut bacteria, which can influence your immune system. But they also contain anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce your arthritis pain and discomfort. So, next time you're in the shops, pick up some sauerkraut!

21. Take a probiotic supplement

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If you don't fancy eating some fermented cabbage or yoghurt, you can also try a probiotic supplement. While not as effective as foods with probiotic qualities, these supplements could help you support your general health and reduce some of the discomfort that you get from arthritis.

22. Or glucosamine/chondroitin supplement

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Glucosamine and chondroitin are regularly suggested as a solution for osteoarthritis pain, and although some of the evidence isn't that strong, it's certainly a valid option if you're looking for a cure for bad arthritis pain. While in some people it won't make a difference, you may be one of the lucky ones that finds incredibly relief by adding this supplement to your diet.

23. Eat more turmeric

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Don't fancy the sound of glucosamine/chondroitin? Then turn to one of nature's supplements: turmeric. Or, to be more accurate, a chemical found in turmeric called curcumin. Curcumin is naturally anti-inflammatory, meaning it'll help reduce all that swelling and pain in your joints - though it's probably more effective to take a supplement than it is to start eating kilos of turmeric in your daily life.

24. Try CBD oil

CBD oil
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For some people, CBD really is the cure they've been waiting for for chronic illnesses. Though there haven't been too many studies as of yet, anecdotally CBD could help you lessen arthritis pain, sleep better, and reduce stress. If you don't fancy ingesting CBD, you could also try a CBD lotion on the joints that are causing you pain.

25. Go to the hospital for a blood transfusion

blood transfusion
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Okay, this one is a bit of an intense option, but hear us out. In some cases, a full blood transfusion can help reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, though it's not confirmed that everyone will feel the effects. Regardless, it could be something to discuss with your doctor if you've exhausted all other options and can't get any relief.

26. Take a dip in a hydropool

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We've clarified that both swimming and heat therapy are good options for reducing arthritis pain - so then why not a hydropool? Taking a dip in one of these can offer immediate pain relief through the hot water and buoyancy, and you can also use it to help improve your muscle strength through small exercises in the water.

27. Avoid cold weather

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Many people report anecdotal evidence that cold weather makes their arthritis or other chronic conditions worse. This is because the cold can slow the blood and heighten your sensitivity to pain, making it seem worse. So, if you know a burst of cold weather is coming, maybe rearrange plans so you avoid the worst of it outside.

28. Get enough rest

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Although exercise can be really helpful in alleviating some arthritis symptoms like pain and stiffness, or many, it'll be rest that provides the most relief. If you find yourself on your feet 24/7, or spend a few weeks doing lots of intense activities, try and make time to rest - it'll reduce inflammation in your joints and could reduce pain.

29. Work on your posture

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If your body isn't working the way it should, that'll just make your arthritis worse - and by that we mean bad posture. Most of us make our posture worse every day by sitting at a desk (and even walking wrong!), but this could also make your arthritis worse. Incorrect spinal posture can even worsen osteoarthritis.

30. Buy some paraffin wax

wax therapy
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Ever plunged your hand into a vat of paraffin wax? It could be the arthritis pain relief you've been waiting for! Wax therapy is used to warm the joints mainly in your hands or feet, relaxing the muscles and improving blood flow to the area which can really help reducing arthritis inflammation and reducing pain.