Drug Free Pain Relief

Arthritis sufferers know what it is like to go through each day with the challenges of joint pain, stiffness and swollen joints. Over time, the ongoing ingestion of prescription drugs, can very well lead to detrimental side effects. It's no wonder that the holistic approach to reducing chronic conditions, such as arthritis, has become popular, and in many cases, the first go-to for treatment. According to arthritis.org, there are several natural alternatives to reduce arthritic pain and the daily challenges its presents.

  1. Acupuncture: This old Chinese form of medicine (dating back to 100 BC) can provide pain relief by focusing on certain 'acupoints' on the body—stimulating the nerves and its connective tissue that helps to increase blood flow, which, in turn, helps the body to release its own natural painkillers. Note: Try not to be too afraid by the needles used in this process… most people will tell you that it is not a painful experience!
  2. Massage and Heat: Who doesn't like a massage? Practical experience has shown that gentle massage can be quite effective for patients with arthritis. In addition, people who suffer arthritic pain in their hands or wrists can sustain improvement by engaging in moderate pressure massage—reducing discomfort and often improving one's grip. In addition, the application of heat has proven to be enormously beneficial. These 2 modalities can help to improve range of motion and joint pain.
  3. Diet and Exercise: Just like any condition- the importance of diet and exercise can have a major impact on the improvement of chronic conditions—arthritis being no exception! Arthritis.org says 'losing one pound removes four pounds of pressure on swollen, painful joints.' And because arthritic conditions, such as RA, is an autoimmune disease, choosing foods to fight inflammation, can help to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation. Fish, soy, a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as oils (olive, avocado, safflower), nuts and beans, just to name a few, can have everlasting positive effects. And, of course, engaging in some form of daily exercise for at least 30 minutes per day will help to reduce and release the toxins that build up in the body.
  4. Yoga and Tai Chi: Any one of these types of eastern modalities can help to reduce stress, increase flexibility and a sense of well-being.
  5. Physical Therapy: You may think of physical therapy as being used just for rehab due to an injury or some type of surgery, but PT exercises and manipulation can help to reduce the aches and pains that accompany arthritic conditions. Therapies such as proper body positioning, body movement counseling and electrical stimulation can be quite beneficial for relief. Items such as gripping apparatuses, braces, splints and shoe inserts can be quite helpful, as well.

As more products and practices are tried and backed by clinical trials, we can only hope that arthritis sufferers will find the much needed relief.

Sources: Arthritis.org