From swimming to braces and hot sauce, non-medicated relief is out there for you to find.
Joint pain can be debilitating. When you need relief, your first line of defense could be reaching for some anti-inflammatory medication. But not everyone wants to take it. If you’re on other medications, it could interfere with these, or maybe you simply wish to stay clear of extra meds for other reasons.
There are many alternative ways you can still feel relief when the going gets rough. Here are 4 tips for improved motion:
1) Find Support and Use It
Wearing a brace around your joint can offer much needed relief. If your pain sits in your hips, of course this isn’t an option, but for those with achy knees and painful wrists, it could help.
Researchers at the University of Manchester found in 2013 that wearing a knee brace significantly improved pain symptoms associated with osteoarthritis affecting the knee cap.
“We’ve shown that something as simple as a lightweight knee brace can dramatically improve the symptoms and function for people with this particular type of knee osteoarthritis,” said Dr Michael Callaghan, research associate in rehabilitation science at the University of Manchester.
“Patients repeatedly told us that wearing the brace made their knee feel more secure, stable, and supported,” he added. “Our theory is that these sensations gave the patient confidence to move the knee more normally and this helped in improving muscle strength, knee function and symptoms.”
2) Go Swimming
Diving in for a dip has many benefits. Whether you’re swimming lengths, doing water aerobics or simply treading water, getting active in the pool or lake can increase your strength and flexibility, without putting you through the pain of high-impact movement on land.
Related: Arthritis Linked to the Ice Age
A study from The Netherlands showed that participating in 45 minutes of aquatic circuit training provided relief for patients with osteoarthritis in their knees. Grab a towel and one of those noodles and get in on the fun!
3) Reach for Natural Anti-inflammatories
If taken on a regular basis, these can be your best friends. Anti-inflammatories such as fish oil, turmeric and devil’s claw root may help alleviate your symptoms, when taken over time. Eating a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables can also contribute to your health and work to reduce inflammation. Steer clear of too many carbs and processed sugar.
4) Use Creams (the Spicy Kind)
Treating your pain with an external cream can do wonders. There are those that contain typical pain relievers such as Voltaren, but for an alternative, search for capsaicin as an ingredient. You’ll have to apply it frequently- up to about 4 times a day over weeks- but it works over time.
Capsaicin is something that’s found in hot peppers, and it works by temporarily redirecting nerve pain in your brain, so you don’t feel it.
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