Arthritis refers to inflammation in one or more joints, often characterized by extreme discomfort, pain and stiffness. If not properly diagnosed and treated, it’s likely the condition will worsen at a quicker rate.
Although common among seniors, arthritis can affect those of all ages. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year from 2013 to 2015, about 54.4 million American adults were “told by a doctor that they had some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia.” These numbers are expected to increase, with the CDC estimating “78 million (26%) U.S. adults ages 18 years or older” will be doctor-diagnosed with arthritis by the year 2040.
While some arthritis sufferers opt to seek prescribed pain medications from their medical provider, others prefer a holistic health route to address their condition. Consider these natural treatments for arthritis:
Chiropractic care is a great treatment option for those with osteoarthritis, which the CDC notes is the most common form of arthritis. According to the nonprofit Arthritis Foundation, there are several adjustment techniques a chiropractor can use on someone with arthritis, including: electrotherapy, low-level laser and infrared sauna.
However, those with active swelling in their joints or who have been diagnosed with inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, or ankylosing spondylitis, are especially encouraged to consult with their trusted health care provider prior to starting any treatments.
According to a 2017 study shared by science news source ScienceDaily, evidence suggests acupuncture as a cost-effective way to help people suffering from a wide range of chronic pain, as well as depression. The study, which included about 18,000 participants with diagnosed chronic pain in their necks, lower backs, heads and/or knee, concluded that holistic therapy "reduced the pain and disability of osteoarthritis, which led to patients being less reliant on anti-inflammatory tablets to control pain." Participants also experienced a decrease in discomfort caused by head and neck pain, reducing headache and migraine frequency.
Exercise is beneficial for everybody’s health, however, for those with arthritis, particularly rheumatoid arthritis (RA), going to physical therapy may be a better alternative to staying active, as opposed to going to the gym for grueling workouts that may seem impossible with their condition.
According to an April 2017 article in U.S. News & World Report, visiting a physical therapist who specializes in treating those with RA would be more productive. Such a specialist will walk you through specific exercises designed to help increase mobility and strength in affected joints, as well as alleviate pain.
Trigger Point Therapy
The purpose of trigger point therapy is to help manage joint and muscle pain, making it a potentially ideal natural treatment for arthritis. During an appointment, a trigger point therapist injects a small amount of lidocaine into the injured area of the body for near-instant relief.
The practice of homeopathy first began in the late 18th century. Those who embrace this alternative holistic treatment believe the cause of someone’s illness or symptoms could also be the remedy. There are some homeopathic remedies aimed to lessen the amount of pain caused by osteoarthritis. Evidence shown by Arthritis Research UK, a medical research charity, exemplifies how some people with this condition in their knees and hips experienced some relief following such treatment.
To learn about what natural treatments for arthritis would be most beneficial for you, consult with experienced practitioners at a trusted health and wellness center. Some wellness centers offer recovery programs specifically for people with spine and joint issues, such as arthritis.