According to the Journal of Arthritis and Rheumatology, an estimated 27 million adults are living with osteoarthritis. Nearly 50% of seniors aged 65 and older struggle with arthritis. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage that acts as a cushion between your bones wears away, causing them to rub together painfully.
Oftentimes, the symptoms come on over the course of years, beginning as stiffness, limited mobility, and discomfort. Over time, you may lose the ability to rotate, flex or extend your knee or hip.
The most common conventional treatments for osteoarthritis are NSAID pain relievers and surgical knee or hip replacement. Habitual use of NSAID pain relievers can result in the development of stomach ulcers. Knee and hip replacement, while effective, could be risky and entail a long and difficult recovery time.
Treating your osteoarthritis hip and knee pain naturally can help avoid these risks.
Natural Treatments for Osteoarthritis
According to a study published in Physical Therapy Magazine, physical therapy has been shown to have a positive impact in reducing the risk of disability associated with osteoarthritis. Clinically-treated osteoarthritis patients achieved nearly twice as much improvement in Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) scores than patients who only exercised at home. Physical therapy helps provide pain relief, increase mobility, and preserve function.
The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (JAAOS) conducted a study, which revealed that approximately one half of cases of osteoarthritis of the knee could be eliminated if obesity was no longer a risk factor. Obesity creates a significant increase in adipose tissue, a multifunctional organ that increases inflammatory signals. When you reduce your weight, you reduce your risk for needing knee or hip replacement.
Exercise can help reduce inflammation and increase mobility. Gentle stretching, yoga, water exercises, and walking are good low-impact ways to ease your osteoarthritis symptoms without furthering discomfort.
Regular massage can help reduce the discomfort in your hip and knee. Massage encourages lymphatic drainage, which helps detoxify your body. This helps reduce overall inflammation and improves your circulation. This natural practice also gives you a relaxed feeling of well-being.
Heat and ice therapy can help reduce pain and inflammation as well as help improve your circulation. When pain is accompanied by swelling, use ice 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Once discomfort decreases, gently exercise the area. Afterward, apply heat; 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.
A junk-food diet increases inflammation and can worsen your symptoms over time. Instead, slowly wean yourself off these foods and increase your intake of anti-inflammatory foods such as organic vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, poultry, fish, coconut oil, avocado, and walnut.
A study published by The Lancet hailed glucosamine as a “disease-modifying agent” in osteoarthritis. This is because it acts as a building block for mucopolysaccharides (MPSs), which are the major components of cartilage.
The Journal of Orthopedic Research showed that N-acetylcysteine (NAC) can help ease osteoarthritis by preventing cellular death and cartilage degeneration. NAC contains high levels of sulfur, which helps fight free radical damage.
Vitamin C has also been shown to help ease osteoarthritis symptoms naturally because of its strong antioxidant content and its ability to help build collagen.
If you’re struggling with the pain of osteoarthritis, turn to these natural remedies. They may help greatly improve your quality of life.
Written by: Jaime Heidel, FizzNiche Staff Writer