Arthritis can be scary. It’s painful, inhibiting, and, as of late, it has no cure. However, that doesn’t mean that sufferers have to stand idly by and deal with the pain on their own. There are a multitude of ways to handle arthritis pain - and from conventional methods to natural relief, we’re going to cover all of it. After all, the best way to combat arthritis pain is through research, education, patience, and help!
Whether you’re a sufferer of arthritis, know someone with this disease, or are just curious about it, read on. We’re going to go over the definition, different types, symptoms, causes, and the copious ways that one can find relief when handling joint inflammation (from supplements to surgery to sleeves)!
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
What is Arthritis?
We’ll start off by saying that arthritis is a common medical condition that affects millions of people around the world. It is predominantly known for causing inflammation and pain in the joints, getting worse over time. There are many different types of arthritis, but the most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Here’s a little more detail on what exactly differentiates these two types:
The Most Common Types of Arthritis
Osteoarthritis: the most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis is often referred to as "wear and tear" arthritis. This condition occurs when the cartilage in the joints begins to break down, causing the bones to rub against each other. As you might imagine, this can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in the affected joint. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, but it is most commonly found in the knees, hips, and hands. It most commonly affects older people.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: As an autoimmune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis is a much more severe disease. If you’re not clear on what autoimmune disorders are, it essentially means that the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the joints, causing inflammation and pain. Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause damage to other parts of the body, such as the lungs, heart, and blood vessels. This disease is prevalent in older people but is known to affect younger people as well.
Not sure if you’re dealing with arthritis? We always recommend reaching out to a doctor, but here is a baseline rundown of the most common symptoms:
Pain in the joints
Stiffness in the joints
Swelling in the joints
Difficulty moving the joints
How is Arthritis Diagnosed?
Arthritis can be diagnosed through a variety of tests, including blood tests, X-rays, and physical exams. If you’re dealing with any or all of the issues listed above, contact your doctor primary care physician immediately to discuss the next steps.
Genetic predisposition: Unfortunately in some cases, arthritis may be unavoidable if it runs in your genes. It doesn’t guarantee a diagnosis, but it raises the chances of arthritis development.
Age: The chance of developing any type of arthritis increases with age (60 and above).
Gender: Even your gender can affect your diagnosis. Women are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, while men are more likely to develop gout.
Obesity: Excess weight puts stress on the joints, particularly your spine, hips, and knees.
Joint injury: If you’ve ever played a sport and injured a joint (or injured it on your own time), you are more likely to develop arthritis issues.
How is Arthritis Treated?
We’ve got the truth, now let’s get into the treatment! While there is no cure for arthritis, there are various natural and conventional treatments that can help manage its symptoms and improve your overall quality of life. Combining both natural and conventional approaches can often provide the best results in the treatment of arthritis - so we’ve provided them both!
Let’s start with the most common methods of arthritis pain relief. These methods are the most typical options, but more often than not require outside assistance and money. Again, we recommend asking your doctor first before finding the right treatment for you.
Joint Replacement Surgery
Even though we’re starting here first, it is often the last resort. Joint replacement surgery is typically only utilized if nonsurgical treatments have been exhausted, but the pain still persists. It requires a lot of preparation and planning!
Physical therapy can be an effective alternative for managing arthritis pain. Many physical therapists will design a personalized exercise program to help reduce pain and stiffness, improve range of motion, and increase flexibility and strength. Their custom program will be catered to your needs and may include things like walking or cycling, as well as targeted exercises to strengthen specific muscles that support the joints affected by arthritis.
Healthy Diet and Weight Loss
An unhealthy diet is already rough, but adding extra weight puts additional pressure on the joints, leading to more pain and inflammation. Alternatively, a healthy diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, can help alleviate arthritis pain by reducing inflammation in the body! Losing even a small amount of weight can make a significant difference in reducing arthritis pain, and incorporating regular exercise can further improve joint health.
Speaking of which….
Exercise can help reduce arthritis pain by strengthening the muscles around the affected joint and improving joint mobility. Low-impact exercises such as swimming, yoga, and walking are good options for people with arthritis. Before starting an exercise program, it is important to talk to your doctor to ensure that it is safe for you.
Natural Pain Relief Methods
While there are medications available to treat arthritis pain, some people prefer natural remedies that can help reduce inflammation and improve joint mobility. Let’s get into some of those!
We’ll start with our favorite option! Compression therapy is all about the use of compression wearables or wraps to apply pressure to specific areas of the body, which can help to reduce swelling and improve circulation. People have been using this technique for years to treat a variety of conditions, including lymphedema, venous insufficiency, and sports injuries.
Compression therapy works by applying pressure to the affected area, which helps to reduce swelling and inflammation. This pressure can also improve circulation, which can help to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the affected joint, promoting healing and reducing pain.
How do Arthritis Gloves Work? Our copper-infused gloves have proven to be an exceptional way to get your life back on track. By improving circulation to the affected joint, these gloves can help to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the area, which can promote healing and reduce inflammation. They’ve got a non-slip grip, moisture-wicking breathability, and copper-infused fabric to help prevent bacteria growth and odor. In short, these gloves are perfect for those looking to get their mobility back, without any invasive procedures. (We also have a bunch of other compression wearables for your knees, ankles, feet, shoulder, and more - click here to see them all!)
Needles! They’re freaky at first, but pretty effective. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate healing. Some studies have shown that acupuncture can help reduce arthritis pain and improve joint function!
Hot and Cold Therapy
Hot and cold therapy can help reduce arthritis pain and inflammation and is often used by physical therapists. Applying a hot compress to the affected joint can help increase blood flow and reduce stiffness, while a cold compress can help reduce inflammation and numb the pain.
Last but not least, a good ol’ massage. This can help reduce arthritis pain by increasing blood flow to the affected area and reducing muscle tension. A trained massage therapist can use techniques such as deep tissue massage and Swedish massage to help reduce pain and stiffness!
We hope this helps you to understand that there are many natural ways to treat arthritis pain. While these remedies may not work for everyone, they are generally safe and can be used in conjunction with traditional treatments. As a final reminder, if you are experiencing arthritis pain, it is important to talk to your doctor to determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs! If you’re looking for more info, tidbits, trends, and deals, check out our website and blog!
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