How to Ease Arthritis with Alternative Medicine

Here you can get How to Ease Arthritis with Alternative Medicine. The most common symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which doctors often treat with a mixture of medications, physical therapy, or surgery.

Although there’s little evidence to support it, combining medicine together with your other treatments may improve your arthritis symptoms. You’ll ease arthritis with medicine by taking supplements and herbs and using different therapies like massage or acupuncture.

Table of Contents

Dietary and Botanical Supplements

Fish oil.

When working with an RA population, fish oil is perhaps the foremost frequently mentioned supplement. The quality western diet contains a low proportion of omega-3 type essential fatty acids (EFAs), which are said to possess anti-inflammatory properties. Two EFAs in fish oil are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The body can actually convert EPA to DHA, but individuals vary with reference to the efficiency of that conversion. EPA and DHA also can be found in vegetable sources, like flax and algae, respectively.

During a report by the National Center for Complementary and medicine (NCCAM) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it had been concluded that evidence for the utilization of fish oil (or other omega-3 supplements) for the treatment of RA is promising, as a result of several laboratory, animal and clinical studies (4). Some effect has been noted for symptoms like tender joints, morning stiffness and use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). What’s uncertain, however, is what proportion of this effect is placebo, as results from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are inconsistent.

Glucosamine and chondroitin.

These are two different substances that are often combined in supplement form. Both are usually isolated from shellfish, but are naturally found in human joint tissue. Both are commonly used for osteoarthritis (OA), which may be a degenerative sort of arthritis with a really different etiology from RA. While these supplements have shown anti-inflammatory effects in animals, clinical trials have only been conducted in OA. These are quite inconsistent and controversial, with some finding improvements on X-ray, others finding improvements in symptoms only, and still others finding no effect (6;7). There’s no evidence in the least, however, that these supplements would be helpful for RA patients.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are generally safe, however, they might pose risk for those with asthma, diabetes, blood clotting disorders, or shellfish allergies. Some mild GI symptoms may occur as well.

Tumeric, ginger, valerian. These are three supplements that are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. Tumeric, which contains circumin, has been associated with decreased inflammation in animals, and one small, double-blind crossover trial found improvements in walking time, swelling and morning stiffness in RA (8). One small trial found that a ginger supplement was associated with decreased pain and discomfort for patients with RA (9). Valerian root is commonly used as a sleep aid, due to its relaxing properties. Because poor sleep is common among RA patients, valerian may be helpful. However, there is no research evidence of its efficacy for this population. Valerian should not be combined with sedatives or other sleep aids (4).

Special Diets

The composition of an individual’s diet are often a crucial aspect of health promotion, barring the complications of a chronic condition. For those with a diagnosis of RA, dietary choices may have added significance for a spread of reasons:

  • It’s going to be harder to eat a well-balanced diet
  • drug therapy may change nutrient absorption
  • foods perceived as allergens may contribute to inflammation. All individuals, and particularly those with RA, should make efforts to consume a well-balanced diet, filled with nutrient-dense foods and limited to additives and processed foods. However, some special diets are investigated specifically for his or her potential to assist patients with RA.


Fasting for a quick period may bring some relief of symptoms for patients with RA, possibly thanks to the elimination of some foods that are perceived as allergens (10). These effects aren’t necessarily long-lasting, however, and symptoms may return when patients return to a traditional diet (11). Fasting could also be dangerous for a few patients, and will never be done without close medical supervision. If a traditional diet isn’t resumed, but sensitive foods are eliminated, effects could also be longer lasting. There appears to be a subset of RA patients who are sensitive to certain foods, and for whom eliminating these foods can have beneficial effects (12). It should be noted, however, that there are not any scientific data supporting the concept that RA is caused by allergies to foods or to other substances.


Several European trials have examined the efficacy of vegan (no animal products at all) or vegetarian (includes eggs and dairy) diets for RA patients, sometimes following a period of fasting. These trials have shown some benefits, including less inflammation, lower disease activity, reduced pain and stiffness. These diets aren’t always well-tolerated, however, leading to a high drop-out rate (13).


One RCT of a Mediterranean diet found improvements in clinical and psychological parameters in patients with RA (14). Two other observational trials are underway, and can hopefully cause more investigation during this area.

Try acupuncture

The ancient practice of acupuncture is predicated on the belief that the body has patterns of energy flow, mentioned as qi. When there’s an ailment obstructing the normal energy flow, pain will result. By inserting thin needles in specific points, the practitioner aims to re-open the pathways and restore the traditional flow of qi.

While the idea of qi has not been proven, research does suggest acupuncture may ease pain caused by osteoarthritis, particularly knee osteoarthritis.6-9 This treatment is usually safe and should even be covered by insurance. The numerous studies that support using acupuncture to treat osteoarthritis tend to be small or not neat, 10 so more research is required to know its true benefit. Like almost any nonsurgical treatment, you’ll try it and see if it works for you. A couple of sessions should be enough to make a decision.

It is generally advisable to figure with a licensed acupuncturist (LAc) who is certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

Get a massage

Limited research evidence suggests that massage therapy helps treat joint pain related to osteoarthritis11,12 also as other sorts of arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis13,14 and fibromyalgia.15 Massage is usually believed to enhance circulation and reduce muscle tension. Evidence suggests massage can also reduce blood pressure16,17 and release endorphins that potentially elevate mood and ease pain sensation.18,19

Therapeutic massage is obtainable by a spread of practitioners, including massage therapists and other licensed health professionals, like physiotherapists, physical therapists, and chiropractors. When selecting a massage therapist, make certain to seek out one who is licensed to practice in your state. You’ll also search for therapists who are board certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

Arthritic joints are often sensitive, so it’s best to figure with someone conversant in osteoarthritis.

Add turmeric to dishes

Turmeric, the yellow spice common in Indian dishes, contains a chemical called curcumin. It’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Research suggests it’s going to help reduce arthritis pain and inflammation. In an animal study that the National Center for Complementary and Integrative HealthTrusted Source cited, scientists gave turmeric to rats. Results showed that it reduced inflammation in their joints.

More research is required to point out how turmeric works, but adding a little amount of this mild, but tasty spice to your dinner is likely to be a secure option.

Use meditation to cope with pain

Meditation and relaxation techniques may help reduce the pain of arthritis by lowering stress and enabling you to deal with it better. Reducing stress can also help lower inflammation and pain. The ACR/AF recommend t’ai chi and yoga. These combine meditation, relaxation, and breathing techniques with low-impact exercise.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), studies have found that practicing mindfulness meditation is useful for a few people with RA. Anxiety, stress, and depression are all common complications of conditions that involve chronic pain, like arthritis.

Use hot and cold therapy

Heat and cold treatments can help relieve arthritis pain and inflammation.

  • Heat treatments can include taking an extended, warm shower or bath within the morning to assist ease stiffness, and using an electric blanket or moist hot pad to scale back discomfort overnight.
  • Cold treatments can help relieve joint pain, swelling, and inflammation. Wrap a gel ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables during a towel and apply it to painful joints for quick relief. Never apply ice on to the skin.
  • Capsaicin, which comes from chili peppers, may be a component of some topical ointments and creams that you simply can purchase over the counter. These products provide warmth which will soothe joint pain.

Practice tai chi

Like physical therapy, t’ai chi has been shown to decrease joint pain and stiffness and improve function in people that have knee arthritis.23,24 This mind-body practice has Chinese origins and involves:

  • Using slow, deliberate movements to transition between specific poses
  • Breathing that’s coordinated with movement
  • Engaging mental focus and relaxation techniques

Evidence suggests t’ai chi also improves balance, a crucial benefit for people that have arthritis and are in danger of falls. T’ai chi is considered safe for nearly everyone—it can even be adapted to do while sitting.

Another mind-body practice of Chinese origin, Qi gong, has not been also studied as t’ai chi but may offer similar relief from osteoarthritis symptoms

How to Ease Arthritis with Alternative Medicine

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