Joint pain is typically the result of inflammation in the joints. When there are damaged cells (like after you exercise) or pathogens (when you are sick), the body starts its healing process to remove the harmful objects. When there is something harmful or irritating in your body, a natural response is joint pain or inflammation. Often, when you see your doctor about your joint pain, you will likely be handed a prescription immediately for an anti-inflammatory medication. Although they work well, they can negatively impact the way your body naturally fights things like infections, and for some people, they just don’t sit well with them. If you are one of these people and you are looking for natural ways to relieve joint pain, keep reading.
How Can You Tell If You Have Inflammation?
Here are some of the readily noticeable symptoms caused by inflammation:
- The affected area becomes painful when touched. Normally due to certain chemicals are being released from the nerve endings, which is an indicator that the particular area is more sensitive than the other parts.
- The inflamed area becomes red, because the capillaries of the infected area are filled with more blood.
- The painful area feels warmer to the touch, due to the increase in blood flow.
- The injured/painful area experiences swelling because of all the fluids collected there.
4 Natural Ways to Relieve Joint Pain & Inflammation
As we mentioned, inflammation is a normal response for the body, but sometimes it can get a bit out of hand and at times, very painful. The good news is that there are ways to treat the inflammation without taking expensive medication, which can take a long term toll on your kidneys and liver.
1. Try Cold Therapy With Compression
Applying something cold to a particularly sensitive area, for example ice, can help with inflammation by reducing blood flow in the area. Keep re-applying it several times throughout the day to get some relief. You can use ice-bags, ice baths or cold therapy wraps if you want to tackle a specific part of the body, such as the knee, elbow, etc. You can also compress the affected area. Many studies have been done on the subject of compression and cold therapy and it’s been proven that the compression increases the effectiveness of the cold therapy when both are combine. The benefit of cold therapy compression wraps, such as the ones we offer, is that they are more effective because they are designed to contour specific joints that you may have problems with.
Acupuncture can help reduce joint pain when completed by a licensed acupuncturist. Having good health is contingent upon having a smooth flow of energy (also known as qi) through said meridians. Whenever this flow is blocked it can result in pain and/or illness. Acupuncture will restore the flow by inserting tin needles at specific points along your meridians. When this happens it gradually restores the flow of your qi to normal. The needles used in acupuncture are flexible and thin which means they are virtually pain free when they are inserted. Treatment sessions using acupuncture last between twenty and thirty minutes. The process is relaxing and pleasant for patients.
3. Get a Massage
Massages on your joints can reduce the stiffness and improve range of motion. If you work with a physical therapist regularly or a massage therapist regularly you can enjoy long term pain relief. Try to find someone who regularly works with people who suffer from joint pain, or ask your doctor to give you a recommendation.
4. Change Your Diet and Add an Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie In the Mix
There are several things you can do to your existing diet to help with inflammation. The first thing you can do is try adding fatty acids to your diet. Avocados are not only a great source of omega-3 fatty acid, as is salmon. Fish oil supplements are an alternative for those who do not want to add it through diet. They all help to reduce joint pain and stiffness. The second thing you can do is to incorporate foods that reduce inflammation. Here are some great examples of easy things you can add to your existing diet that can help with inflammation:
- Cayenne Pepper – Contains capsaicin, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory that reduces pain and heat related to inflammation.
- Celery – Has more than a dozen anti-inflammatory compounds including a powerful item called apigenin.
- Ginger – Has the same anti-inflammatory properties as Advil or Tylenol.
- Fish – Can suppress compounds called cytokines, responsible for inflaming your joints.
- Flax seeds or oil – These have a high dose of anti-inflammatory properties.
- Turmeric – Often used in Indian dishes, can reduce inflammation. For additional information – 10 Health Benefits and Uses for Turmeric Curcumin Supplements
- Chia seeds – In terms of inflammation, chia seeds are wonderful in their ability to use their hard-to-find high omega-three fatty acids to lower the amount of inflammation that you are having. This is a great way to make sure that you are ingesting enough omega-three fatty acids as well.
- Spinach – Due to its high amount of magnesium, spinach is a superfood for dealing with inflammation. Since those with chronic inflammation are known for having low levels of magnesium, this can help balance it out.
- Probiotics – We know all about probiotics for their health benefits, and the same is to be said in relation to their help with inflammation. Since these healthy bacteria will help your gut stay in check and moderate the “bad bacteria”, your inflammation will be reduced as a side effect.
- Cinnamon – A delicious way to deal with inflammation, cinnamon is helpful in reducing the level of inflammatory molecules that can occur in the body.
- Mango – High in Vitamin A and C, this fruit is fantastic for fighting inflammation due to its dual power of reducing inflammation as it comes into your body. Think of it like a body guard to your inflammation levels.
- Berries – Packed with flavonoids, berries are great ways for you to enjoy a reduction of inflammation. You can use blueberries, raspberries and more. Use alone, or combined together for a great taste to boot.
Bonus – A Sample Anti-Inflammation Smoothie Recipe
The good news is that you don’t need to use all of the ingredients listed above. Have a look at the sample recipe below and then tweak it however you want:
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened flax milk
- 1/2 cup frozen mango
- 1/2 cup fresh papaya
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger root
- 1/2 inch fresh turmeric root
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 Tbsp flax seeds
- 1 scoop L-Glutamine powder (optional)
- 1/4 tsp probiotic powder
- Place the flax milk in the blender first and then add the remaining ingredients.
- If you have a Vitamix or other high-speed blender, you will not need to grind the nuts or seeds prior. If you do not have a powerful blender, I recommend grinding the nuts and seeds in a coffee grinder before placing them in the blender.
We hope that this gives you a better idea on the more natural ways to relieve joint pain. Have you had any success with these or other methods? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Just use the comment box below to leave us your feedback. If you are looking for other useful information on joint pain, visit our Blog. Until next time!