3 Popular Natural Remedies for Combating Arthritis

3 Popular Natural Remedies for Combating Arthritis

By Arthritis Connect StaffCA Published at May 16, 2016 Views 9,426 Comments 4

Arthritis is commonly treated with one of three main approaches, according to the Arthritis Foundation. There are disease-specific medications, like corticosteroids and biologic response modifiers, that address aches and pains. If those drug therapies aren’t effective, then surgery to correct the joints is often recommended. Increasingly, though, people are turning to a third option—natural remedies. They claim to offer relief with few side effects. Here are three popular natural arthritis treatments that have shown promise in research.

1. Aloe
The aloe vera plant has been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of ailments and afflictions. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, it was one of the most prescribed medicines of the 18th and 19th centuries. Aloe has displayed promise in treating arthritis, though Everyday Health notes that research is still ongoing and the evidence is somewhat anecdotal. Aloe is great at reducing inflammation, one of the major causes of arthritic pain. Plus, oral aloe may help reduce the stomach pain sometimes caused by some anti-inflammatory meds, like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, more commonly known as NSAIDs. Aloe also contains the chemical glucosamine, which may improve joint health and overall mobility.

2. Turmeric
Made from the root of the turmeric plant, this fine, yellow curry powder has been used in India and parts of Asia as both a spice and digestive aid for centuries, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Turmeric is claimed to help the body cleanse itself. It has also been used to treat bursitis, and is an increasingly popular treatment option for arthritis. Similar to aloe, turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, and may help relieve the painful soreness and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). As Livestrong points out, taking turmeric in capsule form may be best because the manufacturing process uses freeze-drying that keeps the herb fresh longer than the heat process that is used to make turmeric tablets.

3. Acupuncture
Not every natural remedy involves a plant. Since ancient times in China, acupuncture—inserting precisely placed needles into the body—has been used to help correct what its followers call an "energy imbalance." It’s used for a wide variety of conditions like headaches, back pain, and even anxiety. Several studies suggest acupuncture may help treat arthritis too. For instance, a study published in Family and Community Health and reported on PubMed found that most participants with knee osteoarthritis benefited greatly from just 15 sessions. Also, another study from China, also on PubMed, found that acupuncture and electroacupuncture together significantly reduced tenderness over a 10-week period.

Acupuncture may reduce soreness in people with osteoarthritis.

Before you begin any natural remedy, be sure to consult with your physician. He or she can help you choose the best options and make sure they won’t interfere with medicines you take or other treatments.

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