Arthritis is a term given for a group of conditions that cause muscle, joint and inflammation pain and stiffness throughout the body. Doctors traditionally tend to treat the pain associated with Arthritis with anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers however an alternative treatment approach to pain relief is becoming increasingly popular.
How to treat arthritis in the elderly?
Arthritic pain can change from day to day and is a condition which is prone to ‘flare up’s’ although there is no common cure for arthritis there are ways in which the pain can be alleviated. For the elderly this can sometimes be more difficult. Often prescribed medication will be offered however in the elderly this may need to be reviewed on a regular basis and can have more negative effects on the body. Simple everyday changes can be put into place to help the elderly person suffering from these arthritic conditions these things include making sure they get plenty of rest when needed, simple exercise movements such as circling their arms, ankles and wrists and extending their knees and elbows can help prevent the joints from stiffening up. If able, regular small walks can help keep the muscles and joints active and reduce swelling and inflammation. Other alternative treatments are applying natural topical creams to the affected area, applying hot and cold therapy to the joints and helping the elderly out with tasks such as housework, gardening and shopping that maybe difficult due to having arthritis.
Can arthritis be cured naturally?
According to the centre of Disease control and prevention (https://www.cdc.gov/) there are many different types of arthritis and there is no cure for most types. However they say that ‘early diagnosis and the correct management are important’ this especially applies to those inflammatory types of arthritis.
Following guidelines such as maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet with the right fatty acids, taking regular exercise and using natural arthritis therapies can help to slow down the progress of arthritis and make a difference in pain and joint damage.
There are many ways in which you can help relieve the symptoms and pain of Arthritis naturally, please see some listed below which we think can benefit YOU.
Maintain a healthy weight
Your weight can have a huge impact on how arthritis is affected within your body and the pain you may experience from this. Extra weight will cause more pressure on your joints especially on the areas which are prone to a flare up such as hips, knees and feet.
Maintaining a healthy weight will help reduce any stress on your joints and therefore your mobility will be improved and pain decreased, this will also help prevent any future strain or damage on your joints.
Physical activity is extremely important for joint health and from this it can actually help treat arthritis. Exercise is beneficial for strengthening the muscles around the joint and can offer added support and less strain. When looking to help treat arthritis generalised movement can help on a daily basis but other activities such as taking a brisk walk, aerobic exercise such as swimming, jogging and daily stretches help to improve a range of motion and flexibility.
Hot and Cold Therapy
Simple hot and cold treatments are an effective and easy way to help relieve the symptoms associated with arthritis. Warm showers or baths help to ease the stiffness in your joints, especially in the morning before going about your daily routine. The added help of such things like a hot water bottle or heated blankets can also help to keep your joints loose.
Cold treatments are best used for relieving swelling and inflammation around the joints. An ice pack or similar wrapped in a towel and applied to the required area for a short period of time (20 minutes) gives quick pain relief.
Regular massaging of arthritic joints can help reduce pain and stiffness of the area and improve your flexibility as well and allowing regular blood flow to circulate around the area and therefore keeping that area healthy. Learn self-massage techniques to use on a regular basis or book regular appointments with a trained therapist.
Getting the correct Fatty Acids in your diet
Omega 3 fatty acids are needed in everyone’s diet to help create optimum health. These fats are also a key element to help with arthritis as they help lower inflammation and have other health benefits such as regulating the immune system. Omega 3 fatty acids can be sourced from foods such as nuts, seeds, fish (Salmon, Tuna and Sardines). Omega 3 is also available to buy as a natural supplement.
For thousands of years essential oils have been used for their anti-inflammatory properties and have shown huge benefits in helping relieve the pain related to arthritic flare ups.
Essential oils and their components are rapidly absorbed through the skin and therefore reach the muscles and joints a lot sooner than some other topical creams. Some of the more beneficial essential oils that have been used for the treatment of arthritis include ginger, turmeric, lavender, eucalyptus, Rosemary and chamomile.
Meditation and mindfulness
Mindfulness meditation is a form of meditation in which people try and focus their attention on their feelings and what their body is experiencing at that present moment. Studies have shown that by actively involving meditation into your daily life can help improve your immune system and reduce disease activity. Those who have practiced meditation have shown a reduction in pain, early morning stiffness and reduced swollen and tender joints.
Deep Breathing Technique
Taking slow breaths in and out can help calm and relax the stress receptors within your body that tighten muscles and potentially make pain worse. When you focus on a deep breathing technique this allows you to take your brain away from the thoughts of pain within your body.
What are the best natural pain relievers for severe arthritis?
Treating severe arthritis naturally can be a bit of a mind field, determining which natural remedies work for you depends on the individual and what is required. For many the application of natural topical creams which contain ingredients such as essential oils that offer anti-inflammatory relief are suitable to help relieve the pain, however for those suffering from immense pain, treatments such as physical therapy, acupuncture and electrical nerve stimulation maybe be needed and offered in courses.
Best natural over the counter arthritis medication
There are a vast range of medications, topical creams and other remedies available on today’s market. Many arthritis suffers turn to prescribed and shop bought medications for quick and effective pain relief, however it has been proven that continuously using these forms of medication and topical creams leads to added negative effect to our bodies.
Natural alternatives are now widely being used to help ease arthritic pain and can be bought from more high street health stores and chemists. Supplements such as glucosamine, omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin D are regularly bought as they help keep the body health and promote healthy bones. Other natural arthritis treatments include topical gels and creams which often include essential oils such as lavender, rosemary, lemongrass and eucalyptus which hold anti-inflammatory properties and oils such as fish oil, emu oil, turmeric oil and coconut oil are also being used for their health benefits.
Arthritis knee treatment?
Arthritis within the knee joints is one of the most common forms of arthritis and is referred to as Osteoarthritis. A joint is a part of your body where two or more bones meet – in your knee, it is the thigh and shin bone. There is also a small bone at the front of the knee called the patella otherwise known as the kneecap. There are many treatments which can be used to help with arthritic knees some of which simply involve a change of lifestyle – Maintaining a healthy diet will help prevent any extra strain on the joints and exercise will continue to strengthen the muscles around the knee and make the joints more stable which in turn will decrease the pain.
Other treatments include
Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medicines – Although using these can help prolong the period without pain they also come with negative downsides and increase other side effects on our bodies. Natural anti-inflammatory topical products are an alternative and can be used more regularly then taking prescribed or shop bought medications. The use of essential oils which have powerful anti-inflammatory properties have also been used for treatment for arthritic joints.
Massage and physio therapy is often used to ease arthritis in knee joints. Daily self-massage techniques can be used around the knee area and have positive effects in preventing further pain and inflammation. Visiting a physiotherapist can also help prevent and prolong further arthritic flare up’s. The use of ultrasound frequency and non-invasive treatment if often used over a period of weeks.
In summary, to help treat arthritis in the elderly naturally with alternative treatments you can try out the following points.
- Maintain a health weight
- Staying active
- A mixture of hot & cold therapy
- Massage therapy
- Balanced diet, including the correct fatty acids
- Essential oils
- Meditation & mindfulness
- Focusing on your breathing