How To Naturally Reduce Joint Swelling And Pain
Joints are an essential component of a healthy musculoskeletal system. They connect the bones and allow movement; they support weight and maintain balance. They are found in virtually every part of your body – in your spine, shoulders, arms, knees, feet, and more. We often take our joints for granted, until pain and inflammation strikes.
While joint swelling can be caused by both an injury, time-related and/or chronic conditions, we will be focusing on arthritis-related swelling and how you can naturally reduce inflammation. Arthritis is simply the time and chronic inflammation related destruction of joints (cartilage).
Arthritis is not a single disease but a way of classifying joint pain or joint disease. The word arthritis is from a latin derivation of the words for ‘joint’ and ‘inflamed’. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, and while it is more common in older adults, it affects the young and old alike depending on the nature of the condition. It is currently the leading cause of disability in America.
Three of the most common forms of arthritis that result in joint swelling are:
Osteoarthritis – Time-related arthritis; this is caused by the deterioration of cartilage between the joints over time. It is the most common form of arthritis. Cartilage damage occurs from exposure to chronic inflammation from diet and environment. As the cartilage is damage, inflammation occurs. Inflammation is the body’s attempt to heal the cartilage. Most people lack the ability to heal cartilage and the deterioration progresses. Over a long period of time, this inflammation and deterioration can cause harmful side effects. The side effects range from pain and stiffness to swelling and functional impairments.
Rheumatoid Arthritis – This is an autoimmune disorder characterized by inflammation in the joints. The body’s immune system attacks the membranes within your joints, causing a build-up of fluid and visibly swelling the affected joint. Pro-inflammatory proteins and molecules are released into the joint and directly damage cartilage. This causes a lot of pain within the cartilage, tendons, and ligaments of your joints.
Gout – An increase of uric acid in your bloodstream results in the deposit of uric acid crystals in joints – which leads to pain and swelling. Uric acid is something your body creates from certain foods, and typically is processed into a form that may be dissolved in your blood before exiting your body through urination. When this process is interrupted, it can form into painful, needle-like crystals in your joints. These crystals cause mechanical damage and also induce inflammation.
Use Hot And Cold Therapy – Hot compresses and warm showers can ease stiffness in the joints. Heat promotes increased blood flow; this can help stimulate a healing process. Cold compresses reduce pain and inflammation in the joints. Using both methods will help you increase your range of motion and reduce pain. Alternating cold and warm therapies is a time-honored method to treat arthritis.
Incorporate More Healing Foods In Your Diet – Turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin that may help to reduce arthritis pain by reducing inflammation throughout the body. The right fatty acids, particularly fish oil supplements, are high in omega-3s – which have been shown to reduce joint stiffness and pain. Blueberries have an abundant amount of flavonoids and ancathyocins that are known to help with arthritis.
Consider herbal supplements – There are a wide variety of herbal supplements on the market that reduce joint pain and swelling. Some include ginkgo, boswellia, and more. It is important to run new supplements by your physician to make sure they will not interact negatively with any medications or underlying conditions you have. Make sure that the physician understands herbs and herbal medicine of course.
Try incorporating CBD – CBD has proven anti-inflammatory benefits. It interacts directly with the body’s regulatory system – the endocannabinoid system – to lessen heightened levels of inflammation. It can be taken in a multivitamin, oil or topical cream. It is important to choose a trustworthy source for your CBD, especially if you take it as a multivitamin – read our Surgeon’s Guide for more information on how to choose the right CBD multivitamin for you.
For more information on how to naturally manage Arthritis pain, download our free Arthritis Guide today!
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