11 home remedies for joint pain
Joint pain can be really debilitating and it is a pain that can stop you from living a normal, functioning life. It is understandable that you might not want to keep self-medicating with over the counter anti-inflammatory and analgesics. Of course, any severe joint pain should be taken seriously, and it is always advisable to be seen by a medical professional, particularly if you have had it for a prolonged period of time.
If it is appropriate to self-manage your pain, help is at hand, and there are a lot of natural home remedies that you can try that can really help you to manage your pain and help you to move around freely again.
Hot and cold compress
Instead of just trying one or the other, make use of both hot and cold compresses by alternating them to really help ease any joint pain that you might be suffering. This is because they work in different ways. Heat therapy will help to decrease pain, increase blood flow and relax sore muscles and joints, whereby cold compresses will help to reduce inflammation and numb any areas of pain around the affected joint.
It is important that this is done correctly for you to get the most out of this home remedy.
Start by wrapping both compresses in two separate towels, and place the hot compress on the affected area for approximately three minutes. After this time, remove the hot compress and immediately put a cold compress in its place for approximately one minute.
Repeat this process for 15 to 20 minutes in total, a few times a day, before you get good relief.
There are times when this is not advisable. Do not use heat therapy if the affected area is red, hot and irritated, and do not use cold therapy if you have any circulatory problems.
Turmeric is a brilliant natural remedy for joint pain. This is because it contains curcumin, which has great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
A study back in 2009, which was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, found that curcumin was actually as effective as ibuprofen for pain relief in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
It is so easy to make this remedy at home as well. All you have to do is mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder with a little honey in a glass of warm milk. This should be drunk daily for a few days for you to begin to see any relief.
If you don’t fancy drinking milk every day, there is another option, and this is to take 250-500mg turmeric capsules three times a day until you start to see the results.
Like with all remedies, it is always advisable to contact your doctor before taking turmeric as a joint pain relief. This is especially important as this ingredient has been known to interfere with different medications, including blood thinners, and has been known to worsen gallbladder problems.
Apple cider vinegar
We have often spoken about the natural healing properties of apple cider vinegar, so it is really no surprise that it can also be used to help relieve joint pain as well.
It works in a really clever way, by eliminating accumulated toxins from the joints and the connective tissues. It has a particularly alkalising effect, which can make it really great for those who are suffering from arthritis.
It is also packed full of minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
To use apple cider vinegar effectively, simply mix one to three teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with a little honey in a cup of warm water. You should aim to drink this solution at least two or three times a day, preferably before meals.
This is fantastic for long-term relief of joint pain, as regular use will also help boost your overall health. If you want a more direct pain relief, you can mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with one tablespoon of olive oil and massage into the affected area. You should be doing this daily until you have relief from your pain.
Cayenne pepper has great pain relieving properties thanks to a compound capsaicin which is found in it.
Scientific studies have suggested that applying a gel that contains 0.0125% of capsaicin helped to relieve mild to moderate pain in women who were suffering from knee osteoarthritis.
If you think that this might work for you, heat up one-half cup of coconut oil and mix in two tablespoons of cayenne pepper powder. Apply this oil to the affected area and leave for twenty minutes. The oil should then be washed off of your skin, but it is safe to use a few times a day until you feel relief from pain.
Alternatively, you can actually purchase a capsaicin cream that can be applied directly to the area.
Because it is a pepper, it should never be applied to the broken or open skin or used on any wounds, and be aware that it can initially cause a burning sensation when applied to the skin.
Epsom bath salts
These are a very traditional remedy, but one that has proven to be very effective in helping to deal with joint pain.
Bathing in Epsom salts will facilitate easy absorption of magnesium through the skin, and low magnesium levels are often associated with low levels of magnesium. Magnesium can also help to reduce any inflammation and aid in detoxification of cells.
It is so simple to prepare. Mix two cups of Epsom salt in a warm bath, before soaking in it for approximately twenty minutes. This should be repeated three times a week until you get relief from joint pain.
This is a bit of a smelly one, but garlic is really rich in sulphur and selenium and is really beneficial to those who are suffering from arthritis and joint pain. Research suggests that sulphur is really effective at relieving joint pain and inflammation, and selenium might have an antirheumatic effect. Patients who have been diagnosed with arthritis tend to have lower levels of selenium in the blood.
There are so many ways in which you can include more garlic in your diet. It is safe to consume two or three garlic cloves every day and this can be either raw or cooked. You can also make a topical ointment by frying two garlic cloves in two tablespoons of mustard or sesame oil. When the garlic cloves turn black, take off the heat, and strain the oil. Once the oil has cooled, you can then massage it directly onto the skin around the affected area. Leave it on for approximately three hours, before washing it off. This should be done twice a day until you start to see an improvement.
If you want a remedy without the smell, you can also consider taking garlic supplements, which are often odourless; however, it is very important to follow the directions on the label.
Next time you go walking in the countryside, do not avoid the stinging nettles. Studies have suggested that the stinging nettle can be a useful aid when dealing with joint pain, without you experiencing any major side effects like some medication can cause.
The reason as to why stinging nettles can help to alleviate pain is not known, but it is thought to contain active compounds that can help to reduce any inflammation. It is very rich in boron, which is a mineral required for healthy bones and joints.
To use stinging nettles effectively for this type of pain, steep two to three teaspoons of dried nettle leaves in a cup of hot water for ten to fifteen minutes. The tea can then be strained and drunk up to three times a day, or until you can begin to see positive results.
Alternatively, you can place fresh nettle leaves onto the affected area for approximately 30 seconds. It should be noted that this will initially cause discomfort, hence the name, but will, in the long run, take the pain away.
Be mindful of this remedy, as stinging nettles can interfere with some medications, such as blood thinners, blood pressure medication, as well as heart and diabetes medications.
This remedy is aimed at those who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, but acupuncture, an ancient Chinese medical treatment that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on your body, can actually help to reroute energies and restore the balance in your body, helping to relieve the pain associated with this condition.
It is the most researched complementary therapy, recommended by the World Health Organisation for the treatment of over 100 different conditions.
Whilst it is thought that acupuncture can be really effective at reducing the pain, but it is so important to find a licensed and certified acupuncturist that can do this for you.
Although this is strictly speaking not a home remedy, it is an alternative to medication.
Fatty acids are essential to your diet and can be really effective at helping with all different sorts of health complaints. Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to really help with joint pain, and the pain associated with arthritis, and fish oil supplements have been shown to reduce stiffness and pain, thanks to their high omega-3 content.
A lesser-known fatty acid that is also really effective is gamma-linolenic acid, also referred to as GLA. It can be found in the seeds of different plants and fruits and can be purchased as a supplement, but it is important, like with any supplements you chose to take that you check with your doctor first.
Exercise can seem like the absolute last thing that you would want to be doing if you are suffering from joint and muscle pain; however, stiff joints are often caused by inactivity. Moving and exercising the joints and muscles can help to strengthen and stretch them, which can improve the circulation and reduce the pain.
The theory behind this is that the stronger your muscles and joints become, you will have a much better chance of managing the pain and staying active. It will also help to prevent weight gain, which can then add pressure to the joints.
We’re not talking about high impact exercises, activities like swimming, water aerobics, cycling, walking and yoga are all really effective at strengthening the joints. We’re not talking about having to do hours of exercise to see the benefits; doing a burst of training will really help, and will fit in with the lifestyles of people with little time.
It might be helpful to wear a brace or support around a painful joint to help get you started when it comes to exercising; however, it is important that you get the right type of support, so it is advisable to speak to a doctor or physiotherapist for advice on these.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin sulphate
Both glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate, which are found in human cartilage are both really effective and popular at treading the pain and swelling that is associated with joint problems, such as osteoarthritis.
Although, like a lot of natural supplements, there is a lot of speculation surrounding their effectiveness. Recent research carried out in 2015, suggests that the combination of the two supplements significantly helped to reduce pain and improve functioning in people with osteoarthritis of the knee.
Although just like with all supplements, you should speak to your doctor before taking them, there are not known to be any bad side effects or interactions with other medications, so it might be something to consider if you are self-managing your joint and muscle pain.