Your body is an amazing machine, but like any machine it can break. That causes illness or injury. Body aches are frequent when you’re working out, especially at first, but deep pain from arthritis isn’t. It can cause anyone to recoil at the thought of working out, which actually only makes pain worse. You don’t have to reach for a prescription or over-the-counter pain reliever. You can get pain relief from arthritis naturally.
Start with moderate exercise.
I think most health care professionals agree that exercise is a great pain reliever. Not only does it kick the body’s natural pain killing hormones into gear, it also reduces the stiffness and strengthens muscle tissue in the process. It helps you lose weight, which can relieve the pressure on knee and hip joints, improves your balance and bone strength. You’ll even sleep better at night and that helps you face the next day with more vigor. If you’re just getting back into exercise, use low impact workouts or consult a personal trainer who will create a program specific to your needs.
Eating the right ratio of healthy fatty acids can also ease the pain.
Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids help. They include fatty fish like salmon, walnuts, flaxseed and meat from grassfed beef. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, too. You need to have this fat and Omega-6 fatty acids in your diet, but the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 should be 4 to 1. The average American diet is 25 to 1. An imbalance with too much Omega 6 causes arthritis, inflammation, heart disease and many other problems. Many studies show that changing your diet so that the ratio is 2 to 1, two units of Omega 6 to one unit of Omega 3, can actually reduce arthritis pain and even help reverse it.
Make other changes to your diet.
Anthocyanins are phytonutrients that make blueberries blue and give the brilliant red color to tart cherries. These flavonoids not only create a rainbow of color, they also help reduce inflammation and provide many other benefits. Since arthritis pain is caused by inflammation, adding colorful veggies and fruit to the diet can help. Eat foods rich in sulforaphane like broccoli and other crucifers. Asparagus is also high in nutrients and has been found beneficial for arthritis.
- Steer clear of junk food and foods high in sugar. It depletes nutrients from the system, just like alcohol does, and can exacerbate the pain.
- Natural pain relievers include turmeric, ginger, astaxanthin and boswellia. Try sprinkling turmeric on veggies for a taste treat, in soups or other foods at the table. Ginger tea is also soothing.
- If you’re taking over-the-counter pain relievers daily, talk to your physician about switching to white willow bark. It has salicin which was the original aspirin and changes to salicylic acid which acts like aspirin without severe stomach irritation.
- Enjoy Mother Nature. Get out in the sun, take your shoes off and walk in the grass. It’s soothing and relaxing and could be just what you need to help speed pain relief.