Joint pain is one of the common recurring symptoms of various autoimmune diseases. If you have an autoimmune disease, your body creates antibodies that attack your joints by mistake and cause swelling, pain, and inflammations.
The most common autoimmune diseases that cause joint pain are rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and Sjogren’s syndrome. Unfortunately, these conditions are chronic and you need to treat them constantly and efficiently to keep them from impacting your everyday life. Painkillers won’t do too much by themselves, so it’s important to take additional measures to protect your health.
This means you’ll need to add some beneficial activities to your daily routine. You may even need to change up your diet. In this article, we will focus on some holistic ways to deal with joint pain relief.
Natural Ways to Soothe Joint Pain
Over-the-counter painkillers and prescribed medications can reduce the impact of autoimmune disease. Joint pain can sometimes disappear completely, but the relief is usually short-lived.
Approaching the problem from a holistic perspective may produce better results. If you work consistently on your wellbeing instead of settling for short term fixes, you may reduce the overall negative impact of the disease.
Consider some of the following approaches to soothing joint pain.
This ancient technique will help both your mind and your body to battle the autoimmune disease. Joint pain will disappear, and the joints will benefit from the movement and stretches. It will provide relief to your lower back, too. Doing yoga also clears up your mind and lifts your mood.
At first, easy poses with gentle movement of the joints should be enough to stop or reduce pain in the shoulders, hips, and knees. Later on, you can try out some more complicated stretches, depending on your overall condition.
Similar to yoga, tai chi is also an ancient technique that improves a person’s physical and spiritual well-being. It is especially effective for people who have rheumatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia.
According to studies, tai chi can strengthen the joints and the tissue around it, reduce pain and stiffness, and even treat depression and anxiety.
The Arthritis Foundation states that an effective massage can significantly reduce stiffness and soreness in the joints. It improves your blood flow, relaxes the muscles, and reduces stress and inflammation. Adding essential oils to massage therapy should notably increase the effects.
Treat the Pain with Heat and Cold
The ‘hot and cold’ therapy may work in your favor when treating joint pain. Cold treatments are especially effective if you have swelling or inflammation. Place an ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in cloth on the joints.
Also, taking a bath or showering in warm water in the morning can relieve the stiffness, while a heating pad at night will prevent it from reappearing.
The World Health Organization recommends acupuncture for the treatment of 100 different conditions, and treating joint pain is one of them. This practice involves piercing thin needles into certain spots on your body. It stimulates the nerves and muscle tissue, and so it triggers your body’s pain relief system.
Swimming and Spa Treatment
Any form of water exercise or aquatic sport can do wonders for joint pain. Studies say that even mild water activities such as water aerobics or going to the spa will improve joint functions.
Low-impact exercise is essential for reducing joint pain, even more than so than yoga, tai-chi, and other activities. This is because regular movement will help you gain muscle strength, a healthy weight, a normal heart rate, and it can even improve your sleep. Moving around as much as you can strengthen the joints more than any other exercise.
The Autoimmune Warrior’s Nutrition
Proper nutrition is one of the most important things when it comes to battling autoimmune diseases. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet should help you fight your condition much more efficiently. Also, healthy nutrition should reduce your weight which is extremely important when battling joint pain.
More weight will place more pressure on your joints, most notably the hips, knees, and feet. This can cause swellings and inflammation. When you lose weight, you relieve these spots of pressure, and you also improve your vital functions which are important for treating all autoimmune diseases.
Add some these things to your diet to soothe joint inflammation:
- Omega-3 fatty acids: These fats are essential for our health, but they are especially important if you have arthritis or another form of joint-affecting autoimmune disease. Fish oil supplements are efficient for treating joint pain. Gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) is another fat that can help. You can find it as an essential oil or in the seeds of some plants (hemp, primrose, borage, etc.)
- Turmeric: This plant from the ginger family is a well-known ingredient in Indian, Indonesian, and Thai cuisine. It contains curcumin, a chemical with anti-inflammatory traits that should reduce joint pain.
- Herbal Supplements: Ginkgo, devil’s claw, boswellia, thunder god vine, and stinging nettle are just some of the many herbs that may reduce joint pain.
- Fruits and vegetables: Eating fruits and vegetables can only benefit your overall health, but some of them are especially important for people with autoimmune diseases. This includes broccoli, berries, walnuts, garlic, ginger, spinach, and others.
- Fatty fish: Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and trout are high in omega-3 fatty acids and they are also a good source of vitamin D.
- Green tea: Green tea is a widely-used beverage with an abundance of beneficial properties. When it comes to joint pain, research has concluded that it has anti-inflammatory traits and is extremely effective when dealing with joint pain.
Choosing Healthy Habits to Combat the Pain
Autoimmune diseases can cause permanent and serious joint damage if you don’t treat them correctly. Medications can be of use, especially if the pain is severe, but the primary focus should be on changing your habits.
Exercising is an important way of keeping your mind and body active and strong enough to take on the autoimmune disease. It will also make you feel better, and it can even help with any negative thoughts you may have about your condition.
All these activities will also assist you in treating other symptoms of autoimmune disease, and they are sure to enrich your life in many ways.