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September 22, 2020 | Farah Jassawalla

How To Treat Arthritis And Joint Pain at Home?

Arthritis is used to refer to various conditions that cause pain in the joints and inflammation. It is a degenerative disease that cannot be cured but can only be slowed down with treatment and care. Arthritis has over 100 forms, out of which the two most common are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. While there are certain medical treatments for arthritis and joint pain, some home remedies are also beneficial in relieving pain and relaxing the patient.

What causes arthritis?

While arthritis is majorly found in people above the age of 65, it can occur in teens and children as well. It tends to be common in those who are overweight, but that is not the only cause. Cartilage is necessary for smooth movement of the joints since it absorbs pressure when weight is put on it. A lack of needed cartilage leads to most forms of arthritis. With age, your cartilage wears down, and this creates osteoarthritis in the body. Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder, happens when the immune system begins to attack the tissue in the joints, which produces the lubricant necessary for smooth movement. This form of arthritis affects not only the joints but also paves the way for bone degeneration. 

Home remedies for arthritis in the hands

Arthritis in the hands is mainly a product of osteoarthritis and has certain treatments to relieve the pain. The most critical part of home treatment for arthritis in the hands is exercise. Physical movement of the hands keeps the ligaments and tendons in the hands flexible enough while reducing pain. If an exercise causes pain in your hands, it is best to stop continuing it and ask a physiotherapist for help. Using heat and ice to relieve pain is also common. Ice can be wrapped in a cloth and applied to joints. Placing hands in warm water can decrease stiffness of the joints. Many people make capsaicin creams using cayenne pepper and olive oil to relieve pain in their hands.

Joint pain medication

While home remedies might prove to be useful for some, they are not long-lasting and pain might recur. The main aim of doctors is to reduce the pain caused by arthritis and slow it down while working on the improvement of joint functions. Hydrocodone and acetaminophen are used as pain killers, but they do not control inflammation. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can decrease pain and inflammation. Menthol is used to stop the pain signals being sent to the brain by numbing the area, so a person does not feel the joint pain. Immunosuppressants, such as cortisone, reduce inflammation in the joints. Some doctors introduce rheumatoid arthritis patients to disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, which slow down the immune system.  If medication fails or is not sufficient, some doctors may suggest surgery if necessary.

Knee pain treatment

Joint pain and arthritis can occur in the knees as well, which bear the weight of the body. Knee pain can be caused by a sprain or twist, which can easily be treated at home. Resting, icing, using a compression bandage, and elevating the foot while lying down tends to improve the situation. Practicing Tai Chi is extremely beneficial for those who suffer from osteoarthritis since it helps control the pain and suppresses stress in a person. Exercising is mandatory for those who suffer from knee pain because it increases muscle strength and mobility. Resting the knee for too long may make it stiff and more painful. Being overweight is a major cause of knee pain, and doctors recommend losing weight to those who suffer from it since pressure on the knees increases as weight increases. Ice packs and heat pads can also be used at home for effective treatment of knee pain. Herbal treatments concocted from cinnamon and ginger have magical healing remedies and can relieve knee pain effectively.

Joint pain relief exercises

Exercises are excellent in improving joint pain and arthritis since they increase flexibility, control joint pain, and boost muscle strength. There are many types of exercises that doctors can recommend depending on the condition of the patient. Many motion exercises relieve stiffness and allow joints to move fully in their range. Strengthening exercises boost muscle power, so the joints remain protected. Cycling, swimming, and walking are exercises that are easy on the joints but effective in nature. Aerobic exercises help in losing weight while relieving joint pain. People with arthritis and joint pain should continue to lead an active lifestyle with physical activities to improve their condition naturally. Since not everyone is physically fit to start exercising daily, they can opt for low impact exercises that boost stamina over time and help with joint pain.

 

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Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and a healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.