Understanding Arthritis -- Diagnosis & Treatment
Alternative Medicine for Arthritis continued...
At least a dozen different herbs have been used to ease the symptoms of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Ask your doctor about using any herbs, since they can interact with each other or with medication you are taking. Herbs that have been used are powdered ginger, borage seed oil, or devil's claw to reduce pain and swelling. Stinging nettles or turmeric have also been used.
Ayurvedic medicine uses herbal compounds internally and externally for arthritis symptom relief. Topical curcumin may help relieve the inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis; if taken in capsule form, it can reduce morning stiffness and boost endurance. In one study, a combination of Withania somnifera, Boswellia serrata, and Cucurma longa caused a significant drop in pain and disability for people with osteoarthritis.
Home Remedies for Arthritis
In addition to treatments recommended by your doctor, you can use dry heat from a heating pad or moist heat in the form of a hot bath or a hot-water bottle wrapped in a towel to help relieve pain and stiffness. Heat and rest are very effective in the short run for most people with the disease. Regular exercise is also important to keep the joints mobile.
If you are overweight, losing weight is key, especially when arthritis affects the lower back, knees, and legs. Consult a registered dietitian who can help you plan a healthy weight loss program.
People with weakened, badly deformed fingers from rheumatoid arthritis benefit from specially designed utensils and door and drawer handles; people suffering weakness in the legs and arms can use special bathroom fixtures, especially tub rails and elevated toilet seats.
Although arthritis is not preventable, disability is -- with a well-designed treatment program, including medications, exercise, and physical therapy when needed.