Osteoarthritis is one of the most painful and crippling autoimmune diseases to affect the joints. It is a condition that affects the articular cartilage and the subchondral bones. Symptoms of this disease include joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, locking, and at times, effusion. In this condition, there is progressive loss of cartilage due to which the bone may be exposed and eventually damaged. It is the most common type of arthritis and is one of the leading causes of chronic disability in the United States, affecting nearly 27 million people. Since it is an autoimmune disease, there is no fixed cure for it. Therefore, it is better to try natural measures to relieve the pain as mentioned below:
One of the most popular natural pain relief methods is massage therapy. This is performed by massage therapists who focus on superficial layers of the muscles while using massage oil or lotion. This helps relieve the muscle tension and pain, increase the flexibility and mobility, and clear the lactic acid and other accumulated waste in the body. All this eventually leads to a reduction in the pain and stiffness in muscles and joints of the body.
One of the most important massage therapy benefits is that it also prevents muscle spasms in other parts of the body. It boosts circulation in the affected joint, which decreases joint stiffness and also promotes cartilage repair. This achieved by massaging the muscles surrounding the affected joint.
Yoga is a safe and effective way of dealing with the pain associated with osteoarthritis. The movements of yoga increase the strength, flexibility, and balance of a person. However, consult your doctor before you start this therapy since he may guide you regarding the yoga exercises and poses that are appropriate to your condition.
Another simple measure for natural pain relief is acupuncture. The World Health Organization has managed to single out forty different conditions that can be treated with the help of acupuncture. One of those diseases listed was osteoarthritis. This therapy involves the insertion of hair thin needles into specific points of the body known as acupoints. One of the benefits of acupuncture is that it helps balance the flow of energy in the body. Certain studies have also reportedly shown that this helps release natural pain relieving substances in the body, like endorphins and serotonin.
Besides the aforementioned measures, rather than taking pain killers, people can always try taking certain supplements, like chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine to help deal with the pain. Although there is no proper cure for osteoarthritis, one can always make a few lifestyle changes to ensure that the person lives a long and relatively pain free life.
Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.