Joint pain is the worst. When you’re sitting, it throbs. When you’re standing or walking, it throbs and grinds. Our joints are the reason we can move at all, but when they hurt, everything hurts. Joint pain can be caused by overuse, strains or sprains, arthritis, or plain old aging. But no matter the cause, you need relief.
#1 Use The RICE Method.
RICE is an acronym for a series of actions that can help to both manage pain and reduce the inflammation that causes pain. It’s commonly recommended for strains and sprains, but can also help people with chronic conditions like arthritis. RICE stands for: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.
#2 Tai Chi Or Yoga.
Yes, we just told you to rest painful joints, but now we’re going to tell you to exercise them more. Basically, you want to baby the joint through the most intense period of inflammation and pain, but then make sure that you don’t let the entire area degenerate. As often as you can manage, engage in a low impact exercise routine to improve flexibility and strengthen the joints themselves as well as the proximal tissues.
#3 Weight Loss.
If you are already at or below your ideal weight, feel free to skip ahead. But if you know you could lose a few pounds to be healthier, your painful joints are one more reason to start now. The more weight your joints must bear, the more strain and damage they will receive. It’s never easy to lose weight. Our dietary habits are so ingrained, and food can be a great comfort in times of pain and stress.
#4 Herbal Ointment.
Pain relief creams you can buy over the counter include salicylate for pain relief. The creams are relatively safe to use unless you have a sensitivity to salicylate (also found in various forms in treatments for warts and dandruff). However, they may be completely unnecessary in light of a discovery made by a group of researchers in Pakistan. The study was published in the Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences and showed that an herbal ointment made with cinnamon, ginger, Arabic gum (mastic), and sesame oil worked just as well as salicylate creams to control joint pain topically.
#5 Willow Bark.
Willow bark is sometimes called “nature’s aspirin.” That makes sense, considering that the pain killing component is none other than salicin, which converts to salicylic acid in the body. Willow bark extract can be found in capsules, tinctures, and teas, though some people prefer to simply chew the bark. Don’t take willow bark if you are allergic to aspirin or are taking blood thinners. Otherwise, the potential side effects are limited and mild.
#6 Ginger Extract.
Ginger is a popular spice that is used in cooking, as a dietary supplement and in topical ointments. Ginger is popular for relieving nausea as well as pain, and a study of arthritis sufferers found that using ginger in combination with prescription medication reduced pain further than medication alone.
#7 Heat Therapy.
Heat is another good natural painkiller because it relaxes muscles and helps keep joints from seizing up. Heat is often used in combination with cold therapy because the two complement each other quite well. Cold is best used within the first 24 hours of a flare-up because it significantly reduces inflammation. Heat can then soothe residual pain and keep you as limber as possible.