Joint pain and stiffness from arthritis can be daily challenges for people of any age. The term arthritis actually refers to a range of conditions involving pain and inflammation in your joints. Included in these are the two most commonly referred to conditions: osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Learning how to relieve arthritis pain and flare ups can be extremely helpful and allow you to get back to living your life! What helps arthritis pain, though? Today, we’re taking a look at how to ease arthritis pain naturally with a few simple lifestyle adjustments and habits.
What Helps Arthritis Pain?
Affecting nearly 60 million adults and 300,000 children in the United States alone, knowing what helps arthritis pain may benefit yourself or a loved one. Different methods for how to relieve arthritis pain range from exercising to medication, but today we’ll be focusing on natural arthritis pain relief techniques. Before beginning any home treatment for arthritis, speak to a medical professional to ensure it's safe for you to do so.
A few of our favorite potentially effective methods for what helps arthritis pain include:
- Aquatic exercises
- Low impact movements like tai chi and yoga
- Heat therapy and cold therapy
- Getting a massage for arthritis pain
- Mindfulness meditation
Water Exercises for Arthritis Pain Relief
First on our list of methods for what helps with arthritis pain is aquatic exercises. Water exercises for arthritis are helpful as the water provides resistance, increasing the intensity of the workout. Simultaneously, the buoyancy that water provides our bodies helps support body weight, alleviating joint pressure.
One study showed that older adults with osteoarthritis pain who participated in water exercises experienced:
- Reduced body fat
- Better coordination
- Elevated mood and quality of life
- Arthritis pain relief
While water exercises may help with how to ease arthritis pain in the short term, experts recommend 40-60 minutes of aquatic routines at least three times a week for ongoing relief. In addition to being easy on joints, water exercises may also help improve mobility and flexibility, an important element of what helps with arthritis pain.
Low Impact Exercises for Arthritis
Next up in our list of what helps with arthritis we’re pulling the physical activity out of the water and looking at low impact exercises you can do while staying nice and dry. Movement-based routines like tai chi and yoga may help increase flexibility, muscle, and balance. While tai chi has been shown to improve arthritis symptoms, yoga poses may also help the body get into proper alignment, reducing inflammation throughout the body and alleviating arthritis pain.
Cold and Heat Therapy for How to Relieve Arthritis Pain
When it comes to learning what helps with arthritis pain and flare ups, cold and heat therapy are another set of techniques you can try at home. While you may think they’re on opposite ends of the spectrum, both have been shown to be effective for reducing arthritis pain in people of all ages.
Heat therapy is aimed at increasing circulation while soothing muscle stiffness and is one of the best ways to relax your muscles. There are two types of heat therapy: moist and dry. Moist heat therapy stems from self care activities like taking a warm bath or using a sauna. These can be great for relaxing the muscles and providing the benefits of heat therapy.
Dry heat therapy is typically done with the application of a heating pad or other dry method. You may find heat therapy available as part of massage chair features that can help with how to ease arthritis pain. Luxury massage chairs with calf and knee heat can be especially helpful for widespread coverage in those areas. Knee and calf massages also contribute to joint health and improving blood flow, which can reduce inflammation and reduce arthritis pain.
When it comes to cold therapy, some common application or treatment methods include:
- Wrapping a bag of ice in a towel and applying it to affected areas
- Submerging the affected joint in an ice bath
- Using a cold pack
You might’ve seen ice baths as part of a routine for athletes to help recover from a sports injury faster. The same benefits of cold therapy that help reduce inflammation for sports injuries can be applied to potentially be what helps arthritis pain and flare ups, as well.
Massage and Arthritis Relief
Experts at the Arthritis Foundation agree that getting a regular massage may be part of what helps arthritis pain and flare ups. Massage is an effective method for how to lower cortisol levels naturally, which is associated with stress and pain receptors, while simultaneously increasing serotonin production that may elevate your mood.
If getting regular massages doesn’t fit into your busy schedule or doesn’t sound appealing to your wallet, you might consider the benefits of owning a massage chair, instead. Not only do these tools give you the option to experience the benefits of massage therapy at home and in private, but their advances in technology have effectively removed any differences between using a massage chair vs human massage. Choosing between a 3D vs 4D massage chair or S-Track vs L-Track for the rollers, you’re certain to experience an incredible array of massage chair features regardless of your choice.
Luxury massage chairs may also offer bonus features such as heat therapy, chromotherapy, and zero gravity reclining capabilities. You might even consider a massage chair with AI technology that can provide a customized experience each time you use it!
Regardless of the method, massage and arthritis relief may go hand-in-hand. Not only could massage improve blood flow, but it may also relax muscle tension and help with how to manage pain on a daily basis.
While mindfulness meditation may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of what helps arthritis pain and flare ups, studies have shown that mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) could have a positive effect on people with arthritis. Participants who practiced MBSR (meditation) showed a reduction in arthritis symptoms including pain, morning stiffness, and the amount of swollen joints.
Meditation doesn’t need to be an all-day event nor does it require a group setting. Mindfulness meditation can be done in as little as five minutes a day. The focus should be on centering yourself and acknowledging your thoughts without judgment. You’ll be surprised how much it may help with arthritis pain management, stress relief, and calming anxiety, as well.
Finding what helps with arthritis pain and flare ups for you may take trying a few different methods. Once you’ve learned how to relieve arthritis pain, however, you’ll have a tool in your arsenal to help get you back to living your life to the fullest. From meditation and exercises to heat therapy and choosing a massage chair, see what helps arthritis pain for you and experience the difference. As always, consult your doctor before beginning any home arthritis treatments to ensure it's safe for you to do so.
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