Arthritis is a common condition that can cause joint pain and stiffness. Fortunately, there are several alternative therapies that can help prevent and manage arthritis pain. Acupuncture, massage therapy, tai chi, yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, fish oil supplements, and aquatic therapies are all natural therapies that can help reduce arthritis pain. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese therapy that involves the insertion of tiny needles into the skin to redirect the body's energy flow.
Studies suggest that acupuncture may alleviate pain caused by knee arthrosis by affecting the pathways in the brain that modulate pain. It also triggers the release of endorphins, natural chemicals in the body that relieve pain and make you feel better physically and emotionally. Massage therapy is another great option for relieving arthritis pain. Therapeutic massage improves multiple problems caused by arthritis.
It relieves pain, relaxes tense muscles, reduces inflammation, increases blood flow, improves range of motion and restores muscle tone. Studies have also shown that an arm and hand massage can relieve pain and improve grip strength. Tai chi is a form of martial arts that combines gentle physical exercises and stretching with mindfulness. It is low-impact and improves strength while focusing the mind.
Studies show that tai chi is especially beneficial for knee arthrosis, as it reduces pain, improves knee function and promotes a better quality of life for patients. In fact, tai chi produces the same level of pain relief as a standard course of physical therapy. Yoga is another option that can help you stay active while relieving arthritis pain. Like tai chi, it is low-impact and improves strength while focusing the mind.
Yoga has been shown to reduce joint pain and improve joint flexibility in people with arthritis. It also improves mental health by relieving stress and anxiety.Meditation eliminates stress and combats arthritic pain, as it relaxes the mind and body, improves mood and alleviates depression that is often caused by continuous pain. Mindfulness meditation has been shown to reduce biomarkers associated with inflammation.Aromatherapy involves inhaling aromatic vegetable oils or having them rubbed on your skin by a massage therapist. While studies on yoga for rheumatoid arthritis haven't shown that it works, evidence so far shows that the practice can improve hand strength and ease pain.Fish oil supplements show promise for relieving joint tenderness and stiffness in RA.
A daily dose may also help you reduce your intake of NSAIDs and other pain medications and avoid their side effects.Aquatic therapies use warm water in baths or pools to help reduce joint stiffness and improve range of motion. The warm water helps relax muscles while providing support for your joints.The best CAM therapy for any type of arthritis is exercise. There is good quality evidence that supports regular physical activity in people with inflammatory arthritis. An exercise plan complete with aerobic movements (such as walking or cycling), strengthening (to increase muscle strength) and flexibility (to improve joint range of motion) can really make you feel better.Before actively participating in integrative medicine or complementary therapies, check with your doctor to make sure it's safe for you.