In a healthy state, all joint movements appear very smooth, fluid and easy and one is actually un-ware of them. They are taken for granted. Arthritis pain can be caused by any of a group of more than 100 diseases (collectively coming under the broad heading of Arthritis). These diseases affect not only the joints but other important structures such as tendons, ligaments, muscles and bones. The common denominator among all these conditions is joint and musculoskeletal pain, commonly known as arthritis pain.
Arthritis pain varies greatly from person to person, because of different physical activities, environmental conditions to emotional states seem to affect the intensity of arthritis pain. Arthritis pain is usually chronic. Chronic arthritis pain is long lasting, ranging from weeks, months, and years to a lifetime. It is essential to treat this pain, since it can disrupt the pattern and movement of your daily life.
Arthritis pain has many different sources
These may include:
- Inflammation of the synovial membrane (tissue that lines the joints), tendons or ligaments.
- Damage to the joint tissues, from disease, stress, injury or pressure.
- Muscle strain and fatigue caused by overworked muscles attempting to protect your joints from painful movements.
- Depression or stress leading to limited movement, hence getting caught in a cycle of pain, stress and limited pain management abilities.
Arthritis Causes and Symptoms
However, movements at the joints are exposed to innumerable stresses in day-to-day life. These stresses expose them to stretches, strains, actual injury, or indirect injuries by infection due to various microbes. Metabolic disorders may deposit chemical crystals at the joint site, or immune system dysfunction may cause localized tissue lesions due to antigen, antibody reactions. This is not the end of the list. Degenerative changes in the body due to ageing, etc., take their own toll, e.g., osteo-arthritis. Cancerous growths at the site or nearby are another cause of dysfunction and disability. Dysfunction and disability are not due to a specific cause or disease entity. One specific cause may co-exist with another non-specific one, actually related to some other organ dysfunction.
Disease, dysfunction or disability of any of the areas mentioned above will cause pain, and maybe also swelling, disfigurement and loss of mobility. Some of the common symptoms for arthritis may includes this :
- Fatigue and sleep disturbances occur in about 90% of people who have fibromyalgia.
- Depression and anxiety is common in many people with fibromyalgia.
- Pain is the most prominent symptom. It usually involves “tender points” on the body where pain seems the greatest.
- Migraine headaches, abdominal pain, bloating or alternating constipation and diarrhea.
Home remedies for Arthritis Treatment
Herbal remedies have been found to be beneficial without the side effects of conventional drug therapy. These remedies, if not actually curative, are definitely complementary.
Drinking beetroot juice or eating a cupful of diced beetroot, whether raw or parboiled, is extremely good for arthritis. The leaves of beetroot are also beneficial. These can be cooked with diced onions. Apparently, beet roots are supposed to have immunity-enhancing properties and are particularly beneficial for arthritis of an immune-disorder etiology. Beet roots are rich in potassium and have an alkalising effect. This alkalinity is helpful in dissolving various types of salt deposits on the particular surfaces of the joints, as occurs in arthritis. Those having beetroot may have pink-or red-colored urine. This is because of the red pigment, fresh beta cyan in, that some people do not metabolize well. However, this is no cause for worry.
2. Pineapple Juice
Pineapple juice, a cupful taken every day (200 ml), reduces swelling and inflammation around the joints, which occurs in rheumatoid arthritis and osteo arthritis. The active ingredient is a substance called bromelain that has significant anti- inflammatory action.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
A tablespoonful of Apple-cider vinegar taken with a teaspoon of honey in a glass of warm water first thing in the morning is beneficial. Those who are not overweight can take more honey – a tablespoon or so. Apple-cider vinegar has a substance called mallic acid that helps remove inorganic salt deposits on particular surfaces-especially useful for nonspecific arthritis.
Asparagus is good for those with arthritis, but definitely contraindicated for sufferers of gout. However, cherries are extremely good for relieving pain caused by gout.
Celery is another leafy vegetable used for salads or soup seasoning which has high amounts of sodium, which helps keep the balance of lime (calcium salt) and magnesium in solution, not letting it deposit on joint surfaces. The stalk and leaves can both be used to make fresh juice. By itself, this juice is not very palatable, so an equal amount of carrot juice. can be added. A cupful of this mixture, taken morning and evening, prepared fresh and had immediately, will break down disease-producing unhealthy calcium deposits on the particular surfaces of joints. Cucumber juice can be substituted for celery juice once in a while.
6. Asparagus Seeds
Asparagus is beneficial, as well as its seeds. Equal quantities of asparagus seeds, fenugreek seeds and black cumin seeds can be powdered and stored. One level teaspoon of this mixture taken every morning will relieve pain during the acute phase of the disease.
Raw potato juice is beneficial for gout.
8. Bitter Gourd
The juice of bitter gourd is good for both gout and rheumatism.
9. Wheat Grass
Wheat grass or sprouted wheat germhalf a cup taken daily-builds up the immune system and is especially good for all kinds of arthritis due to an autoimmune dysfunction, e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythromatosis and multiple sclerosis.
10. Green Gram
Green gram is eaten in India as a green vegetable, like peas. The dried form is yellow or cream in color. A soup made with a handful of green gram, boiled, mashed well and seasoned with 2-3 crushed cloves of garlic is a good seasonal remedy for pain in the joints-a cupful of soup twice a day. Some joint pains get aggravated in winter, and green gram is harvested only in the winter months. Nature provides us with timely cures, even though we are not aware of them.
11. Sesame Seeds
Soak a tablespoonful of sesame seeds overnight. The softened seeds, eaten in the morning, along with the water it has been soaked in, is a preventive measure for joint pain, for those who suffer from the problem every winter. Sesame seeds are ‘heat producing’ and eaten only in winter.
Fenugreek leaves, cooked in fresh coconut milk seasoned with garlic, has ingredients beneficial for seasonal joint-pain aggravation. It is a winter joint pain remedy.
13. Herbal Tea
Chronic joint pains get relief after the patient has a herbal tea made from liquorice – a teaspoon of liquorice root stock in one cup of water. Boil for 5-6 minutes and drink it.
14. Onion Juice
Onion juice or warmed, mashed onion bulb, mixed with warm mustard oil, makes an effective poultice for arthritis.
15. Ginger Powder
Take equal quantities of dried ginger powder, cumin powder and add half the amount of black pepper powder. Grind together and store. Have half a teaspoon of this thrice a day. It has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is best to have this with water or fresh buttermilk that is not sour. By itself, it has a pungent taste, and may cause a little acidity for those with a pitta constitution.
Research shows that turmeric may helpful in treating rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. You can take turmeric in the form of supplements, turmeric tea or milk.