By now, many of our readers already know that Celliant® products can help ease pain caused by arthritis. But what else can be done? Below is an article written by Healthline that discusses some other ways to keep arthritis pain away. Enjoy!
Soothing the Pain of Arthritis
By Leslie Vandever
There are more than 100 types of arthritis, but the most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Both cause joint pain, destruction, and possible disability, and both are incurable, but the causes of these two diseases are very different.
Osteoarthritis—the “wear-and-tear” arthritis—affects more than 27 million Americans. Most are older than 65, though OA can affect people who are younger. In OA, the cartilage that caps and cushions the joints wears away over time. Eventually, the exposed bones grind together, causing pain, damage, and disability. Osteoarthritis mainly affects the bones of the lower back, hips, knees, and feet, though it can occur in other joints as well.
Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease that affects about 1.3 million people in the U.S. Its cause is still unknown. In RA, the body’s defensive immune system mistakes the synovial tissues that enclose and line the joints for foreign invaders, like bacteria or viruses, and sends warrior antibodies to neutralize or destroy them. The resulting inflammation causes swelling, pain, joint destruction, and often, permanent disability.
Over-the-counter non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like acetaminophen, naproxen, and ibuprofen can relieve the pain of both RA and OA, though sometimes stronger analgesics, like opiates, may be necessary.
Powerful medications called disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) can help to slow or even stop the progression of RA, and may, in turn, relieve the pain it causes, but how effective they are varies from person to person. RA affects each individual differently.
In both types of arthritis, if the affected joint deteriorates, surgery—including bone fusions or joint replacement—may be necessary.
Drugs aren’t the only remedies for the discomfort and pain of arthritis, however. Splints, bandages, and wraps, and the application of heat or cold in the form of ice or heat packs, blankets, baths, or soaks may help as well. Topical creams and ointments that create a sensation of heat or cold in or around the affected joint can also be soothing.
Lifestyle changes can help both types of arthritis, too. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, proteins like lean meat and fish, eggs, beans, and legumes, whole grain breads, cereals, pastas, and brown rice, low-fat dairy foods, and plant-based fats like olive or canola oil, can be very helpful. Avoid sugary desserts and beverages, reserving them for special treats or occasions. Eating mindfully can help you lose weight if you need to—and maintain a healthy weight if you don’t, which relieves stress on the weight-bearing joints. And a healthy diet means an overall healthier body.
Walking, swimming, stretching, biking, or doing gentle weight-bearing and range-of-motion exercises can also help with arthritis pain and disability by keeping the muscles and joints strong and flexible. Doing these types of exercise for about 30 minutes a day, five days a week, will go a long way toward keeping you healthy and the pain of arthritis under control.
Leslie Vandever is a professional journalist and freelance writer with more than 25 years of experience. She lives in Northern California.
- Foltz-Gray, D. Fight Arthritis Pain Without Pills. (n.d.) Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved on November 7, 2014 from http://www.arthritistoday.org/about-arthritis/arthritis-pain/pain-relief/arthritis-pain-relief-alternatives.php
- (n.d.) Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved on November 7, 2014 from http://www.arthritistoday.org/about-arthritis/types-of-arthritis/osteoarthritis/what-you-need-to-know/osteoarthritis-is.php
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: Lifestyles and Home Remedies. (2014, October 29) Retrieved on November 7, 2014 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rheumatoid-arthritis/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies/con-20014868
- Handout on Health: Rheumatoid Arthritis. (2014, August) National Institutes of Health. Retrieved on November 7, 2014 from http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Rheumatic_Disease/default.asp