Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) doesn’t affect only seniors. RA is an “equal opportunity” condition upsetting the lives of over a million of Americans – young and old, male and female and of every race and color.
Far too many of these sufferers resort to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), biologics and corticosteroids for pain relief, all of which don’t really treat the underlying causes of RA and only suppress the immune system putting the individuals at great risk for bacterial and viral infections.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Advil and Motrin, may offer temporary pain relief, but are no better at treating the causes of RA than DMARDs and leave the patient vulnerable to severe gastrointestinal problems.
Because of the serious side effects of most arthritis drugs, which should seldom be used as a first resort for RA pain relief and never as a long-term solution, many physicians are now turning to a safer, just as effective natural approach to treating the pain and discomfort of arthritis.
Here are four of the most effective natural remedies for arthritis pain.
Eat a healthy diet. Choosing the right foods to eat and not to eat is the best place to start. Avoid red meats and other foods high in saturated fats, which trigger the inflammation that causing the redness, soreness and pain of RA. Choose healthier protein sources, such as fish, lean poultry, low fat dairy products, whole grain breads and cereals and beans, nuts and seeds. Also avoid as much as possible processed foods that are loaded with extra unhealthy fats, salt and sugars. And be sure to get your daily supply of five to nine servings of brightly colored high fiber, nutritious anti-inflammatory fruits and vegetables.
Consider taking supplements. Rheumatoid arthritis patients (RA) may need extra help to make sure they get all the vitamins and minerals that their body needs to be healthy. It makes sense to supplement even a good diet with high quality natural nutritionals. Omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil have also been found to be highly effective natural anti-inflammatories.
Drink healthy beverages. Staying fully hydrated is another good way to get RA pain relief. Drinking lots of pure, clean water or mild herbal teas are the best way to go. Limit alcohol to special occasions, especially if you’re still taking pain relief drugs. Alcohol and smoking will only increase the risk of side effects. Stop ASAP.
Exercise every day. Aim to build up to at least thirty minutes of moderate physical exercise every day. Start slowly, but be willing to push through some pain at first. Many studies show that over time physical activity strengthens muscles around joints, helping to relieve the pain of arthritis. Low-impact exercises – yoga, tai chi, water aerobics, swimming or walking around the block – are the best options. Daily exercise is also good for your heart and brain.
Before starting on a possibly harmful drug regimen for arthritic pain relief, try one or all of the above strategies first. They have all been shown to be effective.