Joint pain can be reduced by incorporating some simple steps into your daily routine. Here are some tips on supporting joints and managing joint pain naturally:
- Consume 6-8 glasses of water a day to support the fluid around joints.
- Increase plant fiber in your diet by eating veggies as snacks and with main meals.
- Consume protein (chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, nuts or seeds) at each meal.
- Consumption of ginger, about a 1 inch slice a day, will act as an anti-inflammatory.
- Consume 1 cup of berries a day to reduce inflammation and stabilize collagen. Blueberries are a great choice!
- If you have arthritis, avoid consumption of the nightshade family of plants for a couple of weeks to see if it relieves pain. The nightshade family includes: tomato, white potato, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, tamarios, pepinos, pimentos, paprika, cayenne peppers, goji berries, the use of tobacco, and the herb ashwaganda. Peppercorns (black, white and pink) and sweet potatoes are ok.
- Regular walking has been shown to improve joint function and relieve pain, especially with knee pain.
- Aquatic (water) exercise can offer non-weight bearing activity that may be tolerated well if pain is experienced with walking.
- Epsom Salt baths or moist towel applications with Epsom salt water are helpful to reduce pain and bring magnesium and sulfur into your joints through your skin to encourage relaxation of the muscles and relieve discomfort.
- Fill your bath tub with water as warm as you can tolerate and add 2 to 4 cups of Epsom salts. Let dissolve and soak for at least 20 minutes.
- If using a towel application, soak a towel in a concentrated solution of Epsom salts and water and apply the towel locally as needed, re-soak the towel every 5 minutes
- After either of these are used, it is best to end with a cold rinse for 30 seconds.
- Alternate hot and cold moist applications to the painful joints. Use a hand towel for the hot application and a wash cloth for the cold application.
- Begin with hot: moisten your hand towel with as warm as tolerable water and ring it out well. Apply to the affected area for 3 minutes.
- Then apply cold for 30 seconds: moisten the wash cloth with ice cold water and ring it out well. Remove the hot application and immediately apply the cold wash cloth to the affected area.
- Alternate this pattern 3 times
- End with the cold application (very important to reduce inflammation).
Most people experience joint pain sometime in their life, but for those that experience it frequently, it can lead to chronic pain. Consider reading my blog post on Managing Pain Naturally for more helpful tips and coming to this month’s WellnesSeries class on reducing inflammation through food choices.
If you are interested in a comprehensive assessment and individualized recommendations for natural supplements that can help support joint function and/or reduce pain, please contact me. I would be happy to work with you.