Author: Holly J Coley
Arthritis: It’s not just for the golden girls crowd.
I was diagnosed with arthritis in my feet when I was in my early twenties. After experiencing persistent joint pain in my ankles and heels I went to a podiatrist. I thought he was going to tell me I was clocking too many miles on the treadmill or using poor sneakers. When he broke the news that it was the big A, I was shocked. Like I said, I was in my twenties. I didn’t know arthritis could be a young person’s issue.
Contrary to popular belief, arthritis can happen to anyone at any age. It’s caused by inflammation of the joints. There are two types: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The ladder is an auto-immune disease and the other comes from overuse. Both cause stiffness and discomfort which worsens with time.
There are a variety of medications one can take to fight painful symptoms but I found relief by adopting some natural tricks and remedies in my routine. Because arthritis is caused by inflammation it makes sense to attack inflammation itself. Here are five simple things to try. Personally, I’m a fan of numbers three and four.
1.Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is treated like the Holy Grail of natural remedies and while many of its “benefits” haven’t been scientifically proven, its high in the phytochemicals triterpenoids and polyphenols which are anti-inflammatory. Try using the vinegar in a homemade dressing. We like this recipe:
¼ cup of avocado oil + 3 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar + 1 Tbsp of honey + 1 Tbsp of Dijon mustard + *optional: ½ tsp of onion powder
Mix ingredients and dress salad. Refrigerate the remainder.
2. Blackstrap Molasses
Unlike refined sugar, blackstrap molasses has some nutritional merit. Mainly, it’s high in magnesium, potassium and calcium, all important for bone health. The syrupy substance is also high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Try using it in place of regular sugar or adding a tablespoon to protein shakes.
3. Lemon + Distilled Water
Water, distilled in particular, is said to pull toxins and inorganic waste from the body. Some holistic experts believe excess waste that gets caught in joints in responsible for some of the aches and pains associated with arthritis. Distilled water coupled with detoxing lemon can be an easy way to encourage the body’s elimination process. Try drinking a glass of warm distilled water in the morning on an empty stomach with the juice of half a lemon.
4. Lose Weight + Exercise
Losing one pound of body weight can take four pounds of pressure off your joints. To burn extra calories, boost your activity level by taking a fun fitness class (like this one) or sneak exercise into your daily routine by opting for stairs rather than taking elevators. Exercise, even moderate low-intensity exercise, can get your heart rate up, increasing circulation which can ease inflammation pain.
The ancient technique of acupuncture has grown in popularity and acceptance in western medicine. For the treatment of arthritis, it is said that the practice boosts the body’s production of endorphins which act as a natural pain killer. Check out our directory to find a licensed specialist in your area.
Do you suffer with joint pain or arthritis? Have you tried any of these holistic remedies? Let us know in the comments.