For many people arthritis is a debilitating illness. Arthritis causes increased inflammation around the joint that can lead to immobility and pain.
While there are conventional medical treatments that are available for people with arthritis, there are many natural methods to help manage pain and improve mobility.
Here are five different alternative therapies and treatments that might help you manage your daily arthritis symptoms and mobility issues.
Hydrotherapy as a form of exercise for those with arthritis. Hydrotherapy is similar to exercise in a pool, however, the pool tends to be warmer than a traditional swimming pool. With hydrotherapy, participants can get all of the benefits of regular exercise without any of the impact on joints.
This may be especially beneficial to those with arthritis because the joints are particularly affected. Having an option for exercise that has zero impact on the joints can increase mobility as well as range of motion. Many times hydrotherapy is considered a form of physical therapy and may be covered by insurance.
Range of Motion Exercise
Many sufferers of arthritis keep the affected joints in a tightened position to alleviate pain. Unfortunately, this has the unintended side effect of increasing pain because it shortens ligaments and muscles around the affected joint. This means that instead of decreasing pain over the long-term keeping the joints in a tightened position will increase pain.
Many recommend arthritis sufferers participate in range of motion exercises. The range of motion exercises typically includes stretching and extending the joints to their full ability. Some range of motion programs may include yoga or tai chi.
Because arthritis causes pain and immobility many sufferers of arthritis have excess weight. The excess weight increases pressure and damage on the joints. The increased pressure and damage on the joints increases pain which causes decreased mobility. It becomes a never ending cycle of increased pain and decreased mobility.
If you’re currently overweight and have a difficult time moving, a healthier body weight can be achieved through better food choices and eating habits.
A meeting with a nutritionist can help you start on a healthier diet if you are not sure where to begin. They may also have ideas on foods that can help decrease inflammation in your body.
Hot and Cold Therapy
First benefit of hot and cold therapy is that it can be done at home, second is that it is very inexpensive. Heating pads and ice packs are easy to have on hand and don’t cost a lot of money. Alternating hot and cold therapy to affected joints decreases pain.
You may find that some days cold therapy works the best on your arthritic joints while other days a heating pad may be better. Having both on hand to use is going to be the best way to ensure that this therapy is effective at increasing your mobility and decreasing your pain.
One of the most beneficial treatments for mobility in arthritis patients is massage. Massage can help increase range of motion simply by relieving tension on stiff muscles and ligaments that surround the arthritic joints.
The best types of massage for people with arthritis are either deep tissue massage or Swedish massage. If you are having a high amount of pain deep tissue massage may be difficult to tolerate because of how deep into the muscle massage therapist will go. Either way, massage therapy is an easily accessible treatment to help increase your range of motion and ease the pain when you have arthritis.