The word arthritis conjures up images of swollen, stiff and painful joints, the inability to do loved activities, and lots of advil and tylenol. Arthritis can be caused by many different issues. For example, it may be the result of long ago sports injuries, infection, general wear and tear on the body or an autoimmune condition. There is currently no cure for arthritis, but the good news is there are a lot of ways to manage the condition.
Acupuncture is a fantastic way to manage the chronic inflammation, pain and stiffness of arthritis and is even endorsed by the Arthritis Foundation.
Besides acupuncture however, there are plenty of things you can do at home to minimize the effects of arthritis on your quality of life. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet can make a world of difference. For example, going grain and dairy-free while reducing or even better, eliminating sugar and alcohol will provide a noticeable benefit for arthritis sufferers. Supplements such as fish oil, glucosamine, chondroitin, turmeric, or ginger can be beneficial to reduce inflammation, naturally. Make sure you’re drinking enough water! Dehydration is no good for joint health, you want as much lubrication in those joints as possible. Sufficient rest is crucial, as it is during sleep that the body heals itself. Lack of sleep can make pain worse, as well as increasing sugar cravings which will increase the inflammation in your body. Do you have trouble sleeping? Try a warm epsom salt bath to ease joint pain and help you relax. Although it is hard to exercise while in discomfort, the benefits of regular activity can not be overstated. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, a walk around the block or some chair yoga can be a perfect first step. Leave a comment on what works for you when joint pain strikes!
Meaghan Massella, M.Ac, L.Ac, Dipl. Ac (NCCAOM) is an acupuncturist, business owner and mother of 2.