While going to your doctor is your first port of call when seeking arthritis pain relief, there are a number of home remedies to try that may actually enhance your medical treatment. For example, did you know that hot and cold therapy could dial down inflammation? Or that mindfulness is thought to help to soothe tense joints?
Here are the DIY solutions you need to know…
The 3 Most Common Types of Arthritis
Although there are more than 100 different kinds of arthritis, most people are diagnosed with one of these three most common types:
According to NICE, approximately 8.5 million people in the UK have arthritic pain linked to osteoarthritis, which is usually caused by wear and tear of your joints. It tends to be found in the parts of the body that carry the most weight, such as the knees, hips, feet and spine.
2. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Painful joints linked to rheumatoid arthritis occur when your immune system ‘attacks’ parts of your body, causing soreness, stiffness and swelling. It affects around 1% of the UK population, says NICE, and is most commonly found in the hands and feet.
3. Psoriatic Arthritis
Affecting both the skin and the joints, psoriatic arthritis is common in those who have psoriasis – a skin condition that causes sore, itchy, red patches to erupt. When the condition is severe, it can lead to joint damage. NICE estimates that around 0.1% to 0.3% of the total UK population is dealing with this type of arthritis.
How Do I Relieve Arthritis Pain at Home?
1. Engage in Low-Impact Exercise
Movement is key. To ensure joints stay nimble, get into the habit of keeping your limbs in motion with regular exercise. But take note: cardio and high-impact strength training could do more harm than good. What you want is a gentle, low-impact workout with fluid movement that stretches sore joints. Try targeting a (realistic) daily step count, doing a 30-minute yoga session, or going swimming.
If joint pain is focused in your hands, repeat a few finger and wrist exercises every day. These could include making and releasing a fist, bending fingers and thumbs, forming an ‘O’ with your hands, and stretching wrists.
2. Try Relaxation Techniques
There are two types of people: those who believe in the power of meditation and mindfulness, and those who think it’s, at best, a fad. If you’re in the latter group, bear with us here. When you’re carrying stress and tension, this can exacerbate arthritic pain, making a relaxation technique one of the most powerful tools you can have up your sleeve. You’ve got nothing to lose by giving it a go to see if it has a soothing impact. Get started with Cannaray’s Sounds of CBD sound baths, led by Tamara Klien. You can find them all here.
3. Draw a Long, Warm Bath
We’re big fans of a bath for all manner of aches, pains and ailments, and a 2010 study from Istanbul University, published in Rheumatology International, shows that soaking in warm water can offer benefits for those with arthritis. Researchers discovered that 30 men and women with osteoarthritis of the knee were able to take longer, faster strides after soaking in warm water for 20 minutes a day for two weeks. So, why not start your day in the tub? Ensure the water is warm – not hot – and do some gentle stretches while you’re in there. You could even add some Epsom salts to boost the effects.
4. Apply Soothing Cold Packs
Cold therapy can be good for arthritic joints, too. Because cool temperatures cause blood vessels to constrict, inflammation decreases when a cold pack is applied to areas of swelling and soreness. Try it by wrapping ice cubes in a towel or muslin cloth and pressing this DIY cold pack to your skin. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but it can help to numb deep pain.
5. Give Sore Joints a Massage
Get temporary relief by massaging sore, arthritic joints. To make this soothing step easier, do your home massage with a scoopful of the eucalyptus-infused CBD Muscle Balm - the melting balm to oil texture is ideal for massage. Reach for a generous amount, work it into the target area with your fingertips, and repeat whenever discomfort strikes. Bonus: the balm is completely non-greasy, so it stays right where you want it.