4 Natural Therapies for Symptoms of Arthritis

Natural therapies have been accepted in the medical community as complimentary help when treating arthritis. Their regular practice helps calm symptoms and improves the emotion management associated with this disease. Discover four interesting options in this article.
4 Natural Therapies for Symptoms of Arthritis

Last update: 24 May, 2021

In recent years, several natural therapies for arthritis symptoms have become popular. These are options that can be integrated into the treatment of this condition to mitigate pain, reduce stiffness and improve quality of life. Are you interested yet?

First, it’s worth remembering that arthritis is a group of diseases that cause pain and inflammation of the joints. According to information published by the non-profit organization Arthritis Foundation, there are about 100 types of arthritis and, in the United States alone, some 50 million adults and 300 children suffer from one of these disorders.

The best-known forms of the disease are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease characterized by wear and tear of the cartilage that protects the ends of the bones and cushions them. Meanwhile, rheumatoid arthritis is of immune nature, as the immune system mistakenly attacks the joints and generates uncontrolled inflammation.

In all cases, it’s essential to see a professional and get a proper diagnosis, as the decision between one treatment or another depends on it. However, on a general level, we can try some complementary therapies that can help improve symptoms and prevent complications.

Let’s take a look.

Natural therapies for arthritis symptoms

Natural therapies for arthritis symptoms have been accepted in the medical community as a complement to reduce pain and improve the mental health of patients affected with this disease. In addition, according to a review published in Pain Management Nursing, these types of therapeutic options, combined with conventional medicine, can increase patients’ quality of life.

In particular, they’re useful for strengthening joints, reducing stiffness, improving balance, and, in turn, managing stress, anxiety, and other emotions linked to the impact of the disease. We don’t even have to wait to develop the disease to practice them. Included in a healthy lifestyle, they can serve as preventive measures.

1. Natural therapies for symptoms of arthritis: Tai chi

One of the natural therapies that have become popular for their effects on arthritis is none other than tai chi. This discipline of oriental origin incorporates slow and gentle movements that contribute to increasing balance, flexibility, and muscle strength.

According to a publication in the journal Plos One, 12 weeks of tai chi was shown to be beneficial in reducing pain and stiffness in patients with osteoarthritis. In addition, it also helped them improve their physical function. Ideally, you should practice it with a teacher or expert in the field.

A couple doing tai chi
Tai Chi improves balance and muscle strength, helping to soothe joint symptoms.

2. Yoga

Although yoga has been popularized as a practice of spiritual balance, the truth of the matter is that it also has an interesting therapeutic potential. In fact, it has come to be considered a form of physical exercise. However, one type of yoga, known as Iyengar yoga, may help improve the treatment of arthritis.

Specifically, this posture focuses on correct anatomical alignment and employs props to support the body. After several sessions, it promotes stiffness and inflammation relief. A study published in the medical journal The Clinical Journal of Pain proves these facts.

According to the conclusion of the research, “a brief Iyengar yoga intervention may be a feasible and safe adjunctive treatment for young people with rheumatoid arthritis.” Specifically, it improves the quality of life, decreases pain and fatigue, and exerts benefits on mood.

3. Natural therapies for symptoms of arthritis: Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that, in the West, has been used to complement the treatment of various conditions, including arthritis. It involves inserting small, thin needles through the skin at specific points on the body.

As detailed in data compiled in the International Journal of Integrative Medical Sciences, this activity could help relieve chronic pain, including that caused by osteoarthritis. This is because it helps to activate the body’s natural painkillers by stimulating nerves and improving blood flow.

A man getting acupuncture
Acupuncture activates nerves and improves blood circulation.

4. Therapeutic massage

The application of therapeutic massages on muscles and joints can promote blood circulation and relaxation. For this reason, they’re often considered as a complement to reducing the pain caused by arthritis, but they must be performed by a professional.

In a study published in the medical journal Pain Medicine, participants receiving Swedish massage reported an improvement in knee osteoarthritis symptoms and overall quality of life. In addition, other previous studies have also reported these effects, although specialists must conduct more research.

Like other therapies, getting a massage also helps to control stress, tension, and mood. In addition, you can also use some essential oils that enhance these effects.

Natural therapies for symptoms of arthritis are complementary

Managing diseases such as arthritis is complex and requires professional intervention. However, many health specialists accept the use of natural therapies. In addition, research supports their effects in the management of pain and emotional symptoms.

However, it’s important to use them from professionals in the field, as poor practice can be counterproductive.

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  • Yan, J. H., Gu, W. J., Sun, J., Zhang, W. X., Li, B. W., & Pan, L. (2013). Efficacy of Tai Chi on Pain, Stiffness and Function in Patients with Osteoarthritis: A Meta-Analysis. PLoS ONE8(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0061672
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