Joints form connections between bones to help our body parts move. They're made up of connective tissue and cartilage, and when they become injured or inflamed ... ouch! If you are experiencing serious or ongoing pain in your joints, it's important to see your doctor for a medical opinion and, if necessary, a medical treatment plan. But when it comes to relieving minor joint pain, there's no need to wait.
From hands and feet to knees, arms and elbows - try these home remedies for joint pain relief. They truly work!
Epsom Salt Soaks
This home remedy has been around for years, but do epsom salts really work? There aren't any scientific studies to back it up, but anyone who's tried soaking in a warm, epsom salt bath can speak to how relaxing it can be. Try this type of bath for temporary joint pain relief - and, if necessary, check with your doctor to discuss how long or how often you should soak.
Not only does heat reduce stiffness in painful joints, it can help relax muscles and increase range of motion by stimulating blood flow. On the other hand, cold packs will numb the pain and reduce joint inflammation. Try alternating both - with 15 minutes of heat followed by 15 minutes of cold to ease joint pain even more. Note: Do not use heat if the affected area is red, hot and irritated. Do not use cold compresses if you have circulatory problems.
Turmeric + Omega-3
Several studies have found that turmeric (a yellow spice found in curries and mustard) reduces pain and swelling in arthritis patients. You can also try loading up on inflammation-fighting foods rich in omega-3, such as salmon, trout, olive oil and walnuts. As always, check with your doctor before adding dietary supplements or making a major lifestyle changes. Want more healthy food advice? Check this out: 8 Joint-Friendly Foods to Strengthen Your Mobility.
Think those over-the-counter creams are just for aching muscles? Think again. Anti-inflammatory topical pain creams like Penetrex or Blue-Emu can help relieve some arthritis pain, too.
Paraffin Wax Baths
Heated paraffin wax can be a great way to soothe arthritis aches and pains in your hands, feet and even elbows. There are many paraffin wax bath products on the market. Ask your doctor which is best for you, and always read the directions carefully prior to use.
Technically, it's not a home remedy. But exercise is one of the best things you can do to stay pain-free and healthy! Joint pain can be a sign from your body that it's time to get active. Talk to your doctor about appropriate activities that can help build muscle and relieve pressure on painful joints - including stretching, swimming or water aerobics, walking, biking and more.
Severe and chronic joint pain, especially when caused by degenerative conditions like arthritis, needs proper diagnosis and treatment. While the above suggestions may help decrease some inflammation and pain, nothing takes the place of a qualified medical opinion. Make an appointment to see one of our specialists today.