Arthritis is a mechanical problem, whereby the functioning of the joints reduces with age. Alternative treatments can be resorted to – if the herbs/drugs have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties. Allopathic remedies for arthritis are giving way to other alternative treatment forms – such as herbs, yoga or acupuncture.
There has not been much research done in anti-inflammatory or analgesic herbs, thus herbal remedies must only be practiced under the supervision of an expert. There are however, time-honored herbs that have been tried and tested with success. For instance, shallaki or boswella, a staple Ayurvedic herb, helps in cutting down pain as well as swelling. Ashwagandha assists in reducing inflammation. Turmeric, too, has anti-inflammatory properties.
Switching from a diet rich in animal proteins to a vegan diet can help alleviate the symptoms. Raw potato juice therapy is also another option that has been a part of folk medicine for a long time. In fact, raw vegetable juice therapy is resorted to in severe cases. Supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are being studied presently to check their effectiveness in relieving osteoarthritis.
Sticking needles all over the body may sound more pain-inducing than pain-relieving, but this old Chinese remedy is very popular among arthritic patients nowadays. It seeks to unblock stuck energies inside the body, allowing for its smooth flow. In more scientific terms, it triggers the release of endorphins and cortisol – thus cutting down pain and inflammation.
Regular massages relieve the pain of arthritic patients by helping the blood circulation and increasing its flow to painful parts. However, a word of caution to be kept in mind is that massaging severely swollen joints may do more harm than help – and thus it is always advisable to go for masseuses experienced with arthritic patients. Going to a sauna or having heat applied to the painful joints can also bring relief.
This old Indian exercise is a must for all and sundry – especially the arthritis-afflicted. There are asanas which strengthen thigh muscles – thus increasing one’s range of motion and reducing pain. Here again, only yoga instructors who are experienced in dealing with arthritic patients are recommended.
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