When joint cartilage wears down and bones rub against each other, osteoarthritis develops. This condition affects the quality of life for 27 million Americans. Here are some natural remedies that research suggests may help ease arthritis pain.
- Weight loss. For every pound a person loses, there is a reduction of 4 pounds on the knees. After losing 10 to 20 pounds, some patients no longer have symptoms.
- Physical activity. Both aerobic and strengthening exercises will help arthritis sufferers. Walking, swimming, biking, and isometric and isotonic exercises should be included in the exercise program.
- Supplements. Glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, and other supplements can provide benefits such as pain relief and reduced swelling for arthritis sufferers.
- Topical creams. Diclofenac gel is an anti-inflammatory drug that can ease pain in the knees, ankles, feet, elbows, wrists, and hands. Capsaicin cream is an over-the-counter cream that can also relieve osteoarthritis pain.
- Acupuncture, transcutaneous electrostimulation, and heat and cold treatments. These techniques can provide relief for pain in joints and also for muscle spasms related to osteoarthritis.
Additional information on these and other natural remedies can be found at http://www.health.com/health/gallery/thumbnails/0,,20443624,00.html.