Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, often painful inflammatory disorder that most often affects the small joints in the hands and feet. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause severe pain, swelling, joint stiffness, and even result in loss of movement and range in the affected area, most often in the hands. Although there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, there are many natural treatments for rheumatoid arthritis than can help you manage flare-ups.
- Tai-Chi: Among the most common natural treatments for rheumatoid arthritis is, of course, a healthy lifestyle that includes the proper diet, regular exercise, and adequate amounts of sleep. Studies have shown that incorporating a regular Tai-Chi practice into your healthy routine can have tremendous health benefits, including helping to reduce the pain and inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis as well as lowering blood pressure, improving balance and flexibility, helping you to get better sleep quality, and reducing the stress that can lead to more inflammation which triggers rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups.
- Meditation: As we have already mentioned, stress can trigger flare-ups of rheumatoid arthritis and make the pain from rheumatoid arthritis worse. Meditation is a simple and easy way to help reduce that stress and learn to manage pain. It is so effective, in fact, that many women have used meditation successfully during labor and childbirth. Like Tai-Chi, meditation also comes with a host of other health benefits and can improve sleep quality, another concern for those suffering with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Fish Oil Supplements: Studies have shown that fish oil can help to dramatically reduce the pain and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis, and other forms of arthritis as well, even as well as some standard medications according to some studies, and again, besides improving the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, fish oil has great benefits for heart health as well.
- Peppermint Oil: Peppermint oil has long been used for its ability to soothe and heal, using a mixture of peppermint oil with a carrier oil (like olive oil or jojoba) and applying to the joints made stiff and sore by rheumatoid arthritis can bring relief in an easy, natural way... and it smells great too!
- Vitamin D: Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers can benefit from good old sunshine. Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked with various diseases and health problems, including rheumatoid arthritis and further, Vitamin D has also been shown to help in relieving the kind of chronic muscular-skeletal pain that is common with rheumatoid arthritis. Ironically, many of the drugs that are used by doctors to treat rheumatoid arthritis can actually deplete your levels of Vitamin D. Just 15 minutes of sunshine a day is all it takes to naturally treat rheumatoid arthritis. You can also get Vitamin D to help your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms through vitamin supplements or through your diet by adding Vitamin D fortified foods and fatty fish like salmon, a food which also gives you those omega 3's and fish oil for a double win.
- Spices: This is perhaps the easiest thing to add to your arsenal for combating rheumatoid arthritis, certain spices like ginger and turmeric can help reduce inflammation in a very similar way to aspirin and ibuprofen. Long used in the eastern medicine tradition of Ayurveda, turmeric has been called the miracle spice for its numerous health benefits, including helping to curb the flare-ups of inflammation that causes the pain of rheumatoid arthritis in a natural way.
- Pineapples: Pineapples and pineapple juice contain an enzyme known as bromelain that can help reduce the type of swelling in the joints that results from rheumatoid arthritis. Its also chocked full of Vitamin C, making it a delicious and natural way to fight rheumatoid arthritis. A daily serving works best, and the fresher the better, since some of the enzymes can get destroyed during the canning process.
- What to avoid: What you do and eat is important in finding natural ways to treat rheumatoid arthritis but so is what you do not eat. Fried foods, red meat, alcohol, sugar, refined white flour, and heavily processed foods can all contribute to rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups. They contain chemicals that trigger inflammation, weaken your immune system, and impair general health, so a very simple and natural way of treating rheumatoid arthritis is to simply cut these problem foods out of your diet. Many people have reported noticeable improvement when making these small changes.
*This article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice, seek the advice of your health care provider before changing or beginning any treatment.