5 easy and natural ways to ease joint pain
Unfortunately, daily aches and pains that come from joint stiffness are something that many of us have to deal with. It's often associated with age, and getting older is certainly often a contributing factor, but for others, arthritis and other chronic conditions can come at a much younger age. Pain relieving drugs and anti-inflammatory medicines are often necessary but there are also some easy and natural ways we can try to relieve some of the stiffness and pain. In some cases they could allow you to reduce the amount of prescription pain killers that you need to take or provide more relief than you currently get.
In this blog, we outline 5 easy and natural ways to help ease joint pain.
1. Bathing in Epsom Salts
Epsom salts have been used for hundreds of years to ease all kinds of aches, pains and skin problems. They get their name from the place in England where they are found in natural springs. It's believed that when you soak in an Epsom salts bath, your body can absorb the magnesium and sulphates in the salts though the skin. Magnesium absorbs much faster through the skin than it does in the gut.
Magnesium is an essential mineral to our bodies and one that helps with the regeneration and healing of joint tissues. Use the method and amount suggested on the packet and enjoy a nice soothing soak! Epsom salt is considered safe and it's inexpensive, simple to use and easy to find on the high street or online. We don't think there is ever a downside to taking the time for a nice relaxing bath, that's why it's number one on our list!
2. Top up that oil!
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest oils we can consume and much like our cars, sometimes we could use a top up of oil to keep things running smoothly! You can use olive oil topically on sore aching joints. Simply massage a little gently into the area a couple of times a day. As a nice bonus this can also help with dry skin on knees and elbows too!
Alternatively try taking a couple of tablespoons of olive oil as part of your daily diet. Olive oil contains an organic compound called oleocanthal that is known to help reduce inflammatory enzymes in a similar way to Ibuprofen. The ingestion of olive oil, which is rich in fatty acids, may also help to lubricate joints and keep them soft and subtle. We highly recommend using a high quality olive oil in any of the ways suggested as one of the easiest natural ways of reducing joint pain.
3. Use your cupboard spices!
Turmeric, ground ginger and cayenne pepper are three common ingredients you may have in your spice rack and all three can be used to fight joint pain. Turmeric contains the compound Curcumin which has shown to have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties while ginger is known to possess the ability to inhibit the body’s inflammatory immune response. Adding half a teaspoon of either (or both) to a warm honey drink or tea twice a day will give you the recommended daily amount in a quick and easy way and could help significantly reduce the pain of sore inflamed joints.
Cayenne can be used as a topical ointment to relieve joint pain. To make a cayenne paste simply mix 2 tablespoons of ground cayenne with 100g of cocoa butter or coconut oil and rub it directly on the sore joint. We highly recommend using disposable gloves for this as the cayenne works by causing a mild irritation of the area. It's this mild irritation that distracts the nerves in the area from the more painful joint pain. Repeated application has been shown to offer quick relief for even the most severe arthritis pain.
4. Stinging nettles are good for you!
Most of us will remember unpleasant experiences from our childhood of this plant while out playing. Falling off a wall into a massive patch of stinging nettles and being stung all over my hands and face wasn't enjoyable to say the least! As an adult it probably wouldn't feel as bad as I remember as a child and something I wasn't aware of back then is that nettles contain minerals and many of the important vitamins we need. Best of all they are in a form that is easy for our bodies to use, which makes them an excellent herbal remedy for joint pain. Minerals in nettles include boron, calcium, magnesium and silicon, which are great for easing pain and helping to build strong bones. Nettles are commonly consumed in drinks and can be bought as extracts and teas from health food shops. Nettle tea is also commonly used as a natural remedy for gout which is an inflammatory arthritis usually affecting the toes.
Stinging nettle leaves can also be used in a similar way to the cayenne ointment above. The fine hairs on the leaves and stems are irritating to the skin but when a nettle leaf is placed over a painful joint on the body, they can actually reduce the more severe pain by disrupting the transmission of the pain signals to our brains, or by actually decreasing inflammatory chemicals. These kind of techniques are similar to using music to distract us while undergoing surgery and it has been proven many times to be effective.
5. Don't sit around, get moving!
When we are in pain from aching joints, our first impulse might be to lay as still as possible in bed, which is of course understandable, especially if it is painful to even get out of a chair to stand. However, light exercise is very important to keeping our joints loose and pain free. Light weight-training can be really useful, small weights are inexpensive and can be fun to use. A simple regular routine can help to strengthen the muscles around the joints, providing more support for the joint itself.
Yoga has been shown to be effective too, using stretching and movement to help keep your joints supple and reduce long term pain. Joining a beginners class could help to get you out of the house regularly and meet new friends too! If you talk to the class instructor and explain your joint problems they will usually be more happy to help and advise. If you have access to a local swimming pool or live near the sea, then swimming is a fantastic way to exercise your joints, swimming slowly in a variety of strokes allows your joints to move through their full range in a very gentle way.
We hope this gives you some ideas on ways to ease the pain from aching joints, as the summer fades away and the cooler temperatures arrive, it's important to keep active and to look after ourselves. Wishing you good health and happiness from all at Just Bee.