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5 Natural Ways to Relieve Arthritis Pain

Do you find that your knees or hips hurt after you’ve been sitting for a long time? Is bending or squatting painful for you? These symptoms are common in people with knee or hip osteoarthritis. These symptoms generally increase after you turn 35. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one out of every two people will have symptoms of knee osteoarthritis sometime before they turn 85.

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis occurs when there is abnormal wear and tear of cartilage from a joint surface causing bone on bone rubbing. This tends to occur more in the knees, hips and ankles because these joints bear the weight of your body and have to endure an average of 3,000-6,000 steps a day.

Knee osteoarthritis pain is generally felt under the kneecap but can travel up the thigh or down your lower leg. The pads below your knee generally become thicker and more swollen. Hip osteoarthritis pain is typically felt in the groin on one side or deep in the buttock. The pain may actually feel decrease when you walk but can become worse after sitting for a few minutes and then trying to move again.

What causes Osteoarthritis?
  • Normal or abnormal wear and tear on joint cartilage
  • Injuries that damage cartilage and joints
  • Diseases that damage cartilage
  • Lack of joint support from poor muscle strength and tissue flexibility
What can be done?

When you have limited range of motion and strength around your joint, you will feel pain there. Joint instability and increased pressure on the cartilage causes inflammation and pain. Physical therapy is an effective treatment method because it discovers the abnormal movement in the joint and naturally corrects it. With hands-on therapy, special strengthening and balance exercises, knee or hip pain can typically be completely relieved.

Here are some more tips to try to reduce arthritis pain:

1. Exercise
This is essential for people suffering from arthritis. It is vital to strengthen muscles, increase flexibility and improve blood flow. Cartilage actually receives its nutrition from joint fluid, so the more you can exercise the better. It is also important to mix between weight bearing and non-weight bearing exercises like aquatic exercises or bicycling. A balance between aerobic and strengthening exercises is highly recommended. The clinicians at Loudoun Sports Therapy Center recommend you see a physical therapist first before starting an arthritis exercise routine. They are movement specialists who can safely prescribe the right exercises tailored to you.

2. Vitamins
According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are a mix of studies showing some benefits to using glucosomine and chondroitin. Glucosomine is naturally made in the body and helps support the cartilage by retaining water and preventing wear. Additional supplements may help. Some studies show that glucosomine may slow down joint damage.

3. Avoid inflammatory foods
There are foods that increase the body’s natural inflammation response. Arthritis is a condition of joints that become inflamed. Therefore, by avoiding foods with high fat, fried foods, sodas, high sugar content and processed foods, you help to naturally relieve the inflammation in your body.

4. Calcium and Magnesium
Many people don’t get enough calcium and magnesium. These are vital minerals for hundreds of processes in your body. Having enough of these builds strong bones and reduces irritated nerve endings and decreases pain. If possible, find supplements that are in powder form that can be easily digested and help your body’s intake of these essential minerals.

5. Sleep
Sleep is a time for our body and brain to repair itself. It is important to make sure you are getting enough sleep 7-8 hours at least to allow your body to repair and decrease pain. When you are tired, your body does not function as well, increases the inflammatory response and reduces your pain threshold.

Physical therapy is one of the best ways to improve your arthritis pain. The clinicians at Loudoun Sports Therapy Center can help your joints feel better by reducing pain and inflammation while improving your joint strength and flexibility. Don’t wait, CALL TODAY at 703-450-4300 and start your path to PAIN-FREE LIVING!