Best Homeopathic: Naturopathica Arnica Gel
Courtesy of Amazon
Not everyone finds relief using arnica
When other formulas dont cut it, this luxe Naturopathica gel is worth every penny. The key ingredient is arnica, a prized herb known as “natures aspirin.” Naturopathicas product also contains menthol for a cooling effect and natural aroma and enriched with magnesium to improve muscle function.
A little goes a long way with this potent arnica-packed gel thats gentle on skin and dries with a smooth, non-greasy finish.
Active Ingredients: Arnica and menthol | Dose: Massage a dime-sized amount into affected areas as needed | Uses: Helps to soothe and restore skin after exercise, post-injury, arthritis pain, and otherwise achy muscles and joints
Alternate Remedies For Rheumatoid Arthritis
More and more people are moving toward homeopathic treatments instead of relying on overpriced prescription medications and costly surgeries many of which individuals, especially those without insurance, cannot afford. Not only that, many people are becoming wary of putting so many manufactured chemicals in their bodies on a regular basis. It seems like everything we ingest nowadays is somehow engineered instead of natural. Perhaps returning to nature is a better alternative than the usual go-to treatments. Well discuss the use and effectiveness of seven natural remedies for RA. Well also share what our research has found as far as success rates go.
1. CinnamonProponents of cinnamon in alleviating symptoms of RA contribute its healing powers to the anti-inflammatory qualities of cinnamon bark. In addition, cinnamon is noted to help with aches and pains, especially when they are worse with cold or cold weather.
The Problem? Cinnamon in large doses can be detrimental to your health. In addition, cinnamon has been found to have potential harmful effects to pregnant women and may negatively react with your bodys natural blood clotting as well as interacts with any blood thinning medications you are taking.
2. Willow BarkWillow bark, as the name quite literally says, is the bark off of willow trees. This bark has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties which assist with pain relief. In fact, it has very similar qualities to everyday aspirin.
What Is The Best Treatment For Arthritis Pain Relief
Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to prevent and relieve arthritis pain and improve joint function. Your physician may recommend one or more options based on your type of arthritis, including:
- Medications: Painkillers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , counterirritants, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs , biologic response modifiers, or corticosteroids
- Physical therapy
- Alternative medicine
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Best Cooling Gel: Tiger Balm Arthritis Tiger Balm Rub
Courtesy of Amazon
Pump makes it easy to dispense
Some people find it works better on muscle pain than joint pain
Smell may be overpowering for some
Containing a blend of natural herbal ingredients, Tiger Balm Arthritis Rub provides safe, fast, budget-friendly relief from arthritis joint pain and muscle aches. If you’re experiencing symptoms like redness, warmth, and swelling, look for something containing like menthol and camphor, which are both ingredients in this product. These ingredients distract from the pain via cooling sensations.
Dispensed from an easy-to-use arthritis-friendly pump, this anti-inflammatory topical lotion isnt greasy and doesn’t contain skin-drying alcohol. While it’s typically used for deep pain relief, like sore muscles, it can also be used for superficial pain, like shingles. However, it shouldn’t be used on broken skin or open wounds or on irritated, inflamed, reddened, or dry skin.
Active Ingredients: Camphor and menthol | Dose: Apply to affected areas no more than three to four times daily | Uses: Temporary relief of minor muscle and/or joint pain
Orthotic Inserts And Braces
Some people find that wearing an orthotic insert, which fits into the shoe, or a foot or ankle brace helps to ease arthritis symptoms. By limiting the movement of the foot or ankle joint, an insert or brace may relieve pain and stiffness, making it more comfortable to walk.
Orthotic inserts are available in different sizes and levels of stiffness. They can be placed in the shoe to support different parts of the feet, depending on the location of your arthritis pain. Orthotic inserts help reduce the amount of stress put on arthritic areas of the foot by redistributing the weight of the body to other parts of the foot, providing pain relief.
Braces also come in different sizes and levels of support. Some are flexible and worn in addition to regular shoes, and others resemble a cast that covers part of the foot and ankle. NYU Langone doctors can advise you on the type of brace that best suits your lifestyle and the severity of your symptoms. If youre planning to spend the day in an environment that requires very little walking, for instance, a light brace may be all you need. If your job requires you to be on your feet all day, a brace with more support might be a better choice.
Some of the time, inserts and braces available at drugstores work well. If your doctor suggests that a brace or orthotic insert designed to fit the shape of your foot may be more effective, NYU Langone specialists can customize a brace or orthotic insert to ensure it provides the support you need.
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Exercise And Wise Use Of Joints
Another key to coping with pain is to follow an exercise program designed by your doctor or physical therapist.
Your exercise program should include special range-of-motion exercises to help keep your joints movable. It should also include general fitness exercise such as swimming or walking. These help keep your heart, lungs, bones and muscles strong. Exercise also helps relieve stiffness and gives you an improved sense of well-being. Here are some tips to help you exercise properly:
- If you have a flare, do only gentle range-of-motion exercises.
- Start with just a few exercises and slowly add more.
- Listen to your body. If it hurts too much or if you begin to have too much pain, stop the exercise. Ask your doctor or therapist to help you learn the difference between normal exercise discomfort and too much exercise pain.
Using joints wisely and saving energy
Using your joints wisely means doing everyday tasks in ways that reduce the stress on painful joints. Saving your energy means “listening” to your body for signals that it needs to rest. It also means learning to pace yourself so you don’t become too tired. Here are a few guidelines for using your joints wisely and for saving your energy:
Why Trust Verywell Health
As a seasoned health writer, Jennifer Nied understands how vital quality product recommendations are for treating symptoms safely and effectively at home. For over 10 years, she has reviewed products, interviewed experts, scrutinized ingredients, and pored over research studies and claims, to help readers like you understand what works for your specific conditions. Every product in this piece was selected taking into account recommendations from doctors, published research, and real customer reviews.
Additional reporting to this story by Danielle Zoellner and Elizabeth Yuko
As a seasoned health writer, Danielle Zoellner knows the importance of finding just the right product to fit your medical needs. Throughout her career, Danielle has interviewed a variety of experts in the medical and health fields while reviewing dozens of products. Her experience and knowledge in the field work together to help readers like yourself find the best products for your daily life.
As a seasoned health writer and editorand someone with rheumatoid arthritisElizabeth Yuko understands how much of a difference finding the right product makes for those with arthritis. Shes always on the lookout for new products, techniques, and services that can help people cope with their health challenges.
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Working Toward A Personalized Approach To Pain Management
This meta-analysis cannot tell us which of these types of medication should be prescribed for a particular patient. No study can. The person-to-person variation in the effectiveness of any KOA treatment is huge. One patient may get near-total pain relief while another is not helped at all. These findings do give clinicians a benchmark for the typical amount of pain relief that might be expected from these medications, and suggest that, since they work about equally well, the choice of which one to use will be influenced by considerations other than effectiveness. Providers and those suffering with chronic pain also need to weigh potential side effects. Treatment with oral NSAIDs can result in stomach problems like bleeding, ulcer, and stomach upset, as well as high blood pressure and kidney problems. Opioids can have side effects such as constipation, nausea, and drowsiness. As you are also likely aware, opioids are also associated with a risk of serious overdose and addiction.
About the Author
Robert R. Edwards, Ph.D., Contributing Editor
Nsaids Vs Opioids: Was There A Clear Winner
A recent study compared oral NSAIDs and oral opioids for relief of osteoarthritis pain. Researchers at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Womens Hospital performed a meta-analysis . They included clinical trials in which patients with knee osteoarthritis were chosen at random to receive treatment that lasted at least 2 months.
The researchers carefully chose which studies to include, and two members of the team independently reviewed each study and extracted the data. They selected studies that used a common, well-validated, and widely-accepted measure of pain . Data from over 5,500 patients were included, and the researchers found that, on average, oral NSAID treatment reduced pain by around 18 points on the WOMAC scale. Treatment with less potent oral opioids also reduced pain by around 18 points, and potent oral opioids reduced pain by around 19 points on the WOMAC scale. Since, on average, patients started out with pain ratings of around 50-60 out of 100, each of these medications achieved around a 30% reduction in patients pain.
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Inflammation At The Root Of It All
Low-grade inflammation is a natural immune system response to infections or invading pathogens in the body. The inflammatory response is designed to kill the toxin by quickly transporting white blood cells to the infected area.
Unfortunately, in some instances this response becomes chronic, and inflammation is widespread through the body. This can be dangerous, as it damages healthy cells and tissues.
Inflammation is a common underlying factor in many serious diseases like heart disease, asthma, cancer, and arthritis.
Thankfully, research has found that what you eat can impact the level of inflammation in your body. Certain spices, in particular, can ease inflammation and therefore bring relief to painful arthritic joints.
It is the antioxidant content as well as the presence of various compounds that provide this service by disrupting the inflammatory-signaling pathways. In doing so, the production of pro-inflammatory markers is reduced, and the inflammatory response is extinguished.
The best part about using spices to help with arthritis pain is that they achieve the results without any adverse side effects. NSAIDs are commonly used to treat inflammation and pain in arthritis, but extensive use of these can cause health problems.
Overuse of medications can lead to stomach ulcers as well as headaches, but using natural spices adds flavor to a meal and can help relieve your pain without causing additional issues.
Pain And Other Symptoms Of Spinal Osteoarthritis
The intensity and type of pain people experience as a result of arthritis in the spine varies from mild to severe, and occasional to episodic to chronic. Each type of pain is treated differently. Of course, it is not uncommon for arthritic neck or back pain to be accompanied by other symptoms, such as tingling sensations, numbness, or muscle spasms. Learn more about the range of osteoarthritis symptoms.
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Medical Treatment For Foot & Ankle Arthritis
If you are diagnosed with arthritis in the foot or ankle, NYU Langone doctors often recommend a combination of treatments to lessen discomfort and prevent further joint damage. These may include modifying activities that put stress on the affected joints, using orthotic inserts and braces, taking medication, or receiving corticosteroid injections that provide longer-term pain relief. People diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis may require medications to control the bodys immune response, in addition to some of the following therapies.
Is There A Best Pain Reliever For Osteoarthritis
- By Robert R. Edwards, Ph.D., Contributing Editor
ARCHIVED CONTENT: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date each article was posted or last reviewed. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Osteoarthritis affects tens of millions of Americans and is a leading cause of disability and reduced quality of life across the globe. Other than joint replacement surgery, there is no known cure for OA, and most treatments focus on relief of symptoms such as pain. Often, the first step is non-medication-based approaches such as physical therapy, exercise, and weight loss. Most patients, however, will eventually use pain relievers such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . Other kinds of medication, such as opioids, have also been tested as treatments for OA, and there is ongoing debate about what treatments are best.
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Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors
Tumor necrosis factor alpha is a pro-inflammatory cytokine produced by macrophages and lymphocytes. It is found in large quantities in the rheumatoid joint and is produced locally in the joint by synovial macrophages and lymphocytes infiltrating the joint synovium. TNF is one of the critical cytokines that mediate joint damage and destruction due to its activities on many cells in the joint as well as effects on other organs and body systems. TNF antagonists were the first of the biological DMARDS to be approved for the treatment of RA. These drugs began to enter the market for rheumatoid arthritis in 1999 and are now considered a part the ACR recommendations for treatment of RA. There are currently five TNF inhibitors FDA approved for the treatment of RA etanercept , infliximab , adalimumab , certolizumab pegol , and golimumab . Etanercept is a soluble TNF receptor-Fc immunoglobulin fusion construct infliximab, adalimumab, and golimumab are monoclonal antibodies and certolizumab pegol is an anti-TNF antigen binding domain-polyethylene glycol construct. While differing in structure, the efficacy and safety of the drugs is similar across the class in reducing the signs and symptoms of RA, as well as in slowing or halting radiographic damage, when used either as monotherapy or in combination with methotrexate.
Surprising Facts About Arthritis Pain
Even though pain may interfere with work relationships and daily life few Americans talk to their doctors about it. Did you know:
- Fewer than half of Americans with severe or moderate pain report that they have a “great deal of control” over their pain.
- Fewer than half of people who visit their doctor for pain believe that their doctor completely understands how their pain makes them feel.
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Comparing Pain Meds For Osteoarthritis
Understand the pros and cons of different medicines for OA pain.
Exercise and weight loss are the best ways to beat osteoarthritis pain. But you may want to try other methods too. These include creams you apply to your skin , pills and joint injections. Knowing the pros and cons of these treatments can help you make the right choice.
Before you try pills, experts say you should try topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for your OA pain. These come by prescription liquids and patches . Gel is now available over-the-counter without a prescription. Studies show they can relieve knee pain just as well as pills, but with fewer side effects.
Other over-the-counter arthritis creams and patches include ingredients such as capsaicin, camphor, menthol and lidocaine. They can be used for as long as needed.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs NSAIDs are the most effective oral medicines for OA. They include ibuprofen naproxen and diclofenac . All work by blocking enzymes that cause pain and swelling.
The problem is that some of those enzymes also help blood to clot and protect the lining of your stomach. Without them, you can bruise easily, develop ulcers and may even bleed in your intestines.
NSAIDs also increase your chance of heart attack, stroke and heart failure. The risk increases the longer you use them and the more you take.
Celecoxib is an NSAID thats less likely to cause gastrointestinal bleeding, but it can cause heart problems.
What Blocks Pain Signals
Many scientists think pain control methods help reduce pain by blocking pain signals. Pain signals are sent through a complex system of nerves in the brain and spinal cord.
There are many things that can block these signals and thus prevent the pain message from reaching your brain.
Pain signals are blocked by chemicals made by the brain called endorphins. There are several things that can cause the brain to produce endorphins. These include “natural” controls, such as your own thoughts and emotions, or “outside” controls such as medicines.
A father driving with his children is hurt in a car accident. The father is so worried about his children that he doesn’t feel the pain from his own broken arm. The concern for his children somehow blocked the pain signal and kept the pain from affecting him.
Certain medicines such as morphine imitate the body’s endorphins and block the pain signal. Other pain control methods, such as heat and cold treatments, physical therapy, exercise, relaxation and massage can stimulate the body to release its own endorphins or to block the pain signal in other ways.
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When To See A Doctor
A person should see a doctor if they experience any symptoms of an allergic reaction, any serious side effects, or any worsening side effects from taking any OTC anti-inflammatory.
A person should seek emergency medical attention if they experience difficulty breathing or notice any blood in the vomit or stool.
If a person is allergic to any NSAID, has other health issues, or is taking prescription medications, they should talk to their doctor before taking any NSAID.
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