f you’re lucky enough to only know it conceptually, be grateful. Because for those of us who have arthritis, we are pretty much stuck with it.
What does Arthritis even mean?
Well, the prefix “Arth-” means joint, and the suffix “-itis” denotes inflammation. So together, “Arthritis” is simply a fancy word for “inflammation in the joints”.
There are many types of arthritis, and across the board, they are generally chronic (meaning long-term), and unpleasant. The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative type, and rheumatoid arthritis which is the autoimmune type. Fibromyalgia and gout are also both considered types of arthritis.
Arthritis is typically brought on by wear and tear, and overuse of the joints. Over time, the cartilage of the joints break down, causing a grinding of the joints leading to a great deal of inflammation, swelling, pain and general discomfort. When this happens, it is common for the joints to become stiff, as any movement will aggravate the joint pain further.
Unfortunately, pretty much anyone can develop arthritis. For some people it is hereditary, meaning they inherit it from a family member. For
others, it can be brought on by years of wear and tear, or even just a once-off injury. Being over weight can also lead to arthritis, as well as having an inflammatory diet. Arthritis can also be brought on by allergic reaction, believe it or not.
Take me for example: I was an athlete for most of my life, even working on a bicycle in all weather types for 4 years. I was hit by a bus in 2014, AND most of my family on my Dad’s side is arthritic. I basically won the arthritis lottery… and experience arthritis pain more often than not.
There are many ways to develop it, so maybe do some extra research on the topic, and see if there’s some things you can do to avoid what seems like a gross inevitability.
A lot of people will simply turn to anti-inflammatory and pain medications. While this is a perfectly viable option, I will ask you to consider avoiding this long term. We now know that these medications can have a negative affect on the liver, so maybe try some natural solutions first, or in tandem.
The following are a few pharma-free recommendations for you:
1. Cut out inflammatory foods, i.e. sugar.
I recently cut out foods high in carbs and sugars, and it has helped tremendously with my arthritis pain. Essentially, I am on the keto diet. It may be difficult at first, but I promise you it is worth giving a try!
I have since experienced so much less pain, I shed a lot of water weight, and I feel very strong and solid in my body.
There are other ways you can go about this too. You can try going vegetarian or vegan as well. Do your research, see what resonates with you. Maybe speak to a nutritionist or a dietician.
2. Stay hydrated.
Your whole body needs hydration to stay lubricated and functional. Literally every cell in your body is affected by dehydration, and will begin to break down and disfunction.
Drinking clean water is a great way to achieve this, but so is eating fruit and veg with a high water content!
3. Castor Oil.
Castor oil is a derived from the castor bean, and can be found in any local health food shop and even some pharmacies. It is brilliant for any joint, ligament or tendon damage.
I would recommend applying it to the affect area, then applying a hot compress like a hot water bottle or heated blanket. The heat will help the oil saturate deeply into the tissues. I use it quite regularly on hands and feet, for which it can be very healing, even leaving you feeling like they are new.
4. Turmeric oil.
Turmeric is naturally anti-inflammatory. So you can add it to your diet, OR you can buy the oil and infuse it into your castor oil. I would highly recommend this. I have used it many times, and every time I am astounded by the relief that I get.
5. Cold hydro.
Since arthritis is an inflammatory condition, it results in a lot of heat. So what do you do when something is too hot? You cool it down, right? Well this is essentially what I am suggesting.
Whether locally, with an ice pack or bag of frozen peas, OR full body, by jumping in the sea or taking a cold shower.
Athletes do this in an extreme form by taking ice-baths. It’s called Cryotherapy in some circles. If you’re going to give this a try, I would recommend doing some research first. There are quite a number of contraindications, and it might be best to approach it slowly.
As a massage therapist, I am prone to pain and inflammation in my arms and hands. So what I do is run my arms and hands in very cold water after every treatment. I find this works really well, and is definitely preserving my joint health in the long-run.
I am also prone to back spasms, but since I have started jumping in the sea a few times a week, I never get the spasms anymore. I don’t think that’s just a coincidence…
6. Stem cell Patches.
Now, I know this may seem a tad controversial, but they are perfectly ethical and work VERY well. Of all the natural solutions, they are on the pricier end, but they definitely get the job done, and some.
The stem cell patches I use are from a company called LifeWave, and not only do they severely reduce pain and inflammation, they also improve sleep, stamina and endurance. There are many benefits to these patches, so if you are curious, definitely look into them!
There have been days where I woke up in so much pain I could hardly move, never mind walk. Days where I had a client coming in a few hours, and there was no way I would have been able to treat them in my state. But then I’d put a patch on, and an hour later I hardly felt any pain and was able to work just fine and full of energy too.
7. Last but not least… Earthing!
Maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe you haven’t. “Earthing” or sometimes known as “grounding” is the practice of being barefooted on the earth. It may sound too simple, and really it is. What does it do? Well, it effectively reduces inflammation in the body, and supports the body in a number of ways. It improves your sleep, boosts your immune system, and diminishes stress.
Don’t believe me? Well in that case, why don’t you check out The Earthing Movie on youtube. It explains all the science behind why this works wonders for reducing inflammation and more!
Oh ya, and one of the best parts about it… It’s completely free and always accessible.
These are just a few natural solutions to managing your arthritis pain. I use them all in combination and rarely ever have to take anti-inflammatories or pain medications. Basically, the only time I ever have to take pharmaceuticals is when I don’t have access to my natural solutions.
So give them a try, and you never know… it may just change your life!