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Ease Arthritis Pain From the Inside
If you’re looking to ease arthritis pain there are different things to try depending on your goals.
If you’re looking for a longer term solution that helps you repair cartilage and decrease inflammation (which will drop your pain levels), you’ll want to consider eating the foods that help arthritis , drinking plenty of clean, pure mineral water, and supplements. These will not be quick fixes! But they can be very effective at managing your pain levels long term, and they can help you stop the degeneration which means less pain as time goes on.
Mineral water has health beneifits that tap or purified water doesn’t. Some of those elemental minerals may be involved in maintaining healthy bones and joints, so given a choice, consider drinking it instead of tap or purified water.
Any joint support supplement you take should have a good quality Glucosamine sulfate, Chondroitin sulfate, and I also recommend MSM especially if you’re active. Expect results in about six weeks to ease arthritis pain, as it takes some time for your body to use the ingredients to repair the damage to your joints. The worse the degeneration, the longer it may take to see improvement.
You can find more information on glucosamine supplements here.
A homeopathic remedy for arthritis can also be extremely effective as an arthritis pain remedy. I recommend Traumeel products, and they can effectively stop the inflammatory pathway at the first step, which helps move your body’s natural chemistry towards recovery.
In contrast, osteoarthritis drugs like acetaminophen and ibuprofen stop the inflammatory process at the last step, which just masks pain, and they can have substantial and dangerous side effects.
Ease Arthritis Pain From the Outside
Topical arthritis pain relief creams can be very helpful to ease arthritis pain temporarily. While these won’t be very helpful at repairing damage, they can really help you feel better temporarily after you’ve overdone it, or if you have a lot you need to get done. And since they don’t have the side effects of medications, they are a good choice for daily use.
There are generally three types of arthritis creams: those that are cooling, those that are warming, and those that contain OTC medicines like acetaminophen, methyl salicylate, or ibuprofen.
Cooling Topical Creams
Products that are cooling contain menthol which is an active ingredient from peppermint oil. It increases blood flow to the painful area to relieve minor aches and pains such as muscle cramps and muscle sprain.
According to the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, menthol is one of the most effective arthritis pain relievers. When applied to the skin, menthol stimulates the nerves for the perception of cold, while depressing those which perceive pain. The preliminary feeling of coolness is soon followed by a sensation of warmth.
We use Biofreeze in the office, and patients love it. It uses menthol to create a cooling sensation and contains Ilex (Ilex paraguariensis). Ilex is part of the holly family of plants and grows in South America. The Paraguay Indians call it Yerba Mate and have used Ilex extract for centuries to enhance the effects of their balms.
Ilex contains many wonderful compounds, similar to Green Tea, that provide antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and saponins.
Warming Topical Creams
These products usually contain capsaicin (the active ingredient in hot peppers). It works by interfering with the chemical that transmits pain signals to the brain (substance P, if you’re interested). Capsaicin can be a skin irritant, so if you have sensitive skin or diabetic neuropathy, you’ll want to be extremely careful.
For pain relief, it’s usually rubbed into the affected area a few times a day. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after using capsaicin containing products. These products may make your skin feel like it’s burning a little. If this happens, decrease the amount you use, and over time (2-3 weeks) the burning sensation should wear off.
The research shows good results with capsaicin containing products. A study from 1991 involved 70 osteoarthritis patients and 31 rheumatoid arthritis patients. Patients were instructed to apply 0.025% capsaicin or placebo to painful knees, four times a day. Results revealed that 80% of patients treated with capsaicin experienced pain reduction following two weeks of treatment. (Treatment of arthritis with topical capsaicin. Clinical Therapeutics. 1991 May-Jun;13(3):383-95.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1954640)
Capsaicin 0.075% was evaluated for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in a 4-week study, published in 1992. All of the study participants had significant hand pain and applied capsaicin to their hands 4 times daily. It was found that capsaicin reduced tenderness and pain in osteoarthritis of the hand patients, but not rheumatoid arthritis patients when compared to placebo. (Effect of topical capsaicin in the therapy of painful osteoarthritis of the hands. Journal of Rheumatology. 1992 Apr;19(4):604-7.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1375648)
Specific Products that Ease Arthritis Pain
Here are the specific products I recommend to ease arthritis pain, both in supplement form and topical arthritis creams.
You can find more information on each specific product by clicking the product name; you’ll be redirected to a page about that product.
HEEL Traumeel Ointment
Laser therapy eases arthritis pain in just a few visits
There are 2 types of lasers commonly used in the US to help with pain… low level lasers or cold lasers and high powered lasers or Class 4 lasers. I have a K-Laser, which is a class 4 laser, and we see amazing results. If your joints are not completely worn out (in other words if your X-rays show that the bones are not yet rubbing together) this can be a good option to try. To read about the K-Laser and how it works, click here.