How to manage minor joint pain at home

Joint Pain

You start looking for relief as soon as you experience joint pain. However, you might not want to go with a pain killer, as you would be concerned about the side effects or intervention with other drugs. You also might fear getting addicted to pain medication, so you think of adding a drug-free remedy to your arsenal. Ice and heat are good options, but those are not the only options we have. Below mentioned are natural ways to fight inflammation and ease yourself from pain.

A swim would really help

Swimming, water aerobics, and other aquatic activities "promote flexibility and strength without high impact," says Mark Karadsheh, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at the William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI. It is observed that exercising in water reduces pain and improves physical functioning in people with osteoarthritis of the lower limbs. At the same time, a 2015 study from the Netherlands stated that a 45 – minute aquatic training can help relieve the pain of knee osteoarthritis.

Spice it up

Capsaicin, a substance that is reason behind the heat in hot peppers, is used in topical creams and ointments used for pain-relief. "It temporarily uses up substance P [a brain chemical that stimulates pain receptors], which redirects nerves so you don't feel pain in the joint," says Sheryl Mascarenhas, MD, an assistant professor of rheumatology at The Ohio State University.

Massage

Indulging in a massage helps in taking care of joint pain by improving blood circulation and soothing inflammation. In fact, lot of studies have proved that regular massage can help in improving stiffness, pain and range of motion in the target joint.

To massage the injured area, use warm oil like coconut, mustard, olive, castor or garlic oil or Moov cream and apply mild pressure while massaging.

Give it the hot and cold treatment

Treating your joint with hot and cold compresses alternatively can help ease the pain. Heat therapy helps in decreasing pain, increase blood flow and give enough relaxation to sore muscles and joints. Cold therapy takes care of inflammation and numbs the area close to the affected joint.

  • Cover both compresses in different towels before applying them. Do not let it come in direct contact with your skin.
  • Keep the hot compress on the target area for approximately three minutes.
  • Remove the hot compress and instantly put the cold compress in its place for approximately one minute.
  • Repeat the same process for 15 to 20 minutes a few times every day till you get relief.

Keep in mind not to use heat therapy if the target area is red, irritated and hot. Similarly, do not use cold therapy if you have circulatory problems.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a highly effective remedy for joint pain. It contains an active ingredient that goes by the name curcumin that has anti—inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

In a study published in 2009 by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, researchers associated the effectiveness of curcumin to ibuprofen and they found that curcumin was as effective as ibuprofen for pain relief in case of patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis.

  • Mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder and a dash of honey in a glass of warm milk. Drink it daily, at least for a few days.
  • Other choice is for you to take 250 to 500 mg turmeric capsules thrice everyday till you are satisfied with the results.

Keep in mind that one must consult a doctor before including either of the remedies in their daily routine. Turmeric can interfere with certain medications, like blood thinners, and may worsen gallbladder problems.