Joint pain is a term used to describe joint aches, discomfort, or soreness. It can be a debilitating condition if left untreated. Joints are parts where different bones meet. The movement of the bones of your skeleton is due to the presence of joints. Inflamed joints hurt badly, causing severe joint pain. Other causes of joint pain could be injury, trauma, illness, or inflammation. If you’re one of those persons who have had to resort to taking medications for joint pain relief, then you may be surprised to find that there are safer alternatives to these drugs. Home remedies for joint pain can help relieve such symptoms as walking difficulties, stiffness, and reduced range of motion without medication.
Causes of Joint Pain
Joints are the connections between bones, providing bone support. Pain in joints may be caused by disease and injury, which can interfere with bone health, cause a lot of pain, and limit movement.
Painful joint may trigger pain in the ankle, shoulder, or knee. Also referred to as arthralgia, joint pain may be caused by
- inflammation of joints and tendon
- degenerative disorders due to age
- gout, injury
- breakdown of cartilage
- infection of the bone
- infectious disease, including hepatitis, influenza
- sedentary lifestyle
- overuse of a joint
- lack of sleep
- sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia
Symptoms of Joint Pain
Does the area around your joints look red, swollen, or feels warm and tender to the touch? Does the pain subside easily or persist for more than three days? If the area stays stiff, warm, and painful for a few days and the pain does not go away easily, then there is some problem with your joint. Some of the symptoms of joint pain include:
- Strained joint
- Loss of range of motion
- Locking of the joint
- Persistent pain
Although knee pain is the most common symptom, joint pain can affect any other part of the body, from shoulder to hip to ankles, neck, wrist, lower back, spine, feet, toes, and hands.
Diagnosis of Joint Pain
A physical examination may be done to confirm the causes of joint pain. A joint x-ray may be performed to identify any symptoms of arthritis-related damage to joints. To rule out autoimmune disorders, the doctor may perform a blood test. A sedimentation rate test is often done to measure inflammation in the body.
Top 12 Home Remedies for Joint Pain
Aching joints may be in the form of mildly irritating or debilitating pain. The pain may go away a few weeks or last several weeks. In some cases, it may take several months for the pain to subside. Joint pain can affect your quality of life. Pain medications come with numerous side effects that can cause more harm than good. Fortunately, there are home remedies for joint pain that can help you manage symptoms with no to minimal side effects.
One of the most effective home remedies for joint pain is making changes in your diet. Switch to an anti-inflammatory diet filled with foods, such as cold water fish, walnuts, and chia seeds that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and reduce inflammation in the body. Additionally, stock up on healthy fruits and vegetables and stay clear of processed goods. It is also wise to stay away from added sugars and trans-fats as these foods can cause severe inflammation.
According to a research study conducted in Sweden on rheumatoid arthritis patients, a Mediterranean diet helps fight inflammation and related symptoms. How? The Mediterranean diet is a rich source of gamma-linolenic acid, which is known for its properties to maintain the cellular structure and functioning of joints. A form of essential fatty acids, gamma-linolenic acid inhibits joint inflammation. So it is a good idea to include colorful veggies, fresh fruits, fish, whole grains, nuts, olive oil, onion, garlic, and herbs in your diet.
It is one of the leading anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative herbs. Ginger juice reduces the production of certain chemicals that promote inflammation in the joints. It comprises salicylates, which is transformed into the pain-relieving salicylic acid. It binds to cellular enzymes and prevents them from producing chemicals that promote inflammation and cause pain. In a study published in the Arthritis and Rheumatology journal, patients who were given ginger capsules for six months registered 63% reduction in knee pain in comparison to the group that was taking the placebos.
A relaxing bath with magnesium-rich, Epsom salt can have an amazing therapeutic result. For years, it has been one of the top home remedies for joint pain. The skin absorbs the sulfate-rich Epsom salt, providing quick relief from inflammation-related pain, muscle soreness, and spasms. The Epsom salt bath also helps relax tense areas.
You can prepare home remedies for joint pain using this salt. All you need is ½ a cup of Epsom salt and a large bowl of warm water. Simply submerge your joints into this solution for at least 15 minutes. You may apply Epsom salt compress on the skin or take an Epsom salt bath for pain relief. Add a teaspoon of the essential oil that suits your skin and soak in the water for at least 20 minutes.
You can also try taking a bath in Epsom salt. For a tub full of warm water, you will need to add about 2 cups of Epsom salt.
Hot and Cold Packs
One of the most effective natural remedies for joint pain relief is the hot and cold approach. Alternating hot and cold packs can provide an immense amount of relief to your stiff and aching joints.
Apply a hot therapeutic gel pack on the inflamed joints for at least 15-20 minutes. Follow it up with an ice pack for the same amount of time. Continue the therapy daily for maximum benefits.
Eucalyptus and peppermint oils have a natural property to provide a cooling effect on the aching joints.
Collagen and Supplements
Collagen is an essential protein in human bodies, which contains 19 amino acids and helps build joints. The protein acts like a natural glue and is essential to keep skin and joints together. Some other benefits of collagen include keeping connective tissue strong, supporting healthy muscle growth, healing arterial walls, and helping the body recover from exercise and workouts.
You can derive collagen from protein-rich foods, including fish, chicken, beef, and eggshell membranes. Other vegan sources of omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, flax seeds, and chia seeds.
Collagen can be sourced from supplements, such as collagen protein powders.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, chamomile tea is becoming widely popular as a natural remedy for joint pain. A cup of chamomile tea can have immense relaxing benefits for your body and mind, which can help relieve stress and provide relief from painful symptoms. This is one reason it is preferred at bedtime.
Additionally, it may help to make a joint wrap with chamomile tea and apply the same on the affected area. For example, it might help to wrap the cloth around aching knees or elbow.
This may sound counterproductive but it is important you get a move on and start exercising. As unpleasant as it may sound, exercise is important if you are suffering from any kind of stiffness or joint pain. Exercise controls weight gain that in turn reduces strain applied to your joints. When we remain inactive, the synovial fluid in the joints becomes thicker in consistency. Moving and warming up causes the gel to become viscous, helping you loosen up.
Massage therapy promotes blood circulation, causing relieve to joint pain by soothing inflammation. Studies suggest that regular massage therapies can improve range of motion, stiffness, and pain in the affected area. You may use castor oil, mustard oil or warm coconut oil for the purpose.
Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV can effectively reduce inflammation and joint pain caused by eliminating the accumulated toxins in the joints and connective tissues. ACV is also rich in minerals such as phosphorous, potassium and calcium. For this remedy, mix 1 to 3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with some honey in a warm cup of water. Drink this solution 2-3 times a day, preferably before mealtime. Continue drinking this solution for a few days as it is good for your overall health. Alternatively, you may also massage mix a little ACV with olive oil and massage it on the affected area.
Increases Magnesium Intake
Changing food habits offer the most effective home remedies for joint pain. Our body requires magnesium in order to stay healthy. The element is used in over 300 biochemical reactions in our body. Magnesium also plays an important role in reducing stiffness and muscle pain. Several studies have pointed out how increasing magnesium intake can improve bone density, resulting in stronger bones. If you suffer from regular joint pain, you ought to start including magnesium capsules in your diet. Additionally, you can also increase magnesium in your diet but eating dark leafy greens and other foods rich in magnesium such as legumes, beans, and nuts. Additionally, you may also apply magnesium oil on the affected area. When absorbed by the skin, the oil can help by causing relief and relief to joint pain.
Turmeric is an excellent home remedy for joint pain. The spice contains active ingredients, such as curcumin, and has several anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that reduce joint pain. Studies have shown that curcumin is almost as effective at providing relief to patients as ibuprofen. For this remedy, all you have to do is mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder with a little bit of honey in a warm glass of milk. Drink this daily for a couple of days. Alternatively, you may also take turmeric capsules three times a day until you are satisfied with the results.
Cayenne peppers contain a compound known as capsaicin that has natural pain-relieving properties and acts as an analgesic. For this remedy, you need a half a cup of coconut oil and cayenne pepper powder. Heat the oil and add two tablespoons of powder. Spread the mixture on the pain area and let it be there for at least 20 minutes. The heat from the pepper will offer you relief from the pain. Repeat this remedy a few times a day until you achieved the desired results. However, cayenne-based home remedies for joint pain is a test for your motivation.
Note: Cayenne peppers should not be applied on open skin or wounds as it results in a burning sensation.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The ideal consistency of olive oil effectively lubricates the joints, easing arthritis pain. Use about 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to massage your sore joints. You may also incorporate olive oil in your salads and use it as a dressing but be sure to cut down on fats because of the high-calorie count in the oil.
Rich in compounds, such as selenium and sulfur, garlic is among effective home remedies for joint pain and arthritis. Selenium has an anti-rheumatic effect whereas sulfur is known to reduce inflammation and relieve joint pain. For this remedy, incorporate more raw and cooked garlic in your diet. If you cannot stand the smell of garlic, you may opt for garlic supplements instead.
Various studies confirm stinging nettle is useful for reducing joint pain without causing any harmful side effects. The herb contains various active compounds that reduce inflammation additionally. It is also rich in boron, a mineral that is required for healthy joints and bones. For this remedy, steep about 2-3 tablespoons of dried nettle leaves in a cup of boiling hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain and drink this tea about 3 times a day until you get positive results.
Note: Do not opt for such home remedies for joint pain if you are under medication as it may interfere with blood thinners and other medication.
Pectin and Grape Juice Mix
A water-soluble carbohydrate, pectin is extracted from fruits to make jams and jellies. It is found in the cell walls of plants and now being used as a popular home remedy for arthritis. Pectin returns the synovial tissue to a more liquid state that aids in the lubrication of joints. For this remedy, simply mix a tablespoon of liquid pectin with some grape juice or any other juice of your choice that reduces inflammation and drink away.