Joint pain can severely impact your quality of life. If you suffer from a condition such as osteoarthritis, or the effects of a knee injury, youll be no stranger to this unique brand of discomfort. Thankfully, there are numerous ways to find some relief, both at home and from medical professionals. Though you should always seek medical attention after a bad joint injury or if your pain becomes severe, here are five excellent ways to manage milder joint pain at home.
- A hot or cold compress
Harness the power of temperature to ease your joints. A hot compress (be careful not to make it too hot, and to wrap a hot water bottle in a towel to prevent burns) can increase blood flow, and relax joints and muscles. Cold (take similar precautions and never apply ice directly to the skin), calms down inflammation and can reduce pain with a numbing effect. You should definitely avoid using heat, though, if the area is red, irritated or feels hot, and cold therapy is a bad idea for those with circulatory problems.
- Eucalyptus oil
This essential oil can be applied topically (rubbed into the skin of the affected area) to ease joint pain. It has a cooling and soothing effect that can make the skin tingle, distracting from the underlying discomfort. As with any home remedy, be sure to check with your doctor before you use it.
- Ginger tea
A University of Miami study, mentioned here by the Arthritis Foundation, showed that ginger reduced joint pain in a group of osteoarthritis patients by 40% over the control group. Ginger has a both anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, which make it a great alternative to ordinary tea.
- Apple cider vinegar
Its a folk remedy, and some are sceptical about it. But no one can deny apple cider vinegar is an excellent source of magnesium, which can reduce the oxidative stress associated with arthritis, and potassium, which can prevent calcium build-up in joints. You might also find it a tastier and more interesting alternative to malt vinegar.
Just like apple cider vinegar, spinach is high in magnesium. So, you might find Popeyes favourite snack relaxes muscles and nerve endings, relieving stiffness and pain. Getting your magnesium from food sources such as leafy greens over supplements also means less risk of side-effects. If you do choose to take a supplement, however, its always best to check with your doctor, particularly if you are on other medication.
Of course, DIY joint pain remedies have their limitations. If the above remedies arent working, it might be time to consider professional medical treatment, or possibly surgical intervention. For someone to lean on when you find yourself struggling on your own with joint pain, top-class facilities such as Highgate Private Hospital in London offer expert orthopaedic care and knee surgery. Their consultants are the foremost in their field, and youll find their standard of care is second-to-none.