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Natural remedies for arthritis symptoms


According to the Arthritis Foundation of South Africa, about 1 in 5 South Africans could be living with arthritis. If you’re one of the 20% dealing with a form of this painful condition, here are a few natural remedies you may want to try.

1. Physical activity

While low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, water aerobics, yoga and tai chi are all good for your overall health and wellbeing, some of these activities can also help to improve balance, muscle strength, range of movement and flexibility – and may even provide some pain relief.

*Remember to speak to your GP before starting any new physical activity.

2. Maintaining a healthy weight

Another way to alleviate arthritis symptoms is by maintaining a healthy weight. Mayo Clinic states: “If you’re obese, losing weight will reduce the stress on your weight-bearing joints. This may increase your mobility and limit future joint injury.”

3. Massage therapy

A relaxing massage doesn’t just feel good – it can be good for you too. The Arthritis Foundation explains an important benefit of this touch-based therapy: “Regular massage of muscles and joints, whether by a licensed therapist at a spa or by self-massage at home, can lead to a significant reduction in pain for people with arthritis, according to Tiffany Field, PhD, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine…”

4. Heat and cold

According to Arthritis-health.com, applying heat and cold to affected joints is “an inexpensive and easy way to treat arthritis-related aches and pains.” They suggest using heat to relieve muscle and joint stiffness, to warm up joints before physical activity or to alleviate muscle spasms, while cold can be used to reduce inflammation, swelling and pain.

5. Turmeric

This bright yellow spice is well-known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. According to WebMD, “Research shows it blocks proteins that cause inflammation and may ease pain as well as some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) commonly used to treat RA.” And the Arthritis Foundation cites a 2010 clinical trial which found that a turmeric supplement “provided long-term improvement in pain and function in 100 patients with knee OA (osteoarthritis).”