One of the important components in the diet is calcium as a very important nutrient of the body. Not having the right amount of calcium in the diet can cause multiple deficiencies and can even lead to the arthritic condition called osteoporosis. Research has shown that arthritis progresses faster in people with low calcium content. Also it must be added that Vitamin D helps in absorbing the calcium, hence sunbathing helps in alleviating arthritis pain.

 

Amount of Calcium intake for Arthritis Patients

Females around and above 50 years old should have 1200 milligram to 2000 milligram of calcium each day. Males of the same age can have anything from 1000 milligram to 2000 milligram of calcium per day. A younger person should intake at least 1000 milligram per day.

Foods having Calcium High Content

Low fat milk, leafy green vegetables, orange juices fortified with calcium, cheese, yogurt, tofu, blackeye peas, cereal and wheat flour, rains, almonds and figs. If your diet does not have enough calcium content, one should start taking calcium supplement.

Curing Osteoporosis with Calcium Absorption

Vitamin D helps in absorbing calcium to the body, so while taking calcium one should start their intake of vitamin D. Here is a list of things that are rich with Vitamin D – Egg yolks, fish and a daily dose of 15 to 20 minutes exposure to sun.

Estrogen too helps in absorption of calcium, after menopause women suffering from osteoporosis have lower levels of Estrogen hence a drop in calcium level, increasing the arthritis condition.

What Causes Decrease in Calcium Absorption

Patients with osteoporosis also might suffer from asthama, psoriasis arthritis, diarrhea, and medications for all these conditions often leads to reduction of the absorption capacity of calcium in one’s body. Even presence of phytates, Oxalic acid, dietary fiber decreases calcium absorption and it gets worse if one drinks too much of tea.

The word arthritis is an umbrella term where rheumatic disease of 100 types can be placed under. It is generally a condition of inflammation of joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments. At times there is wear and tear of these too, such kind is called osteoarthritis and the one where the autoimmune system attacks the cells and causes deformation and degeneration it is called rheumatoid arthritis. Several researches have shown that the increase in a type of bacteria or virus increases this condition and causes malfunction of the body’s immune system. Hence it is said that increasing a certain kinds of fruits and vegetables can help in alleviating the arthritis pain and the condition while some can increase the pain.

 

What is Carotenoids

Researches have shown that carotenoids, which is a type of antioxidant, can help in lowering the chances of having arthritis. Beta-cryptoxanthin and Zeaxanthin, both are carotenoids and it is seen that daily intake of beta-cryptoxanthin lowers the inflammation by 40% while zeaxanthin lowers the inflammatory condition by 20%.

Fruits and Vegetables for Arthritis

Beta-cryptoxanthin- Pumpkins, peppers, winter squash are the vegetables having the highest Beta-cryptoxanthin. Papayas, tangerines, persimmons are the fruits scores high in Beta-sryptoxanthin content.

Zeaxanthin – Green leafy vegetables and fruits with yellow or orange colour sits high in the Zeaxanthin content chart.

Other fruits and vegetables – Apricots, butternut squash, cantaloupe, cape gooseberries, carrots, golden kiwifruit, lemon, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, pineapples, peaches, rutabagas, sweet corn, yellow apples, yellow beets, yellow figs, yellow pear, all these are good for arthritis patients.

But one needs to take care of the fact that since there are different kinds of arthritis, one needs to check with a doctor or nutritionist on the condition he or she is suffering and whether it is advisable to have these vegetables and fruits in their diet.

Foods to avoid in Arthritis

Lentils, lima beans, dairy products with high calorie content, wheat, sugar, and nightshade vegetables should be avoided. But for osteoarthritis having low calorie dairy product will help as calcium is needed in this condition.

One should also keep a chart to see which fruit or vegetables aggravate the pain and the swelling, as it is likely to vary from a person to person. Talk about it with your doctor or nutritionist and follow a chart that is prepared by the professional. Right and balanced eating will help a lot in alleviating the arthritis pain and inflammation.

Arthritis is a painful condition and even though it is always advisable to contact a doctor before it is too late, there are some self treatment that one can indulge in to lessen the pain and improve on the arthritic condition. Here is a small list of to-do self treatment list.

 

  • Protect the joints – Once you know you are suffering from arthritis, try to avoid overworking of the joints that are already affected in everyday life.
  • Exercise – Start your exercise and do it regularly to increase the flexibility of the muscles and increase the endurance around the areas of the joints so that there is less stress on the joints.
  • Try to forget the pain – Indulge into activities that would help you to forget the persisting pain caused by arthritis, mainly music helps a lot, it is soothing and relaxing.
  • Go for orange – Feeling hungry, go for an orange as it is full of vitamin C and is good for patients with osteoarthritis.
  • Know the drugs – Researches on arthritis is developing so is the number of drugs for arthritis, mainly for people suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. If the medicine that you are using is not effective enough talk to your doctor, go for other drug options.
  • Learn about your arthritis: There are over 100 types of arthritis, research and learn the kind that you are suffering from, this will help you to work accordingly and develop a realistic approach towards the condition.
  • Playing in dirt is good: Get the seeds or saplings of the vegetables that you like and start digging your garden to plant them. Digging the dirt helps in exercising of the sore hands and in the market arthritis-friendly garden tools are available.
  • Laughing is good – Start reading books or jokes or go out with friends to have a good laugh. Laughing is not only therapeutic, but it also helps in releasing tension and stress and relieves the pain as it boosts the immune system. If you can only giggle join a laughing yoga class.
  • Take the dip in the water – Exercising in water is good, it helps in building strength as well as swimming is a good workout for the entire body muscle and joints. Patients with arthritis on knees and ankles, for them water walking is a good exercise.
  • Use a pack or massage – When the swelling is painful and gets hot, use a cold pack. Also those suffering from osteoarthritis can massage oil on the area. However, not everyone can use hot or cold pack, physical and medical condition are to be taken into consideration for that.
  • Go for the comfy shoes – Heels are alluring but comfortable pumps are good too. Go for shoes that have enough toe space and do not squeeze your bunions.
  • Kick the butt – Well taking a hike or a walk is a good way to work out, but before that quit the habit of smoking and bid adieu to that, as it only will aggravate the arthritic problems and the pains.
  • Eat right – Stop the junk food and got for nutritional diet that is less spicy, has less sugar and is balanced.
  • Get pampered – Having a good half an hour warm bath with sea salt will help to ease the pain and during the winter times massage your body with sesame oil and keep the body warm. Also find a certified masseuse to get a good rub on the muscles , which will help you to relax and ease the pain.

Some of these few simple self treatment can help an arthritic patient to suffer less.

Ayurvedic cures and medicines are now being used for various diseases, conditions and ailments. Many arthritis patients now go for Ayurvedic treatments to cure their pains, inflammation, swollen and stiff joints caused by arthritis and it has helped in alleviate the painful condition that one suffers from.

 

Arthritis being approached by Ayurveda

As per Ayurveda the air (Vata) disorder is the cause of arthritis and it is caused due to the poor digestion and excess of toxins (Ama) are formed, which eventually accumulates around the joints hindering mobility and causing pain. So to better the digestive system and get rid of the toxins here is a list of what should be done.

1. Get rid of the impurities and strengthen and clean the metabolic pathways so that the circulatory channels to the joints are not blocked.

2. Create nutritional plasma by strengthening the digestive system.

3. Joints should be lubricated, improve the lubrication.

4. Stabilize and balance the air (Vata) as aggravating that will increase the pain.

Foods to Avoid according to Ayurveda

Hot, spicy foods are to be avoided at all costs and so is alcohol and smoking. Foods like cabbage, broccoli, potato, okra, cauliflower are advised not to be consumed in huge proportion as they can cause bodily wind and aggravating the pain. Too much of sugar, coffee, yogurt, tea is also not good as they hinder the purification of the digestive system.

Herbs to be Consumed in Ayurveda

Cumin, ginger, coriander, garlic, fennel, turmeric, asafetida are good for decreasing the inflammation as most of these have anti-inflammatory agents. Even helps in soothing the pain caused by stiffness of the joints. Fresh fruit, juices, green vegetables and salads and even squash and pumpkins are good for arthritic patients as they help in cleaning the blood and the digestive system.

Ayurvedic Messages and Packs

Not all arthritic conditions or pains have the same relief form massages, but some do. Here are two readily available ingredients with which one can massage or use as a pack to get relief from arthritis pain

1. Cinnamon pack: Grind cinnamon with water to a fine paste and use the pack on the joints that are paining. Even this pack can be used on the areas where there is an itch due to the pain.                                                                                                                                            2. Sesame oil massage: Those suffering from osteoarthritis, for them lubrication of the joints is important. Ayurveda recommends five minutes of massage on the joints with sesame oil or other kind of oil. Even mustard oil with camphor helps in relieving the joint pain.                                           Even during winter massaging the body and the joints with sesame oil is likely to lessen the pain.

Note

Never rub or massage a swollen joint or use a wet steam as the area is already heated up due to the inflammation, adding more heat from massage will only aggravate the condition, causing more pain.

Also there are quite a few over-the-counter ayurvedic medications are available for arthritis, one should be careful about which one to use as all the Ayurvedic medicines might not be suitable for everyone.

People suffering from arthritis often fall into the cycle of pain, stress and depression as the inflammation and the pain goes beyond the physical aspect and start affecting the person psychologically too. A study has shown that Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is quite effective in helping with arthritis. This is primarily a meditation where the participant is taught to work on his or her emotions and thoughts differently, primarily focus on the present and get away from the negative thought process that the pain incurs.

 

Four Techniques for Meditating

Meditating is no magic and it will take time in helping a person suffering from arthritis pain to reap the benefits of meditation. Here are four simple techniques to start.

  • Keep it brief – It is difficult to meditate an hour each day when one is starting, so instead of that, try to meditate for five to ten minutes at a stretch in-between work while taking a break. In total try to make it up to one hour per day, short time span in meditating has the same effect as done at one stretch.
  • Be consistent – Set a schedule for meditating, to achieve the result it has to be done consistently. If the idea of meditating everyday is overwhelming, try to do it every alternate day, also try to maintain the same time span for meditation. Doing it irregularly and not having the same time span will not help in achieving the result, so set the schedule that you can follow in the long-term.
  • Go for active meditating – It is difficult to get the time to sit in a lotus position and do the meditation and for many arthritic patients sitting in that particular posture is difficult and might be even impossible. So instead of that try to do active meditation, that is just try to tune into your surroundings by taking in deep slow breaths, get the feel and the smell of the things around you and start your meditation, focusing on yourself and your energy.
  • Maintain your focus -While meditating maintain your focus, so stop thinking about what you have to do or on the series of thoughts that is nagging in your mind, start focusing on one thing in particular, something specific that is soothing to you and gives you peace. Focus your attention to something positive to get a good result out of your meditation.

Arthritic patients who do meditate regularly have less depression and psychological distress caused due to the arthritic pain and MBSR works well with conventional pharmacological and physical therapy.

Exercises help in building the strength of the joints and the muscles, tendons and the ligaments around the affected joints in arthritis. Yoga on the other hand not only helps in giving a better movement to the joints and relieving the stress and the stiffness from the joints but it also helps in improving the blood circulation. The wastes and the toxins of the body and joints are also removed if one do yoga regularly, often these unwanted products aggravate the arthritis problems, pains and other symptoms that cause the flare up of arthritis.

 

Yoga Asanas

Yogasanas help in having free and lucid movements of the joints, here are some simple asanas for arthritis.

Sukhasana (Easy Pose) – This asana is falls into the category of Meditative Poses, where the person sits with legs folded and crossed in front, it straightens the spine, the metabolism is slowed, the helps in focusing and develops inner tranquility.

Single Leg Raises – This is a stretching exercise where each leg at a time is raised and taken towards once face, but the leg won’t bend while the other leg stays on the floor. The exercise stretches the legs, lower back and the abdominal muscles and preparing the body for further exercises and muscles relaxation.

Shoulder Stretches – There are quite a few shoulder stretching asanas. These stretches help in relieving the stress of not only the shoulder region but also works on the entire upper back. The difference in the condition of the shoulder and the back can be noticed after it has been done regularly for several weeks.

Neck Exercises – Many people suffer from the stiffness of neck and the shoulder region, this often leads or happens due to bad posture. Neck exercises helps in easing the tension of that region, flexibility is increased and muscles gets toned too.

Standing Side Stretch Pose – This simple exercise helps in developing two energies simultaneously and works on the entire body. One line of energy works from the belly towards the arm and the other from belly towards the legs.

Hand Clenching and Wrist Bending – Arthritis often affects the writs and hands of a person, especially in the cases of osteoarthritis. So keeping them in good condition is important. Hand clenching and wrist bending exercises adds lucidity to the region, lessening the stiffness.

Ankle Bending and Rotation – Too much of injury can cause arthritis in ankles and since they take the entire weight of the body it is important to keep them in working condition. Arthritis in the ankle joints are painful, bending and rotating the ankle make the joints more flexible.

Apart from all these there are other asanas too can help arthritic patients that can help in relieving specific arthritic pain, for that consult a trained yoga therapist.

Pranayama

Simple pranayama helps in patients with arthritic pains. There are several types of pranayams, but the simple inhalation with the right nostrils and exhalation of air via both helps in easing the pain, when it is done for several weeks.

Arthritis is often used for the group of rheumatic diseases. There are over 100 types of rheumatic diseases, which not only affects the joints, but it causes abnormalities and deterioration of bones, muscles, tendons, internal organs as well as ligaments. The stiffness and the swelling that often results from arthritis are quite painful, so here are few ways to cope with arthritis pain.

 

Few tips for Arthritis Pain Relief

  • Limit self-treatment to a specific time span – Home made, self remedies for pain relief is often used by people. During the initial stages in arthritis, self treatment is tried but it takes time to understand which treatment works best. However, if the pain persists it is better to consult a doctor after a limited span of time as it can be indicator that the condition is not improving. A doctor will help in diagnosing the kind of arthritis along with better useful medication. If arthritis goes untreated for long, there is like to be deformation of the joints, muscle, tendons, ligaments and even bones.
  • Be ready to change medication – After going to the doctor it is quite possible that to give immediate relief from the pain the doctor can suggest a medication. However, after conducting the tests and evaluating the arthritic condition the doctor can change the medication, and it can take some time to find the treatment that one’s body and arthritic condition is response to. So there is likely to be several changes in medication during a course of time, be ready to go with the flow for pain relief.
  • Focus on yourself and understand your arthritic condition – Arthritis pain varies with person to person and also on the type of arthritis one is suffering from. To get relief from the pain, arthritic patients often compare and try to find remedies from family and friends who are suffering from arthritis too and try those treatments. But there is quite a possibility that what works for some other arthritis patient might not work for you, as the conditions can be different. So stay focus on your own arthritis condition, learn as much as possible from your doctor and go about the treatment as suggested by your physician, as it will help you to have manage the arthritis pain in the long run.
  • Don’t get discouraged – Most arthritis patient who have been suffering for a long time and those whose symptoms have been new often believe that arthritis pain is there to stay and nothing much can be done. But with the improvement in medical science, there are possibilities where the damage caused by the arthritis can be arrested and relief from the pain is also possible. If the arthritis pain persists and you feel frustrated, do not give up, talk with your doctor in details even voice how you feel. If required the doctor will suggest psychological therapy which will eventually help in refocusing and subside the pain as negative feeling only aggravates the arthritic symptoms and pain.
  • Know what relieves your arthritis pain – Keep a journal and make points on what aggravates your pain. Also arthritis pain often leads to the pain cycle, i.e. a cycle of pain, stress and depression. Get the medication for that and have a realistic approach towards the problem. Also understand what kind of pack (hot or cold) helps you with pain relief. Go for a balance diet and keep the weight under control that helps in reducing the arthritis pain. Also start exercising as it will help in reducing the stiffness of the muscles and tendons around the joints and build strength, which will reduce the pressure on the joints.

Arthritis pain is quite a persistent one and often it aggravates and without proper treatment it will only deteriorate. An arthritic patient should know the dos and the don’ts to cope up with the arthritis pain.

Consult your doctor and get a clear idea about the type of arthritis you have including get to know the condition or the damage of the joints that are affected by arthritis. Also talk about all the symptoms that you have, even those which you might find unrelated.

 

Dos for Arthritis Pain

  • Start exercising so the stiffness reduces and while watching television or sitting in a particular position remember to stretch your body, legs, and hands and even get up and walk around so that there is no overuse of the joints.
  • Exercise should be such that it will help in strengthening your muscles and improve the endurance of the muscles around the joints.
  • Medication is available for arthritis pain relief, but it’s better to consult a doctor for the medicines, which can help in treating the specific arthritic symptoms. During the initial pains that is not too severe resting the joints and applying hot or cold packs can be useful. At times over-the-counter medicines like aspirins can relieve the occasional pains. For persisting pains apart from the doctors medication having OTC ibuprofen or naproxen can be good as they help in reducing the inflammation. It is always good to know when to expect pain and take the medication few hours before that, so paining of the joints are likely to happen when one involves in working the joints.
  • Mood and psychological well-being is an important factor in relieving the pains and the discomfort of the swelling caused due to arthritis. There are three possible ways interrupt the destructive interaction of the mind and body.

Cognitive behavioral therapy – Helping a patient with the therapy of talking and modification of the behaviour helps the person in coping with overuse of medications and even suffering from emotional withdrawals.

Lifestyle changes – One needs to quit smoking as it increases the stress on the connective tissues causing more pains. Also overweight add to the complications in arthritis pain hence gradual weight loss and quitting of smoking habit is required.

Acupuncture – Hair-thin needles are used in this treatment, and some people have relief from the acupuncture.

Don’ts for Arthritis Pain

  • Over exercising is not good, so too much of jumping, running, walking, tennis, high impact aerobics and repeating of the same movements is likely to increase the pains caused by arthritis.
  • In medication overtreatment and under-treatment must be avoided. In case of persistence of pain if the pain persists instead of taking aspirins and acetaminophen on regular basis consult a doctor. Some people even at times ignore the pain as a result increasing the damages caused by arthritis, they should take proper care and consult a physician and start getting treatment.
  • Catasrophizing is related to negative thought process, where one focuses on the pain only and starts believing the worst, hence have difficulty coping with the pain. One should go for therapies in such cases.
  • Addiction to alcohol and smoking increases the toxic level and eventually increasing the pain and causing stress to the connective tissues.

So star knowing the dos and the don’ts of the arthritis to have better and less painful days. Understanding the need of one’s body is also important in conducting the dos and the don’ts as individuals can have specific ways of coping with the pain. It is therefore better to keep a journal and see what one’s body demands in easing the arthritis pain.

There are over 100 types of arthritis and are caused due to various reasons. However, Rheumatoid arthritis and Osteoarthritis are the most common ones. In Osteoarthritis there is loss or breakdown of the joint cartiledge often resulting in degeneration of the bones or at times bone spurs around the joints. In the case of Rheumatoid arthritis the lining around the joints, like muscles and tendons get inflamed causing immense pain and it is an autoimmune condition where the tissues get attacked.  In most cases medicines and exercises do help in decreasing the discomfort, but there are natural as well as home cures are available too.

 

Few home cure for arthritis

At home, from the kitchen some remedies for arthritic pains are available.

  • Hot Compress – The stiffness caused due to the muscles and joints can be relaxed with hot compress but the pain can increase if the area or joint is already heated up from the inflammation, which is caused in rheumatoid arthritis. So in cases of osteoarthritis, where there is minimal inflammation hot compress can help. Use a moist heated towel or a warm bath, shower or whirlpool from where the wet heat continues to flow. At pharmacies pouches filled with natural grains that retains the heat can be found, which can be heated up in the microwave and used.
  • Cold Compress – In cases of rheumatoid arthritis or gout, which are already inflamed and hot, in such cases cold compresses helps in relieving the pain. Cold water compress can be used by placing the area under cold flowing water, or use soaked washcloth in that area. Even crushed ice filled in a plastic bag or packet of frozen peas or strawberries is a good option. However, cold compress should not be used if a person is suffering from vasculitis (blood vessel inflammation) or Raynaud’s Phenomenon (it happens with rheumatoid arthritis at times, where there is spasms of arteries in toes and fingers).

For some people alternating the cold and hot compress might help in relieving the pain.

  • Aspartame – Some sugar-free soda pop has aspartame (artificial sweetener) that acts as the anti-inflammatory agent hence relieving the pain.
  • Epsom Salts – Magnesium salt is often used in reducing the swelling and soaking the area in a warm water mixed with Epsom salt will relieve the patient from joint aches.
  • Vinegar – Heat the vinegar and apply on the aching joint before going to bed.
  • Calcium and Dairy product: At times osteoarthritis causes the person to lose calcium from his or her bone. To counter that one should have calcium supplement and at times low-fat dairy products can help too.
  • Taking a long bath helps in releasing stress, add a cupful of sea salt in a tub of hot water and soak for 30 minutes every night to relieve the pain.
  • For rheumatoid arthritis have 6 – 50 gm of powdered or fresh ginger everyday as ginger works good as an anti-inflammatory agent.
  • Never bandage the area or joint that is paining as it will limit the blood circulation causing further damage, instead try to keep body warm all the time.
  • Adjusting the kitchen: These might be small things but adjusting the kitchen to your requirement while suffering from arthritis may help in decreasing the pain and the inflammation. Kitchen drawers with thin long handles will let the person use a grip that is not stressful. Use extra padding on handles so that it causes less pain. Instead of bending down when things fall on the floor, use long handled pinchers or grippers. Wagon or cart is a useful way of carrying heavy groceries or stationeries from car to the kitchen.

Arthritis is a painful condition, which often deteriorates with time and old age. While medicine, exercises and diet does help, but there are people who are not comfortable with the high dosage of the allopathic medicines and would like to go for herbal remedies. Herbal remedies are available for both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a condition where the membranes around the joints are inflamed and become swollen and tender. It is also an autoimmune condition in which the immune system of the body attacks its own tissues. This condition can even cause deformation of the joints.

 

Osteoarthritis (OS) is the deterioration and hardening of the joints and it happens slowly. In the area adjoin the joints there is bone spur often and deformity can happen with limited mobility. Inflammation is not there and even if it happens it is minimal.

Herbal Treatments for Arthritis

While there are quite a few herbal supplements available in the market for arthritic patients, here is a list of herbal, homemade remedies for arthritis that can reduce the pain, inflammation and slow down the deformation process and work against autoimmune bodies.

  • Potato raw juice and other raw juices – Raw juice of potato can work for treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis patients. The potato must not be peeled but sliced with the skin on and placed in half filled glass of cold water for overnight. Next morning on an empty stomach that water should be drunk. Juices from other green leafy vegetables mixed in equal proportion with carrot, red beet and celery juice is good as these juice helps in dissolving the deposits that have accumulated in the tissues and around the joints. Pineapple juices have the bromelain enzyme that helps in reducing swelling and inflammation, making it good for both OS and RA conditions.
  • Sesame Seeds water – Often it has been found that sesame seeds have helped in reducing the joint pains. One should soak a teaspoon of black sesame seeds in quarter cup of water for overnight and then drink that water on an empty stomach in the morning.
  • Copper – Drinking water that is kept in a copper ware for overnight helps in reducing joint pains.
  • Garlic – Using of garlic in food helps or having it raw reduces the pain and arthritic problem both in OS and RA as it has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Calcium – Intake of right amount of calcium has helped many arthritic patients in relieving the pain or have stopped the pain altogether. Doctor must be consulted before one decides to have calcium as a remedy.
  • Bananas and Lime – Banana is rich with vitamin B6 and helps in treating arthritis and one can have three to four bananas in a day. On the other hand the citric acid found in lime acts as a solvent for uric acid, which is the cause for some of the arthritis. So taking one lime juice diluted in water once every day in the morning can be beneficial.
  • Castor Oil – Using castor oil for treating arthritic patient is an unconventional one. This remedy is advised by a Spanish doctor, where two tablespoon of castor oil should be heated on a stove burner and then added to a glass of fresh orange juice and taken before breakfast. The patient is supposed to have it for three continuous weeks and then leave it for next three weeks before resuming again for three weeks. This process is to be continued till arthritis is cured. While having this herbal treatment the patient is to have an alkaline diet only otherwise there won’t be any effectiveness of this treatment.