Who wants to know about habits and natural remedies for arthritis ?

By Kim Crawford, M.D. Last updated: September 14, 2018
natural remedies for arthritis

Symptoms can be controlled with natural remedies for arthritis

When many people think of natural remedies for arthritis, they think of the old-fashioned poultice. Well, those days are long gone. As are the days when you needed traditional treatment for osteoarthritis meaning drugs. Whether it’s pain, stiffness or decreased mobility, the symptoms of arthritis do NOT require toxic side-effect laden NSAID drugs. You haven’t heard, but there are indeed alternatives!

I’m going to cover the easy things you might or might not know about like diet, exercise, weight, etc. At the end, I’m going to give you an alternative to NSAIDs that is just amazing, and I mean amazing so do NOT cut yourself short. If you’re short on time, scroll to the last section where I mention Joint Rejuv™. When you are done with this easy-to-read article, you can get the all the natural treatment products and science by reading my article about the natural treatments for degenerative joint disease.

natural remedies for osteoarthritis

What type of arthritis are we talking about?

Before we discuss the natural remedies for arthritis, let’s clarify a little bit. Osteoarthritis, or degenerative arthritis, is the most common type of arthritis. Approximately 27 million people have osteoarthritis.

While it is indeed the most common type of arthritis among adults over 65 years of age — anyone at any age can develop the disease.  Degenerative arthritis and degenerative joint disease are the terms doctors use to mean osteoarthritis.

What is osteoarthritis? Degenerative arthritis AKA degenerative joint disease or OA is a chronic inflammation of the joints which can lead to disability and severe pain if not treated correctly.

This common type of arthritis frequently occurs in men over 45 and women over 55. It is also strongly associated with injuries to the bones and joints.

It is not uncommon for degenerative arthritis to develop years after an injury. The symptoms of arthritis are the same in young injured arthritic athletes as they are in a 75-year-old nonathlete. It also follows that the natural remedies for arthritis are the same.

The joints commonly affected by osteoarthritis include the knees, spine, hips, fingers and big toes. The protective cartilage, which covers and cushions the bones deteriorates or degenerates. When that occurs, the body starts to form new bone called osteophytes. These are commonly known as bone spurs.

What exactly happens with cartilage to cause arthritis?

natural treatment of arthritis

Cartilage is a “joint buffer” that allows your joints to move smoothly. When cartilage begins to break down, your bones wind up rubbing together when you move. The friction causes inflammation. This inflammation then causes stiffness, pain and other symptoms of arthritis.

The only real solution to this problem it to either increase cartilage, increase the fluid in the joint space called hyaluronic acid or increase the muscle mass around the joint. Preferably we use all three of these to combat all of the symptoms of arthritis.

The arthritic condition typically begins with inflammation which causes mild pain and possibly stiffness around the joints and can progress to severe stiffness and pain if not treated properly. Levels of pain associated with this condition can vary depending on the weather (barometric pressure) and even the time of day (weight-loading on joints).

Other weather factors may come into play which is why so many people want to retire to live near me in Florida!

Three mainstays of natural remedies for arthritis:

A type of personal weight loss program:

If you are over your ideal body weight, then you must get this normalized, especially if your osteoarthritis is of the hip, knees or spine. Every step you take with extra weight on those joints is a step to crunch your cartilage that much more. If you have had difficulty losing weight, then it’s time to get serious and look for a weight loss program which will help with cravings, overeating, non-hunger eating and more as mine does.

Next, you must eat a diet which is anti-inflammatory. You know what this is if you’ve been following my blog. If not, below is a run down.

Here is a short version of the weight loss producing anti-inflammatory diet:

Lean proteins as much as desired: turkey, fish (only wild caught), chicken, shrimp, eggs
Other proteins: Soy (organic & GMO-free) and lean beef (only 2-3 times per week)
Vegetables- minimum of 12 servings per day (avoid vegetables that are high-density carbs)
Oils: Olive oil (dishes) & Coconut oil (cooking)
Full-fat dairy, meaning Greek yogurt (2-3 servings per week)
Starches: 1-3 servings daily: only sprouted gluten-free (GF) bread and other sprouted grains
Fruit: 1-3 servings daily with only whole, fresh fruit.
Nuts: 1-2 servings per day (mainly almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and brazil nuts)
Coffee: 3 cups per day max. Unlimited decaf herbal tea.
Sweetener: Stevia- NO other sweeteners
Alcohol: 1 glass of red wine daily is optimal, small amounts of “hops” in beer

AVOID: fried foods, sugar, fruit juice, refined carbohydrates, foods labeled as “low-fat,” high starch vegetables, white potatoes, corn, and all processed meats and processed foods

If you can pare down and get eating this way you will absolutely have less pain, inflammation, and stiffness, I promise! The right food is the very first thing to address when starting your natural remedies for arthritis program.

Exercise is crucial to ease symptoms of arthritis:

The first key to starting activity safely is to start slowly if you have been inactive. This may mean you can only walk 5 minutes at a time every other day. The second key is to progress slowly. People with painful arthritis may take more time for their body to adjust to a new level of activity. For example, older adults and those with chronic conditions may take 3–4 weeks to adjust up to a new activity level. Add on activity in small amounts, at least 10 minutes at a time. Allow enough time for your body to adjust to the new level before adding more activity.

Many adults with arthritis are inactive, even though their doctor may have told them being active will help their arthritis. Maybe you want to be more active but just don’t know where to start or how much to do. You might worry that if you use your arthritic joints, you may make your arthritis worse. The good news is the exact opposite is true; physical activity will help your arthritis!

The most important thing to remember is to find out what works best for you. At first, the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine)  recommendations of 150 minutes of activity per week sounds like a lot, but if you work up to this as gradually as you want, you will get there!

Studies show some increase in stiffness, pain and even some swelling is normal when you start an activity program. If you have increased swelling or pain that does not get better with rest, then talk to your doctor. It might take up to 6–8 weeks for your joints to accommodate to your increased activity level, but stick with your activity program for long-term pain relief.

What Type of Activities Count?
Cardiovascular or aerobic activity:

This is also called endurance exercise or “cardio.” It is any activity that makes your heart beat faster and makes you breathe a little harder. Please use the guidelines for “breathlessness” and heart rate found in the gym-in-a-bag article on this blog.

Choose an activity that is moderate or vigorous intensity. Make sure that what you’re doing doesn’t “pound” or twist your joints. Some people with osteoarthritis can do vigorous activities such as running and can even tolerate activities that are harder on the joints like tennis or volleyball. You should choose the activities that do not cause pain and just plain feel “right.” Obviously, if these activities are fun, you are more apt to do them, right?

Muscle strengthening activities:

Muscle strengthening activities are super important if you have osteoarthritis. Remember above where I said what “pads” or cushions joints? Inside-cartilage-outside-muscles! Having strong muscles takes some of the pressure off the joints. Do activities that strengthen your muscles at least two days per week in addition to your aerobic activities.

Perform exercises that work all the major muscle groups of the body. These include your back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, hips, legs, and arms. Instead of trying to follow “traditional guidelines” of 3 sets per muscle group, it is much safer for your joints if you do one set of 10-15 repetitions for each muscle group. The supplement acetyl l carnitine will help you build muscle faster while doing many other helpful things for your health.

Ways to do muscle strengthening activities:

Using your own body-weight as resistance (push-ups, sit-ups, triceps dips, chair mini-squats)

Muscle strengthening exercise videos

Lifting weights using machines

Working with resistance bands such as a gym-in-a-bag (my favorite!)

Dumbbells-be careful using these for any affected joints due to balance issues

Balance activities:

Some adults with osteoarthritis may be prone to falling due to muscle imbalances from weak muscles around arthritis joints. If you have fallen or even come close, please see a Physical Therapist for a good gait and balance program.

Now for the news about treating arthritis:

NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) block various parts of the COX-2, COX( AKA COX-1), and LOX inflammatory pathways. But yikes, they just plain have too many side effects! We don’t know how many deaths, let alone “medical issues” are really caused by the side effects. These include stomach gastritis and bleeding, ulcers, kidney damage, and colitis.

They also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. And they seriously increase your chances of getting leaky gut and a subsequent auto-immune disorder.

They do nothing to help repair cartilage.

What if I told you there was something “out there” that not only dealt with symptoms of arthritis but blocked the same inflammatory pathways AND helped you to regenerate cartilage? Not to mention, had zero side effects? Wouldn’t you prefer THAT??? Yes I’m now going to mention a product I have which no one else does which just might be what you need. I rarely mention products but you can’t get this anywhere else so here we go.

Introducing Joint Rejuv  for symptoms of arthritis and more!

I use two products in combination, but often this one is enough to treat patients and members who have mild to low, moderate inflammatory osteoarthritis and have done what they are “supposed to do” as written above. (Or they are in the process of trying to do.)

Everyone is totally satisfied because they don’t need toxic drugs.

This product I recommend most is called a “medical food.” It’s obviously pharmaceutical grade, only sold via doctors and it truly does work.

This amazing product is called Joint Rejuv™.

Joint Rejuv™ as the best of the natural remedies for arthritis we can “take” include:

Very effective best-selling medical food for LOX, COX-1, and COX-1 inhibition.

Just as the toxic drugs work to inhibit these pathways, so does Joint Rejuv™! It inhibits the COX-1, COX-2, 5-LOX inflammatory pathways!

It increases joint mobility and function and, of course, reduces stiffness.

In addition, it brings potent antioxidant protection to reduce joint deterioration.

It also stimulates joint repair and provides nutritional building blocks for cartilage and ligaments.

Can you imagine? It does everything the big drugs” can do and more!

I recently had a bout of tendonitis in my thumb from too much texting to patients. Isn’t that goofy? It’s true, though. I tried it, and wow, it worked!

I have a patient who is a former Olympic medal winner cyclist who is now in his 70’s and still riding crazy-long rides-as long as 100 miles at a time.

As a result, his knees are “talking to him” a lot. So, we just added Joint Rejuv plus the companion product for more severe arthritis-Arthroben forte-to his regimen. He is totally off Tylenol and NSAIDs and happily pedaling away, pain-free.

Again, and I can’t be more emphatic about this, it is not associated with any negative side effects that are common with taking NSAIDs & other drugs. Most people who use this scoop of heaven put it in their morning and evening reds/greens anti-oxidant drink.

It is entirely safe for patients on warfarin (Coumadin) and anti-platelet drugs such as Plavix.

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