When you’re living with arthritis, it’s easy to let the chronic pain define your days and nights. Knee arthritis is an especially brutal, painful type of arthritis that makes our every move painful at worst, dull and aching at best. Even if you’re seeing the best orthopedic surgeon in richmond for care, it’s still common to deal with constant pain and stiffening that makes it difficult to lead a full, active life. Luckily, whether or not you have recourse to surgical alternatives, there are a lot of non-invasive remedies you can try to make the pain a bit more bearable. While some natural pain-relieving techniques, such as using compresses and getting more exercise, may be common knowledge, it never hurts to try a few less conventional ways of keeping your mind off the pain during the day. If you’re suffering from knee arthritis, here are a few things to try for pain relief.
If you haven’t tried acupuncture before, do your body a favor and set up an appointment. Not only do skilled acupuncturists use pressure points to relieve pain and shift energy in the body, they do it through a completely non-invasive process that allows you to relax and take your mind off the pain. Part meditation, part ancient Chinese practice, acupuncture is believed to reduce stress, relieve pressure, and allow your joints to function more smoothly without stiffness afterward. If you’re afraid of or squeamish about needles, don’t be. The needles used by acupuncturists are so thin that they can barely be felt on the body. Instead, you’ll be able to feel your acupuncturist tapping into different pressure points to help improve circulation and reduce inflammation across the body. You’ll also be encouraged to focus on your breathing during the exercise, which will help you take your mind off the pain. Acupuncture can also be great for patients who are having trouble getting to sleep because of chronic pain. If you’re eager to try, just make sure you make an appointment with a licensed acupuncturist who comes with high recommendations and great reviews.
Anti-Inflammatory Herbs and Supplements
It’s age-old knowledge, but it bears repeating: Not only are anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric and cayenne delicious in food, they can actually help internal swelling go down in your body, helping painful, inflamed joints quiet down temporarily. If consumed before bed, they can even help ease the body to sleep. How do herbs and spices like cinnamon, ginger, and rosemary achieve this? Simple: These superfoods work as antioxidants that fight not just inflammation-causing toxins in the body, but work to get rid of bacterial and fungal infections as well. Turmeric is especially potent, carrying enough anti-inflammatory power to block COX-2 enzymes, which are responsible for worsening inflammation in joints and fight against tumor growth.
Bulk Up Your Diet
For so long, we were told that fat was the root of all evil. Now we happen to know that good fat, such as the Omega-3 that’s found in fish and certain high-fat nuts, is actually a potent adversary against inflammation, pain, and joint degeneration. Luckily, incorporating more Omega-3 into your diet isn’t hard if you love fish and trail mix. However, if you’re not a fan of sushi and you can only eat so many nuts per day, there are plenty of other ways to get in your daily dose of good fat. You can throw half an avocado into your smoothie or salad or take an Omega-3 supplement each day to get the full benefit of a serving of healthy, anti-inflammatory fish oil without even thinking about it.
Take Time to De-Stress
Stress may be a vague concept to many, but its side effects are real. When it comes to feeling our best physically, mental anguish and stress are our worst enemies. In the same way that concentrating on something too much will make it seem worse, stressing out about inflammation and pain can guarantee that we don’t think about anything else all day. Stress is an especially effective sleep inhibitor, which can easily start to affect our daily health and well-being by keeping us from getting the necessary amount of healing, calming rest. Inflammation on a daily basis is bad, but if we’re not getting enough sleep into the bargain, it can lead to even greater pain and frustration. De-stressing doesn’t have to time-consuming or expensive. If you struggle with stress, try finding a practice that helps calm you, such as yoga, meditation, or even daily walks in your neighborhood.