What are Some Home Remedies for Arthritis?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Home remedies for arthritis are easy to come by, but not many of them are that effective. There are, however, some tried and true methods that may help with basic arthritis, the swelling of joints, and relieve some pain. These may be used in conjunction with standard medical treatments, and are in fact sometimes prescribed by doctors along with traditional methods for helping the pain of arthritis. In most cases, unless the arthritis is caused by an infection, it can’t be cured, but in many cases, pain relief and reduction in flare-ups is possible.

Creams with capsaicin, a chemical that gives red peppers their heat, can be used to relieve arthritis pain.
Creams with capsaicin, a chemical that gives red peppers their heat, can be used to relieve arthritis pain.

The simplest home remedies for arthritis are applications of cold packs and hot packs to reduce pain and inflammation. Cold packs, like ice, frozen peas if you’re icing a joint peculiar in shape, or store made packs that can be frozen should be applied for 10-15 minutes three to four times a day. Many patients find more relief when they combine hot and cold therapy. After using a cold pack, applying a heating pad for the same period of time can further reduce pain.

Home remedies should usually be combined with standard treatments for arthritis.
Home remedies should usually be combined with standard treatments for arthritis.

Gentle stretching with exercise arts like tai chi or gentle yoga may also be helpful in providing reduction in arthritis pain. People who have the condition may be given range of motion exercises to do anyway, but tai chi and certain yoga poses are also known home remedies for arthritis. Just check with your doctor before starting an exercise plan, and be sure to either purchase a tape specifically for arthritis sufferers or speak with your class instructor about your arthritic condition.

Some arthritis sufferers find relief in glucosamine supplements.
Some arthritis sufferers find relief in glucosamine supplements.

There’s also been some research on the value of taking omega-3 fatty acids as one of the home remedies for arthritis. This has been shown to reduce joint inflammation, and for most people the supplement is safe and effective, also promoting heart health. Do not use this treatment if you suffer from heart arrhythmias since omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to causing more severe and potentially life-threatening arrhythmias in people who already suffer from them.

Gentle yoga might offer relief from arthritis.
Gentle yoga might offer relief from arthritis.

Capsaicin cream, made from a chemical derived from peppers, is a proven relief method for arthritis sufferers. Some also find they have better joint mobility and less pain if they take supplements containing glucosamine, chondroitin, and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). Others find these supplements don’t help, but they are worth trying, especially when approved by your physician.

A dehumidifier may be used to reduce moisture in the air, which may help improve arthritic conditions.
A dehumidifier may be used to reduce moisture in the air, which may help improve arthritic conditions.

If you live in an area with high humidity, you may want to consider using a dehumidifier, since moisture in the air often makes arthritic conditions worse. There are many models to choose one, and you may require more than one if your home is very large. You might try borrowing one from a friend for a few days and using it in your bedroom at night to see if using one helps with arthritic conditions.

Applying an ice pack may help relieve pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.
Applying an ice pack may help relieve pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.

You’ll find numerous other proposed home remedies for arthritis, many of them based on folklore and not particularly effective. Be sure to ask your doctor before taking any herbs, supplements, or beginning any exercises to be certain these won’t conflict with your meds. Also if you have any other conditions, ask your doctor if herbs, supplements or remedies could create problems. For instance, you’d want to avoid omega-3 fatty acids if you are also an asthma sufferer. Also, your asthma may worsen from dehumidifying the air with a dehumidifier.

Use a bag of frozen peas as a home remedy for arthritis.
Use a bag of frozen peas as a home remedy for arthritis.
Using a heating pad may lessen the pain caused by arthritis.
Using a heating pad may lessen the pain caused by arthritis.
Gentle stretching exercise may ease the pain and stiffness of arthritis.
Gentle stretching exercise may ease the pain and stiffness of arthritis.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments

anon111183

One of my relatives was suffering from arthritis pain and she was told by a friend about this natural supplement that relieved their pain within a few weeks. The supplement is called Isotonix OPC3, and it is a natural antioxidant that reduces pain and inflammation for a variety of symptoms for various disorders. You can order it online.

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