Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Arthritis? Help Control it With These Natural Ideas

Daily exercise: Exercise is one of the best natural cures for arthritis. Regular exercise can increase the flexibility of joints and muscles, and relieve pain. Since inactivity stiffens the affected joints and makes the pain worse; daily exercises will not only strengthen the joints, but also keep them lubricated. Do weight bearing aerobic exercises to increase the strength in the legs, lower spine, and hips. Swimming is an activity that can give the bones a good workout. Stretching exercises are good for increasing flexibility. Walking would also be a great low-impact exercise. However, don’t overdo the arthritis exercise bit; light exercise daily is fine. Check with your doctor to see if you need restrictions for your workout routine.

Lose excess weight: This will help relieve some of the pressure on the joints; every one pound you lose equals 3 pounds of pressure off of your knees.

De-stress: Take time for yourself and relax. Stress can be a major factor because it disrupts the body's hormonal balance. Stress related changes in the chemical levels of cortisol can often lead to changes in the immune system. A weakened immune system allows certain bacteria to penetrate the body, possibly leading to forms of arthritis, as well as many other sicknesses.

Take a bath in Epsom salt: Epsom salt contains magnesium, which is a nutrient that acts as an anti-inflammatory. The body can absorb it through the skin. The warmth from the water can reduce swelling and improve circulation.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Will help soothe effected joints. Mix one and a half cups of water and add one fourth of a cup of apple cider vinegar. Heat the mixture and make it as warm you can stand; soak the arthritic foot or hand in the mixture. If the arthritis is in the knees, saturate a cloth with the mixture, place it around your knee and cover it with a dry cloth to contain the heat. For best results, do this twice a day.

If you can stand the flavor, Apple Cider Vinegar taken in small doses every day is said to provide amazing relief from arthritis pain (as well as GERD). Use one tablespoon mixed with water and (if necessary) molasses, lemon or something else sweet at least twice per day.

Omega 3 fatty acids: Arthritis is an inflammatory condition and omega 3 fatty acids in a supplement like fish oil will help relieve the inflammation if taken daily, to help with arthritis pain.

There are also a couple of good books that are old. My dad read both of these books in the late 70s. I remember as an 8th grader that he stuck us all on the diet for arthritics. (Not sure why, he wasn't and neither were we!) I was talking with Dad about these books a few weeks ago and he said the things these guys wrote were quite radical back then, but now are becoming more mainstream as their "theories" are proving to be true.

These books are no longer in print, but can be found used on the Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites.

"The Save Your Life Diet" by David Reuben (1976) (There are some recipes in this book.)

"New Hope for the Arthritic" by Collin H. Dong (1975)

Tomorrow: Foods to Look For or Avoid