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Easing arthritis pain the natural way

Arthritis is a debilitating disease for many Sunshine Coast residents.

The Arthritis Foundation says one in every five adults has arthritis, two-thirds of whom are under the age of 65. In a 2008 Canadian Community Health Study, 15.3 percent of Canadians aged 12 or older reported a diagnosis of arthritis. Even children can suffer from arthritis.

A complex family of musculoskeletal disorders, arthritis consists of more than 100 different diseases that destroy joints, bones, muscles, cartilage, and other connective tissues. This can compromise physical movement and lead to pain.

Treating a complex condition like arthritis, which has no cure, typically involves reducing pain and improving mobility. Pain medications are generally prescribed by a doctor, but there are other natural ways to help you handle arthritis as well.

Eat foods that reduce inflammation, such as tart cherries (highest in anti-inflammatories), spinach, walnuts, garlic, or broccoli.

Alternate hot and cold treatments to reduce swelling, relax muscles and relieve pain.

Don’t forget to exercise a few times per week. Low-impact exercises like walking, swimming and cycling three times a week can help to keep joint pain at bay. If you are experiencing pain for more than an hour after a workout, your workout was too much for your body to handle and you need to lighten the load during your next workout.

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