: Pain, Pain Go Away: Natural Remedies for Arthritis
Many of us experience minor aches and pains as we get older. But for the 50 million Americans who suffer from arthritis, these aches and pains can range from mild to severe, and can even be debilitating. And contrary to popular belief, arthritis isn’t just a disease of old age—two-thirds of people with this condition are under the age of 65, including 300,000 children.
Different Forms of Arthritis
According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis can take many different forms, but three of the most common diseases that make up arthritis are the following:
- Osteoarthritis (OA): The most common form of arthritis, OA is a progressive joint disease characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage. It’s associated with risk factors such as overweight/obesity, a history of joint damage, and age.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): This systemic disease is characterized by the inflammation of the membranes lining the joint. This causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and sometimes severe joint damage.
- Juvenile arthritis (JA): This umbrella term is used to describe the many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that can develop in children ages 16 and younger.
Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, and according to the Arthritis Foundation, the number of people with this condition will soar in the next 20 years unless the trend is reversed. Fortunately, diet and lifestyle go a long way in preventing and reducing the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.
Exercise is one of the most valuable tools in the fight against arthritis. There’s strong evidence indicating that both endurance and resistance exercise provide considerable benefits for people with OA. Exercise is essential for managing weight, which helps to avoid joint injury and lessens the pressure on the joints. In fact, every one pound of weight loss results in a whopping four pounds of pressure taken off each knee!
One of the best approaches to any form of arthritis is to eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods are rich in dietary antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and selenium. Studies show that the risk of RA his highest among people with the lowest antioxidant levels.
Excellent sources of antioxidants include berries (all berries—blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, and cherries); yellow and green veggies like squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, and cabbage family vegetables. Anti-inflammatory pineapple and ginger are also helpful. Studies have show that ginger helps to relieve pain, improve joint mobility, and decrease stiffness and swelling.
Juicing for Arthritis
One effective (and delicious!) way to relieve arthritis pain and inflammation is to juice fresh fruits and veggies that are packed full of nutrients that are beneficial for arthritis. Michael T. Murray, ND, recommends the following fresh juice recipes for arthritis.
Go Away Pain
1-inch slice of fresh turmeric or ginger
1 cup blueberries
1/4 pineapple with skin, sliced
4 celery ribs
Juice the turmeric, followed by the blueberries, pineapple, and celery.
1-inch slice of ginger
1 apple, cut into wedges
Juice the ginger, followed by the apple and carrots.
1-inch slice of ginger
1/2 pineapple with skin, sliced
Juice the ginger, then the pineapple.
For more information:
The Arthritis Foundation, www.arthritis.org
The Complete Book of Juicing
by Michael T. Murray, ND (Clarkson Potter, 2013), doctormurray.com
© 2014 Living Naturally