I’ve written previously about safe alternatives to aspirin, but today I want to focus on some great natural remedies specifically for bone and joint pain. While it can feel like the pain is originating from the bones, it is most likely coming from the joints and surrounding soft tissues.
There are several potential causes for the pain: osteoporosis, repetitive movements, injuries, inactivity or poor posture. Whatever the cause, sharp pain with each move can make something as simple as carrying groceries a daunting task. Some resort to medication to cope with the aching and throbbing, but there are some really good natural remedies to consider trying. Below are six of my favorite.
Epsom Salt Soak
A classic remedy for any muscle or joint ache is a relaxing bath with Epsom Salts. High in magnesium and sulfates, they are easily absorbed through the skin to provide quick relief and reduce inflammation. Add two cups of salts to warm bathwater and soak for at least twenty minutes. Alternatively, Epsom Salts can be used in a compress to apply directly to the skin. Simply dilute two cups into one gallon of water. You can also try an epsom salt with lavender, or other essential oils.
Hot and Cold Packs
For immediate joint pain, try a hot and cold approach. Apply a hot therapeutic gel pack to the affected area for twenty minutes. Immediately follow up with a cold ice pack for another twenty. If you can’t stand the severity of ice, let it thaw out while you are applying heat. Even a chilled pack will bring relief.
Stiff muscles can cause joint pain elsewhere in the body. For example, tension in the leg muscles can be responsible for stress on the knees and hips. Exercise will strengthen and stretch the affected muscles, reducing pain and inflammation. The stronger the muscles and joints become the better the chances are of avoiding future injuries. You’ve heard me mention before doing burst exercise as they can be done almost anywhere and are far more effective than traditional cardio. Learn more about the exercises here.
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Carrying around extra pounds puts unnecessary strain on your joints and bones. If you suffer from a bone disease, such as osteoporosis, being overweight can accelerate degeneration. Even shedding just a few pounds can ease pain and prevent against future problems.
The easiest way to prevent against pain long-term is a change in diet. Chronic inflammation in the body causes weakness and will eventually lead to tissue death. By implementing an anti-inflammatory diet, joint and bone pain cause from the swelling will decrease. Omega-3 fatty acids found in foods like cold-water fish, chia seeds and walnuts reduce inflammation in the body. Fresh fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants. Limit (and try to completely remove) eating processed foods, trans-fats and added sugars, these can cause severe inflammation in the body.
In addition to a healthy diet, one or more of the following supplements may help prevent bone and joint problems:
● Calcium – Bones and teeth need calcium but the body cannot produce it naturally. Therefore, we must absorb it through food or seek out a supplement. Natural sources of calcium are dark leafy greens, dairy products and almonds. Should you choose to take a supplement, make sure it also contains vitamin D to help your body absorb the most calcium possible.
● Vitamin D – The body cannot absorb enough calcium without adequate amounts of vitamin D. Fish, eggs and sunlight are the best natural sources. When choosing a supplement, seek out vitamin D3 as it is the same form obtained through sun exposure. Click here for the brand I recommend.
● Glucosamine – Naturally found in cartilage, the best way to consume glucosamine naturally is by preparing a bone broth. If using a supplement, liquid is easier for the body to absorb than a powder.
● SAMe- This molecule helps build strong joints by delivering sulfur to cartilage. Studies suggest it has a similar effect to aspirin or ibuprofen for relieving pain. There is no food source, so a supplement is necessary. Look for products labeled “butanedisulfonate” as it is the most stable form. Another great alternative to apsirin is proteolytics enzymes.
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