More than 10 million people in the UK suffer from arthritis.
The painful joint inflammation it causes can really affect a sufferer’s quality of life.
Here are some simple things you can do to alleviate the symptoms.
Drink Ginger Tea
Grate a little fresh ginger root and steep it in hot water to make a fresh ginger tea.
Traditional Chinese and Indian medicine has been using ginger to combat pain and nausea for centuries.
But now studies show the root could be as effective as painkillers in some cases — particularly for knee pain.
Lose A Little Weight
This one is tricky, but true.
If you’re carrying a few extra pounds, shedding a little bit of body weight can help to minimise arthritic pain by reducing the strain put on joints.
Just 10lbs of excess weight is enough to increase the force on the knee by 30-60lbs with each step.
While your body can’t reverse arthritis or re-grow cartilage, losing weight really is the best way to feel better and prevent further damage.
Cut Back On Junk Food
The chemicals and preservatives pumped into processed foods could irritate the bacteria in your gut.
This stops them from doing one of their most important jobs: controlling the inflammation that leads to painful wear and tear in joint cartilage.
A daily probiotic supplement could help repopulate your gut with the friendly bacteria your sore joints need.
Simple hot and cold treatments can make a world of difference when it comes to arthritis pain.
Everyone responds differently, so try both. You might find long, warm showers or baths — especially in the morning — help ease stiffness in your joints.
Equally an ice pack when you’re sitting with your feet up in the evening can bring pain and inflammation back into line.
Fish Oil Capsules
Studies have shown that 1g of fish oil supplement every day can ease the crippling discomfort of osteoarthritis.
Eating oily fish (such as salmon and mackerel) twice a week is generally thought to be the best way to get joint-relieving omega-3 fatty acids.
But if you don’t like fish, capsules come in a close second.
Rub It In
If you’re worried about taking too many painkillers in tablet form, do try the gels and creams now available from your pharmacist.
Their active pain-relieving ingredients really can penetrate the skin and get into the joint. But you need to apply regularly.
Plus they tend to work best where the skin is thin and the joint near the surface (fingers, wrists, ankles and knees, rather than hips or back).
Eat Your Greens
Pile your plate with leafy green vegetables at every opportunity, because the vitamin K found in spinach, kale and parsley has been shown to help relieve arthritis symptoms.
They are also full of minerals like iron, magnesium and calcium, and plant nutrients known to keep inflammation at bay.
Click here for more health advice from “The People’s Friend”, or pick up a copy of our latest issue.