Many people with arthritis pain either try to manage their condition on their own or need additional help beyond what is prescribed by their physician. Fortunately, there are some natural methods that may reduce your pain and help you have more control over the problem.
Many people notice certain foods in their diet can increase arthritis pain, but for others, these differences can be subtle. The easiest way to find out if certain foods increase your pain is to try an elimination diet. Focus on certain groups of foods and eliminate them from your diet for a couple of weeks. If you do not notice a difference, you can reintegrate them into your diet. For example, processed foods, red meat, dairy, gluten, and nightshades, are among the food groups that are most likely to cause problems. You should also pay attention to which foods make you feel better. Certain herbs and spices, such as garlic and turmeric, and foods higher in omega-3s, such as fatty fish, may be correlated with lower inflammation.
Some herbal supplements are worth trying because they are supported by research. Boswellia serrata, or Indian frankincense, is known to have some anti-inflammatory properties, much like retail pain relievers. Other options include Uncaria tomentosa, or cat's claw. Since there are many products marketed as cat's claw, it is important to check the label and make sure you have the right species. Not only does cat's claw have anti-inflammatory properties, it targets certain inflammatory cells that are also targeted by medications used for inflammatory arthritis. Some biologics destroy inflammatory cells called tumor necrosis factor (TNF), and cat's claw behaves in a similar manner.
Your access to medical marijuana will depend on your state's legalization of the treatment. If you have this option, you should consider finding a doctor who is comfortable approving you for a medical marijuana card. Once you are approved, you can visit a dispensary and talk about your needs with a professional. Based on the type of arthritis you have, level of pain, and any additional symptoms, a specific strain of marijuana and route of administration can be recommended.
For people who live in states that have not legalized medical marijuana, CBD oils can be another option. CBD products contain the major active ingredient in medical marijuana without the psychoactive substances. Both medical marijuana and CBD products can reduce inflammation and pain while helping reduce anxiety and promoting restful sleep, which are common problems people with chronic arthritic pain experience.
Although you may have little control over the prescribed treatments for arthritis pain, you do have control over other treatment options. Before trying any natural approach, be sure there will be no detrimental interactions between the drugs you are already taking and the new treatment.