Of the millions of adults who suffer from arthritis, nearly 50 percent of them have reported experiencing work or lifestyle limitations because of their condition.
If arthritis is holding you back from working and doing the things you love, check out these ten products that can minimize pain and swelling and help you continue (or get back) living your life.
1. Compression Gloves
If you suffer from pain, stiffness, and swelling in your hands, compression gloves are a great tool. They provide warmth and help improve circulation in the hands. This increases mobility and reduces swelling and stiffness.
Most compression gloves are gentle enough to wear all day and even through the night. You can even wear them while lifting weights or doing yoga if pain in your hands tends to hold you back.
2. Knee Brace
Many people with arthritis complain of knee pain that prevents them from exercising and moving about as freely as they’d like. A knee brace will provide compression and warmth, similar to the gloves discussed above, to improve blood flow and reduce stiffness and swelling.
Knee braces can also help you correct improper movement patterns while walking, running, or lifting weights. These movement patterns may be worsening your pain and hindering your ability to participate in certain activities.
3. Portable Spa Tub
Soaking in a hot tub is a great way to relax and soothe aching muscles and joints. But, not everyone has the money or space for a full-sized hot tub.
The next best thing is a portable spa tub that can be used for soaking the feet or hands at the end of a long day. Some portable tubs even have jets built into them, so you can enjoy a gentle massage along with your soak.
4. Heating Pad
Heat helps reduce swelling and joint stiffness caused by arthritis. It does this by increasing blood flow to a specific area. If soaking in a hot tub isn’t an option, try using either an electric heating pad or microwavable hot pack to spot-treat sore muscles or joints.
Heat is great for treating pain but remember not to overdo it. Exposing body parts to excess heat can actually make pain or swelling worse. It’s best to limit your treatments to no more than three fifteen-minute increments per day.
5. Topical Pain Relievers
Don’t let arthritis stop you from enjoying your favorite activities. Topical pain relievers are a great treatment option that can quickly reduce joint pain and swelling without the negative gastrointestinal effects that can be caused by oral painkillers like ibuprofen.
Look for a topical pain reliever that contains at least one of the following ingredients:
- Capsaicin to reduce pain by blocking the skin’s pain receptors
- Salicylates to reduce inflammation
- Counterirritants like camphor and menthol to provide a cooling or warming sensation
6. Stationary Bike
It might seem counterintuitive, but exercise is one of the best treatments for chronic joint pain. Regular, low-impact exercise can improve your range of motion and reduce long-term pain and swelling. It also helps people with arthritis maintain or lose weight, which, in turn, reduces the pressure placed on the joints.
Cycling is a low-impact form of exercise that is ideal for people who suffer from arthritis-related knee pain. A stationary bike can be an expensive investment, but it’s also a great option for those who don’t want to go to the gym to exercise.
7. Walking Aids
If your arthritis has progressed to a point where walking is difficult, walking aids can relieve joint pain and allow you to maintain your independence.
Popular walking aids that help minimize knee, foot and hip pain include:
- Standard walkers
- Rollator walkers
- Walking canes
Combining these aids with some of the other treatments on this list can help reduce pain and potentially eliminate the need for assistance altogether.
8. Boswellia Serrata (Indian Frankincense)
If you’re interested in natural pain-relieving treatments, Boswellia serrata, also known as Indian frankincense, is a great option.
This plant is native to India and has been used for centuries to eliminate pain and inflammation.
One study found that, after taking an extract from Boswellia serrata known as Loxin-5 for just seven days, people with osteoarthritis saw a significant improvement in their pain and ability to function. The research also showed a decrease in cartilage damage caused by arthritis.
Turmeric is another natural product that can be used to treat arthritis. A spice that gives foods like curry its bright yellow color, turmeric contains curcumin, a chemical that has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin works by blocking inflammatory enzymes and cytokines within the body.
Lots of research has been conducted over the past few years that proves turmeric’s effectiveness for minimizing pain and swelling caused by chronic conditions like arthritis.
For example, one study found that people who took turmeric supplements regularly experienced long-term reductions in arthritis-related knee pain along with an increase in functionality.
Another study showed that a curcumin supplement reduced joint pain and swelling better than other supplements that are known to provide arthritis pain relief.
10. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
Many people swear by the benefits of nerve stimulation — also known as neuromodulation — for reducing arthritis pain.
There are several different kinds of nerve stimulation out there, including transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). This method involves placing patches on the skin that are attached with wires to a battery-operated device. This device sends electrical impulses to the nerves to help override pain signals.
TENS devices typically come with different frequency levels, so you can alter the strength of the electrical current to fit your tolerance and pain levels.
If arthritis is causing severe joint pain, swelling, and/or stiffness that is decreasing your quality of life, it’s time to invest in some products that can help you continue to do the things you love. Give one or more of these products a try today to start experiencing the long-term relief you need!