Arthritis is a common disease that can affect both young and elderly people. There are many causes for arthritis from inflammation, autoimmune diseases, viruses, repetitive trauma or wear and tear, due to advancing in age. Many patients are interested to avoid using powerful medications and they are looking into alternative options that are less toxic to their body but that may be helpful.
Here I will include ten products that I recommend to my arthritis patients, and I will explain why they are beneficial.
Diclofenac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication. It may be sold in a pill or a gel version. If you suffer from mild and moderate forms of arthritis, I do recommend you use the diclofenac gel.
Benefits: If applied on the skin, diclofenac gel is very little absorbed in the blood. In this way, you may avoid many of side effects of the oral anti-inflammatory medications such as kidney problems, gastrointestinal bleeds, or an increase in cardiovascular risks (like strokes or heart attacks). I do recommend to apply it on small joints (the joints of your hands, the thumbs, wrists), knees, elbows or feet. Don’t forget to massage it very well until it crosses the skin and you do not feel it anymore on your skin.
Benefits: Applying cold over your painful joints will decrease swelling and inflammation. The cold will also numb the skin area where it is applied. In this way, the pain decreases. You can use the biofreeze gel or spray for joint pain due to inflammation, wear and tear or joint sprains (like an ankle sprain).
Benefits: Paraffin wax is not only use to make your skin smoother. It may help chronic pain due to wear and tear arthritis especially for hands. Paraffin wax is warm, not toxic, and very helpful to help your pain from osteoarthritis of the hands (especially thumbs arthritis) and even arthritis of the small joints of the feet.
Benefits: Many patients, especially people that use their hands to work (e.g. typing, playing an instrument) may develop wear and tear arthritis in the thumbs. Females are more predisposed to develop arthritis of their hands. Arthritis of the thumbs can be very painful. Wearing a thumb stabilizer will stabilize the joint and will decrease the pain. You can wear the stabilizer at nighttime or during the day for a few days to a few weeks until the pain subsides.
Benefits: A wrist brace is very helpful for patients that have symptoms of carpal tunnel. If you have pain, tingling and numbness in the first 3 fingers of the hand, this may be a sign of carpal tunnel. Wearing a wrist brace at nighttime will keep the wrist in a neutral position and will reduce the feeling of numbness and pain.
Benefits: Pain will also cause contraction of the muscle around that area. Contracted muscles will pull the joint and the nerves around that area and will lead to more pain. Therma care wraps are very easy to use. You just open the package and apply in the area where you have pain. Applying the Therma care wraps on the neck, shoulder or the lower back will relax the muscles and reduce the pain.
Benefits: I recommend the use of electric heating pad for neck or lower back pain. Pain in these areas cause contraction of the muscles around, and that will lead to more pain. Applying the heating pad on the neck, shoulder or the lower back will relax the muscles and reduce the pain. Used it for 10-15 min at a time, do not sleep over night on the heating pad as it can cause severe burnings!
Benefits: Turmeric/ curcumin is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Using turmeric as a spice or as a supplement it was shown to be helpful for patients with inflammatory arthritis. There are many studies that prove that turmeric can be helpful for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The use was turmeric was also shown to reduce markers of inflammation and the use of other anti-inflammatory medications. If you decide to take a supplement, make sure that also contains pepper that will increase the gut absorption. The recommended dose is 1-2 grams/ day.
Benefits: Fish oil contains omega-3 Fatty acids that are proven to have anti-inflammatory cardiovascular protective effect.Many studies showed great benefits of using Fish oil/ omega -3 supplementation in patients with arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis but also in people with nonsurgical back pain.
Benefits: Vitamin D regulates the calcium and phosphorus metabolism in our body but will also influence our immune system. Recent study proved that if people are vitamin D deficient, that will increase the risk to develop autoimmune disease, like rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory arthritis, with 22% . The recommended dose of supplementation accordingly to this study is Vitamin D3 – 2000iu/ day.
If you want to learn more about the scientific evidence of using different supplements, here is a video that I recently added on my YouTube channel.