Pain and swelling due to joint inflammation can often be remedied with at-home treatments and lifestyle adjustments.
When your joints become damaged due to an injury or chronic condition like arthritis, blood rushes to the area and your immune system releases chemicals to fight the inflammation. This chain reaction causes swelling and pain in the joints.
If it’s in response to an injury, joint inflammation may quickly recede with at-home treatment. On the other hand, it may take a bit longer to address the chronic inflammation caused by arthritis.
Osteoarthritis develops when the cartilage cushioning the joint wears down over time, resulting in the bones rubbing against each other. Pain, stiffness, and a cracking sound when the joint moves are all symptoms of the condition. Chronic inflammation caused by arthritis is typically treated with pain medications, corticosteroid injections, hot and cold therapy, and physical therapy to improve muscle strength and flexibility. Depending upon the severity of the joint deterioration, a joint replacement may be recommended.
However, less severe joint inflammation can be managed with simple remedies and lifestyle changes. With the measures discussed here, you can reduce pain and swelling with at-home treatments.
5 Ways to Reduce Joint Inflammation
Here are five methods you can try to relieve your discomfort.
RICE method. If you think your joint inflammation is due to a sudden injury, the RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) method is the first line of treatment to reduce pain and swelling. See an orthopedist if the pain and swelling don’t diminish after RICE treatment.
Oral Medications. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, either over-the-counter or prescribed, can reduce joint pain. Ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, and Celebrex are all classified as NSAIDs. For arthritis, you may need a prescription anti-inflammatory.
Diet. What you eat can either increase or decrease inflammation. A diet high in processed foods, fried foods, refined sugar, and saturated fats found in corn oil and margarine is not only bad for your overall health, but tends to exacerbate inflammation, as well. When planning meals, follow the Mediterranean diet principles, which lean toward fish, fruits, vegetables, olive oil, beans, whole grains, and nuts. Limit your intake of red meat, poultry, cheese, yogurt, and sweets. Not a fish eater? Take a fish oil supplement made of omega-3 fatty acid twice a day at a dosage of 2.6 grams to fight inflammation.
Exercise. Although arthritis pain may make the thought of exercise unbearable, movement can actually help reduce inflammation. Talk to your doctor about the best exercises, but following a low-impact aerobic workout for at least 30 minutes five days a week along with some resistance training can be therapeutic. Combined with diet, exercise will lower your weight, which cuts down on the stress placed on your joints — especially the knees and hips.
Reduce Stress. Elevated stress levels contribute to inflammation, as was documented in a 2017 study that found stress markers increased when psychological stress was heightened. Meditation, yoga, biofeedback, and getting enough sleep each night are proven methods to lower your stress levels.
Don’t Suffer From Inflamed Joints
At New York Bone & Joint Specialists, our orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists have helped hundreds of patients overcome the pain of inflamed joints due to injury or arthritis. We offer both surgical and non-surgical solutions for your joint pain. Contact us today for a consultation.