• Glucosamine sulfate/Chondroitan sulfate (GS/CS): These supplements can help improve joint function and lessen arthritis pain. GS is the building block for the synthesis and repair of joint cartilage, and supplementation can relieve arthritis symptoms and sometimes halt progression of the disease. CS is a similar molecule that may actually help heal the joints over time. It also significantly decreases pain and improves joint mobility. Recommended dosages: 1,500 mg per day of GS; 1,200 mg per day of CS.
• Capsaicin cream: A cream made from an extract of cayenne pepper containing 0.025 to 0.075% capsaicin can reduce joint pain and tenderness. Recommended dosage: apply four times per day to affected joints for two to four weeks; decrease as symptoms improve.
• Herbal aid: Plant-based remedies have been used for centuries to help ease joint pain. Look for products containing some or all of the following: boswellia, cat’s claw, ginger, holy basil, and turmeric. These herbs may facilitate the removal of proinflammatory substances from the body and shift the balance to those that promote tissue healing and calm inflammation.
• Seaweed extract: Some seaweed extract products have shown promising results for treating joint discomfort and reducing the need for pain-relieving medications in people with arthritis.
4. Create a Home Spa
At the end of a busy day, take the time to nourish your body from the outside, too.
• Soak away the pain: Epsom salt baths work wonders for tired, achy bodies. Hot water allows the magnesium-rich salts to penetrate tissues, relaxing sore muscles and bringing relief to stiff joints. Don’t go light; add a full quart of Epsom salt to bath water and soak for as long as you like.
• Make the most of marvelous mud: Recent studies have confirmed that mineral-rich mud packs can bring lasting relief to arthritic joints. Mud packs may be sold under the names “peloid” or “peat” packs.
If you have ongoing joint pain that doesn’t respond to these simple measures, it may be a sign of a more serious condition. See your doctor to determine a plan that’s right for you.
Kimberly Beauchamp, ND, earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island and her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA. She cofounded South County Naturopaths in Wakefield, RI, and now sees patients in East Greenwich and Wakefield. Inspired by her passion for healthful eating and her own young daughters, Dr. Beauchamp is currently writing a book about optimizing children’s health through better nutrition.
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