We take the freedom of movement for granted until it becomes limited. For many people, the cause of this comes in the form of arthritis or the inflammation of one or more of your joints.
The two most common forms of arthritis include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid - both of which affect the joint in different ways. Whichever you experience, here are eight natural remedies that may help in relieving and easing the symptoms of bone and joint pain:
In this article, I will delve deeper into these eight different natural remedies and how you can take actionable steps to implement them in your day-to-day life. I recommend each of these suggestions to a lot of my naturopathic clients who suffer from various chronic pain conditions and arthritis.
It goes without saying that a good massage is fantastic for aching bodies. As a massage therapist for over 25 years, I have treated countless people who have come to me with hip, knee, shoulder and back pain.
They come to see me believing their body is riddled with arthritis when in reality they have extremely tight muscles pulling on the tendons and ligaments attaching to their bones - causing them to ache.
Massage can be relaxation, deep tissue, aromatherapy (using essential oils) or Bowen - so choose the type of massage from which you will benefit from the most:
- Relaxation massage is probably the best for those suffering from fibromyalgia or osteoporosis, as deeper massage techniques may be too painful and could cause further problems.
- Deep Tissue massage is recommended when chronic tightness and stress-related issues lead to knots and restriction (Magnesium a must in these cases).
- Aromatherapy massage and the use of essential oils are amazing to help relieve pain both physically and emotionally. Particularly beneficial when stress is involved.
- Bowen Therapy is particularly good where realignment of the body is required.
2) Weight Management
Our body weight is important when it comes to managing bone and joint pain as carrying excess weight puts added burden and more stress on our bodies.
It is therefore important to watch what we eat, ensuring that 90% of the time we are mindful of eating good, nutritious food that contains:
- A selection of green, leafy vegetables
- Fresh fruit and salad
- Adequate high protein foods (such as fish, eggs and beans)
If we ensure these eating habits 90% of the time, it allows us 10% reward with a treat now and again.
It is also important to drink adequate amounts of water to keep hydrated. There are many different opinions on how much water you drink every day, but I generally recommend setting a goal of 2 litres per day.
Weight gain can also be attributable to increased stressed levels, impaired metabolism and fluctuating blood sugar levels. So ensure you provide time for relaxation, eat 3-5 smaller meals per day (rather than 3 large meals) and add daily exercise to your routine.
If your muscles are tight, knotted and inflexible, you run the risk of injury and your bone and joint conditions problems are likely to worsen. As unpleasant as it may sound, it is important that you get up and exercise. As mentioned above, exercise is also important for managing weight, as excess puts more strain on your joints.
Exercise also plays a role in preventing unnecessary stress being placed on our joints and bones by strengthening and stretching your muscles.
So put on your walking shoes and get moving!
The speed and distance will vary from person to person, and if walking is not an option perhaps a bicycle ride or swim may be preferable. Swimming is particularly good for those with severe arthritic problems as it takes the pressure off the weight-bearing joints.
Add just 20-30 minutes of exercise and stretching daily and you will start to notice a difference.
If you get up and move around every day, you’ll get stronger, loosen up the joints and feel better.
There are a number of supplements that can help you in helping relieve bone and joint pain:
- Fish Oil Capsules - Firstly, Omega-3 Fatty Acid is one food source that most us are deficient, which are vitally important for many aspects of health - including the reduction of inflammation. Chronic inflammatory conditions such as arthritis are far less common in societies where fish is consumed at least 1-2 times daily. If you are not eating large quantities of cold-water fish, then fish oil capsules, or better still liquid, is a MUST for helping as a reduce inflammation.
- Turmeric Powder - A powerful anti-inflammatory and can be added to cooking, smoothies or taken as a tea. Turmeric is particularly yummy when added to your warm winter soups.
- Calcium and Magnesium - These two supplements are important for bone health.
- Vitamin D - Essential for calcium absorption so get adequate amounts of SAFE sun, or if sun exposure is not suitable for your skin, it is very important to ensure adequate Vitamin D is taken in supplement form. Vitamin D deficiency is also commonly linked to many other health problems including depression and various forms of cancer. To determine whether you are deficient or not, get a blood test from your doctor.
- Glucosamine - This can also help bone and joint pain in some cases.
5) Herbal Teas & Tonics
Replace your coffee drinking habits with herbal teas. Coffee aggravates inflammation, so if possible completely remove it from your diet. If you still need that caffeine hit, green tea is a fantastic, healthier alternative. Green tea, and other caffeinated herbal teas, also have much gentler ascent due to the high level of antioxidants, which slows the absorption of caffeine. You may not reach peak alertness as fast as you do when you drink coffee, but tea will keep you on a plateau of stimulation for longer.
Other herbal teas, such as turmeric and ginger, have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. They are great for helping to reduce the swelling that can lead to painful joints and bones.
Add grated ginger and a teaspoon of fresh turmeric to boiling water and allow it to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon for more zing or a small amount of honey for a little sweetness makes a yummy drink.
6) Magnesium Salt Bath
Have a soak in a Magnesium Salt Bath! Magnesium Salt absorbs quickly through the skin to help relax the muscles and relieve aching bones and joints. A naturally occurring mineral, Magnesium Salts have been used to get relief from pain for years.
We have recently launched our Kunzea Bath Salts, which combine the benefits of Magnesium, Macrobiotic Sea Salt, Kunzea, Lavender and Ylang Ylang. Alternatively, you can create your own DIY bath salts with the directions below.
Directions: Add 2 large cups of Magnesium Salts to a warm bath and submerge the body so your shoulders are beneath the water. It is important that the water is at a warm enough temperature for the pores of the skin to open so that the salts can be efficiently absorbed. Relax there for 20 minutes or so. For added relaxation and pain relief, you can light a candle and add 2 drops of your favourite essential oil or essential oil blend.
7) Sleep & Daily Mindfulness Practices
We all know that adequate sleep is vitally important for our health and wellbeing. Managing your pain is no exception.
Aim for 7-9 hours of good quality sleep per night, and remember that 2 hours before midnight is thought to be the equivalent to 4 hours after midnight.
Ensure you have a comfortable mattress and pillows, as it is important that we are protecting our bones and joints throughout the night.
We spend a lot of time asleep, so we need to be comfortable and relaxed.
8) Kunzea Pain Relief Products
If you have been following us for a while, you know we are huge advocates for Australian Kunzea Oil and its therapeutic and pain-relieving properties.
While many of us are familiar with common essential oils such as Lavender, Wintergreen, and Frankincense for relieving pain, Kunzea is one native Tasmanian essential oil that is often overlooked.
When diluted, Kunzea Oil may help in reducing the discomfort and relieving the pain caused by arthritis, osteoporosis, muscle spasms and trauma such as pain from an injury or accident.
I use Kunzea Cream on every single client who I massage in my clinic, regardless of his or her reason for getting treatment. Why? Well as I massage the cream into their muscles I can feel the tension leave immediately. The knots and tangled fibres give way to soft smooth muscles and therefore bring great relief to not only aching muscles but also aching joints and bones.
When using in the comfort of your own home we suggest applying 2-3 times daily, or as required, to the affected area.
About the Author - Michelle Brass ND
With over 25 years of experience in the natural health industry, Michelle has dedicated her life to helping others embrace the therapeutic benefits of nature. Throughout her time as a health practitioner, she has used and recommended countless traditional and conventional treatments to her clients - as she believes an integrative approach to health and wellness is very important. Michelle is passionate about using and promoting essential oils and, in particular, Kunzea Oil, as she has seen them help thousands of people over the years. She knows that using essential oils in your daily life can help bring balance to the mind, body and soul. She is constantly trialling and testing new products with her loyal clients.