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  • 6/20/2013

 Osteoarthritis: Some useful Tips for Self-Care at Home



Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative disease. Treatment relies on a combination of conventional medicine and lifestyle changes. Medications can treat pain, but there can be side effects when you take these long-term. Home remedies, lifestyle changes, and natural remedies can help manage OA pain with fewer side effects. Certain methods may even prevent OA from getting worse.

Home remedies aren’t meant to replace your current treatment. But they may provide more relief for OA. It’s important, though, to discuss home remedies and lifestyle changes with your doctor before trying them.

Here are top home remedies for osteoarthritis


Exercise can help you deal with osteoarthritis symptoms. It will help you increase your endurance and strengthen the muscles around your joints. This in turn will improve mobility. Moreover, exercise will help you lose weight.

• Try aerobic exercises like walking, biking or swimming for 30 minutes daily 5 times a week.

• Do gentle weight training and resistance training a few times a week to build stronger muscles.

• Do range-of-motion exercises at least 30 minutes daily.

Avoid high-impact sports, which increase the risk of injury.

If needed, get help from an expert to plan an exercise program that is suitable for your health condition and lifestyle.

Hot and cold compresses

When it comes to pain, hot and cold compresses may be very beneficial. They don’t cause the long-term side effects that medications might. Heat is helpful for joint stiffness, and cold compresses are best for joint pain.

Compresses can reduce muscle pain or spasms surrounding a joint. Making a compress can be as simple as using a warm or cold towel.

Massage Therapy

Regularly massaging the affected areas will help reduce the intensity of pain, swelling and inflammation due to osteoarthritis. In addition, massage improves blood circulation and has a soothing impact on inflamed muscles.

• Using gentle strokes, massage the affected areas with warm olive oil or coconut oil a few times daily. If massaging worsens the condition, stop doing it.

As joints become sensitive due to osteoarthritis, be sure to massage gently or go to a professional massage therapist, if necessary.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is also effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Its anti-inflammatory and alkaline-forming properties help reduce pain and stiffness in the joints. Moreover, it helps get rid of toxins stored in the joints.

• Mix 1 teaspoon each of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and honey in a glass of warm water. Drink it twice daily, preferably before eating your meal.

• You can also mix together 1 tablespoon each of organic apple cider vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil. Use it to massage the affected joints a few times daily.

Follow these remedies daily until the pain and inflammation are gone.

Epsom Salt

Another time-honored remedy for osteoarthritis is Epsom salt. Being a good source of magnesium, it helps reduce pain, swelling and inflammation.

• Add 2 cups of Epsom salt to warm bath water.

• Soak in it for 20 to 30 minutes.

• Repeat 2 or 3 times a week for several weeks or until you get relief from your pain and inflammation.

Note: Those who have kidney problems or diabetes must not use this remedy.


Ginger is another excellent natural remedy for osteoarthritis. A 2001 study published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology found that highly purified ginger extract demonstrated a positive effect in reducing pain in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.

This herb is rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce pain, swelling and inflammation. Moreover, ginger helps block COX-2, a chemical in the body that causes pain.

• Drink 2 to 3 cups of ginger tea daily. To make the tea, grate a small piece of ginger root and boil it in a cup of water for 10 minutes. Strain and add a little honey.

• You can also chew some fresh ginger slices daily or include dry or fresh ginger in your cooking.

• You can even massage the affected areas with ginger oil a few times daily.


Curcumin is the active compound in turmeric. It’s is part of the ginger family, but may help OA in different ways. Studies show that the substance may fight inflammatory compounds. It may also help reduce pain and stiffness during an OA flare-up.

For the treatment of arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation recommends the following dosage options:

• capsules: 400 to 600 milligrams up to three times per day

• powdered root extract: 0.5 to 1 gram, three times per day

If taking turmeric, you may need to add black pepper to activate the herb’s benefits. While turmeric is generally safe it can cause nausea and may interact with blood thinners.


Fenugreek is a popular Ayurvedic treatment for osteoarthritis. Fenugreek seeds possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and hence help manage pain and swelling.

Moreover, the seeds contain vitamins and essential minerals like calcium, iron and phosphorus that are necessary for healthy bones and tissues.

• Soak 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in water overnight. The next morning, eat the soaked seeds and discard the water. Do this daily.

• Alternatively, take 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seed powder along with a glass of warm water 2 or 3 times daily.

• You can also make a paste of 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds with enough water and apply it on the affected areas. Allow it to dry, then rinse it off with warm water. Use this remedy twice daily.

Use any of these remedies daily until you are satisfied with the result.

Green tea: Anti-inflammatory beverage

Green tea contains polyphenols. These compounds may help reduce inflammation and the need for medications. One study in Arthritis Research and Therapy reported green tea increased cartilage protection.

Due to the risk of liver problems and side effects from concentrated amounts, green tea is best taken in moderation.



A popular Ayurvedic remedy for osteoarthritis is cinnamon. Known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, cinnamon can help fight joint pain and swelling. It will also relax stiff muscles.

• Mix 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder and 1 tablespoon of honey in a glass of warm water. Drink it every morning on an empty stomach.

• Another option is to make a paste of cinnamon powder with a little water. You can also add a little honey. Use it to massage the affected area for a few minutes 2 or 3 times daily.

Follow these remedies until your condition improves.

Additional Tips

• Try to sleep well as it helps cope with the pain and stress of osteoarthritis.

• Use a mixture of avocado and soybean oils to massage the affected areas to control pain and inflammation.

• Quit smoking and drinking as they may worsen your condition.

• Meditate to keep your mind off the pain.

• Try yoga to improve joint flexibility and strengthen muscles.

• Practice tai chi 2 or 3 times a week to get rid of symptoms.

• Try splints, braces, canes and other devices that can help ease your discomfort and prevent injury.

• Stay positive as it can have a huge impact on how you feel and how well you function.

• Ask your doctor for nutritional supplements that can help manage your symptoms.

• Expose affected areas to morning sunlight to get vitamin D, which is essential for healthy bones.

• Include foods rich in vitamins C and E in your diet. These vitamins help keep your bones strong and manage the symptoms.

• Eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like nuts, seeds and cold-water fish to reduce inflammation and pain.

• If you are overweight, take necessary steps to lose weight. This will reduce pressure on weight-bearing joints and, in turn, lessen pain.

• You can also try acupuncture to relieve pain and improve mobility.




Other links:

How to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus Fast at Home

Home Remedies for Gout Treatment

Natural Tips to Cure Athlete Foot

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