Are you one of the millions of Americans who suffer from bone and joint pain? If so, then you know that the pain, inflammation and swelling can be absolutely debilitating. These symptoms, at their worst, can affect your quality of life. You may find some relief, however, with the natural remedies outlined in the next section. Bone and joint pain can occur anywhere in the body, but the most common areas include those that are involved in repetitive movements. This includes the lower back, neck, knees, hips, shoulders and ankles. Bone and joint pain can be caused by many factors. For example, older age, arthritis, poor posture, injury and inactivity can all lead to bone and joint pain. (1) Many people rely on over-the-counter painkillers to manage their symptoms. If you’re looking for bone pain treatment at home that doesn’t involve medication, however, try some of the natural remedies below.
Natural Remedies for Bone and Joint Pain and Inflammation
1. Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salts are high in magnesium and sulfates. When you soak in a warm Epsom salt bath, the nutrients are absorbed through the skin to provide quick relief from bone and joint pain. (2) The Epsom salt helps lower inflammation, reduce muscle spasms and relax areas that are experiencing tension.
Furthermore, an Epsom salt bath is a great way to relax and mentally unwind at the end of a hectic day. When we experience high amounts of stress, it can add to any physical pain we may be experiencing, or cause new pain, such as a tension headache or tension shoulder ache. You can help undo this tension and address your joint pain by soaking in a medicinal Epsom bath. Add 2 cups of Epsom salt to warm bathwater and soak for 20 minutes.
For extra relief from tension, try adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to your bath. Lavender is great for reducing pain and promoting an overall state of relaxation. When you smell something that induces relaxation, such as lavender or other sedative essential oils, your body releases dopamine. This helps you feel better and may help reduce pain levels.
Stiff muscles caused by inactivity can lead to bone and joint pain. Exercising on a regular basis can help stretch and strengthen the joints and muscles to improve circulation and reduce pain. Staying active can also help prevent weight gain that put added pressure on sore joints. If you are already suffering from bone and joint pain, try low-impact exercises such as swimming, water aerobics, cycling, yoga or brisk walking. (3) Swimming or water aerobics in particular are great forms of exercise for this kind of pain. Unlike other forms of exercise, swimming typically doesn’t add any extra stress on the joints. For this reason, it’s often regarded as the perfect type of exercise for those suffering from arthritis, as well.
3. Hot and Cold Packs
Home remedies for joint pain also include using hot and cold packs. If you are seeking immediate relief from pain, apply a hot gel pack to the affected are for 20 minutes. Follow it up immediately with a cold ice pack for another 20 minutes to reduce swelling. Keep the affected area elevated and try to apply ice or heat every day until it provides relief. Use this method as often as you need, such as when you experience a sudden flair-up of symptoms. If you spend a lot of time at work, try keeping an ice pack in the freezer to use on your joints during your breaks.
4. Lose Weight If Needed
Being overweight or obese can put unnecessary strain on your bones and joints. It can also accelerate the rate of bone degeneration. Losing weight, if appropriate for you, can help ease pain and prevent future problems. If dieting to lose weight is difficult for you, ease into it slowly. Baby steps are still forward motion. First, try cutting out items with added sugar, such as baked goods and soda. Then add in, instead, fresh fruits. After you’ve done this for a couple of weeks, try cutting out something else, such as chips or other processed foods. Replace what you cut with something healthy.
As for exercise, start small as well. Try simple but brisk walks around the block and slowly work your way up to something more intense. Be sure to speak with your doctor before making any major changes to your diet or exercise plan, especially if you have a medical condition to consider.
5. Modify Your Diet
One of the most natural ways to reduce chronic inflammation in the body is to modify your diet. Inflammation is often a result of the food you eat. Foods that are processed, high in salt, sugar, additives and artificial ingredients can trigger an inflammatory response. An anti-inflammatory diet can help decrease bone and joint pain by reducing inflammation and swelling. Cut out packaged, processed foods and replace them with anti-inflammatory foods. For example, chia seeds, avocados, walnuts, fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables are all great anti-inflammatory food choices. (4) Your body will thank you!
6. Helpful Supplements
Joint pain supplements can help your body build strong joints and protect against inflammation. Collagen, a type of protein found in the body, helps keep connective tissue strong. (5) It contains 19 different amino acids that work to keep you healthy and pain-free. Yuu can find collagen in supplement form at your local health food store. Additionally, you can try:
- Proteolytic Enzymes: Studies have shown that people with joint pain have been able to reduce recovery time by up to 50% by taking proteolytic enzymes, which help reduce inflammation and improve nutrient absorption. (6)
- Anti-inflammatory Herbs: Anti-inflammatory herbs are a great way to reduce pain and swelling naturally. Try turmeric, ginger and boswellia to help reduce bone and joint pain. You can use these herbs to make a tea, or, alternatively, use them in cooking. Fresh is always best!
- Essential Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids help fight inflammation. Take a high-quality supplement or add flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts to your diet.