There are many natural remedies for arthritis that can relieve the pain and inflammation of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.

Both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis respond well to natural home remedies. Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease, occurs when the immune system attacks the joints, causing redness, pain and swelling. Osteoarthritis, typically the type of arthritis we think of when we remember our grandparents complaining about their arthritic aches and pains, occurs when the natural wear and tear on the joints wears down the cushioning mechanism in the joints themselves. The resulting painful, creaking, red and swollen joints can be quite debilitating.

Arthritis can only be diagnosed by a physician. Be sure to see your doctor if you experience joint pain, swelling and tenderness over an extended period of time. Your doctor may request simple medical tests to determine the type of arthritis you have, and then counsel you or provide prescription medication to ease the symptoms along with home kits for arthritis. Neither rheumatoid arthritis nor osteoarthritis can be cured, but both conditions can be managed through medical care and natural home remedies for arthritis.

Don’t panic if you’re diagnosed with arthritis. Between traditional medicine and holistic, natural remedies, both types of arthritis can be managed, and you can continue leading a normal, healthy lifestyle.

Diet for Arthritis

A diet for arthritis suffers should focus on reducing or eliminating foods that enhance inflammation. Everyone can benefit from eating a healthy diet, but it’s especially important for people suffering from rheumatoid and osteoarthritis to avoid white sugar and white flour. Sugar increases inflammation, and also affects the immune system. Many nutritionists and natural healthcare practitioners recommend immediately decreasing or eliminating white sugar.

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Foods to eat include green, leafy vegetables and high quality protein. Drink plenty of filtered water, and enjoy wholesome, natural foods. Avoid vegetables in the nightshade family, such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and potatoes, which may encourage inflammation.

Herbal Treatments for Arthritis

Some herbs help arthritis. Llynn Newman, herbalist and nutritionist, recommends white willow, alfalfa, black cohosh, sasparilla, yucca and nettles among other herbs. White willow is particularly effective. Aspirin, a pain killer, was originally derived from willow bark. Always see a qualified herbalist for the appropriate dosage, and tell your doctor about any herbal and alternative treatments you are taking. Some herbs can react with prescription medications.

Other Lifestyle Changes

One lifestyle change can help manage arthritis. If you’re overweight, try your best to lose weight, particularly if you suffer from arthritic knee pain. The extra pounds add additional pressure on the joints, causing all types of arthritis pain to increase. Lose weight through a sensible eating plan.

Exercise, particularly low impact exercise, keeps joint supple. Swimming and water aerobics are favourite exercises for arthritis sufferers. The buoyancy of the water takes pressure off the joints, allowing people to get healthy exercise while reducing pain.