My father was a recovering alcoholic. He was “dry” for more than 14 years before his death. During this 14 year recovery, he never once took an aspirin or any type of pain reliever for his pain.
As a man who suffered from a type of arthritis called gout, he drank “stinging nettle” tea daily and applied bags of frozen peas to his knees instead of taking medication.
While his case of gout was mild, I always wondered what other non-medication alternatives were available to those suffering from arthritis.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, “more than 76.2 million or 26 percent of Americans suffer chronic pain and more than half of those suffer from arthritis.”
That is more than 13 percent of Americans suffering from arthritis and the pain associated with this chronic disease.
According to Arthritis Today Magazine, here some common forms of alternative treatment (not including supplements):
Easy at home therapies include:
• A good pair of shoes
The 2010 Rush Medical College in Chicago discovered that “flat, flexible shoes like flip-flops and sneakers (Puma H-Street shoes were used in the study) reduced the force exerted on knee joints by 11 to 15 percent compared with clogs and special walking shoes.” It is important to note that flip-flops do put people at greater risk of other conditions so closed shoes with arch support are a better choice.
• Exercise/physical therapy
• Heat/cold therapy
According to Girish Padmanabhan, clinical director of outpatient rehab at The George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., “Heat works better [than cold] for osteoarthritis pain.”
Arthritis Today Magazine stated, “Apply heat two or three times a day for 15 minutes at a time. Heated paraffin wax baths can be helpful for patients with RA, especially their hands – as long as they’re not having a flare. Cold works best for inflammation caused by injuries like sprains, strains and pulled muscles and ligaments. Apply cold packs two to four times a day for 15 minutes at a time until pain and swelling lessen.”
• Topical medications