Joints are the reason why we can bend our knees, flex our arms and so many other movements. Unfortunately, one of the main reasons people stop being active is joint pain. However, do it yourself joint pain relief can be very simple and very effective!
Joints have three distinct structures: fibrous – collagen-rich fibers, cartilage, and ligaments (synovial joints) which is connective tissue.
Treating joint pain on your own with DIY methods can save you money from doctor’s visits and help you live a pain-free life. If you have severe joint pain from something like a serious injury, you should always talk to a doctor before trying DIY joint pain maintenance.
However, there many DIY joint pain relief methods that work. Keep reading below to learn more!
What Causes Joint Pain?
The reasons for joint pain are multi-faceted. Injuries, obviously, are a clear reason for pain. But age contributes to joint pain as well.
As we get older, the connective tissues and fibers lose elasticity and become tight and brittle. So when the joints in our wrist, hands, hips and knees start acting up, we are probably at the onset of arthritis.
Two types of arthritis can make life unbearable: osteoarthritis which breaks down cartilage and bones, and rheumatoid arthritis which is an inflammation whereby the body destroys its healthy cells and can lead to deformation.
Another cause of joint pain is fibromyalgia.
This disease does not only causes joint pain but also muscle pain and is a long term condition. Also, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, or what is commonly known as Lupus, can cause severe joint pain just like rheumatoid arthritis.
Lupus does not only affect the joints but also affects different systems in the body. Gout is less systemic than Lupus and usually affects an isolated joint at a time.
However, recurring gout episodes can cause deformities in the joint.
Children can also be affected by arthritis: Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis which can be treated and permanent remission is possible. Childhood arthritis manifests in symptoms such as joint pain, fever, swelling, stiffness and being unable to cope with daily activities of living.
All of these can be very debilitating and can hinder daily activities.
Fortunately, DIY joint pain relief techniques are here to the rescue!
The Best DIY Joint Pain Relief Techniques
Considering the side effects of pain medications, many have turned to natural remedies for joint pain relief.
Simply put, DIY joint pain relief is using holistic methods to treat your joint pain.
Keep reading below to learn the best DIY joint pain relief techniques for chronic pain management!
Hot and Cold Treatment for Joint Pain Relief
If you have arthritis or other forms of joint pain, another treatment you can try is using hot and cold treatments. For example, if you take a warm bath in the morning, you may find that it helps to loosen your joints and reduces stiffness for you to carry on throughout the day with less pain.
However, if you feel that your joints are hurting, you can use cold items like ice packs to reduce the pain.
For example, if you currently have severe inflammation in your joints, it is best to use ice to reduce the inflammation.
As stated in a study published in Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism,
“In vitro studies show that higher temperatures increase the breakdown of articular cartilage and tissues that contain collagen. Therefore, one goal of physical therapy should be to decrease intraarticular temperature in actively inflamed arthritic joints.”
A hot compress promotes dilation of the vessels in joints which increases circulation. Cold compresses, on the other hand, constrict the vessels lowering the risk for inflammation. I use these compresses all the time, and my wife and I even travel with them no matter where we go!
For example, check out this Knee Support Wrap by Adalid Gear.
Another form of hot and cold therapy is taking a contrast shower. This is a simple hot and cold treatment that can have significant results for people with joint pain!
The Best Supplements for Joint Pain Relief
A healthy diet is essential for good joint health. Omega 3 Fatty Acids, such as found in fish, coconut oil, chia, and flaxseed have anti-inflammatory effects. However, not everyone has a perfect diet, and there are a variety of supplements that can significantly improve joint pain.
Magnesium is known to relax nerve endings, and stiffness or pain. It also regulates blood circulation in the body and helps our bones to mineralize. According to a study published in the journal Magnesium in the Central Nervous System,
“Magnesium plays an important role in the prevention of central sensitization and in the attenuation of established pain hypersensitivity, and its main mode of action appears to involve its voltage-gated antagonist action at N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors.”
My favorite magnesium supplement is Utzy Naturals U-Mag. Utzy Naturals U-Mag contains 400mg of magnesium per serving, and it worked very well for me when I was using it. Magnesium is especially important for me as a professional basketball player, since it helps prevent cramps.
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Collagen supplements help promote the body’s collagen production essential for healthy cartilage and joints. I use collage protein instead of whey protein or other types of protein powder because I feel they have a much better effect for both my muscles and joints. Along with that, I also take BioCell Collagen tablets to further contribute to increase collagen levels throughout my body.
According to a study published in Current Medical Research and Opinion,
“This was the first clinical trial of 24-weeks duration to show improvement of joint pain in athletes who were treated with the dietary supplement collagen hydrolysate. The results of this study have implications for the use of collagen hydrolysate to support joint health and possibly reduce the risk of joint deterioration in a high-risk group.”
If you would like to try a collagen supplement, I believe the best option is Vital Protein Collagen Peptides.
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Along with collagen supplements, another great natural product you can use for DIY joint pain relief is turmeric. Turmeric is one of natures strongest anti-inflammatory compounds, and it can help with long-term joint pain among many other health benefits. According to a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food,
“Randomized Clinical Trials (RCTs) provide scientific evidence that supports the efficacy of turmeric extract (about 1000 mg/day of curcumin) in the treatment of arthritis.”
I have used tons of different turmeric supplements, but my favorite is Nuvana Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine and Ginger. Nuvana Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine and Ginger is optimized for bio-availability and is very affordable for the quality.
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Lastly, an excellent supplement for joint pain is fish oil. Fish oil contains valuable Omega-3 Fatty Acids which evens out the high-amounts of Omega-6 Fatty Acids in the typical Western Diet.
No matter what age you are, you should aim to add Omega 3 fatty acids into your diet. This is because they can improve your health in a number of ways, which include:
- Helping Your Body Fight off Disease
- Help Your Brain and Memory
- Reduce the Chance of Heart Disease
If you consume Omega 3 fatty acids, you can also help your arthritis or joint pain.
As stated in a study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology,
“The proportions of patients who improved and of those who were able to reduce their concomitant anti-rheumatic medications were significantly greater with 2.6 gm/day of Omega 3 Fatty Acid Supplements (ω3). Conclusion. Daily supplementation with 2.6 gm of ω3 results in significant clinical benefit and may reduce the need for concomitant anti-rheumatic medication.”
Furthermore, according to a study published in Surgical Neurology,
“Our results mirror other controlled studies that compared ibuprofen and ω-3 EFAs demonstrating equivalent effect in reducing arthritic pain. ω-3 EFA fish oil supplements appear to be a safer alternative to NSAIDs for treatment of nonsurgical neck or back pain in this selective group.”
Although I haven’t tried it yet myself, I believe one of the most exciting fish oil supplements I have seen on the market is MAV Nutrition Omega 3 Fish Oil.
MAV Nutrition Omega 3 Fish Oil contains with 3,600mg of fish oil fatty acids, including 864 mg of DHA, 1,296 mg of EPA per serving. MAV Nutrition Omega 3 Fish Oil is also a “burpless” product, which is more important than you might think!
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You can add Omega 3 fatty acids to your diet by consuming fatty fish like salmon and fish oil supplements, or consuming plant foods such as hemp seeds, flaxseed, or walnuts.
The Best Forms of Exercise for Joint Pain
Movement, as uncomfortable as it might be initially, is essential to loosen up stiff muscles and keep them nimble. Immobility leads to atrophy, which leads to joint pain.
However, if your doctor doesn’t advise against it, extra movement may actually help to relieve your pain. By engaging in gentle exercise, you are encouraging the joints to loosen. As a result, they will be less stiff and uncomfortable.
When you make exercise an essential part of your daily routine, the effect is amplified, which can lead to long-term relief from stiffness and discomfort. Exercise that has a reduced impact on joints may be the most beneficial, so why not try cycling, swimming, or yoga to relieve joint stiffness?
That is why one way that you can treat arthritis or other forms of joint pain is by exercising more. Not only does exercise help you lose weight and keep you fit, but it also helps to keep your joints flexible. To keep your joints flexible, you should do exercises like swimming and aerobics, and Pilates that doesn’t cause further damage to your joints.
According to the research study Exercise for Arthritis,
“The data available indicates that Range of Motion (ROM), strengthening and aerobic conditioning exercises are safe for patients with Osteoarthritis (OA), Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) or AS, despite earlier concerns that exercise might exacerbate joint symptoms or accelerate the disease.”
Motion strengthens the joints and stimulates the body to produce lubricants to coat the joints. According to one study on the effects of using exercise and rehabilitation to treat osteoarthritis symptoms,
“High‐quality evidence indicates that land‐based therapeutic exercise provides short‐term benefit that is sustained for at least two to six months after cessation of formal treatment in terms of reduced knee pain, and moderate‐quality evidence shows improvement in physical function among people with knee OA. The magnitude of the treatment effect would be considered moderate (immediate) to small (two to six months) but comparable with estimates reported for non‐steroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs.”
You should start all your workouts with a proper dynamic warm up, and you can consider trying yoga for further mobility training.
You should not do any plyometric exercises or intense workout programs, but exercising is a legitimate part of any arthritis or joint pain treatment program!
Try a Chi Machine
A Chi Machine is an electrically powered unit about the size of a medium sized suitcase. Chi Machines provide what is known as a passive aerobic workout, by moving your feet and legs from side to side, more on that later. One famous supplier of these units, PikUmii, provides you with a twisted disk along with the unit.
The Chi Machine was invented in 1990. The inventor, Dr. Inoue Shizuo, worked for over 35 years to build the right machine for his vision.
Hi’s original intent was to produce a device that helped in the practice of meditation, which requires an upright posture and an erect backbone. The Chi Machine offers a multitude of benefits.
They have been known to address problems of tendinitis, and mitigate the pain and mobility issues associated with gout and arthritis.
People have reported that the Chi Machine has also helped reduce the occurrence and intensity of migraines by reducing overall tension in the body. Others have also said relief from insomnia and even constipation.
As the name implies, the Chi Machine works to release and realign your body’s energy. Senior citizens have especially noticed the healing effect that the Chi Machine provides; from loosening up stiff joints to improving the flow within the bodies lymph system, senior citizens around the country are reporting very positive results.
One research study which was conducted on using a chi machine for leg lymphedema stated that,
“Although some of the fluid and symptoms had returned at the 1 month followup, none of the parameters had returned to pre-treatment levels. This finding indicates that this equipment may have on going beneficial effects. This clinical trial demonstrates that the Sun Ancon® Chi Machine®Aerobic Exerciser is an effective adjunct therapy that can be used in the patient’s own home.”
Use of the Chi Machine in conjunction with light exercise has also been reported to aid in weight loss and to improve mood and sociability. Because Chi Machines deliver what is known as passive aerobic exercise, the motion produced in your body is quite similar to that of active aerobic exercise.
You can read more information and browse customer ratings here.
Compression Clothing While Exercising for Joint Pain Relief
Depending on where your joint pain occurs, you should do your best to cover that area of your body with compression clothing. Compression clothing improves your circulation and has beneficial effects for reducing joint pain both while exercising and after exercising.
For example, if you are dealing with knee pain, wearing women’s or mens workout leggings can help relieve some of the stiffness and pain while you are running or doing other forms of exercise. There are a ton of companies which make workout leggings designed to help make exercise easier for your joints, such as Nike, Under Armour, Reebok, Differio, and more.
Essential Oils for Joint Pain
“Aromatherapy massage with lavender essential oil was found effective in relieving pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis. “
Apply a couple of drops to a hot or cold compress and apply to the affected area. You can also add several drops to a hot bath and let your muscles relax in the warm water. You can also use them in an essential oil diffuser (as I do all-year) or add them with a carrier oil for an aromatherapy massage.
If you would like to purchase some essential oils for DIY joint pain relief, I suggest these:
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The Best Diet for Joint Pain Relief
Chronic joint pain is often aggravated by inflammation because internal tissues get larger and push on painful areas. There are many different diets that you can look into to help with anti-inflammation. It will require some outside research to figure out which diet will work best for you.
Some examples to get you started on your journey:
- The Mediterranean Diet
- The Arthritis Foundation Anti Inflammatory diet
- Diets that Avoid Refined Sugars and Carbohydrates
- Vegetarian/Vegan Diets
Regenerative Procedures for Joint Pain
If the diet and herbs/essential oils are not adequately helping your pain, it might be time to see a professional. But that doesn’t mean that you need to go to a traditional doctor. A regenerative procedure such as non-invasive stem cell injection or PRP therapy will encourage your body to repair itself.
This way, your own body is doing most of the work; it’s just getting a little help from stem cells (which are usually taken from the patient’s own body anyway), or the Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP), which is always taken from the patient’s own body.
These procedures should be researched before going any further, of course; so websites like Chronic Care of Richmond are helpful for learning more. If you finally decide to follow through with regenerative treatment, make sure that you are going to a reputable clinic with all the correct licenses and qualifications to practice these procedures.
Change Your Mattress
Many people experience joint pain when they first wake up in the morning. If you routinely experience discomfort upon waking, it is important to assess your sleeping arrangements. You may find that your mattress is causing or contributing to the ongoing pain you’re experiencing.
This is especially important for chronic back pain.
Switching to a different mattress is often the most effective way to tackle this problem. Memory foam mattresses, in particular, are particularly beneficial for people who experience stiffness or discomfort. As the mattress contours to your body and provides targeted support, it minimizes the pressure on your joints throughout the night.
Often, sleeping on the right type of mattress affects your sleep quality too. If you routinely wake up because you’re uncomfortable, you may find that memory foam enables you to sleep through the night. Try one if you’re a light sleeper and keep a sleep journal so you can note the changes.
With the right mattress, you can successfully eradicate discomfort and enhance your sleep quality too.
Mindfulness and Meditation to Reduce Pain in Your Joints
Dealing with chronic discomfort or an ongoing health problem can affect your emotional well-being, as well as your physical health. In some cases, how people think about their discomfort increases the impact it has on their mind and their lifestyle.
Both mindfulness and meditation can be used to reduce our perception of pain and discomfort.
According to a study published in The Clinical Journal of Pain,
“Two hundred twenty-five chronic pain patients were studied following training in mindfulness meditation. Large and significant overall improvements were recorded post-intervention in physical and psychological status.”
When we successfully change our response to chronic joint or muscle stiffness, we reduce the impact it has on us. While you may still experience some physical discomfort, mindfulness and meditation can make it seem less invasive, detrimental, and limiting.
Concluding Thoughts – Understanding DIY Joint Pain
Although there are ways to treat arthritis or other forms of joint pain at home, it is always best to make sure you get in contact with a doctor or medical expert to make sure you are following the treatment that will work best for you or if the doctor would recommend anything different to try.
Doctors deal with many different types of orthopedics, and they can also give you great advice to make sure your condition can be appropriately treated.
Don’t allow pain to take over your life. Take the lead in treating muscle and joint pains the natural way!
Use these tips, and I am confident you will see that you have the capability of taking joint pain relief into your own hands!
See Also: How to Cure Jumpers Knee