Joint pain can be caused by a number of issues, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, bursitis, tendinitis or a strain, sprain or other injury affecting the ligaments, bursae or tendons surrounding a joint.
It can occur in any part of the body but is most common in the knees, shoulders and hips. The pain can range from mild to severe and may be accompanied by swelling and stiffness in one or more joints.
Severe joint pain, especially when caused by degenerative conditions like arthritis, needs proper diagnosis and treatment.
You should also consult your doctor if your joint pain is accompanied by swelling, redness and tenderness, or lasts for more than three days. But, you can get rid of mild joint pain with the help of natural home remedies.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for joint pain.
Massage therapy helps relieve joint pain by improving circulation and soothing inflammation. In fact, several studies indicate that regular massage can improve pain, stiffness and range of motion in the affected joint.
To massage the affected area, use warm oil like coconut, olive, mustard, castor or garlic oil and apply gentle pressure while massaging.
2. Hot and Cold Compresses
Alternating hot and cold compresses can also help ease joint pain. Heat therapy helps decrease pain, increase blood flow and relax sore muscles and joints. Cold therapy reduces inflammation and numbs the areas around the affected joint.
- Wrap both compresses in separate towels before using them. They should not be applied directly to the skin.
- Place the hot compress on the affected area for about three minutes.
- Remove the compress and immediately put a cold compress in its place for about one minute.
- Repeat the process for 15 to 20 minutes a few times daily until you get relief.
Note: Do not use heat therapy if the affected area is red, hot and irritated. Do not use cold therapy if you have circulatory problems.
Fenugreek is a popular home remedy for joint pain due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is particularly beneficial for those suffering from arthritis.
- Swallow one teaspoon of finely ground fenugreek seeds followed by a glass of lukewarm water. Do this daily in the morning until you get positive results.
- Alternatively, you can simply soak one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in water overnight and eat them the next morning.
Turmeric is an excellent Ayurvedic remedy for joint pain. It contains an active ingredient called curcumin with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
In a 2009 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, researchers compared the effectiveness of this compound to ibuprofen and found that curcumin was as effective as ibuprofen for pain relief in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
- Mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder and a little honey in a glass of warm milk. Drink it daily, at least for a few days.
- Another option is to take 250 to 500 mg turmeric capsules three times daily until you are satisfied with the results.
Note: Talk to your doctor before including either of these remedies in your regular routine. Turmeric may interfere with certain medications, such as blood thinners, and may worsen gallbladder problems.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar helps reduce joint pain by eliminating accumulated toxins from the joints and connective tissues.
Due to its alkalizing effect, it is particularly beneficial for those suffering from arthritis. Plus, it is rich in minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
- Mix one to three teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar and a little honey in a cup of warm water. Drink this solution two or three times a day, preferably before meals. You can continue this simple treatment on a regular basis because, in addition to helping with joint pain, it is good for your overall health.
- You can also massage the affected area with a mixture of one tablespoon each of apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Do this daily until your joint pain is gone.
Cayenne pepper contains a compound called capsaicin with natural analgesic or pain-relieving properties.
In a 2010 study published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, researchers found that applying gel containing 0.0125 percent capsaicin helped relieve mild to moderate pain in women suffering from knee osteoarthritis.
- Slightly heat one-half cup of coconut oil. Mix in two tablespoons of cayenne pepper powder. Apply it on the affected area, leave it on for 20 minutes and then rinse it off. Do this a few times a day until you get relief from the pain.
- Alternatively, you can use a capsaicin cream topically on the affected area daily.
Note: Cayenne may initially cause a burning sensation. Do not apply it on open skin or wounds.
7. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt baths facilitate easy absorption of magnesium through the skin. Joint pain is often associated with low levels of magnesium. Moreover, magnesium helps reduce inflammation and aids in detoxification of cells.
- Mix two cups of Epsom salt in warm bath water.
- Soak in it for about 20 minutes.
- Repeat three times a week until you get relief from your joint pain.
Being rich in sulfur and selenium, garlic is beneficial for those suffering from arthritis and joint pain. Sulfur helps relieve joint pain and inflammation and, according to research, selenium may have an antirheumatic effect. Also, arthritic patients tend to have low levels of selenium in the blood.
- Include raw or cooked garlic in your diet. You can safely consume two or three garlic cloves daily. If you are deterred by the smell or taste of garlic, consider taking garlic supplements (follow the directions on the label).
- You can also fry two garlic cloves in two tablespoons of mustard or sesame oil. When the garlic cloves turn black, turn off the heat and strain the oil. Allow the oil to cool until it is comfortably warm, and then massage it into the skin around affected area. Leave it on for about three hours before washing it off. Do this twice daily until you see improvement.
Ginger is an excellent natural remedy for muscle and joint pain, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers studied its effects on osteoarthritis patients with knee pain and saw encouraging results.
- Drink ginger tea, or include fresh ginger root or dried ginger powder in your daily diet. To prepare ginger tea, cut up a small piece of ginger root, boil it in a cup of water for 10 minutes and strain it. To improve the taste, you can sweeten it with honey.
- Another option is to mix equal amounts of ginger, turmeric and fenugreek powder. Take one teaspoon of this mixture daily in the morning and evening until you are satisfied with the results.
10. Stinging Nettle
Exploratory studies indicate that stinging nettle can be useful therapy for joint pain without any major side effects.
Though the exact reason as to why it alleviates the problem is not known, it is believed that this herb contains active compounds that reduce inflammation. Plus, it is rich in boron, a mineral that is required for healthy bones and joints.
- Steep two to three teaspoons of dried nettle leaves in a cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain and drink the tea. Repeat three times a day until you get positive results.
- You can also place fresh nettle leaves on the affected area for about 30 seconds. Do this once daily for about a week or more. It may cause initial discomfort, but will eventually take the pain away.
Note: This herb may interfere with blood thinners as well as blood pressure, heart and diabetes medications.