How To Treat Osteoarthritis Naturally In 8 Steps (+3 Extra)
Are you dealing with osteoarthritis? Believe me, I totally know the feeling – I’ve been fighting this condition too.
But I have some good news – there are plenty of solutions. And many of them are pretty natural.
So let me show you how to treat osteoarthritis naturally – in 8 steps. I followed these steps myself – and I could see a huge difference. So I’m mostly speaking from experience.
Now, this recipe won’t cure your OA – because it’s not a condition that can be cured.
But there are high chances that you feel up to 80% better. And that is a big change, if you ask me. So if you’re ready, let’s begin with #1!
Step #1 – Change Your Diet
It may sound weird, but the right foods can improve your OA alone.
However, if you’re eating just random stuff, it’s time to make a change.
That’s because some foods can worsen OA symptoms all alone. And guess what? – they’re usually the most delicious things we know:
- candies and cakes
- sugary drinks and soda
- white flour products
- eggplants and dark vegetables
So what exactly should you replace them with? As I said before, you should mainly go for fresh foods and avoid processed products:
- organic vegetables and fruits
- whole grain cereals
- fish and fresh meat
- antioxidant foods
If you want to see the full list, I suggest you to check out this article – it’s focused on every food you should consume when you have OA.
Now – changing your diet won’t make any miracles overnight. In fact, it may not even make any miracles at all. But it all depends of what form of OA you have.
Because on the other hand, a simple change in your diet could help your OA tremendously.
Step #2 – Glucosamine Sulfate Supplements
In my opinion, that’s the most important step from this list. Why? Because glucosamine is the most effective remedy for OA.
- either they skip glucosamine supplements completely
- or they choose a random one
Now, here’s what you should do instead:
First of all, glucosamine is the best substance at rebuilding cartilages – which is the main cause of OA.
I should also tell you that we normally have glucosamine in our cartilages. But its level decreases with age – so you need glucosamine from another source.
Secondly, most supplements use the wrong form of glucosamine – the HCl. Why?:
- it’s cheaper
- most people aren’t aware of the difference
However, it’s not as good as the other form of glucosamine – the sulfate. In fact, studies showed that the HCl doesn’t have any real benefits for OA.
That’s why I’m totally against supplements that use the HCl form. So keep this in mind and use only products with glucosamine sulfate – this one is my #1 recommendation:
Step #3 – Use Heating Pads
Though heating pads aren’t my personal favorite, they can help in OA – especially when it comes to pain.
- decreased the stiffness
- increases joint lubrication
- improves flexibility
On the other hand, heat doesn’t work for inflammation – that’s why it’s not recommended for swollen joints. But if you have OA, the swelling is quite minimal, so heat does help.
Now, using pads isn’t a must – but using heat is. So if you don’t own a heating pad (or if you simply don’t like it), there’s no point investing money into one.
There are 2 other alternatives – both easier to use and cheaper:
- Capsaicin patches – some patches with Cayenne pepper that you can apply in your skin
- Hot bottles – just heat up a water bottle and hold it on your painful joint
As I said, heat isn’t a must-step follow either. But I say you should give it a try – you might be losing some of its possible benefits if you don’t.
Step #4 – Massage Oils
Massage can help any kind of pain, that’s for sure. But the question is – how much does it help?
Because in most cases, it’s only a temporary solution. And it’s the same for OA as well. Massage does help, but not on the long term.
However, if you associate it with other remedies, its effect increases considerably. So how exactly does massage help OA? Judging after my experience, these are its top benefits:
- loosen up the joints
- increase lubrication fluids
- decrease stiffness (on the long term)
Now, can you massage your joints yourself – or do you need a professional therapist?
To be honest, I always did it myself and it helped me on the long term. So in my opinion, there’s no point spending money on a good massage session.
You can do it yourself – especially if your leg joints are mostly affected. In case the painful area is in your hips, back or shoulders – you can ask someone from your family to help out with massage.
Now – what oils should you use?
In my opinion, you can as well use no oil. But specialists claim that oils also have some healing proprieties – so here are the top oils I know:
Step #5 – Rest Enough
What exactly does resting have to do with osteoarthritis? On the contrary, it may seem like physical activity should help this condition, not resting.
Well, when I say “resting”, I don’t mean sleeping. Because OA can also appear if your body is over exhausted – but that’s pretty rare.
Let’s take the most common case instead. If you already have OA and you don’t rest enough, things could get worse.
So resting isn’t as important in treating OA, as it is in preventing and controlling it. Now you may be wondering – how exactly it can help?:
- prevents flare-ups
- doesn’t over-use the joints
- relieves mental stress
The most obvious question you should ask me at this point is – So how long should I rest, so that my joints don’t suffer?
Well, here’s what I think:
- You should sleep at least 6 hours at night
- You shouldn’t perform any physical activity if you feel very tired
- In case you feel like you need it, you can take a nap for about 1 hour (depending on your schedule)
So basically, resting doesn’t always mean sleeping. It means sitting down when you feel tried and not stressing all day long. Once you give up bad habits, your OA could slightly change – in the good way.
Step #6 – Move Around
This step could seem a bit ironic, if you put it next to step #5. But let me explain.
It’s important to find a balance between resting and exercising. I personally don’t recommend intense exercising in OA – simply because your body isn’t strong enough for that.
That’s why I called this step “moving around” instead of “exercising”.
So what exactly you should do? Here’s the best physical activity for osteoarthritis – in my opinion:
- night or morning walks
- walking near your home (depending on your condition)
- among exercises, I would choose yoga – it’s has different exercises and some of them are really easy
Now, if you’re talking a small walk on your street and you start feeling tired, don’t continue. There’s no point forcing yourself – find a bench and sit down for a couple of minutes.
That’s actually the balance between resting and exercising – so that’s what I was talking about.
Step #7 – Acupuncture
Even though I’m not a big fan of it, acupuncture can help osteoarthritis – especially the pain.
However, just like many of the previous steps – it only masks the pain, it doesn’t really treat it. After all, it’s just an alternative remedy.
So it’s not a treatment I would recommend – as long as you use it alone.
But if you combine acupuncture with the previous solutions from above, the result should be a great one.
So how exactly does this method help?:
- decreases or even takes away the pain completely (but just for a few hours)
- relaxes your body
- relieves mechanic stress
As I said, acupuncture doesn’t help the joints in any form – it only decreases the pain, for a little while.
Its biggest downside is that you can’t do it alone. You have to visit a specialist – and most of the times, it can be pretty pricey.
So if you can’t afford it, I allow you to skip this step. It’s not a major one, so you should get the same final result – with or without acupuncture.
Step #8 – Menthol Creams
The last step is surely going to help you cope with the pain.
Now, I’m not a big fan of creams and lotions for 1 reason – they only treat the pain, not the cause. However, that’s why you have step #2 – glucosamine supplements.
The point is that glucosamine won’t work overnight – it needs a few weeks, in the best case. For this reason, menthol creams are a great way to control your pain in the meantime:
- they decrease the pain within minutes (only mask it)
- joint stiffness also gets better
However, they don’t increase lubrication and flexibility. As I said, they don’t treat the joints – so that’s the actual reason.
Therefore, you can combine creams with glucosamine supplements and decrease your pain really fast.
But keep in mind that most creams are pretty useless – especially for OA. I recommend trying out this cream – it’s pretty cheap and it has a high quantity of menthol. So at this point, it’s the best one I’ve tried.
3 Extra Steps That Will Help You
#1 – Find An Activity
Sometimes taking your mind away from the pain is the best thing you can do. Yes, I know we have creams and supplements – but if you want the most natural way ever, you should try this.
Here are a few examples:
- take up a hobby: reading, knitting, painting, anything that could keep you busy
- cook a healthy meal
- spend time with your family
You could find a thousand other activities – it depends what you like to do most. It may sound absurd, but this thing could really help you – especially mentally.
#2 – Stay Positive
It’s pretty hard to smile when the pain is so bad, right? Well, I’ve been there too so I know exactly what you mean.
But there’s something you can do – don’t worry about the future.
If you think it could get worse in the future, try to be optimistic. Things could get much better with the right remedy, so why harm yourself with negative thoughts?
Try to find a hope in the future and you will see that your pain feels a very little better than it used to be.
#3 – Lose Some Weight
I know that everybody tells this, so I didn’t add it as a mandatory step. That’s because many people with OA have no weight issues – I’m the best example actually.
So if your weight is normal, you can just skip this optional step.
But if it’s not, losing some weight could help. Now, the question is – how exactly could you do this?
I’m not an expert because I never had to lose any weight. But if I had to, I would try to do it in a natural way:
- follow a very healthy diet (with fruits and vegetables only – but just for a while)
- move around as much as my OA allows it
- drink a lot of water – it also prevents dehydration
And last but not least – don’t stress too much on losing weight. Try to make it a natural thing, and your body will get used to the changes in diet much easier.
My Verdict – Can You Treat Osteoarthritis Naturally?
Short answer: Definitely. By “naturally” I mean without any real drugs – just supplements.
Judging from my experience, the right supplement can make miracles – unlike real drugs.
So yes, you can treat OA naturally – you only have to use the right stuff. The 8 steps I presented above are based on my experience with osteoarthritis.
As I said, some of them aren’t a must-follow. On the other hand, some are mandatory and they are the ones that make the big changes.
If I had to choose only one step, it would probably be the #2 – glucosamine supplements. That’s because this substance rebuilds the cartilages – so it basically treats the real cause of OA.
On the other hand, steps #1, #5 and #6 are also pretty important.
So you can skip certain steps, but these 4 are a must – at least if you want real results.