Dr. Mao’s Wellness Living: Five Tips To Relieve Joint Pain
Our joints can pay the price from lack of movement while sitting for long hours at work or on the couch. And of course, some of us suffer from chronic arthritis. Whatever your reason for joint pain, the main culprit is inflammation. Here are five tips to help relieve the inflammation and soothe the pain.
Inflammation & Joint Pain
Inflammation is the body’s response to a harmful substance, such as a pathogen, damaged cell, or irritant in the body. In acute inflammation, a cut or wound triggers the body’s inflammatory response to heal by clotting the blood. This may also include swelling and redness, which eventually disappears. However, with chronic or prolonged inflammation, such as arthritis, the body is in a constant state of simultaneous healing and cell destruction. As a result, chronic disease may ensue. In the case of joint pain, the body may endure constant pain, redness, and swelling.
Even if outdoor fun may be out of the picture, you should still find ways to maintain your range of motion and keep the joints moving to stay out of pain. A gentle tai chi practice or a swim at an indoor pool are great exercise practices that are gentle on the joints. Hatha yoga, a dance class, or simply working out at the gym are other ways to get physical.
Eat More Omegas
Omega-3 essential fatty acids continue to make headline health news. Since our bodies can’t manufacture these fatty acids, we must obtain these essential nutrients from dietary sources in the form of DHA and EPA found in oily fish, walnuts, chia, hemp, and flax seeds. These fatty acids contain anti-inflammatory properties that may be helpful in alleviating joint pain. Make sure to include these foods in your diet often to help disrupt the cells that trigger inflammation.
Oil Up Your Joints
Omegas help eliminate inflammation and lubricate your joints from the inside—now use a healing oil on the outside to help minimize pain. For joint pain, I often recommend tonic oil to my patients, which is used in traditional Chinese medicine to warm, stimulate and activate the flow of chi and blood. Massaging a little tonic oil on an aching joint throughout the day can help provide relief from pain. You can mix your own tonic oil by adding a few drops of camphor, eucalyptus and wintergreen to sesame oil, or you can purchase a carefully blended Tonic Oil.
Tame Joint Pain with Turmeric
Turmeric, the herb that gives curry its color, has been in the health spotlight recently for its anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric’s active component, called curcumin, is a compound known to interfere with the chemicals that cause inflammation. Multiple clinical studies have associated curcumin with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In one study, two grams of curcumin extract provided to subjects was found to provide pain relief that was equivalent to ibuprofen for pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. Sprinkle turmeric or curry spice in your favorite dishes to help reduce inflammation. Before taking any supplement, it is important to consult with your physician first. Turmeric can cause changes in blood sugar levels for those with diabetes and may increase blood clotting, so individuals taking blood-thinning medications should be cautious.
Cool the Fire Tropical Smoothie
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