On October 12, the Arthritis Foundation lit up the Empire State Building in blue in observance of World Arthritis Day. According to the Arthritis Foundation, this degenerative disease affects 46 million people in the United States and is the leading cause of disability.
“That’s why we care so much about this disease,” said Laisvyde Smajkic, M.D., a rheumatologist who runs the Arthritis Clinic at Weiss
According to the online health magazine Everyday Health
, the first reports of arthritis date back to 4500 B.C. Before modern medicine, people used natural remedies to ease their pain and lessen the disease’s impact.
Today, many arthritis sufferers find relief through natural and alternative therapies. Though many of these treatments are backed only by anecdotal evidence and not hard scientific data, each involves substances that will benefit your health regardless. Aloe Vera
: Most commonly used to ease sunburns and moisturize dry skin, the aloe plant is also known for reducing inflammation. Try rubbing it on sore joints to see if it lessens your pain and swelling. Cedarwood Oil:
Just breathe it in. This oil, extracted from cedarwood trees, is often used in aromatherapy and massage oils. As a masseuse rubs the oil into arthritic joints, the scent stimulates the part of the brain that promotes relaxation and healing. Frankincense:
Some researchers say that this resin, obtained from plants in northern Africa, inhibits the production of specific molecules in the body—molecules that cause inflammation and cartilage break down. Mustard Seed:
The selenium, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids found in mustard seed have all been linked to easing arthritic symptoms. However, consuming mustard seed isn’t the only way to treat arthritis. Use warm mustard seed oil on swollen joints. The heat may increase blood flow and provide pain relief. Olive Oil:
This common cooking ingredient contains a compound called oleocanthal, which decreases the production of certain enzymes that cause inflammation—just as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) do. Use olive oil in place of butter and other fats, and pay attention to whether or not your pain decreases.
Read more about alternative remedies for arthritis on Everyday Health
. For further information on World Arthritis Day, visit http://www.worldarthritisday.org/
. And to learn more about our arthritis program, call Dr. Smajkic at (773) 913-2585.