7 Alternative Therapies for Arthritis

Using alternative and complementary therapies alongside prescriptive medicines can wield excellent results. Sometimes when you are given a course of treatment for your arthritis you can feel out of control of the healing process. To regain some perspective and choose therapies that help to alleviate arthritic pain, we’ve compiled a list of alternative therapies that may help with your arthritis and may even improve your quality of life. It may help to browse through our list to see which therapies can aid your lifestyle.

1. Alexander Technique

According to the Alexander technique website, ‘the Alexander technique is a way of learning how you can get rid of harmful tension in your body’. Understanding how your body moves and how it can affect your health may well make a big difference to you easing the pain associated with arthritis.

This technique makes you aware of accumulated tension that stops you moving easily. The Alexander Technique also specifically focuses on posture, which can make a big difference for those suffering from arthritis. Making yourself aware of your body and how it responds to its environment will give you a deeper understanding of your illness and how you can adjust yourself to ease pain and suffering. This type of therapy is particularly useful for combating lower back pain, and repetitive stress injury. A lot of arthritis sufferers report that this technique has helped them.

2. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a therapy that involves inserting very fine needles into a particular problem area in order to relieve pain. Acupuncture diverts the painful messages the brain is sending to a particular part of your body; the needles interrupt this signal and promote the release of endorphins and encephalins, thus relieving pain. This therapy often takes place over several sessions over a period of weeks or months and can sometimes result in extended pain relief. This long term relief can happen when your body is able to break a ‘pain cycle’; acupuncture can facilitate this change to happen. Acupuncture can help arthritis by targeting a specific area. There are some risks involved, so do talk to a doctor about the benefits to you as an individual.

3. Cyclo Massage Therapy System (Adjustable beds)

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Cyclo therapy systems are the best beds for arthritis sufferers; helping to promote blood circulation, aid in relaxation and offer pain relief from. This medically proven vibration therapy gives you a full body massage, great for those who need to spend time off their feet without losing circulation to their legs. Cyclo Therapy helps to relieve aches and pains, which is great for stimulating sore joints that sufferers from arthritis know all too well. Adjustable beds in particular will greatly aid arthritis sufferers as it will promote positive body movement.

4. Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine is the origin of modern medicine; many plants were used to create drugs, even if they are now synthetically made. Herbal remedies aim to use the whole of the plant and use the synergy of all of the active ingredients, rather than the one active ingredient in synthetic drugs. Finding herbal remedies that will relieve arthritic pain can easily be done by talking to a specialist in the area. There can be side effects, so be sure to check over any treatment you undertake with your doctor. These remedies can be found in health food shops and chemists, however if you go to a specialist they will be able to tailor specifically to your needs. Often anti-inflammatory and painkilling remedies are offered to make the illness more bearable.

5. Relaxation and Hypnosis

Suffering from arthritis can be stressful, so it’s important to remember to relax. Knowing how to calm yourself can greatly aid your pain relief management – the purpose of relaxation is to cancel out the effects of stress and fatigue. Hypnosis is a deeply relaxed state where you are then encourage by a professional to change patterns of your behaviour to your benefit. This can be applied to arthritis sufferers as you can ‘teach’ your brain to turn down the pain you feel like a volume button. Teaching yourself to be calm during a particularly painful episode will only help your recovery.

6. Wax Bath Therapy

Heat plays a key part to calming pain in the body. Hot water bottles are a go to favourite for sufferers of cramps, joint pain and back pain. Another option for soothing your muscles are Wax Baths. Often used on the hands, molten paraffin wax is usually used alongside physiotherapy as it improves mobility by heating connective tissues. You can also purchase the baths privately if you ask a professional. This is a great alternative therapy that can be used alongside prescribed pain killers as it is stimulating your body to do the work for you.

7. Chiropractic

Chiropractic methods are manipulative therapies that are often used for musculoskeletal problems, including spine, neck and shoulder disorders, joint, posture and muscle problems, sciatica, sports injuries, whiplash and repetitive strain injury (RSI). The best known technique that is associated with chiropractic practices is the ‘high-velocity thrust’, which is a short sharp movement that is usually applied to joints in the spine. Arthritis sufferers should be careful when considering this technique as it may inflame their problem further.

Author bio:

David Hartnoll is a Liverpool-based freelance writer and advocate for alternative therapies. He frequently writes online articles and blogs on various pain relief techniques, products and practices, using websites such as Adjustable Beds for research.