Affecting more than 32.5 million Americans, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis caused by the joints’ wear and tear. OA is considered an inflammatory degenerative joint disease, as it starts gradually and worsens over time. Learn more about Osteoarthritis’s natural treatment and underlying causes by continuing reading.
Osteoarthritis most commonly affects the hands, knees, and hips, but it can affect any joint, including those in the feet and spine. These areas contain cartilage, which is a buffer that cushions the joints and allows them to move freely. OA occurs when this cartilage wears away and breaks down. This causes friction from the bones rubbing together, which makes movement painful.
Depending on the joints affected, symptoms of osteoarthritis may include pain when walking, loss of flexibility, a grating sensation in the joint (popping and crackling), and stiffness when resting and in the morning. You may also have trouble performing day-to-day activities like brushing your hair, climbing stairs, or bending over. What’s more, your joints will likely be harder to move, feel swollen, and feel warm to the touch. Bone spurs may also form, which are extra bits of bone around the affected joint.
If the pain becomes chronic and the stiffness becomes so debilitating that daily tasks become difficult to perform, depression and sleep disturbances may occur as a result.
Underlying Causes and Risk Factors of Osteoarthritis
Unfortunately, most of the causes of osteoarthritis are out of your control. However, making certain lifestyle changes could reduce your risk of developing this disease.
Aspects that may put you at greater risk of OA:
- Age: The risk of OA increases as you age It’s a common disease among older adults, with most people showing symptoms by age 70.
- Obesity: Extra weight adds pressure to weight-bearing joints, making osteoarthritis more likely. This is especially true of your back, knees, and hips.
- Genes: You can inherit the tendency to develop OA, especially if generic joint defects run in your family.
- Sex: Women are more likely to develop this disease.
- Joint injury: Even old joint injuries from sports or an accident can increase your risk. Common injuries include dislocated joints, ligament injuries, and torn cartilage. Trauma-related osteoarthritis is more common among younger adults.
- Stress on the joint: If you play sports or have a job that puts repetitive stress on a joint, your risk increases. This includes a job or hobby that causes you to kneel, squat, climb stairs or perform physical labor often.
- Bone deformities: Defective cartilage or malformed joints may increase your risk.
- Metabolic diseases like diabetes and hemochromatosis may cause OA.
- Bleeding disorders that cause bleeding near a joint can cause osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis Natural Treatment and Remedies
The damage OA causes to the joints are not reversible. However, medications, lifestyle changes, and natural remedies may help reduce pain, manage symptoms, and slow the progression of the disease. Natural treatments should be used in conjunction with medications rather than replace them.
Osteoarthritis is a qualifying condition for medical cannabis treatment in many US states. Heally can connect you with a cannabis-friendly doctor to help you get your medical cannabis card. This natural treatment can help reduce symptoms in many ways. The pain-relieving, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory compounds found in cannabinoids like THC and CBD are particularly useful in treating OA. Medical cannabis can also calm an aggravated immune system and manage the depressive symptoms and sleep disturbances often associated with this disease.
Some of the best strains of medical cannabis for Osteoarthritis natural treatment include Harlequin and Blue Widow for inflammation, and Blue Aurora for pain, depression, and insomnia.
Topical Osteoarthritis Natural Treatment
Topical treatments are placed on top of the skin to soothe aches, pains, and inflammation. Treatments that may be effective include:
- A moist heating pad for achy pain and joint stiffness
- A cold compress, ice gel pack, or cold bath to slow circulation, numb nerve endings, and reduce swelling when you experience sharp joint pain
- Rubbing mineral oil on hand joints
- A warm paraffin wax bath for achy hands and feet
- Epsom salt bath to reduce inflammation and joint pain
- A CBD topical to reduce pain and inflammation
Recommended CBD Oil for Neurodegenerative Diseases
Papa & Barkley CBD Releaf Balm – 600mg (50ml)
This all-natural not only contains CBD but a mix of essential oil extracts as well, including tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender, which offer greater anti-inflammatory effects. Once applied, you’ll feel an activated warmth sensation that transforms into a cooling sensation.
WOW: Organics Soothing Freeze Gel – 350 mg
For targeted, effective pain and inflammation relief from OA, this CBD freeze gel roll-on is a perfect choice.
Many herbs offer naturally healing properties; however, patients should also consult their physicians before taking herbal remedies.
- Green tea contains polyphenols, which can help reduce inflammation, increase cartilage protection, and reduce the need for medication.
- Ginger is considered a pain reliever and may decrease the risk of osteoarthritis-related disability when taken long-term.
- Turmeric is a superfood that’s known to treat pain, stiffness, and inflammation thanks to its active compound, curcumin.
While many factors that cause OA are out of your control, certain lifestyle changes may reduce your risk of developing this disease and offer long-term relief if you’ve been diagnosed with OA.
A healthy diet can be an Osteoarthritis natural treatment and will improve your health in many ways. Certain foods can be particularly beneficial for patients with osteoarthritis. OA-friendly foods include citrus fruits, broccoli, garlic, low-fat dairy products, fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, plant-based oils, and nuts. To help reduce inflammation avoid alcohol, artificial sweeteners, sugar, saturated fats, trans fat, salt, rice, and white bread.
Exercise can strengthen the muscles that stabilize your joints over time, which can protect against damage. While exercising with joint pain and stiffness can be difficult, it’s one of the most effective treatments for the improvement of movement and reducing pain associated with osteoarthritis. Bike rides, swimming, yoga, walking, and tai chi are all excellent types of exercises for OA since they are low impact, aerobic, improve flexibility, and use slight resistance.
Weight maintenance can take pressure off your joints and improve their health and function. For each pound you lose, you could be taking three to six pounds off your joints.
If you’re interested in learning more about medical cannabis and natural treatments for osteoarthritis, talk to a holistic doctor only at Heally.