Defined as a degenerative illness, osteoarthritis causes the joint tissues to dissolve.
It’s not the same as osteoporosis, a condition that causes bone brittleness. According to the CDC, there are more than 100 types of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common and around 32.5 million adults in the US have it. It’s more common in men younger than 45 and in women over 45.
Despite varying symptoms, the most common are joint ache and stiff knees, hands, hips, lower back, and neck.
In a 2020 study, it was emphasized that it’s not possible to reverse or cure this disease; however, there are certain natural remedies that can help with the management of the symptoms.
The Best Proven Natural Ways to Alleviate Knee Osteoarthritis
- Epsom salt baths
This type of bath, done with Epsom salt, doesn’t just provide relief for painful joints, but an overall relief too.
Thanks to the magnesium in it, the pain and inflammation decrease.
In a 2017 review, soaking in Epsom salt for a prolonged period was found to elevate magnesium levels.
Purchase the salt from the nearest drugstore and use up to three cups of the salt per bath.
- Hot and cold compresses
Hot compresses help reduce the stiffness while cold compresses alleviate the pain. According to the Arthritis Foundation, the heat alleviates the stiffness in the joints and relaxes the muscles whereas the cold compress decreases pain and inflammation. Making a hot and cold compress is as easy as using a warm and then a cold towel.
- Green tea
Rich in polyphenols, green tea may help reduce inflammation.
In a study from 2018, green tea used for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis was found helpful for the improvement of joint function.
However, considering the risk of liver issues and side effects, consume this tea moderately.
- Turmeric and curcumin
Curcumin is turmeric’s active compound. In a mice study from 2016, it was found that curcumin decreased the progression of osteoarthritis and alleviated pain.
But, more studies are needed to get more conclusive results.
The Arthritis Foundation recommends curcumin extract, 500 mg, twice per day. Despite being generally safe, turmeric may interact with blood thinners and cause nausea, so be careful.
In a 2015 study, it was concluded that long-term consumption of ginger may lower the risk of disability associated with osteoarthritis.
But, considering the side effects of overconsumption like heartburn, nausea, and upset stomach, it’s best to consume it in moderation or take it in supplement form.
Ginger tea can also be of aid.
- Topical ointments
Gels and creams with pain relievers may help reduce the pain.
They’re massaged into painful areas.
One such gel is diclofenac which can be found in drugstores. If you want a natural option, you can opt for capsaicin. It has the best effect when applied three to four times daily.
Tiger balm can also help, but as always, consult your physician for the best ointment for your osteoarthritis.