1) Glucosamine and chondroitin: These natural, proactive options can be used for aching joints. Glucosamine sulfate has been found effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis2, and chondroitin sulfate goes hand in hand with halting the degenerative process, and in some cases – reversing it altogether.
2) White willow bark: Willow is one of the natural sources of aspirin. The extract can be used to treat arthritis, backaches and joint pain. Studies have show that it outpaces placebo in treating low back pain.3
Capsaicin: It’s what makes hot peppers hot, and is found in over-the-counter topical creams. By depleting some of the chemical in nerves that transmit pain, it can offer temporary relief.
Nutritional treatment: You can help relieve your pain symptoms through what you eat. There are foods that contribute to an inflammatory state, such as the over-processed, sugary, high-fat foods that line grocery store shelves.
Eat an anti-inflammatory diet, which can take the fire out of chronic pain. Your meals should revolve around whole foods as close to their natural state as possible. Focus on getting the following nutrients, which have anti-inflammatory effects.
1) Omega-3′s: This healthful fatty acid can be found in fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel, krill oil and flaxseed. One study found that eating broiled or baked fish a couple of times per week cut the risk of rheumatoid arthritis almost in half.4
2) Antioxidants: These vitamins and minerals, which include vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamin E and selenium, clean up free radicals that can lead to inflammation and tissue damage. In the produce section and at the farmer’s market, go for the rainbow effect: choose from a wide, colorful variety of fruits and vegetables.
Exercise: It may seem like the last thing you should do, but exercise can actually help alleviate pain. “Feel good” endorphins are released through exercise and flood the body. Strengthened muscles can also help support bones and cartilage. And better flexibility will help keep your body from freezing within a limited range of motion.