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Joint pain can occur due to various factors, in any part of the body, from feet and ankles to shoulders and hands. Joint pain typically becomes a common health issue as people age. Joints commonly afflicted with pain are the hand, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, and foot joints.

Signs and Symptoms of Joint Problems

  • Joint redness, swelling, tenderness.
  • Joint warmth and stiffness.
  • Locking of the joint.
  • Loss of range of motion of the joint.

Common Causes of Joint Pain

Foods Causing Inflammation in the Joints

Foods causing inflammation in the joints

Inflammation is often triggered by foods containing refined sugars, hydrogenated oils, high concentrations of chemical additives, fatty foods, fatty meats, French fries and most heavily processed foods. These foods result in an excess of acids and toxins within the body. If the toxins cannot be eliminated as quickly enough, they may be deposited in the joints, causing pain and inflammation to develop.

Arthritis and Osteoarthritis

Joint inflammation such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis infections within the body can result in joint pain.

Injuries

Strains, sprains, ligaments injuries, cartilage injuries, and tendon problems can lead to joint pain.

Stressful Lifestyle

Stress causes tension in the muscles, constricting them and reducing blood flow. Tight muscles add extra pressure on the joints, eventually causing them to hurt. Chronic back pain and jaw problems due to teeth grinding are just a few examples of stress induced joint pain.

Poor Computer Workstation Setup

A poorly designed computer workstation can put constant pressure on multiple joints, including the hand, wrist, back, and neck joints. Over time, the excess pressure can weaken joints and cause pain.

Sudden Physical Activity

Sudden intense physical exercise can put tremendous pressure on joints that are not used to such pressures, resulting in acute pain.

Improper Lifting

Woman having back pain from lifting a heavy object

The most common source of back pain is lifting very heavy objects, as well as using incorrect lifting techniques. Be sure to use proper lifting techniques when lifting heavy objects, and consider asking for help.

Couch Potato Posture

Very often people sit on the couch with their head hunched towards the TV. This unnatural and uncomfortable position may cause neck pain and tension in the back muscles.

Poor Sleep

Poor sleep can result in cramped muscles that affect standing posture. Uncomfortable sleep is a common trigger for neck, back and shoulder muscles pain.

Incorrect Driving Posture

It's common for drivers to set their car seat at angles that are not joint friendly. Reclining too far back is a common tendency, resulting in a forward slouching posture. The head is pulled away from the headrest, bending the neck too far forward. Sitting in this position for long periods can trigger neck and shoulder pain.

Poor Choice of Accessories We Use Often

Young woman having foot joint pain from wearing high heels

There are other simple every day choices that can lead to joint pain. Wearing shoes that provide arch support for extended periods may cause knee, foot, and ankle pain. High heel shoes may also cause joint pain in the knees, feet and lower back. Slouching while sitting can cause pain in the neck, shoulders, and back.

Other Health Conditions Affecting the Joints

The following health issues may result in joint pain.

  • Gout.
  • Cold and Flu.
  • Bursitis.
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), including chlamydia and gonorrhea.

Best Natural Remedies for Joint Pain


1. Turmeric for Joint Pain

Turmeric for joint pain

Turmeric contains a bioactive substance named curcumin, which possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-arthritic properties. It's effects are comparable to those of anti-inflammatory drugs containing ibuprofen, without the negative side effects. Studies show that turmeric is also very effective in relieving joint pain. In addition to its therapeutic uses, turmeric has been used as a spice for thousands of years and it can be easily blended with many types of foods.

A study on 182 patients with knee arthritis has shown that turmeric proved to be as good as ibuprofen at relieving pain.

Using Turmeric

A few easy and effective ways to use turmeric are: turmeric powder, turmeric tea, blended in smoothies, or juicing it with along with fresh vegetables.

Turmeric Powder Supplements

  • Buy a high quality brand.
  • Follow the dosage recommended on the product label or instructions.

Turmeric Tea

  • Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a pot on a stovetop.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder.
  • Continue boiling for 10 more minutes.
  • Add honey and lemon juice to taste, and drink within 2 hours.

Turmeric Smoothie

  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder.
  • 1 avocado.
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil.
  • 2 teaspoon of maple syrup.
  • ½ cup of almond milk.
  • Blend well and drink within 1 hour.

Fresh Vegetable Juice with Turmeric

This is our favorite way to use turmeric root.

  • A bunch of spinach.
  • 3 carrots.
  • 1 lemon.
  • 2 apples.
  • 3 inches of fresh turmeric root.
  • Juice all ingredients and drink promptly.

Tip

  • Turmeric has a very strong yellow pigment. Handle it carefully or it will stain everything including your hands! If stains do occur, clean them promptly with baking soda. Use lemon juice to remove stains on the hands.

2. Ginger Reduces Joint Inflammation

Ginger root for joint pain

Ginger is nature's wonder food when it comes to joint problems. Its analgesic properties help to numb pain while the anti-inflammatory effects address the root cause of the pain. The effects of ginger can be as potent as some anti-inflammatory drugs. Ginger comes in tincture, capsule, tea, powder and oil form.

Capsules

For those who cannot tolerate the spicy taste, ginger capsules are a good idea. When buying ginger in capsules, look for brands that use organic ginger.

Freshly Grated Ginger Root

For those who can tolerate the spicy taste of fresh ginger, use 2 tablespoons of grated ginger a day.

Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is a simple and easy way to use ginger for joint pain. Here is how to prepare it:

  • Bring one cup of water to a boil in a pot on a stovetop.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of fresh granted ginger.
  • Turn off the stove and allow simmering for 15 minutes.
  • Strain and enjoy the tea with 1 or 2 teaspoons of honey.

Freshly Squeezed Fruit Juice with Ginger

Juicing ginger and fresh fruits makes a healthy and delicious juice that also helps heal painful joints. 

  • Juice 4 medium size apple crisp apples.
  • Juice a piece of fresh peeled ginger, 2 inch long.
  • Mix well and drink within 30 minutes.
  • Refrigerate in an airtight container and drink within 24 hours.

If apples are not available, grapefruits, carrots or oranges can be substituted. Apples are best for joint problems.

3. Essential Oil Massage for Joint Pain

Essential oil massage for joint pain

Dilute and massage essential oils directly onto painful joints for the best benefits.

The most useful essential oils for joints are peppermint, juniper, thyme, rosemary, eucalyptus and lavender.

 Aromatic Massage Oil for Joint Pain

  • Add 200ml of vegetable oil to a small glass or ceramic bowl.
  • Add 3 drops of one of the essential oil from the list above.
  • Mix well and massage a portion of the oil into the painful area for 5 minutes.
  • Pour the remainder of the mixture it in a small jar and close it with an airtight lid.
  • Store the jar in a dark place.

Directions

  • Apply twice daily on the painful joint.

 

4. Castor Oil Pack for Joint Pain

Making a castor oil pack

Castor oil provides anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It can be applied directly to the afflicted joint to alleviate pain quickly. Here is a simple DIY method to apply it effectively.

How to Make a Castor Oil Pack

  • Cut a cotton cloth and fold once or twice.
  • Add enough castor oil to saturate the cloth.
  • Cover the cloth with a piece of plastic wrap the same size.
  • Apply the cloth over the painful area and hold in place with elastic bands.
  • Cover with an electric heated pad or a hot water bottle.
  • The castor oil pack can be reused 5 times before making a new one.

Directions

  • Allow the castor oil pack to work on the painful area for 1-2 hours.
  • Repeat the procedure twice a day if needed.

5. Onion Treatments for Joint Pain

Onions on wooden table

Onions contain anti-oxidants and flavonoids that reduce inflammation and pain in the joints. Here are two simple methods to use onions for treating joint pain.

Onion Decoct

  • Peel and wash 3 medium sized white onions.
  • Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a stovetop pot.
  • Once boiling, add the 3 onions and boil them for 15 minutes.
  • Turn off the stove and allow the water to cool down.
  • Remove the onions and pour the water in a bottle.
  • Drink the onion infused water throughout the day.
  • Instead of throwing out the onions, use them in a soup.

Onion Poultice

  • Cut two medium size white onions in slices.
  • Apply them on the painful area.
  • Cover the joint area with a towel.
  • Hold the onion poultice on the joint for 2 hours.

6. Poultice with Bee Pollen and Vegetable Oil

Bee pollen and honeycomb on table

Bee pollen provides potent anti-inflammatory effects, helping to heal joints and reduce pain fast. Use bee pollen by mixing it with a vegetable oil and applying directly to the joint.

Method of Preparation

  • Add 2 spoons of bee pollen to 100ml of vegetable oil such as olive oil.
  • Boil the mixture for approximately 10 minutes.
  • Let it to cool down until it reaches room temperature.

Directions

  • Apply the paste on the painful area and leave overnight.

Tip

  • You can also eat a teaspoon of bee pollen at breakfast with few pieces of fruit to enhance the healing process

7. Heat for Muscle Tightness or Arthritic Joints

Girl with hot water bottle

Joint Pain Can Affect Muscles

Joint paint can cause the muscles surrounding the joint to work harder in order to protect from additional damage. When muscles become tight, heat is a good way to relax them.

Use Heat For Relaxation or Arthritis, Cold for Injuries

Use heat only for tight aching muscles, never for an acute muscle injury, in which case ice would be more appropriate. Also, avoid applying heat to joints that are swollen or recently injured, as it will only cause more swelling. If the joint pain is due to arthritis then both heat and ice may be used.

Hot Water Bottle for Tight Muscles

  • Fill up a bottle with hot water and wrap it in a cloth.
  • Apply it to the painful muscles and hold for 30 minutes.
  • Repeat 4-5 times a daily.

Tip

  • A hot shower before going to bed will relax all the muscles and provide additional relief.

8. Bentonite Clay Bath for Joint Pain

Bowl of clay for bath

Bentonite Clay is rich in minerals including magnesium, silica, calcium and potassium wich all help the body to heal and relax. A clay bath is very relaxing and will decrease any pain or inflammation in the joints.

Directions

  • Fill up the tub with warm but not hot water.
  • Add 2lbs of bentonite clay.
  • Mix the water.
  • Take the bath for 20 minutes.

Effects of the Clay Bath

After the clay bath, your joints will feel much better, less inflamed and having less or no pain. In addition, the clay will leave the skin feeling smooth and hydrated.

9. Applying Ice to Painful Joints

Ice pack for joint pain

Ice Numbs Pain

Applying an ice pack to your joint is a simple, easy method to get quick pain relief and prevent inflammation. Ice helps to reduce swelling and to numb the pain away.

How to Use an Ice Pack for Joint Pain

  • Use a store bought ice pack or make your own by putting ice cubes in a sealed Ziploc bag.
  • Wrap the ice pack with a kitchen towel and apply it to the painful area for 20 minutes.
  • Repeat the procedure each day until the joint pain improves.

10. Dandelion Massage to Soothe Joint Pain

Dandelion tincture for joint pain

Dandelion tincture contains anti-inflammatory compounds that work well to relieve a hurting joint. The tincture can be found at most natural food stores and may even be made at home using fresh dandelions.

Using Dandelion Tincture

  • Massage a few drops of dandelion tincture onto the painful joint area.
  • Cover the joint with a cloth for 30 minutes. The cloth keeps the area warm, increasing the effect of the tincture.
  • Repeat twice daily.

DIY Dandelion Tincture

  • Prepare a clean dark class container that can hold 2 cups of water.
  • Add 2 cups of alcohol (vodka is best) and 200 grams of fresh dandelion flowers. Mix well.
  • Close with an airtight lid and store it in a dark place for 2 weeks.
  • Shake the container every day if possible.
  • After 2 weeks, the tincture is ready to be used.

11. Apple Remedy for Joint Pain

Apples for joint pain

The anti-inflammatory effect of apples works wonders for joint problems. Eating an apple or two a day is a good way to obtain the benefits. If a joint is particularly hurting, grated apples can be used directly on the skin for topical relief.

The Apple Patch

  • Choose two medium size apples and grate thinly into a cloth.
  • Apply the cloth to the affected joint.
  • Cover with a towel to keep warm.
  • For the best benefits, apply the patch for 1 hour.

12. Computer Workstation Ergonomics to Ease Joint Paint

Ergonomic devices for computer workstation

Repetitive Stress Causes Join Pain

Any motion of the body done repetitively, such as typing on a keyboard has the potential to stress the joint and cause pain.

Wrist Pain

Wrist pain is often the result of typing, due to the improper alignment of the hands with the keyboard. Unfortunately, rectangular keyboards were not designed to be friendly to the human body, requiring that the wrists bend sideways while typing. Ergonomic keyboard have been invented due to this reason, with their keys angled towards each hand. The most ergonomic keyboards are split into two halves and allow the wrists to stay straight while typing.

Consider Making These Improvements

  • Use an ergonomic mouse and keyboard.
  • Use a keyboard tray that allows height adjustments. One that also allows typing while standing is excellent.
  • Use an adjustable height monitor or buy a VESA arm for a VESA compatible monitor. A VESA arm will allow infinite adjustments.
  • Use an ergonomic chair and a foot rest.
  • Stand up and stretch every 20 minutes, even if your office co-workers think you are slacking off.
  • Use reminder apps that notify you when it is time for a break.

13. First Aid for Joint Pain

Joint pain first aid

The First Things To Do in Case of Joint Pain

  • Protect the joint with a brace or wrap.
  • Avoid any activity that causes pain.
  • Elevate the joint above the level of your heart.