We talk a lot about muscle cramps, but what about joint pain? Runners and triathletes (as well as the normal people), tend to get joint pain in their knees, hips, ankles, shoulders, and hands/fingers – especially in association with arthritis.
So, we’ve put together our Top 10 Joint Pain Remedies, as well as a couple resources with even more ideas!
Please remember – these are NOT medical opinions or in any way intended to replace medical care. If you feel you need medical care, or anyone you know thinks so…go get it! And listen to them.
Top 10 Joint Pain Remedies
- Electrolyte Replacement.
It helps tremendously! By easing the tension in muscles caused by a lack/deficiency of magnesium and other electrolytes, these products effectively helps with joint pain. Less tension on the muscles pulling your joints in different directions, the less pain. Find a list HERE.
I’ve read about icing being controversial lately, but I tend to use personal experience. I also read that stretching does absolutely nothing physiologically to help us, yet every time I stretch after I workout…I feel better. And there will be another study next week that says “stretching is the best thing ever!” I just do what works. And for me, icing provides instant relief. I’m a typical triathlete, I simply buy the cheapest bag of frozen peas I can find and use them for 20minutes at a time, then throw them back in the freezer. They are movable and easy to mold around joints, so they’re perfect!
- Epsom Salt Baths.
I seriously thought this was a wives tale until I tried it. I was having a lengthy struggle with minor plantar fasciitis, and I tried epsom salt baths once to twice per day. What a difference! It also provides some minor pain relief, so it’s doing double duty!
- Get Stronger Muscles.
I’m not talking about becoming a steroid monster, but working on functional strength can really help those aching joints. Stronger muscles = less muscle fatigue (or longer to fatigue) = less pulling on your joints = less pain. It’s hard to work on getting stronger when your joints are achey and painful, so this is best explored during a time when your knee or other joints aren’t inflamed and angry.
- Drink Lots of Water.
Can that really help? Yes! Keeping yourself hydrated keeps your muscles and joints with proper fluid levels and can greatly reduce inflammation and pain.
- Oil Up!
Add in plenty of anti-inflammatory oils in your food, or use other supplements. This is not by any means a medical opinion, but my experience has shown that this stuff is like oil for a vehicle. Without it, everything stops.
- Ointments and Salves.
I’ve heard of people using extra virgin olive oil on their joints, icy hot, Ben Gay, etc. These do tend to move away from natural into more chemicals, so you need to make personal choices on what you want to do here. We’ll include a couple resources below the top-10 list with ideas on more natural options.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Think Advil or Ibuprofin. Again, these are far from “natural” products, but they do supply some pain relief. Overuse can cause a host of other problems, so this is not recommended for long-term use.
- Stop Cutting Fat Out Of Your Diet.
Yes, I said it. Eat some fat. Our country has been obsessed with a low-fat (becoming high sugar) diet for a very long time, and we need to correct some improper thinking. Eating fat, in moderation of course, isn’t a bad thing. And it can help your body balance the way it’s supposed to. You can be choosy in the fats you want to eat – fish oils, avocado, etc are all great sources of fats!
- Think Ahead.
The biggest key is to get ahead of joint pain before it happens. Once you’re joints are inflamed and unhappy, it’s a lot harder to calm them down that it is to treat them with some of the natural choices above before you even have a problem. If you’re reading this, it’s probably too late this time, but maybe you’ll remember next time! In the meantime, you may want to try some or all of the suggestions above or our resources below.
So, these are great but you want some more ideas? With everything from Cayenne peppers to molasses…here are a couple sources to help with other natural ideas on helping joint pain: