Naturopathic Approaches to Joint Pain

A woman with joint pain in her hands sitting on a couch staring at her hands.

Do you suffer from achy joints? Joint pain is very common, especially in the knees, hips, wrists, and fingers. There are a number of causes that may be triggering your sore joints, the most common of which is rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a type of arthritis that is more prevalent in women than in men. 1

Common Causes of Joint Pain

  • Arthritis
  • Overuse of a joint
  • Inflammation
  • Injury
  • Tendinitis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fibromyalgia

Treatments

Joint pain can be extremely uncomfortable and can negatively impact your mobility. Depending on the cause and severity of your joint pain, the following natural treatments may help to ease your symptoms. If you have chronic joint pain, speak to a naturopathic doctor. They will help you determine the root cause of your pain in order to address the issue, as well as provide recommendations on how to reduce symptoms.

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Hot/Cold Compress

If your achy joints are caused by inflammation, applying a cold compress to the painful area may provide some relief. Apply the cold compress for 15–20 minutes at a time. A hot water bottle or heating pad applied to the affected may also ease pain because it relaxes the muscles. If your compress is too hot or cold, wrap it in a towel first to keep your skin safe.

Gentle Exercise

Stretching and gently exercising your sore joints may help to increase mobility and decrease pain. You will want to make sure that you do not overdo it, though. Start small with very gentle movements and see how your body feels. Do a little every day and monitor whether your joints begin to feel different. It can be helpful to consult with an exercise specialist and/or doctor when beginning a new exercise regimen.

Diet

What you eat can have a positive impact on joint pain. Berries, in particular, have been shown to help reduce inflammation and protect joint structures. 2 3 Other anti-inflammatory foods, such as turmeric, as well as collagen-rich foods like bone broth may help to ease joint pain. 4 5

A naturopathic doctor can work with you to create a diet plan that prioritizes anti-inflammatory foods and nutrients that support joint health.

Physical Medicine

Naturopathic doctors can assess physical structures to ascertain structural imbalances that may be the root cause of joint pain or discomfort. This can include physical manipulation, ergonomic recommendations, and even how one sleeps.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a growing field of therapeutic treatment that is becoming a more common wellness practice to help with pain management, as well as asthma, anxiety and depression, endometriosis, and other physical or mental issues. Consider integrating acupuncture into your regular self-care routine, or becoming certified/licensed in acupuncture yourself.

 

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