Joint pain is, unfortunately, a normal part of my life. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system (which is supposed to protect us from foreign substances like bacteria and viruses!) to mistakenly attack the joints. It most commonly affects women and, unlike other types of arthritis, is not quite as uncommon in younger people.
There's a lot I try to do to prevent “flares” of joint pain. Bone broth, gentle exercise, avoiding illness, and eating well help me a lot. Sometimes, there's not much that can be done, though – especially once the pain has already begun. The key is to try to deal with the inflammation. Here are some of my most trusted ways to manage joint pain naturally during an RA flare.
- Sleep. I sleep a lot during an RA flare. If I don't, my recovery time is much longer, I've noticed.
- Baths. Being in the water and taking some pesky gravity out of the situation helps loads.
- Gentle exercise. Yoga, dance, light stretching. These all help. A really big factor for me is resting while not being in the same position for too long. I try to alternate frequently between rest and light activity. This also helps with the psychological aspect of an RA flare – I often get really upset that I'm not accomplishing all that I'd like to be, but when I am really intentional about getting up and moving around, I get more done and know that I've done my best.
- Arnica cream for small joints. I love this arnica cream for small joint pain. It doesn't really help with my larger joints, but it is great for my feet and hands, which is usually where the pain begins when I'm having a flare.
- I have to mention Turmeric. I use turmeric in my daily tonic, but when the joint paint hits, I also do a turmeric mask on my knees and ankles. You simply mix ground turmeric with water to form a paste, apply it all over the affected joints, and let it dry. Then take a bath! 😉 I buy the stuff in bulk on Amazon.