6 Alternative Ways to Ease the Pain of RA

Are you suffering from painful spasms in the joints? Are your fingers too swollen to put your rings on or is there not enough strength in your wrists to open that jar of coffee?

Well you’re not alone. Actress Sadie Frost revealed she’s suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and seeking natural remedies to help her ease the inflammation and pain.

An autoimmune disease in which the body’s own immune system attacks the body’s joints (most commonly the hands, feet, wrists, elbows, knees and ankles), RA affects around 400,000 people in the UK, mainly women over the age of 50.

Unfortunately, there’s no cure. But if you want to stay healthy and adopt the same lifestyle changes as Sadie, there are several other ways to alleviate the pain without taking medication.

The actress is trying an Ayurvedic diet (ancient medicinal practices based on someone’s ‘dosha’ meaning body type) and recommends natural remedies such as an Ayurvedic tea of warm water, turmeric, black pepper and cider vinegar, as well as rubbing sesame oil into the painful areas.

A long-term condition, sometimes the symptoms of RA can flare up so an early diagnosis and appropriate medical treatment are important.

But if you’ve had enough of morning stiffness and would like to try some complementary alternatives, these are generally considered safe…

1. Vitamins

Sadie suggests upping your omega 3, calcium, Vitamin C & D. Omega 3 (fatty acids) are found naturally in oily fish but for the best effect, take concentrated fish oil supplements.

2. Aromatherapy

With their calming aromas, essential oils can improve your wellbeing. They can be inhaled, massaged into the skin or used in the bath. Try putting a few drops under the tap and you’ll be surprised how much they relieve the angst in the body as you sink into the warm water.

3. Meditation and Yoga

Another stress buster, meditative therapies focus on breathing exercises and posture. Gentle yoga movements can improve strength, balance and flexibility, while meditation and breathing exercises help with pain and anxiety.

4.  Magnet Therapy

We’ve heard of copper bracelets helping to reduce pain and stiffness (although there’s no medical evidence to prove they work), but how about taping a magnet to your wrist or back of the knee? According to Arthritis Research UK, strapping a magnet on your joints or wearing a magnet bracelet might be worth a go.

5. Herbal medicine

If you don’t fancy Sadie’s Ayervedic tea, how about investigating other herbal medicines available from your local health food shop? Devil’s claw (don’t be put off by the name), made from a plant grown in Namibia, boswellia (from the frankincense tree) and rosehip contain anti-inflammatory and painkilling properties.

6. Massage
It may sound exotic, but a spa treatment can work wonders for muscle tension and tiredeness. Not only will it improve your circulation and relieve stress, but the variety of strokes will relieve the pain in the soft tissue and muscles. And don’t forget those lovely therapeutic oils are an added benefit.