Taking a natural approach to living with arthritis allows you to address not only the symptoms of arthritis, but also the factors that cause them! While there are many drug-free ways to treat arthritis, to follow is an overview of seven key components of a natural arthritis remedy.

1. DIET

Food can have a big impact on your arthritis symptoms, for better or for worse. There are several aspects to eating to fight inflammation that causes arthritis pain, all centered around a diet rich in whole, antioxidant-rich foods. While a balanced eating plan is full of produce, whole grains and lean protein can go a long way toward helping you live well with arthritis, certain foods are especially potent natural infection fighters; for instance, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon) can actually help to “turn off” the body's inflammatory response.

2. EXERCISE

Physical activity is a key part of a natural arthritis remedy; it can reduce arthritis pain and improve flexibility, not to mention the role that it plays in maintaining a healthy weight (a pain-preventing factor in and of itself). Different types of exercise provide different benefits: range-of-motion exercises alleviate stiffness and increase flexibility; strength training builds the muscles that support your joints; aerobic activity increases your cardiovascular disease and stamina; and practices such as yoga and tai chi reduce pain, as well as improve flexibility, strength and balance.

3. HERBAL REMEDIES

Herbs have been used for thousands of years for their healing properties, and a number of herbal remedies have been used to effectively treat arthritis. These include ginger, turmeric and Indian frankincense (Boswellia serrate).

4. CHIROPRACTIC CARE

As practitioners who prevent and treat disorders of the musculoskeletal system, chiropractors are key players in a natural arthritis remedy. Chiropractic care can help those with arthritis improve their range of motion, as well as prevent further joint damage, decrease pain and support the body's ability to heal.

5. MASSAGE

Massage can not only increase range of motion and decrease arthritis pain; it can also help you sleep better and alleviate stress (both side effects of pain). Both massage by a qualified therapist and self-massage can be beneficial (and enjoyable!) Parts of a natural arthritis remedy.

6. STRESS MANAGEMENT

Stress and pain go hand in hand, as pain can both increase stress and be the result of stress. Breaking this vicious cycle is critical to keeping arthritis symptoms in check. Getting enough rest is an important component in slashing stress, as are exercise and taking part in activities that relax you. Progressive muscle relaxation, breathing exercises, journaling, pursuing a hobby and playing with a pet can all be effective stress-lowering strategies.

7. ACUPUNCTURE

Acupuncture can serve as a powerful part of a natural arthritis remedy. By inserting thin needles into specific points of the body, this alternative therapy can correct the balance of energy and prompt your body to release pain-reducing chemicals called endorphins.