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Limber Up: How to Treat Arthritis Naturally

To soothe arthritis aches and pains, get the latest science behind comprehensive joint care....

By Elizabeth Barker
Posted May 4, 2012

Women in ChairOne of the most common health problems in the country, arthritis interferes with everyday activities for more than 7 million Americans. In addition to working out regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, following an anti-inflammatory diet, and sticking to your doctor’s treatment program, look to these natural solutions for help in alleviating arthritis pain:

1) Load up on Omega-3s. Upping your intake of Omega-3 fatty acids could significantly reduce signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis (the most prevalent type of arthritis), according to a 2011 study from the University of Bristol. The study’s findings suggest that Omega-3s (a type of essential fatty acid found in fish oil and flaxseed oil) may slow osteoarthritis progression by protecting against the breakdown of cartilage.

2) Get your fill of garlic. Eating plenty of allium vegetables (such as garlic, onions, and leeks) could help shield you from osteoarthritis of the hip, a 2010 study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders shows. In addition to finding that study participants with a high intake of alliums had lower levels of hip osteoarthritis, the study’s authors determined that diallyl disulphide (a compound found in garlic) may help fight off cartilage-damaging enzymes.

3) Take up Tai Chi. Practicing Tai Chi (an ancient Chinese martial art that involves slow, graceful movements) can help tame pain, decrease joint stiffness, and enhance physical function in people with arthritis, according to a 2010 study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. What’s more, a 2011 study from Duke University found that physical activity of any kind can help relieve arthritis symptoms by improving joint health and curbing inflammation (a key factor in the development of arthritis).

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