As you age, you might find your knees popping when you stand up quickly or your fingers stiffening after logging lengthy screen time. If you relate to these issues, you’re not alone. 

Arthritis is a general term for many types of conditions that affect your joints. It’s a very common, degenerative condition that causes painful inflammation. About 54 million people in the world have some form of arthritis, with 25% of those reporting severe joint pain.1

Many people turn to over-the-counter medications to relieve their pain, however the long-term use of NSAIDs wreak havoc on your gut. You CAN find relief from your pain without harmful medications through natural arthritis treatments, and even reverse your condition. I will tell you about these natural arthritis treatments later. However, did you know there are two primary types of arthritis?

Types of Arthritis

As I mentioned, the term arthritis is a general term used to describe joint inflammation. The two common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease. Let’s discuss both types and some of the key differences. 

Osteoarthritis

You are likely more familiar with osteoarthritis as it is the most common type of arthritis. It is often referred to as degenerative arthritis, or degenerative joint disease.

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage between your bones deteriorates over time. While this can happen with age, it’s not a normal part of the aging process. Left untreated, the cartilage wears down completely, causing the bones to rub against each other causing painful inflammation, stiffness, pain, and swelling.2 Over time, the changes to bones between our joints can begin to affect your hands, knees, hips and even your spine.3

Your risk of developing osteoarthritis is determined by a number of factors including: 

  • Age
  • Gender – women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis
  • Obesity
  • Injuries
  • Genetics 
  • Bone deformities such as malformed joints or defective cartilage
  • Metabolic diseases including diabetes

The only tests for osteoarthritis are x-rays or magnetic resource imaging (MRI). Conventional medicine treats the inflammation and does not get to the root cause. However, in functional medicine we know osteoarthritis is part of metabolic syndrome and a digestive issue, so it can be reversed by changing your diet to remove inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy and processed sugars.4 

My favorite supplement for a healthy inflammatory response is Liposomal Curcumin. Curcumin has been shown to support a healthy inflammatory response and reduce oxidative stress.5 Curcumin is what gives turmeric it’s golden color, however there is very little curcumin in most turmeric supplements. Your body also doesn’t absorb curcumin easily. Liposomal Curcumin tackles both of these issues. It’s made from the world’s most bioavailable curcumin, meaning it is easily absorbed into the bloodstream. It also contains a potent 500 mg of naturally extracted curcumin per serving… and it tastes great – like an orange popsicle!

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects more than 1.5 million adults in the world. This condition can affect anyone, however it most often affects women between the ages of 40 and 60 years old. 

It is an autoimmune condition that occurs when the body’s immune system begins attacking the joints, mistaking them as foreign invaders. The body attacks the thin membrane surrounding joints, allowing fluid and immune complexes to build up and cause significant pain. Normally, these immune complexes filter out of your blood on their own, yet when there is a build-up, they tend to settle into different joints and cause local inflammation and tissue damage. When these immune complexes build up in the joints, they can cause the pain and swelling characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects more than 1.5 million adults in the world and is an autoimmune condition where your body’s immune system attacks the joints.

If someone in your family has rheumatoid arthritis or any autoimmune disease, then you are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis in your lifetime.  If you have already been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, you are three times more likely to develop a second autoimmune condition. 

Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis can be diagnosed by blood tests and a physical exam by your functional medicine doctor. 

Signs of rheumatoid arthritis include: 

  • Joint pain, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, and deformity in the joints of fingers
  • Fatigue
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Nodules or stiff bumps under the skin
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Fever

5 Underlying Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you suspect that you have an RA, the most important steps to stopping and reversing your disease are to identify the root cause and treat it. 

  • Gluten: Gluten is a big problem for most people and it’s in everything! Worst of all, it can wreak havoc on your gut and set you up for a leaky gut. Once your gut is leaky, gluten gets into your bloodstream and confuses your immune system into attacking healthy cells. I recommend everyone remove gluten from their diets. 
  • Leaky gut: Having a leaky gut is the gateway for infections, toxins and foods – such as gluten – to cause systemic inflammation that leads to autoimmunity.  You must heal your gut before you can heal any resulting conditions. Leaky Gut Revive® is my No. 1 supplement to soothe and repair your gut. 
  • Mercury: This heavy metal is capable of altering or damaging the cells of various bodily tissues. When cells are damaged, your immune system can mistake them as foreign invaders and begin attacking its own organs. Studies show that individuals with higher mercury exposures have an increased risk of developing an autoimmune disease.
  • Mycotoxins: I discovered that many of my patients with autoimmune disease lived or worked in environments that have toxic mold. Toxic molds produce mycotoxins, which are volatile organic compounds (VOC) and can be toxic to genetically susceptible people.
  • Infections: Gut bacteria, such as P. cpori and P. mirabilis, can cause leaky gut, which is a frequent cause of immune dysfunction and inflammation. In addition to bacteria, the Epstein-Barr virus is also believed to be a potential trigger of rheumatoid arthritis. Oftentimes, the antibodies seeking out this virus mistakenly attack joint tissue, through a process called molecular mimicry. This allows fluid and immune complexes to build up in the joints, causing pain and inflammation.

Natural Treatment for Arthritis

The good news is that arthritis can be reversed by following The Myers Way®. This proven approach is based in functional medicine, a medical approach that looks at how all the body’s systems interact and seeks to get them functioning optimally. Here are natural ways to treat your arthritis. 

Natural Treatment for Arthritis – Infographic – Amy Myers MD® Natural Treatment for Arthritis - Infographic - Amy Myers MD® https://www.amymyersmd.com/article/natural-arthritis-treatment/ Natural Treatment for Arthritis – Infographic – Amy Myers MD®

Remove Gluten From Your Diet

I recommend everyone remove gluten from their diets, however it is especially important to remove if you are suffering from arthritis because it is an inflammatory food! I also recommend removing all grains and legumes from your diet as well. These foods contain proteins known as lectins, which act as a natural pesticide for crops and can wreak havoc on the lining of your gut. 

Following an elimination diet helps you pinpoint which foods are triggering an inflammatory response. Changing your diet is the first step towards treating and reversing your arthritis naturally. 

Maintain an Optimal Weight

Carrying extra weight puts added stress on your joints, especially the joints in your knees, hips and feet. An extra 10 pounds puts 15 to 50 extra pounds of pressure on your knees.6 Losing excess weight not only improves mobility and flexibility, it can also help prevent future damage to your joints. 

Conventional medicine tells us that weight gain is the result of consuming more calories than you expend, or burn. If that only the whole story. I do not recommend counting calories as a way of losing weight. It just adds stress and extra work for many people. Functional medicine takes a three-pronged approach of supplementation, lifestyle (exercise), and eating a nutrient-rich diet. 

Another one of my favorite and delicious ways to lose weight is by replacing a meal with a tasty smoothie. l love starting my day with a filling meal replacement smoothie including an added scoop of Paleo Protein for sustained energy to get me through my busy morning. It’s quick and easy, and the possibilities are endless with the variety of flavors and ingredients! 

Exercise

Though it might seem counterintuitive to exercise to naturally treat arthritis at first, including aerobic and resistance exercise training in your routine is one of the best steps you can take to strengthen your joints.7

Studies show that the following types of exercise are best for treating arthritis naturally:8

  • Water aerobics
  • Strengthening exercises, such as light weightlifting
  • Conditioning activities that strengthen your heart and lungs, such as bicycling, swimming, dancing, and brisk walking. I enjoy taking walks with my family. 
  • Yoga, which uses breathing and poses to improve flexibility and coordination, and reduce stress. There are numerous free yoga videos online. Namaste! 

The key to remember is that inactivity can cause mobility issues and worsen conditions such as arthritis. Any kind of low-impact movement you enjoy will be beneficial to your joints.

Taking a Bath in Epsom Salts

Many people turn to an ice pack or a heating pad to relieve their inflammation. However, a good hot bath is a great natural arthritis treatment. After exercise, I love taking a detoxifying, relaxing bath with epsom salts. Epsom salts contain high levels of magnesium and sulfates which can help reduce inflammation, relax tense muscles, and reduce muscle spasms.9 I feel relaxed just thinking about it!

These minerals are absorbed through your skin, so adding them to your bath, or even making a compress applied directly to the achy area that is bothering you, can provide quick results. Take two cups of salts and add them to your hot bath water. For a compress, add two cups to a gallon of hot water, then soak a towel in it for a few minutes before applying to your skin.

Infrared Therapy

Heat is great for recovery, pain relief, and inflammation. However, infrared light can penetrate further down into the joints, muscles, and tissues, promoting circulation and blood flow. Good circulation is critical for proper healing. Red blood cells carry oxygen and nutrients to the site of strain or inflammation, which helps increase the production of healing white blood cells. 

And because many painful autoimmune symptoms stem from an overload of toxins, sweating them out of your system can help relieve that form of inflammation. And evidence shows that time in the sauna benefits people with rheumatoid arthritis.10

I love getting in my Sunlighten Sauna every day for 30 minutes. If purchasing your own sauna is not an option, you can also receive treatments from natural spas that house their own infrared saunas.

Get a Massage

Who doesn’t love a good massage? Pressure level is the key component of a restorative massage. Too light, and it is stimulating without improving pain. Too strong and you risk additional pain. When done correctly, either by a licensed masseuse or on your own with a massage gun, a massage relaxes your muscles and increases your flexibility, both important for relieving inflammation and reducing stress.

Support Your Immune System and Joints

Supporting your immune system is essential to optimal health, especially if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or another autoimmune disease. My three favorite supplements support your immune system and promote a healthy immune system response include: 

  • Vitamin D, which has been found to support your immune system.11 
  • Omega 3 fatty acids, which promotes a healthy inflammation response.
  • Glutathione, which is the most powerful antioxidant in the body and supports a healthy inflammation and immune system response. 

Support Your Joints

Collagen is the most plentiful protein in your body, and it has numerous important functions including giving your skin a youthful appearance, keeping your gut healthy, supporting joint health, cartilage formation and promoting lean muscle.

Your body produces less of this essential protein as we get older. In addition to aging, many other factors impact the amount of collagen in your body, including genetics, whether you smoke tobacco, air pollution and toxins, excessive sun exposure, and nutritional deficiencies. 

I highly recommend supplementing your diet with Spectrum 5 Collagen™ to support joint health. I use this every day – it’s so easy to mix into a smoothie, your morning coffee, or a hot tea! Because it’s a peptide collagen powder, you know you’re getting all the benefits of collagen in each, easy-to-take scoop.

By taking these steps I know you can find natural relief from the inflammation caused by arthritis and reverse it. Conventional medicine will tell you that it’s just a part of your life. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. You can take back your health and get to living a vibrant healthy life. 

FAQ

https://www.amymyersmd.com/article/natural-arthritis-treatment/

What are natural treatments for arthritis?

Supporting a healthy inflammation response is the best way to naturally treat arthritis. Good ways to do that is to remove inflammatory foods like gluten and dairy from your diet, exercise more, use infrared therapy, taking a bath in epsom salts, and with supplements such as collagen, vitamin D, glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids.


https://www.amymyersmd.com/article/natural-arthritis-treatment/

What’s the difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis?

Osteoarthritis as it is the most common type of arthritis. It is often referred to as degenerative arthritis, or degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage between your bones deteriorates over time. Whereas rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition that occurs when the body’s immune system begins attacking the joints, mistaking them as foreign invaders.


https://www.amymyersmd.com/article/natural-arthritis-treatment/

Is arthritis a normal part of aging?

While arthritis can develop with age, it’s not a normal part of the aging process. Left untreated, the cartilage wears down completely, causing the bones to rub against each other causing painful inflammation, stiffness, pain, and swelling.


A physician-formulated, complete collagen complex. Get yours now. Spectrum 5 Collagen bottle.

Article Sources

  1. Arthritis. CDC. .
  2. Osteoarthritis. . Mayo Clinic. .
  3. Arthritis. Mayo Clinic. .
  4. The Functional Medicine Approach to Arthritis and Why It Works. . Red Tail Wellness Centers. .
  5. Effect of curcuminoids on oxidative stress: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. ScienceDirect. .
  6. How Fat Affects Osteoarthritis. Arthritis Foundation. .
  7. Benefits of Exercise in Rheumatoid Arthritis. . U.S. National Library of Medicine. .
  8. Exercise and sports for rheumatoid arthritis. Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care . .
  9. Why Take an Epsom Salt Bath?. . WebMD. .
  10. What is an infrared sauna? Does it have health benefits?. . Mayo Clinic. .
  11. Vitamin D and the Immune System. . U.S. National Library of Medicine. .