Arthritis comes in many forms, but they all significantly impact your quality of life. This condition attacks joints, causing swelling, irritation and pain that can debilitate. You may continue to function — just not at your best. Relieving arthritis pain can increase happiness and life satisfaction and allow you to contribute productively to society, building your confidence while improving your community.
What new treatments can you dig into to improve your mobility, ease pain and improve your quality of life? Here are four little-known methods for attaining arthritis relief.
1. Clinical Research Trials
If you are fortunate to have a supportive medical team you regularly see, your physician may direct you to clinical research trials that may help your condition. However, you can search for volunteer opportunities at the following websites even if you don’t have a doctor or coverage currently:
You’ll need to prequalify for each opportunity, as researchers sometimes screen out individuals with comorbid conditions or deemed high risk. Fortunately, you frequently get paid for your trouble, including a small stipend and compensation for time and travel. These conditions vary by opportunity, so ensure you understand your responsibilities and whether the trial fits your lifestyle.
Signing up for clinical trials involves risks. After all, you’re investigating a new medication that may have unintended side effects, and everyone’s body reacts differently to various substances. Although teams do everything possible to test drugs in the lab before human trials, you should ensure you understand the potential drawbacks.
However, you could find a treatment that works. For example, researchers are establishing human trials of an investigative new knee replacement gel that may work eight times better than your own cartilage at cushioning joints. Given the success rate in mice, many arthritis patients might consider the potential benefits of participating in such a trial worth the risk of adverse side effects.
Do you sometimes use hot and cold therapy to manage arthritis pain? Cryotherapy takes the chill factor to the extreme, dropping temperatures to -150 Celsius or below to spur tissue healing.
This treatment is currently only available at health spas, so you might need to search Google for a suitable facility near you. Although whole-body cryotherapy isn’t FDA-approved, anecdotal reports from other arthritis patients reveal that many find significant relief.
Those without the means for a spin in a pricey cryotherapy chamber can imitate the process at home. One treatment many people report works well is cold-hot, which employs the mechanisms behind cryotherapy without the extreme deep freeze. Begin by placing an ice pack on the affected joint for several minutes, followed by a heating pad.
Biologics are a type of medication that comes from living organisms like plants and microorganisms instead of being chemically synthesized. Many biologics specifically designed for rheumatoid arthritis fall into the DMARD category, meaning they slow down the damage your immune system does to your joints. Because these drugs decrease your immune function, you may need to take additional precautions against infectious diseases.
However, biologics that function as DMARDS are not the only types that can help you attain arthritis relief. You might also ask your doctor about the following:
- Stem cell therapy
- Gene therapy
- Hormone balancing
4. Fermented Foods
Your gut has more to do with your total health than previously thought. The bacterial colonies in your intestines make up your microbiome. These microscopic workhorses do everything from helping you digest to making serotonin — a neurotransmitter you need to feel calm, relaxed and happy.
You’re born with a bunch, but they deplete over time with stress, antibiotics and alcohol use, leading to health problems. These include increased systemic inflammation, leading to more frequent and severe arthritis flares.
Fortunately, you can replenish your microbiome. Eat fermented foods rich in helpful bacteria, like kefir, sauerkraut, miso and yogurt. These little critters need nutrition and feed on fiber, so get plenty of that in your diet as well. It might take a while, but you’ll eventually start feeling better.
How To Attain Arthritis Relief
Attaining arthritis relief can feel frustrating, especially if you have tried seemingly everything. However, the world constantly changes and improves, with new modalities emerging daily.
Investigate these four little-known methods for attaining relief. Staying on the cutting edge could reveal the answer to your arthritis woes.