As the body ages, it naturally changes, and this can unfortunately come along with painful conditions. One of the most common, and potentially debilitating, is arthritis. Painful, stiff joints make it difficult to do even the simplest tasks, and quality of life takes a big hit. While you may not be able to totally reverse joint damage once it has set in, you can improve joint health and minimize pain and discomfort through several natural means. Here are a few worth trying.


Minimizing inflammation is paramount with a condition like arthritis. One of the best ways to do this is through diet. Some foods cause the release of pro-inflammatory chemicals and other substances that cause inflammation in the body, while others keep inflammation at bay. When it comes to fats, you want to increase intake of omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish, walnuts and flaxseed. Minimize intake of fats that release inflammation-causing chemicals, such as saturated fats from animal products, trans fats and fats high in omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fats are not inherently bad, but cause inflammation when consumed in large amounts, which is the typical scenario in the average American diet. Cut back on sunflower, safflower, soy, corn and mixed vegetable oils. Read packages of food labels carefully as most packaged goods contain these fats. Opt for olive oil instead.

Cook with anti-inflammatory spices like ginger and turmeric. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables in a variety of shades, to get the maximum benefit from the range of inflammation-fighting antioxidants found in these foods. Reduce or eliminate refined carbohydrates and sugar.


Several natural supplements may ease symptoms of arthritis, but it is important to note a couple of things. First, they may take awhile to work so give it at least a couple of months before determining whether a particular supplement is effective. Second, natural does not always equal safe, so educate yourself about supplements which interest you to determine if they are appropriate given any health problems you may have, or medications you are taking.

Glucosamine is one of the most well-studied for arthritis, and while results are sometimes conflicting, many people have found benefit, though it can take up to four months to work. SAMe may work as well as common pain relievers, according to several studies. Bromelain, an enzyme naturally found in pineapples, seems to reduce inflammation and swelling, as does turmeric, the primary ingredient in curry. Combining them may offer greater benefit than taking either on their own. The herbs cat's claw, devil's claw, ginger and willow bark may also be helpful.

Alternative Treatment Modalities

In several studies, acupuncture has been found to provide relief from arthritis pain, and may even improve joint function. In some studies, it worked even better than pain-killing medications. Acupuncturists can also offer advice on treating the condition with other elements of Chinese medicine, such as suggested dietary changes and herbal preparations used for joint health. Chiropractic care may also be beneficial. While it has not been found to stop joint damage in any way, research has found spinal manipulation may offer benefits such as relaxing the muscles, increasing range of motion, reducing pain, improving joint coordination and normalizing movement of the spine.

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who is passionate about health and wellness, and particularly enjoys sharing information on natural treatments. If you are looking for orthopedic doctors in Phoenix Arizona, she recommends learning more about the Banner Core Center.