While over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories can help to improve joint pain, you might be wondering what else you can do to find relief. Luckily, there are many alternative therapies that can reduce pain without requiring a prescription.
Massage: It might sound like a total luxury, but for people with joint pain, massage can bring on a lot of relief. The moderate pressure of a massage stimulates the nerves that are just under your skin, which carry signals to the brain to reduce pain. Massages can also reduce inflammation and cortisol, which are both connected to pain. Just make sure to tell the massage therapist about your joint pain ahead of time, to ensure they don’t use too much pressure.
Acupuncture: While it’s a bit less common than massage, acupuncture, which is the practice of placing needles on your skin to improve your health, could be worth a try if you want an alternative therapy for joint pain. While more research is needed, some studies have shown acupuncture can reduce pain in people with osteoarthritis. In fact, a large review of all available studies on acupuncture found it reduced pain by around 50 percent.
Tai Chi: From the outside, this activity doesn’t look like much. It’s a combination of graceful movements, done slowly, along with deep breathing and mindfulness. But for joint pain, it can be just what the doctor ordered. Research shows that tai chi can improve osteoarthritis pain equally as well as physical therapy—and the participants who did tai chi also felt an impact in quality of life and depression.
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