Q:

How can the pain of arthritis be relieved without NSAIDs?

A:

Quick Answer

Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, methylsulfonylmethane, regular physical exercise, cognitive-behavioral therapy and meditation are helpful, non-medication options for treating the pain of arthritis, according to WebMD. Foods rich in omega-3 fats and antioxidants appear to relieve the inflammatory processes and immune reactions linked to arthritis, reports the Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

MSM is a natural sulfur compound required to support healthy functioning of joints and connective tissue; while more research is needed, supplementation appears to help treat pain and inflammation, reports WebMD. While studies are mixed, supplementation with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, substances found in the body’s cartilage, offers relief to some individuals with osteoarthritis pain. Using dry or moist heat, as well as cold applications to the painful areas, are also proven pain relief methods.

Tuna, trout and salmon are fish choices that are very high in the pain-regulating omega-3 fatty acids, reports the Mayo Clinic. Soy-derived products, such as tofu, tempeh and edamame, are recommended vegetable options. Certain nuts and seeds, such as pecans, walnuts, and flaxseed and its oil, are additional beneficial sources, as well as olive oil, which offers proven anti-inflammatory benefits. Antioxidant vitamins C, E, lycopene and carotene found in foods such as spinach, beets and berries can slow the progression of cellular damage from the oxidation linked with inflammatory arthritis. Green tea, dark chocolate, red wine, and spices such as turmeric and ginger are also good sources of antioxidants that protect the body’s tissues from inflammatory damage.

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