Natural ways to decrease arthritis symptoms include losing weight, exercising and applying a hot or cold compress, according to Mayo Clinic. Using assistive devices, such as canes, walkers and raised toilet seats, may reduce strain on the joints, which helps to keep arthritis symptoms at bay.
Obesity intensifies arthritis symptoms by putting stress on the weight-bearing joints, notes Mayo Clinic. For this reason, embracing healthy lifestyle changes to lose weight can reduce arthritis symptoms. Exercising helps to reduce arthritis symptoms by improving flexibility in the joints. Water exercises such as swimming are ideal because they can be performed without putting stress on weight-bearing joints.
A doctor may prescribe medications to reduce the symptoms associated with arthritis, states Mayo Clinic. Medications vary depending on the type of arthritis, but some common options include analgesics, corticosteroids, counterirritants or biologics. Other medication options include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.
In some cases, physical therapy may help to improve arthritis, according to Mayo Clinic. Therapeutic exercises may increase strength around the joints and improve range of motion. If other treatments are not successful, a doctor may recommend surgery to replace affected joints with artificial joints. Joint fusion is another surgery option, which is when the ends of two bones are fused together so they heal as one strong piece. Joint fusion is usually used on small joints, such as the wrist, fingers or ankle.