When you cut your finger or bruise your knee, your body reacts. Your immune system sends blood cells to the area to repair the damage and fight off any possible bacteria or viruses. This causes swelling and tenderness, but ultimately, it protects you. Normally, the inflammation goes away once you’re healed.
However, for some people, inflammation sticks around and becomes chronic. Since there’s no obvious injury, no cut or bump, there aren’t any bacteria or viruses to fight off. Your body becomes confused and starts attacking healthy tissue. Instead of helping you, your body starts harming itself.
In many cases, chronic inflammation accompanies other conditions like arthritis, lupus, and allergies. If you have chronic inflammation, you know that tackling it isn’t easy. There are many factors to consider, but these seven best solutions for chronic inflammation and joint health can help.
1. Reduce salt intake
Too much salt has been linked to a variety of issues, but it may also contribute to chronic inflammation from autoimmune diseases. Two studies published in 2013 found that excess salt kicks the immune system into action. It may promote certain cells designed to fight infections, even if you don’t have one. If there’s no infection, those cells might start attacking your tissues. Studies in animals showed mice on high-salt diets were more likely to develop a type of MS. Limit salt to about 1 teaspoon or less a day.
Massages feel good, but they also have very real physical benefits, especially for people who have chronic inflammation. Studies show the pressure and motions associated with massage reduce inflammation. The Arthritis Foundation even recommends massage as a possible therapy for muscle and joint pain relief, and it’s especially effective for lower back pain.
3. Exercise regularly
Staying active has many health benefits and reducing inflammation might be one. Being overweight or obese can put a lot of pressure on your internal organs and joints, and also increases the risk for other chronic disorders. Perhaps the most common association between obesity and inflammation is type 2 diabetes, which causes inflammation internally. Losing weight or just keeping in shape will promote overall health and can reduce chronic inflammation.
4. Lower your stress
You might be surprised to find out how something that seems psychological like stress can wreak havoc on your physical health as well. However, stress also releases various hormones that can impact your body. Studies show constant stress changes the way your immune system responds, and even cause more inflammation. Find healthy ways of reducing your stress, and you might notice you have less inflammation.
5. Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables
Another way to effectively manage chronic inflammation and joint pain are by eating an anti-inflammatory diet. The Arthritis Foundation recommends eating lots of fruits and vegetables for inflammation due to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. These foods have hundreds of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation.
Processed and packaged foods usually have many additives, preservatives, and other ingredients that are harmful to the body. By eating a whole foods like fruit and vegetables, you’ll eat more naturally and improve your overall health as well.
6. Eat healthily, natural fats
Another part of an anti-inflammatory diet involves eating the right kinds of fats. According to Harvard Health Publications, fats that come from red meat, margarine, lard, and vegetable oils may contribute to inflammation. Conversely, polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation. Omega-3s helps your body produce molecules that you’re your immune system to stop its inflammatory response. You can get these healthy fats by eating more fish, nuts, and seeds, and switching to olive oil.
7. Supplements and herbs
Some supplements and herbs can also reduce inflammation. According to the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, spices such as ginger, rosemary, turmeric, oregano, cayenne, clove, and nutmeg reduce inflammation. Several studies back up these claims, but you may need to do more than just add these spices to your foods.
In the case of turmeric, trials showed turmeric supplements could effectively reduce joint pain and inflammation, but only in high doses, around 400 to 600 mg two to three times a day depending on the cause of inflammation. However, you can buy many spices in capsule form to get the benefits.
These solutions are natural ways that improve symptoms in many people, but sometimes, they aren’t enough. If you are struggling to control chronic inflammation and joint pain, it’s always best to consult with a doctor. There some prescription medications and over the counter supplements like Instaflex that can offer instant relief. No one should have to live in pain, but it may take some trial and error to find out which solution works best for you.