Several years ago, I broke down and made an appointment with my doctor after procrastinating for months because of an accident that resulted in bruising and swelling in the palm of my left hand. As it turned out, what I originally thought was just a simple sprain, ended up being a broken bone. Of course it never dawned on me until then that it actually made perfect sense because every time I used that hand repetitively, I had non-stop pain that became unbearable in the end.
Because I waited for so long to have my hand checked out, my bones healed the best way they knew how, and arthritis set in as a result of my procrastination. Had I visited my doctor as soon as the accident happened, I might have saved myself from the arthritis and the pain it now causes!
Due to the excruciating pain, my doctor suggested I try a steroid shot. At that time, I was still new to understanding my body's dislike for chemical-related medications, so I agreed to the cortisone shot. As it turned out, I experienced a rare side effect from the shot which increased my pain level to ten times worse than what my arthritis had originally caused.
Why am I telling you my story? Because I don't want you to make the same mistakes that I did. If you suspect you may have more than just a simple sprain or pain, make an appointment with your doctor. And don’t assume you know the exact signs of an injury like mine.
My bruising at that time was very minimal and light blue in color. It was not at all what I expected with a broken bone. I only associated dark blue, purple or black bruises as a sign of a broken bone. If it wasn’t for the tremendous amount of pain it caused me on a daily basis, I probably would have never made an appointment with my doctor.
It also never occurred to me that I even had arthritis because I didn't bother to identify with the symptoms of the inflammation disease. I thought I was too young to have arthritis, until I realized my mother had the painful joint condition in her hands at the same age I am today. Lesson learned!
If you are not familiar with the symptoms of Arthritis, they are:
Painful swelling of your joints
Minimal movement of the affected area
Of course when it comes to relieving the symptoms of arthritis, many of us choose the most common option with an over-the-counter pain reliever in oral or topical form. For others, they may choose prescription relief, especially when your arthritis symptoms are severe. And while not everyone will have the same reaction I did with the Cortisone shot, I am one of those who made the decision to listen to what my body was trying to tell me. Chemical medications were not for me.
I chose to keep my arthritis in check with natural remedies that included:
of my biggest go-to remedies for my arthritis is exercise! And while exercise may seem painful because it requires repetition, exercising the joints affected by arthritis can help minimize the stiffness and keep you moving. I use hand exercises that allow me to stretch and massage the areas where my arthritis affects me the most.
Cold Compress -
Cold compresses can help reduce swelling caused by your arthritis when applied to the affected area. Just be sure to limit the amount of time you apply the cold compress to no more than 5 minutes to prevent numbing of the area and redness to the skin.
Warm Water or a Heating Pad-
Soaking your hand in warm water or applying a heating pad to the affected area may help reduce the swelling and pain caused by arthritis.
Hand Brace -
A hand brace designed specifically for arthritis can help keep you mobilized and reduce repetitive movements that can cause swelling and pain.
Ginger and Tumeric Spice -
Ginger and Turmeric may be beneficial for inflammation caused by arthritis. My go-to is ginger. I will make a cup of ginger tea, add it to my morning coffee or cook with it.
Turmeric can also be used in the same manner as ginger to help reduce the inflammation caused by arthritis.
On a Final Note:
When you are using natural remedies to minimize the symptoms of your arthritis, consult with your doctor first since certain prescription medications can counteract with some home remedies.
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