If you suffer from arthritis, reaching for pain killers or anti-inflammatory medication may be the only thing on your mind when it comes to a pain or inflammation flare-up. But what if you could access natural pain relief without any of the nasty side-effects of traditional pain killers? New research is showing that ginger extract may actually provide natural pain relief that is better than the pain relief provided by betamethasone (cortisone) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).
Arthritis affects the lives of approximately 50 million adults in the United States. While there are a number of different types of arthritis, the most common form is osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease), and involves the degeneration of cartilage and bone within joints. Osteoarthritis is commonly found in the knees, hips, hands and spine, and is often associated with pain and disability. Currently, there is no actual cure for osteoarthritis, and treatment is focused on pain relief and improved function.
Treatment usually involves a combination of patient education, physical therapy (including exercise), weight control and the use of pain medications. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is another common type of arthritis that is actually an autoimmune disease. Inflammation is a key characteristic of RA, and while it mainly affects the lining of the joints, it can also affect other organs. Inflammation of the lining can lead to erosion of the cartilage and bone, often leading to bone deformities. Individuals suffering with RA often complain of pain, swelling and redness around a joint. As is the case for osteoarthritis, there is no cure for RA and treatment often involves a combination of medication and exercise.
A recent study published in Arthritis compared ibuprofen (commonly known as Advil and Motrin), betamethasone (cortisone) and ginger extract for the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The results of the study revealed ginger extract to be the best option for pain relief from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, because it helps to control the root of the problem – inflammation.
Cytokines are immune-regulating substances that are found in the body and that affect pain-triggering inflammation. The current study found that, while ibuprofen is commonly recommended to individuals suffering with arthritis, it actually has no effect on cytokine production. Betamethasone is another commonly prescribed medication for arthritis sufferers, however the study showed that both betamethasone and ginger extract reduced cytokine production significantly. However, while betamethasone does reduce cytokine production, it also comes with a number of potential side-effects, including weight gain, swelling, vision problems, depression, seizures, pancreatitis, heart problems, muscle weakness, headaches, and sleep problems among others. Ginger extract, on the other hand, is a natural pain relief option that has anti-inflammatory effects and is safe to use.
According to this recent research, adding ginger into your daily routine may help to provide natural pain relief. Simple ways to benefit from this natural pain relief aid include:
– Adding fresh ginger to a variety of foods including soups, salads and stews
– Adding fresh ginger to homemade juices, such as carrot and tomato juice
– Drinking warm water that has been boiled with ginger for 45-60 minutes
– Supplementing your diet with ginger capsules
This new research gives insight into a potential new natural pain relief option that may provide immense pain relief for those suffering from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Adding ginger in various ways to your diet can offer scientifically proven pain relief without the side-effects of typical arthritis medications.