By Austin Sheeley

Did you know there are over a hundred forms of arthritis, not to mention a plethora of causes?

If the pain and stiffness of arthritis is affecting your mobility and prohibiting your independence, it’s time to fight back. Your doctor will know the best way to combat your specific form of arthritis, but there are several simple home remedies which may help as well.

1. Exercise

Arthritis puts you in a catch-22; you need to exercise to keep your arthritis from getting worse, but arthritis makes exercising hurt. What can you do? Try some simple range of motion exercises to keep your joints functioning well. You may even want to take up tai chi, a slow and graceful form of exercise that’s safe for most people with arthritis.

Or use the joint-loosening, pain-reducing powers of warm water to exercise! Fill your sink with warm water and do your hand exercises in there. Or head to a nice, heated pool for a full body workout.

2. Gloves and Scarves

A little warmth can make joints feel better, and a little tightness around your digits can reduce swelling. This makes gloves the perfect accessory for those with arthritic hands. Or try wrapping a scarf around a painful joint, such as your elbow or knee. Just don’t tie it too tight.

3. Lose Weight

I realize this is easier said than done, but if you’re overweight losing a few pounds could help you ease your arthritic pain. The extra weight adds stress to your joints, so by losing it you can improve joint function.

4. Diet Soda

There are health risks associated with diet soda, so you’ll want to check with your doctor first and avoid drinking it excessively. But aspartame, the sweetener used in many diet drinks, can work as a pain reliever.

5. Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Another way to reduce pain is through meditation. Mentally go through and relax each muscle group in your body, starting at your head and going down to your toes. When you inhale tense the muscle group, and when you exhale relax the muscle group.

Hopefully, these strategies can aid you in overcoming the challenge of arthritis, so you can stay independent and mobile!