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Over-the-counter Remedies for Arthritis: What Works and What Doesn't

Over-the-counter Remedies for Arthritis: What Works and What Doesn't

Arthritis is a common condition that causes inflammation and pain in the joints. It affects millions of people around the world and can make daily activities difficult. Many people turn to over-the-counter remedies to alleviate their symptoms. However, it can be difficult to know which products are effective and which are not. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most popular over-the-counter remedies for arthritis and discuss which ones are backed by scientific evidence.

Pain relievers

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): NSAIDs are a popular choice for arthritis pain relief. They work by reducing inflammation and pain in the joints. Examples of NSAIDs include ibuprofen and naproxen. These drugs are available over-the-counter and are generally considered safe when taken as directed. However, long-term use can cause side effects such as stomach ulcers and kidney damage.

  • Acetaminophen: Acetaminophen is another over-the-counter pain reliever that is often used to treat arthritis. Unlike NSAIDs, it does not reduce inflammation. Instead, it works by blocking pain signals in the brain. Acetaminophen is considered safe when taken as directed, but it can cause liver damage if taken in large doses.

Topical creams and gels

  • Capsaicin: Capsaicin is a compound found in chili peppers that has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation in the joints. It works by depleting a neurotransmitter called substance P, which is responsible for transmitting pain signals. Capsaicin is available in creams and gels that can be applied directly to the skin.

  • Menthol: Menthol is a natural compound that has a cooling effect on the skin. It is often used in topical creams and gels to provide temporary relief from arthritis pain. However, the evidence for its effectiveness is limited.

Supplements

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin: Glucosamine and chondroitin are supplements that are often used to treat arthritis. They are believed to help repair cartilage and reduce inflammation in the joints. However, the evidence for their effectiveness is mixed. Some studies have found that they may be helpful for osteoarthritis, but more research is needed to confirm this.

  • Turmeric: Turmeric is a spice that has anti-inflammatory properties. It contains a compound called curcumin, which has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation in the joints. Turmeric supplements are available in capsules and tablets, and can be a safe and effective alternative for people with arthritis.

Conclusion

Arthritis is a common and debilitating condition that affects millions of people around the world. While there are many over-the-counter remedies available, it can be difficult to know which ones are effective and which are not. Pain relievers, topical creams and gels, and supplements are some of the most popular over-the-counter remedies for arthritis. However, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment. Turmeric is a safe and effective alternative supplement that may help to reduce pain and inflammation in the joints.

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