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Non-Drug Alternatives for Incoming Flares 

* Always consult with your physician before using any of these methods.


Heating pad

  • Heat works best for soreness and stiffness — try a heating pad, hot shower, or hot pack 2 or 3 times a day for 20 to 30 minutes. 

ICE Cooling Pad

  • Cold works best for swollen joints — try putting cold packs on a painful joint 2 or 3 times a day for 10 to 20 minutes. Be sure to put a thin towel between the ice and your skin.

Alternating Heating and Cooling Packs

Gentle Yoga (Arthritis Foundation)

  • A restorative or Viniyoga personalized to your health condition, has proven to be beneficial for arthritis sufferers.  This is best done with an instructor, until you know specific positions that will not cause harm.

Hot Baths, preferable with Epsom Salts

  • Epsom Salts contains Magnesium. Magnesium has many health benefits, including helping you to sleep better and, a treatment for anxiety and stress, also pain relief for arthritic symptoms. Even when joint pain sufferers have become addicted to opioid drugs, magnesium reduces their sensitivity to pain.


Supplement called Kapp Arrest, available on Amazon

Paraffin for hands and feet

  • Paraffin serves the same purpose as heat for the hands and feet, will leave your skin softer and remove dead skin cells.

Valerian Root supplement

  • *Arthritis Foundation

  • aleriana officianalis

  • Origin: The dried root of the perennial herb valerian.

  • Dosage: Capsules, tablets, tincture, soft gel or tea; 300 mg to 500 mg of valerian extract daily (maximum dose is 15 g of root per day). For insomnia and muscle soreness, take 1 teaspoon of liquid extract diluted in water or a 400 mg to 450 mg capsule, tablet or soft gel 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime or as needed. For a milder effect, drink a cup of valerian tea before bed. Avoid powdered valerian root.

  • Claims: Treats insomnia and eases pain; has antispasmodic and sedative effects.

  • What we know: Valerian works as a mild sedative and sleep agent, but it takes two to three weeks to see effect. No known effects on muscle or joint pain and arthritis

  • Studies: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of 184 adults showed two tablets per night for 28 nights produced significant improvements in sleep and quality of life.

Light Exercise

  • Exercise is crucial for people with arthritis. It increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue. ... Even moderate exercise can ease your pain and help you maintain a healthy weight.

Lidocaine patches

  • Evidence suggests that 5% lidocaine patches help relieve arthritis pain. These patches, sold under the brand name Lidoderm Patch, offer some patients deep pain relief. (One limitation of all topical lidocaine products is that lidocaine does not always penetrate deep below the skin, where joint pain originates.)

Arthritis compression gloves

  • IMAK® Arthritis Gloves. IMAK® Arthritis Gloves are designed to help relieve aches, pains, and stiffness associated with arthritis of the hands. The unique design of the IMAK Arthritis Gloves provides mild compression for warmth and helps increase circulation, which ultimately reduces pain and promotes healing.

Freeze Gel

  • Biofreeze Pain Reliever provides temporary relief from minor aches and pains of sore muscles and joints associated with simple backache, arthritis, strains, bruises, and sprains. ... A: Biofreeze contains menthol as its active ingredient (not as a scent).

Boiron Gel

  • Homeopathic – Temporarily relieves minor aches and pains associated with Arthritis


Vitamin E (Selenium)

  • Selenium is an antioxidant, helping to prevent free-radical damage. Research Note: Some research suggests selenium may help prevent rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but it has not been shown to relieve pain or stiffness in people with established disease.

Diet natural anti-inflammatory foods

Foods that inflame

Try to avoid or limit these foods as much as possible:

  • refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries

  • French fries and other fried foods

  • soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages

  • red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)

  • margarine, shortening, and lard

 Foods that combat inflammation

Include plenty of these anti-inflammatory foods in your diet:

  • Tomatoes

  • Olive oil

  • Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards

  • Nuts like almonds and walnuts

  • Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines

  • Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges



Magnesium oil/rub

  • Magnesium oil has many health benefits, including helping you to sleep better and, a treatment for anxiety and stress, also pain relief for arthritic symptoms. Even when joint pain sufferers have become addicted to opioid drugs, magnesium reduces their sensitivity to pain.

Capsaicin cream

  • This medication is used to treat minor aches and pains of the muscles/joints (e.g. Arthritis, backache, sprains). Capsaicin works by decreasing a certain natural substance in your body (substance P) that helps pass pain signals to the brain.

  • Brands:  Capsidol Cream, Tiger Balm

Voltaren gel (Prescription Gel)

  • Diclofenac topical gel (Voltaren) is used to relieve pain from osteoarthritis (arthritis caused by a breakdown of the lining of the joints) in certain joints such as those of the knees, ankles, feet, elbows, wrists, and hands. Diclofenac is in a class of medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Flector Patches (Prescription Patch)

  • Flector Patch (diclofenac epolamine) contains a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) used as a pain reliver indicated for the topical treatment of acute pain due to minor strains, sprains, and contusions.  It will stay in your system approximately 66 hours.

Pain management classes

  • Many Hospitals and Health Facilities have Pain Management Evaluation and classes.  These may help tailor some of the above recommendations to your personal needs.

Mediation (Arthritis Foundation)


Does Meditation Work?

Many in the medical community agree meditation and particularly a practice called mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) can help people with arthritis take control of their pain and symptoms of depression. Scientific studies are backing up what millions of people over the centuries have known: meditation can be beneficial for people living with chronic pain.


  • Biofeedback works through relaxation and helps lower stress. Through relaxation and mental exercises, it is possible to control other physiological functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, etc.  Biofeedback has been very successful in helping patients suffering from arthritis and joint pain.

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