Natural Remedies for Joint Pain: The Ultimate Guide

Natural Remedies for Joint Pain

Even the most active among us, the healthiest, the fittest, the wariest, will experience some pain in their lifetime. Chances are that that pain will manifest in one of the main joints: the lower back, knees, shoulders, elbow, etc.

There are times when you can take precautions and avoid this pain completely. There are times when you take all the precautions in the world, and the pain suddenly rears its ugly head. Your joints take on the brunt of your weight, and even in the trimmest adult, that weight is still considerable. No matter what we do to avoid pain, we will experience it at some point in our lives. [1]

Some pain will require a visit to the doctor. Some may even require surgery, but what about the most common type? The type that requires rest and time? You may have to suffer from stiffness, reduced range of motion, aching, throbbing, fatigue, and tension.

The simplest tasks suddenly become climbing Mount Everest. We know that time and rest will cure these symptoms, but is there anything else which we can do?

Do not worry, for there is more you can do. There are some simple steps you can take to relieve or even cure your pain. We have researched the best natural remedies out there.

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Common Areas of Joint Pain

What, exactly, do your joints do? Your joints are the tissues which connect the bones in your body. Your entire skeleton is a mass of bones, connected by (sometimes thin) tissue fibers. Your bones are strong, they provide the 'skeleton' for your body, but it is the humble tissue fibers which keep everything together.

Daily, they are put under immense stress and tension. A small tear, rip, or inflammation can cause you a lot of pain. Combine this with any muscle or bone pain, and it can be almost impossible to get through your day.

Conditions such as osteoporosis or autoimmune disease can cause soreness in joints, no matter what you do. [2] Day-to-day activities can also cause similar pain. Thankfully, natural remedies can treat all kinds of joint pain.

The Arthritis Foundation has found that, during your lifetime, joint pain is likely to develop in at least one of the following areas:

  • The top of the spine (including the upper back and the neck)
  • The jaw
  • The knees
  • The lower back
  • The ball and socket joints of the hips and shoulders
  • The wrists, hands and fingers
  • The ankles, feet, heels and toes

Causes of Joint Pain

There can be many causes for joint pain [3]:

  • As we age, the cartilage in joints becomes harder for your body to build and replace. As the cartilage deteriorates, the joint becomes more susceptible to damage.
  • Repetitive motion also causes more joint pain. A runner will suffer from sore knees. A writer will suffer from sore wrists and fingers.
  • Muscle or bone pain can transfer undue pressure to a joint. The same goes for muscle or bone conditions. If a muscle or bone is weakened, the joint will undergo undue stress.
  • Arthritis or osteoarthritis cause complex neurophysiological processes that lead inflammation. This causes the joints to rub and scrape, causing more pain.
  • Poor posture puts joints out of position and opens them to injury. This is usually coupled with a sedentary lifestyle. If you are not moving the joints and they are in the wrong position, the risk of injury is increased. 
  • Conditions such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and fibromyalgia can increase inflammation causing more injury. 
  • Viruses, infections, and illnesses can cause joints to ache.
  • Lack of sleep can cause tiredness and fatigue in joints.

Conventional Treatment of Joint Pain

Doctors will usually prescribe drugs for pain. They know that they work in the short term, but there are usually side-effects which come with them. Anti-inflammatory drugs and opioids come with very real risks. In rare cases, antidepressants are used to block pain signals.

These all work to decrease the pain, but they are not getting to the root of the problem. They also pose the danger of addiction, along with the breakdown of bodily functions. The natural route should always be the first route.

10 Natural Remedies for Joint Pain

These are the most effective and harmless natural remedies for joint pain.

1. Weight Loss

No one likes to hear that they need to lose weight, but the truth is that most of us are overweight. By reducing our weight, we are reducing the impact and stress on our joints. The less pressure we can put on our joints, the more mobility we will have. Less weight means decreased pain and longer lasting joints. [4]

Lose Weight

2. Swimming

Swimming is a great low-impact exercise for our bodies. The buoyancy of the water helps us to build strength without the impact on our joints. Water aerobics is especially good for those will lower body problems [5].

3. Hot and Cold Therapy

Hot and cold therapy is great for treating joint pain and comes with many added health benefits. Both heat and cold can help to reduce inflammation in joints, and heat therapy can help to improve your circulation, giving you better overall health and wellness.

The thing we love most about hot and cold therapy is that you can make your own treatment bags. A few minutes at work can bring you instant relief in your own home. [6]

Hot and Cold Therapy

4. Supplements

Turmeric is great. It has been used for millennia in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine. It is great for bone and joint pain. The Western World is slowly realizing this and is seeing that turmeric can be used as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. [7a]

Turmeric is bursting with curcumin and curcumin is wonderful in fighting inflammation. A 2004 study found that curcumin (as well as resveratrol) were effective alternatives to anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen. [7b]

As inflammation is the root cause of many ailments, it makes sense to turn to a natural ingredient with no side effects.  Many turmeric supplements also contain curcumin. It can ease joint pain, protect your heart & brain, and boost your well-being


5. Meditation

When we feel pain, we reach for the point it occurs, but when we really think about it, the pain is all in our head. Meditation and mindfulness can help us to increase our pain threshold and take away the stress in our daily lives.

If we can attack pain from both sides, then we can live with more pain and feel it less. The reduction of stress can also help to soothe inflamed joints, taking the problem away from the source. [8]

Here's a guided meditation that you can try.

6. Ancient Martial Arts

Tai Chi has been practiced for thousands of years. It is low-impact and great for building strength and range of motion. Think of it as swimming without the water. Tai Chi has been shown to reduce pain and stiffness while increasing mobility. [9]

7. Massage

Massage can also help reduce the pain from stiffness and inflammation in joints [10]. We would recommend visiting a physical therapist who has specific experience with this type of massage. If you find it to be working, then you can learn how to massage yourself at home.

Here's a helpful video on how to massage your hands for arthritis treatment.

There are also tools that can help you get a more effective massage at home.  A knee massager might be a good investment if you have arthritis.

8. Acupuncture

Acupuncture deals with the life force in your body - your Qi (pronounced Chee). As specific points of your body are stimulated, blockages are removed, and your life energy flows better. After seeing the latest research, we can only conclude that acupuncture can bring pain relief to those with joint pain. [11]


9. Magnesium

Our bodies love magnesium, but unlike most vitamins and minerals that our bodies crave, our body cannot make this one. This is definitely one supplement which we should be finding in our food or a pill form.  Click here to see the Magnesium supplements available on Amazon.

Magnesium relaxes our muscle and nerve endings. It also helps bones to mend and grow. With higher bone density comes bone strength. Couple this with stronger muscles and already you can see how your joints are under less stress. [12]

Taking a salt bath is another way to get your body magnesium.  Try one of our easy DIY essential oil bath salt recipes!

Magnesium Water

10. Lubrication with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil contains oleocanthal which lessens inflammation. [13] The fact that it is a natural oil also makes it great to use as a lubricant. By rubbing a little on your sore joints, you can take advantage of the anti-inflammatory and find relief from pain.

You also have an added bonus of the oil softening your skin. When using oil, many have found that they do not need to rely as much on traditional painkillers such as ibuprofen. One thing to look out for when you are buying oil is that the oil is extra virgin or cold-pressed. Heat can destroy the oleocanthal.

Olive Oil

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Elena Curtis