Stretching and strengthening exercises will help support the muscles and ligaments surrounding a joint, which can protect and reduce stress on the joint. For example, stronger thigh muscles take some of the stress off of weight-bearing joints such as the knees and hips.

2. Lose weight, which can have effects similar to those of strengthening exercises.

3. Balance exercise with rest, stretching and relaxation. Try icing the joint within 24 hours after working it out and then alternating hot and cold packs. But again, don’t be afraid to exercise – it should not cause any further damage to the joint. Remember that you are focusing on strengthening the surrounding muscle tissue to protect and strengthen the joint.

4. Try herbal treatments for arthritis. There are some herbal medicines that may help the condition of osteoarthritis by decreasing inflammation and alleviating pain. Devil’s Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) is a popular herbal remedy from the Kalahari desert. The Herbs for Arthritis contains a group of glycosides called harpagosides that have been shown to have a distinct anti-inflammatory effect.

Yucca, another desert plant has been shown to have a positive effect in persons with osteoarthritis. Boswellia serrata is an Ayurvedic herb that appears to have anti-inflammatory actions and clinical studies support its use in osteoarthritis.

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