Arthritis: The common plant which can ‘fight’ pain – ‘has anti-inflammatory properties’

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If you have arthritis, it’s important to look after your joints to avoid further damage. Around 10 million people in the UK are thought to have arthritis and there are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. The symptoms of arthritis can vary from week to week, so joint pain may come and go.

The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. It is estimated that around 8.75 million people in the UK have seen a doctor about osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis initially affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joint. This makes movement more difficult than usual, leading to pain and stiffness.

Healthline says aloe vera is one of the most commonly used plants in alternative medicine and it is available in many forms, such as pills, powder, gels, and as a leaf.

It says that aloe vera is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and it “doesn’t have the negative gastrointestinal effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), commonly used for arthritis pain”.

It says that it has been suggested taking aloe by mouth may help relieve osteoarthritis pain, though “more studies are needed to confirm that these treatments are beneficial”.

It notes that the National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) says that aloe vera use is likely to be safe, but some people have side effects when they take it by mouth. It may also lower glucose levels and interact with some diabetes medications.

Joint pain is a very common problem with many possible causes, but it’s usually a result of injury or arthritis, according to the NHS.

There are “four important warning signs that should prompt you to talk to a healthcare provider”, according to the Arthritis Foundation. It says you should keep track of your symptoms.

The first is a pain which can be constant or it may come and go. “It may occur when at rest or while moving.

“Pain may be in one part of the body or in many different parts,” the advice reads.

Another “classic arthritis symptom” is stiffness, especially when waking up in the morning or after sitting at a desk or riding in a car for a long time.

The Arthritis Foundation states: “Morning stiffness that lasts longer than an hour is good reason to suspect arthritis.” Two other key signs are swelling and difficulty moving a joint.

Some types of arthritis cause the skin over the affected joint to become red and swollen and may start feeling warm to the touch.

If swelling lasts for three days or longer or occurs more than three times a month you should speak with your doctor.

If the doctor suspects arthritis they will perform a range of tests to check the range of motion in your joints.

The symptoms of arthritis you experience will vary depending on the type you have.

There are some lifestyle habits and changes that might help manage symptoms.

These include eating a healthy diet and managing your weight. If you are overweight it can increase complications of arthritis and contribute to joint pain.

“It’s very important to eat a healthy, balanced diet if you have arthritis. Eating healthily will give you all the nutrients you need and help you maintain a healthy weight,” says the NHS.

You should also try to quit smoking. “Smoking causes stress on connective tissues, which can increase arthritis pain,” says the Mayo Clinic.

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