swelling jointBy the time you need to reduce joint swelling, you’re not looking for long-term solutions.

You’re looking for relief from the swelling and discomfort and you’re looking for it right now. I get that.

But it’s important that you treat the cause of your swollen joints properly in order to not make it worse.

Identifying the Problem

Before you decide how to reduce the swelling in your joints, you need to know what’s causing it.

If it’s arthritis, the pain may be intermittent, meaning it comes and goes. It may be worse some times and almost nonexistent others.

There’s going to be stiffness – a classic sign of arthritis – and difficulty moving the joint. And yes, there’s going to be swelling that you want to reduce.

If it’s an injury, you may know it – but you may not. Look for bruising, sudden, possibly severe pain, an inability to move the joint, and swelling.

If you suspect an injury, use ice – not heat – on the joint to reduce the swelling, and elevate the injury above your heart, if possible. And be sure to get into see your doctor as soon as you can.

More Treatments for Arthritis…

But once you or your doctor has established your joint swelling is caused by arthritis, there are several at home remedies that will help you feel better.

Apple cider vinegar. This form of vinegar is a natural anti-inflammatory, so it can help with swollen joints topically. Mix ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper into one cup of warmed apple cider vinegar. Soak your swollen joint for fifteen minutes, then rinse. Repeat daily.

Castor oil. Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to drink it (although you can, it just takes longer – but you don’t have to, so why would you want to?). Instead, massage a small amount of castor oil into the swollen joint. The castor oil will help reduce the swelling, and even ease the pain.

Epsom salts. Soaking in Epsom salts has been a recognized remedy for joint swelling and stiffness for centuries. Stir two cups of Epsom salts into warm bath water. Soak your joints for 20-30 minutes. Repeat three times a week, as needed.

Garlic. Yes, eating garlic can help with swelling and discomfort thanks to its sulfur and selenium content, but there’s another way to reap garlic’s benefits, too, if you don’t like the taste. Instead, chop up two garlic cloves and lightly sauté them in two tablespoons of mustard oil. Let the mixture cool until the oil is comfortably warm to the touch. Massage onto the swollen joint. Repeat twice daily, as needed.

Olive oil. Olive oil makes an excellent treatment for arthritis and swollen joints. Simply rub it into the affected joints and let its own natural properties do the rest. You can do this as often as you like, too.

Temperature therapy. When it comes to temperature therapy, both heat and ice work for reducing the swelling caused by arthritis. It boils down to which makes you feel better. You can even alternate between hot and cold if you like them both. Just make sure to protect your skin, so you don’t injure yourself trying to treat yourself. And remember to only keep the heating pad or the ice bag on for twenty minutes at a time.

What Next…

These treatments are great for reducing joint swelling in the short term, but remember to put long-term treatments into play as well.

Make sure you’re eating a healthy diet, including plenty of foods that support a healthy inflammatory response. Lose weight if you need to. And make sure you keep moving.

Reducing joint swelling may only part of the solution when it comes to arthritis – but it can certainly be an important part!