According to the staff at the Mayo Clinic, "osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage in your joints wears down over time." Osteoarthritis is most common in the hands, fingers, hips, knees, neck and lower back. Symptoms usually include pain, inflammation and sometimes a burning sensation. The best way of reversing osteoarthritis is through a combination of rest, immobilization, ice,heat, supplementation, massage and exercise.
When your arthritis flares up, stop all physical and work-related activity for a few days. Wear a brace to support the affected joint while inflammation and swelling are at their worst.
Take Boswellia Serrata (Boswellin) daily for pain. Repeat usage until your osteoarthritis pain is gone. Boswellin, available in health food stores, is known as an effective natural substitute for anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen. It can reduce both pain and inflammation.
Put ice in an ice pack or wrapped inside a hand towel. Strap or tie the ice pack or hand towel (use bath towel for tying) around your joint so the ice is compressed directly against your area of pain. Leave the ice in place for 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat this procedure until the inflammation and swelling are substantially reduced.
Purchase and take a glucosamine-chondroitin supplement daily for arthritis symptoms. Glucosamine (a gluten protein) and chondroitin (a complex carbohydrate) have been clinically proven to regenerate existing joint cartilage and increase synovial fluids, which can reduce friction between the bones in your arthritic joint. It usually takes a couple weeks to get this supplement built up in your system so that you experience the positive effects, so be patient.
Also take a potent multivitamin with minerals, at least 1,000 mg of calcium, 500 mg of magnesium, and an omega-3 fatty acid supplement (known to help with joint stiffness) daily.
Once your inflammation is under control, use a heating pad for 15 to 20 minutes several times per day. Continue to use the heating pad until your osteoarthritis has been completely healed. Before or after using the heating pad, massage your joint gently for five to 10 minutes. Moreover, begin to stretch your joint in all directions, holding each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
Besides supplements, massage and exercise (even simple walking) will keep your joints flexible as well as strengthen them. See Resources below for examples of massage and exercise.
Never take any supplements without first consulting with your doctor. If you have allergies to certain crustaceans (i.e., shrimp), you may not be able to take a glucosamine-chondroitin supplement unless you use one with shark fins.