My joints tend to swell with too much activity, and swelling is always painful. To help them get back to normal I rest them with a pillow under them, so they are slighly and comfortably bent, and put ice packs on them. It is not good to leave the ice on too long though, it can make them stiff. I put the pack on for five minutes and take it off for five, alternately until they feel better. Menthol ointments and herbal oils (like Just's oleo 31) also help.
If you have a bathtub, having a warm bath with Epsom salts is a popular remedy for joint and muscle pain. You could also add some oleo 31 to the bathtub instead of the Epsom salts.
Arnica is a great remedy for inflamation, it is available in ointments, in homeopathic remedy or in herbal infusion. The best for swelling is to combine all the forms. Arnica also helps with bruises.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin are good dietary supplements to help rebuild cartilage in the joints.
Movement helps, for it prevents stiffness of the joints which makes them very painful. The movement I like best when my joints are acting up is gentle strtching and rotation of the joints. Yoga is great if you can manage, if not just gently do these excercises, try 5 to10 repetitions each. You can even do them while still in bed when you wake up:
- Open your fingers stretching them as far as they will go and then making a fist.
- Rotae your wrists in both directions. Do 10 for each direction.
- Stretch out your arm to soften the elbow and then bend it, if you can manage, rotate your lower arm.
- Roate the shoulders back and forth, opening the chest as far as it will go, and then hunching it up.
- For the neck, do 10 rotations in both directions, then turn your head as far as it will go to the left and then the right. Finally rotate your chin upwards on both sides, if you can manage 10 each, great, if not, as many as you comfortably can.
- Get up and rotate de hips as if you were doing the hula, in both directions, but slowly and gently
- Sit down and stretch out your lower legs, then bring them back as far as the knee will allow.
- Rotate your ankles in both directions 10 times
- Stretch out your toes and then bunch them as if you wanted to hold a pencil with them.
If you are feeling strong you can also do gentle stretching of the muscles:
- Bend down and try touching your feet, get up and stretch your arms up to the ceiling, going up to your toes and stretching up as far as you will go. Also try these ten times.
- With your arms akimbo turn your torso left and right as far as you will go.
- With your arms to your sides stretch down reaching with your arm down your leg as far as you will go and then do the other side.
- Open your legs wide, as far as they will comfortably go and bend down touching the floor with your hands, then with your hands on your waist straighten up and go back as far as you can. This strteches all your back and inner thigh muscles.
- Holding on to a chair or wall, bend one leg back and catch your foot with your hand, stetching your upper leg, then do the other leg.
Now you are all warmed up and ready to start your day. Do these excercises with constant mindfulness of how you are feeling, if something is specially painful or swollen, take remedial action. Remember, every day is different and you may be able to do more some days than others, and it’s fine. Never feel like you have to do anything you don’t feel up to and always pay attention to how each part of your body feels this day. It’s a good way to see how you are doing, your level of energy, any flare symptoms, etc. If you do them with attention, they will also help you be proactive with this condition and be on the lookout for any possible symptoms.