According to MayoClinic.com, arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that commonly affects the smaller joints in your feet and hands. The website also states that arthritis is more common among women than men and typically occurs between the ages of 40 and 60. The use of Epsom salt may reduce stiffness and pain due to arthritis. However, before starting an Epsom salt regimen as with any new treatments, consult your physician first.
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Your joints are responsible for allowing movement and holding your skeleton together. There are many types of joints in the body that allow for different types of movement. Hinge joints allow up and down movements, such as in your knees and elbows. Ball and socket joints allow for movement all around, such as in your leg joints. Pivot joints allow pivotal movements, such as in your neck. Gliding joints, such as the joints located in the wrist, allow for gliding movement.
Epsom salt is a combination of magnesium sulfate and may be used for many purposes with the most common being arthritis. The major component of Epsom salt is magnesium. According to Epsom Salt Council, Epsom salt may improve oxygen use, prevent hardening of the arteries and blood clots, and reduce inflammation to relieve muscle cramps and pain.
Causes of Arthritis
Arthritis occurs when the membranes surrounding your joints are attacked by your immune system. MayoClinic.com states that inflammation resulting from these attacks thickens the surrounding membranes and eventually destroys the cartilage and bones within that joint. This inflammation leads to the weakening and stretching of your ligaments and tendons.
Symptoms of arthritis typically affect the smaller joints in your body first such as hands, feet, ankles and wrists. Symptoms may include swelling, inflammation of the joints, fatigue, tender joints, puffy red hands and may be accompanied by fever. The pain felt from arthritis may come and go with symptoms of stiffness and pain diminishing periodically.
Epsom Salt for Pain
Epsom salt may be used with warm water as a soaking solution for pain and stiffness. According to Arthritis Cures, the effects of the water and heat stimulate circulation that aids in soothing painful joints. The magnesium found in Epsom salt may reduce inflammation. Additionally, soaking in Epsom salt is the most effective way to making the magnesium your body needs available states Epsom Salt Council. Salt Works recommends adding 2 cups of Epsom salt to a bathtub of warm water as warm as you can tolerate and soak for 30 minutes. This can be done up to three times each week for pain and inflammation.
As with any disease or illness, consult with your physician before you attempt to self treat. In addition, use caution when using magnesium as it is a powerful mineral and may not be recommended if you have certain health conditions such as heart disease and kidney disease as excess magnesium may lead to heart abnormalities, cramps and nausea.