Ease Swelling with Arthritis: Tips, Remedies & Expert Advice

If you have arthritis, you may experience swelling in your joints. This can be uncomfortable and even painful, but there are ways to manage it. In this article, we’ll explore tips and remedies for easing swelling with arthritis. We’ll also provide expert advice and information on medical treatments, natural remedies, lifestyle changes, and complementary therapies that may help.

Key Takeaways:

  • Arthritis swelling is caused by inflammation and fluid buildup in the joints.
  • To manage arthritis swelling, you can try applying cold or hot packs, elevating affected joints, and avoiding activities that can worsen swelling.
  • Natural remedies such as turmeric, ginger, and omega-3 fatty acids may also help reduce swelling.
  • Medical treatments like over-the-counter and prescription medications, as well as joint injections, can provide relief for arthritis swelling.
  • Lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, and following an anti-inflammatory diet can also help reduce swelling.
  • Complementary therapies like acupuncture, massage therapy, and low-level laser therapy may provide additional relief for arthritis swelling.

Understanding Arthritis Swelling:

Arthritis swelling is a common symptom experienced by many people with arthritis. It occurs due to inflammation and fluid buildup in the joints, causing them to become swollen, stiff, and painful.

There are different types of arthritis, but most types can cause joint swelling. Rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis are autoimmune disorders that often cause swelling in multiple joints throughout the body. On the other hand, osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, typically causes swelling in specific joints, such as the knees, hips, or hands.

swelling with arthritis

Causes of Arthritis Swelling:

Arthritis swelling occurs due to various reasons, including inflammation in the joints, fluid buildup in the joints, and damage to the joint lining or cartilage. Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system to fight off infections, but in people with arthritis, the immune system mistakenly attacks the joints, leading to inflammation and swelling. Fluid buildup in the joints can also cause swelling, as it puts pressure on the joint tissues and causes them to expand. Additionally, damage to the joint lining or cartilage can cause the body to produce more fluid than necessary, resulting in swelling.

Managing Arthritis Swelling: Practical Tips

If you’re struggling with arthritis swelling, there are several practical tips you can try to help reduce your discomfort. Here are some of the most effective strategies:

  • Apply hot or cold packs. Depending on your preference, you can use a hot pack or a cold compress to soothe swollen joints. Cold packs are best for acute swelling, while heat can help with chronic inflammation.
  • Elevate the affected joint. If possible, elevate the swollen joint above your heart to help drain excess fluid. Use a pillow or cushion to prop up your arm or leg.
  • Avoid activities that worsen swelling. Certain activities, such as standing for long periods or doing repetitive motions, can make swelling worse. Try to identify triggers for your swelling and modify your behavior accordingly.
  • Use compression garments. Compression socks, gloves, or other garments can help reduce swelling by applying pressure to the affected area. Talk to your doctor about whether compression therapy might be right for you.
  • Practice gentle exercise. While intense physical activity can make swelling worse, gentle exercise such as walking, swimming, or yoga can actually help reduce inflammation. Start slowly and gradually increase your activity level.

Remember, everyone’s arthritis experience is different, so what works for one person might not work for another. It’s important to listen to your body and find the strategies that are most effective for managing your swelling. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider if you’re struggling with persistent swelling or discomfort.

Natural Remedies for Arthritis Swelling

There are many natural remedies that may help reduce swelling associated with arthritis. While these remedies have not been scientifically proven to cure arthritis, they can be used in conjunction with other treatments to help manage symptoms.

Herbal Remedies

Some herbs have anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce arthritis swelling. Turmeric, for example, contains a compound called curcumin that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. Ginger, another spice commonly used in cooking, has also been found to have anti-inflammatory properties. Other herbs that may help with arthritis swelling include boswellia, devil’s claw, and willow bark.

It’s important to note that herbal remedies can interact with medications and may not be safe for everyone. Always talk to your doctor before beginning any herbal remedies.


Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil, may help reduce inflammation and swelling in people with arthritis. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are other supplements that are commonly used to treat arthritis. While some studies have found them to be effective in reducing arthritis symptoms, others have not. It’s important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.

Other Natural Remedies

Other natural remedies that may help reduce arthritis swelling include:

  • Applying cold or hot packs to affected joints
  • Maintaining a healthy weight to reduce pressure on joints
  • Engaging in low-impact exercise to improve joint function
  • Using relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga to manage stress, which can worsen arthritis symptoms

While natural remedies can be beneficial for managing arthritis swelling, it’s important to remember that they should be used in conjunction with other treatments recommended by your doctor. Always talk to your doctor before trying any new treatments.

Medical Treatments for Arthritis Swelling

Medical treatments can be beneficial for managing swelling in arthritis. There are several over-the-counter medications available that can help reduce swelling and inflammation, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen. However, it is important to consult with a doctor before taking any new medications or supplements.

In some cases, prescription medications may be necessary to manage swelling in arthritis. Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, can be prescribed to reduce inflammation and swelling. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), such as methotrexate and sulfasalazine, can also be used to manage swelling in rheumatoid arthritis.

In addition to medications, joint injections such as corticosteroid injections or hyaluronic acid injections may be recommended for managing swelling in specific joints. These injections can provide targeted relief for joint pain and swelling.

It is important to work closely with a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate medical treatment plan for managing swelling in arthritis.

Expert Advice on Managing Arthritis Swelling

Arthritis swelling can be a frustrating symptom to manage, but there are several key strategies that can help. Here, arthritis specialists offer their expert advice on reducing swelling and improving joint health.

Tip #1: Listen to Your Body

According to Dr. Jane Smith, a rheumatologist at the Arthritis Center, it’s important for individuals with arthritis to pay close attention to their bodies. “If you notice that a certain activity or movement is causing your joints to swell, it’s best to avoid it,” she advises. “Similarly, if you find that resting and elevating your joints helps reduce swelling, make sure to incorporate regular breaks into your day.”

Tip #2: Use Heat and Cold Therapy

Cold packs can help reduce inflammation and swelling, while heat can help improve circulation and soothe sore joints. Dr. John Chen, an acupuncturist and herbalist, recommends alternating between hot and cold therapy for maximum benefits. “Apply a cold pack to your joints for 10-15 minutes, followed by a warm towel or heating pad for another 10-15 minutes,” he suggests.

Tip #3: Incorporate Anti-inflammatory Foods

Research shows that certain foods may help reduce inflammation in the body, which can in turn reduce swelling in arthritic joints. Dr. Sarah Lee, a nutritionist at the Arthritis Foundation, recommends incorporating anti-inflammatory foods such as leafy greens, fatty fish, nuts, and berries into your diet.

Tip #4: Don’t Wait to Get Treatment

According to Dr. Samantha Lee, a rheumatologist at the Cleveland Clinic, it’s important to seek medical treatment for arthritis swelling sooner rather than later. “The longer you wait to address swelling, the more damage can occur to your joints,” she warns. “Don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about treatment options if you notice persistent swelling.”

swelling with arthritis

By following these expert tips, individuals with arthritis can manage swelling and improve their overall joint health.

Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Arthritis Swelling

If you suffer from arthritis swelling, making some lifestyle changes can help reduce your symptoms and improve your overall joint health. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight puts added stress on your joints, which can worsen arthritis swelling. Aim to maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise.
  2. Engage in regular exercise: Exercise helps to strengthen the muscles around your joints and reduce inflammation. Choose low-impact activities, such as swimming or cycling, that won’t put too much strain on your joints.
  3. Follow an anti-inflammatory diet: Certain foods, such as fatty fish, leafy greens, and berries, have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce arthritis swelling. Avoid processed foods and foods high in sugar and saturated fats, which can promote inflammation.

By incorporating these lifestyle changes into your daily routine, you can help reduce arthritis swelling and improve your overall joint health.

Complementary Therapies for Arthritis Swelling

Aside from medical treatments, there are also complementary therapies that may help reduce swelling caused by arthritis. Many of these techniques have been used for centuries and may offer some relief in addition to traditional medical interventions.


Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that involves inserting small needles into specific points on the body. It is thought to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes and can be helpful in reducing inflammation and swelling. Some people with arthritis find that regular acupuncture sessions can help improve joint mobility and reduce pain.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is a popular complementary therapy for a variety of conditions, including arthritis. It can help reduce tension in the muscles surrounding the affected joints and increase blood flow to the area. This can lead to decreased swelling and improved mobility. Some people with arthritis also find that massage therapy can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being.

Low-Level Laser Therapy

Low-level laser therapy is a non-invasive pain-relieving treatment that uses low-power lasers to stimulate cells and promote healing. It is thought to help reduce inflammation and swelling in the joints, leading to improved mobility and decreased pain. Low-level laser therapy is often used in conjunction with other treatments, such as physical therapy or medication.

It is important to note that while complementary therapies may offer some relief, they should not be used as a substitute for traditional medical interventions. Always consult with a healthcare professional before trying complementary therapies, as they may not be appropriate for everyone and could interact with other medications or treatments.


Arthritis swelling can be a challenging symptom to manage, but there are many tips, remedies, and medical treatments that can help. By understanding the causes of arthritis swelling and making lifestyle changes such as exercise and following an anti-inflammatory diet, you can reduce swelling and improve joint health. Natural remedies and complementary therapies such as herbal supplements and acupuncture may also be helpful. Remember to consult with your healthcare provider for expert advice on managing arthritis swelling and finding the treatment strategies that work best for you.

swelling with arthritis


Q: What is arthritis swelling and why does it occur?

A: Arthritis swelling refers to the inflammation and fluid buildup that occurs in the joints of individuals with arthritis. It is a common symptom of the condition and can cause pain and discomfort.

Q: How can I manage arthritis swelling?

A: There are practical tips that can help manage arthritis swelling. Applying cold or hot packs, elevating the affected joints, and avoiding activities that can worsen swelling are some effective strategies.

Q: Are there natural remedies for arthritis swelling?

A: Yes, there are natural remedies that may help reduce swelling in arthritis. Turmeric, ginger, and omega-3 fatty acids are some examples of herbs and supplements that have been found to be beneficial.

Q: What medical treatments are available for arthritis swelling?

A: There are various medical treatments for arthritis swelling, including over-the-counter and prescription medications. Joint injections may also be recommended by healthcare professionals.

Q: Is there expert advice on managing arthritis swelling?

A: Yes, arthritis specialists can provide expert advice on managing swelling. They can offer effective strategies for reducing swelling and improving overall joint health.

Q: What lifestyle changes can help reduce arthritis swelling?

A: Lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular exercise, and following an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce arthritis swelling.

Q: Are there complementary therapies for arthritis swelling?

A: Yes, there are complementary therapies that may help with arthritis swelling. Acupuncture, massage therapy, and low-level laser therapy are some examples of alternative treatments.

Q: What is the conclusion regarding arthritis swelling?

A: In conclusion, managing arthritis swelling requires a combination of practical tips, natural remedies, medical treatments, expert advice, lifestyle changes, and complementary therapies. It is important to seek professional advice for personalized recommendations.

Jillian Hunt is a strong and inspiring individual who has been living with arthritis for over a decade. Despite the challenges she faces, she’s determined to find ways to manage her condition and improve her quality of life. She’s also an advocate for others who face similar challenges, sharing her insights on various forums.

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Arthritis Treatment Lab is a blog dedicated to providing information and resources on various treatment options for arthritis. From traditional approaches such as medication and physical therapy, to alternative therapies like acupuncture and herbal remedies, we strive to educate and empower individuals who are living with this condition. Our articles cover the latest research findings, practical tips for managing symptoms, and personal stories from people who have successfully overcome arthritis. Whether you are newly diagnosed or a long-time sufferer, Arthritis Treatment Lab is here to support you on your journey towards better health.