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Oxygen Baths with Epsom Salts Reduce Arthritis Joint Pain

Introduction:

Arthritis profoundly impacts an individual's daily life and overall well-being, with knee joint pain being a predominant reason for seeking treatment. One prevalent form of arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA), often stems from the aging process, particularly affecting the elderly population, detrimentally influencing health and quality of life. Joint pain and stiffness, intensifying with age, are primary arthritis symptoms. While no absolute cure exists for most arthritis types, personalized treatments can alleviate or even eliminate symptoms, enhancing functional capacity. Epsom salt, characterized by anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, emerges as a side-effect-free pain relief option and complementary alternative medicine. It’s easy availability and affordability further recommend it as a home remedy for arthritis patients.


Methodology:

A study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of Epsom salt with hot water compared to plain water for pain reduction and functional enhancement in arthritis patients at a selected Udaipur hospital. Employing purposive sampling, 60 arthritis patients were divided into two groups: one treated with Epsom salt and hot water (30 participants) and the other with Epsom salt and plain water (30 participants). The interventions spanned 10 days, administered twice daily. Data collection encompassed socio-demographic and clinical variables, the Numerical Pain Rating Scale (NPRS), and a modified WOMAC index. Pre- and post-intervention data were gathered via interviews and analyzed descriptively and inferentially.


Results:

Results revealed Epsom salt with hot water effectively reduced pain and improved function. Post-test scores showed mean pain values of 5.35 (SD 1.729) for Epsom salt with hot water and 6.47 (SD 1.756) for plain water. Unpaired t-test (t=2.519, p=.015*) favored Epsom salt for pain reduction. In functional performance, hot water group mean was 31.90±11.874; plain water was 41.03±9.654. The unpaired t-test (t=3.269, p=.002*) showed potential for functional enhancement. Gender and family osteoarthritis history linked to Epsom salt group's post-test pain; plain water had no links. Pain function correlation significantly associated in both groups.


Conclusion:

Arthritis reduces quality of life and function, driving diverse strategies for pain relief and functionality. The study confirms Epsom salt with hot water effectively reduces pain and may enhance function in arthritis patients. This highlights its worth as a non-pharmacological method for nurses and health workers to ease arthritis-related discomfort.


INTRODUCTION

Arthritis, characterized by joint inflammation, leads to pain and swelling in joints like knees and hips. Joints, where bones meet, allow movement. Joint pain, aches, and soreness impact daily activities, often associated with rheumatic and musculoskeletal issues. Joint pain, stemming from illness or injury, impairs functional performance and is a crucial public health concern. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.


Aging is natural and prevalent among living organisms. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. Elderly people often suffer from musculoskeletal pain, especially knee and low back pain, due to conditions like osteoarthritis (OA). Osteoarthritis, a cartilage disorder, causes joint degradation and inflammation. Knee joint pain is more common than back pain among the elderly, predominantly affecting females. Osteoarthritis prevalence rises with age, significantly impacting health and quality of life. It leads to stiffness, swelling, tenderness, and mobility issues, affecting daily activities.


Osteoarthritis, a common rheumatologic issue, hinders mobility in females, making it a significant health concern. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory condition impacting about 1% of adults globally. It involves symmetrical polyarticular synovial inflammation, commonly in small hand joints, wrists, and feet. This leads to pain, stiffness, joint damage, deformities, and functional loss. Organ damage worsens disability, while chronic inflammation from RA heightens cardiovascular risk and affects bone metabolism.


Globally, RA has an annual incidence of about 3 cases per 10,000 people, with a prevalence of approximately 1%, peaking between ages 35 and 50.5 rheumatoid arthritis is believed to impact 0.24% to 1% of the population, with women twice as affected as men. In China and India, married men had the highest prevalence (11.9% and 8.8%, respectively). In other countries, separated, divorced, or widowed men had the highest prevalence. Epsom salt is a pure, time-tested mineral compound with many uses ranging from creating at-home spas to soothing achy muscles and reduces pain. Epsom salt, a mineral of magnesium sulfate, relieves pain. Soaking and using it as a compress draws out toxins, aiding healing. Elderly with knee pain can benefit due to its high sulfate and magnesium content, low cost, availability, and health advantages. Heat application, whether general or local, triggers physiological changes like vasodilation and muscle relaxation, providing therapeutic pain relief. Epsom salt hot water baths are notably effective for joint pain treatment. Epsom salt, when mixed (200 mg) in hot water and applied topically, swiftly alleviates joint pain.


Soaking painful joints for 20 minutes, three times weekly, notably reduces pain and morning stiffness. Epsom salt's anti inflammatory and analgesic properties make it an effective pain reliever without significant side effects. It serves as complementary alternative medicine, surpassing hormonal and steroidal therapies. Inexpensive and readily accessible, it's a viable home remedy for arthritis patients.


Nutritional therapist Adam Ramsay (2014) recommends Epsom salt compresses for arthritis. Epsom salts, rich in magnesium, alleviate joint pain. To apply, dissolve three teacups of Epsom salts in hot water, soak a cloth, and compress the affected knee area for 10–15 minutes. This method, combined with gentle joint exercises, provides relief. In India, around 80% of Osteoarthritis patients experience knee joint pain, with 20% facing activity limitations and 11% requiring special care. In the age group above 70, 40% have osteoarthritis, with 2% suffering severe knee pain and disability. According to the World Health Organization, globally, 18.0% of women and 9.6% of men aged 60 or above have symptomatic osteoarthritis. Around 80% of those with osteoarthritis face movement limitations, and 25% struggle with major daily activities. In India, around 80% of osteoarthritis patients experience knee joint pain, with 20% having difficulties in daily activities and 11% requiring specialized care.


Among those over 70 years old, 40% have osteoarthritis, with 2% having severe knee pain and disability. Joint diseases impact many worldwide, causing pain and disability. Osteoarthritis will soon be a leading cause of disability globally. Men are more vulnerable before 50, while women are more affected after 50. Applying heat, generally or locally, brings physiological changes like vasodilation and muscle relaxation, aiding pain relief. In clinical observation, elderly commonly use remedies like hot water bags, massages, and wet cloth with Epsom salt for knee pain.


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