How to Reduce* Joint Swelling?

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
Q: For the past couple of days, I have been having unusual pain and swelling in my hands, wrists, knees, ankles and feet. How should I reduce* it? Is this a symptom of Arthritis?
Expert Answer

Inflammation of joints may occur due to many reasons, from physical injury and strain to arthritis. Consuming prescription drugs or pain killers every time make your joints swell up. So, it is good to know how to reduce* swelling and pain in a natural and healthy manner. Simple and small habits make a huge difference in how well one can manage such issues.

Grab Some Ice

How to Reduce* Joint Swelling

Ice therapy is a good way to address joint swelling and pain. Keep an ice pack in your refrigerator ready. When the pain becomes unbearable, place the ice pack on the injured or inflamed joint, and allow it to follow the natural process of:

  • First feeling cool
  • Then burning, followed by an aching sensation
  • Finally becoming numb

This usually takes a few minutes. It can be done multiple times a day if one chooses to do so, or if the pain is recurrent throughout the day.

Eat Foods High in Antioxidants

“How to reduce* joint swelling by diet?” is a common doubt people have. Of course, a healthy diet specific to physiological issues such as joint pain and swelling is vital. A diet with the following nutrients may help:

  • Folic acid and the other B complex vitamins aid the functioning of our bodies and therefore inflammation as well. Although it is hard to determine what the exact functions are, there is a definitive positive relation between blood rich in these nutrients and reduced* inflammation in the joints. This may help people with arthritis and related ailments.
  • Foods rich in vitamin D are highly recommended.
  • Vitamins A, C, and E are common antioxidants known to benefit those suffering from such ailments. Foods that are rich in these vitamins are carrots, citrus fruits, nuts, and beans respectively.

Drink Plenty of Water

Swelling is the body’s way of coping with irritants in its natural environment. To accelerate this process, a high intake of fluids can help very much. Water cleanses the system, and helps wash out such irritants faster.


Many of us wonder if exercising is one of the methods of reducing* joint swelling or if it would make matters worse. The truth is, resting the body allows the swelling to settle. If you continuously avoid using your joints though, you may end up having a hard time re-using them once they are healed. On the other hand, if you decide to work out to an extent where the body cannot handle the pressure, it is just as bad, or probably even worse. The best solution is to mildly exercise (physiotherapy), with regular intervals or rest, of course. Even simple activities like walking/bicycling to the supermarket can give your body a good exercise.

Get Some Rest

When people exert, they are multi-tasking at high levels, not allowing the body to concentrate on the damaged parts. When asleep or inactive, the human body has the advantage of being able to allow the healing process to take place without causing further damage. This is why getting a good amount of sleep is important.

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Expert Author : Kelly Everson (Consumer Health Digest)

Kelly Everson is an independent editor, an award-winning writer and an editorial consultant in the health and fitness industries. Currently, she is a contributing editor at Consumer Health Digest.