Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in Australia. Arthritis is a group of conditions that cause joint tenderness, pain, and stiffness. Mild osteoarthritis, or grade 2 osteoarthritis, is when symptoms first appear. Joint pain and discomfort are early mild osteoarthritis symptoms, as is joint damage appearing on X-ray.

In this article, we’ll explain what osteoarthritis is, and then look at its causes and symptoms. Finally, we’ll suggest natural-based remedies for osteoarthritis to help you find relief.

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What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease and a chief cause of disability in the elderly. Mild osteoarthritis symptoms develop when cartilage breaks down and bony outgrowths emerge.

Osteoarthritis is believed to worsen over time. Yet, it doesn’t have to. The condition can even improve with the right osteoarthritis treatment.

Stages of osteoarthritis

There are four stages of osteoarthritis:

Stage 0: pre-osteoarthritis
There are no symptoms at this stage, but cell damage may start.

Stage 1: early/doubtful osteoarthritis
It’s rare to have symptoms at stage 1, but cartilage may be breaking down and bones might develop outgrowths.

Stage 2: mild osteoarthritis
Symptoms develop at this stage. X-rays may show bone outgrowths and cartilage breakdowns.

Stage 3: moderate osteoarthritis
Physical activities cause pain and cartilage shows wear.

Stage 4: severe osteoarthritis
Daily activities may become difficult or impossible. Affected joints will typically have very little cartilage present on X-rays or even none.

What causes osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is an age-related disorder that’s caused, in part, by joint ageing and “wear and tear”. Although the elderly are most at risk, it’s not inevitable that it develops or gets worse as we age.

Other causes of osteoarthritis include:

  • Joint malalignment
  • Obesity
  • Ageing
  • Inflammation.
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Osteoarthritis symptoms

The main osteoarthritis symptoms are pain and joint stiffness that affect mobility.

Other symptoms include:

  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness and pain after rest
  • Swelling
  • Cracking sounds
  • Reduced mobility
  • Muscle wastage.

The most common place to find osteoarthritis in fingers, knees, and hips.

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Osteoarthritis Natural-based management

Doctors recommend lifestyle measures, supportive therapies, and medication as osteoarthritis treatment.

Natural-based remedies for osteoarthritis shouldn’t replace conventional medical treatment but complement it. Research suggests lifestyle changes and self-care are part of effective osteoarthritis treatment.


Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce pain and joint damage called by osteoarthritis. Regular exercise helps you to build muscle, strengthen joints, improve posture, and relieve stress. Osteoarthritis symptoms can improve as a result.

Regular exercise can also help you maintain a healthy weight. Being obese or overweight increases pressure on joints and can make symptoms worse.

Try these exercises to relieve osteoarthritis symptoms:

  • Stretching
    Stretching exercises can improve flexibility and joint mobility. Your doctor might recommend specific stretches to help relieve your osteoarthritis symptoms. Yoga, tai chi and pilates can all help.
  • Strength training
    Do body weight exercises or lift weights to increase your muscle mass. Having more muscle helps to protect your joints.
  • Cardiovascular exercises
    Cardiovascular exercises usually burn a lot of calories and so can support you to maintain a healthy weight. They are also good for overall health. Regular cardio strengthens the heart and lungs, helps you to feel more awake, and improves your endurance. Running, swimming, bicycling, and swimming are all forms of cardio.

The Arthritis Foundation recommends walking and aqua aerobics for osteoarthritis. Both are gentle on joints and good for beginners.

Naturally derived products for mild osteoarthritis

Some natural remedies and herbal supplements can support osteoarthritis management. Here are three science-backed herbs that can provide natural relief:

1. Curcumin

Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory and pain reliever that’s found inside turmeric.

2. Boswellia

Boswellia extract may reduce osteoarthritis pain and stiffness, and improve joint function. Evidence suggests that Boswellia is an effective osteoarthritis treatment. Taking Boswellia extract for four weeks can help reduce symptoms.


Mild osteoarthritis doesn’t have to get worse. Healthy habits like exercise and maintaining a healthy weight make it easier to manage. Try science-approved natural therapies and conventional treatments for a fulfilling life with osteoarthritis.

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