What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a chronic breakdown of cartilage in joints and is the most common type of all arthritis. The most common contributing factors include obesity, ageing, joint irritation, muscle weakness and wear and tear. The main joints affected are knees, hips, hands, feet, and spine. Osteoarthritis occurs when ...Read more cartilage, which allows bone to move together smoothly, becomes damaged causing pain, swelling and stiffness. Osteoarthritis may also limit the range of motion in affected joints. This condition is more prevalent with increased age; it normally affects those over the age of 40 and predominantly those over 65. Approximately 1.5 million people in the UK have Osteoarthritis. The cause is unknown but associated with ageing. However, metabolic, genetic, chemical, and mechanical factors can play a role in the development.
So what can help?
• Eat more foods that decrease inflammation including garlic, onions, watercress, horseradish, mustard, parsley, celery, rose hip tea, pickles, lemon, nuts, seeds and cold-water fish.
• Avoid refined foods, such as white breads, pastas and sugars.
• Eat fewer red meats and more lean meats, cold-water fish, tofu (soy, if no allergy) or beans for protein.
• Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
• Use healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil and vegetable oils.
• Reduce or eliminate trans-fatty acids, found in commercially baked goods such as cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods and margarine.
• Avoid caffeine and other stimulants such as tobacco and alcohol.
• Drink 6-8 glasses of filtered water daily. The Eva filter is effective in turning normal tap water into purified spring water.
• Exercise 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week (consisting of aerobic, strengthening and flexibility exercises).
You may wish to consider taking a supplement to help with this condition. There are various supplements that you could consider including:-
• Glucosamine/Chondroitin for joint health and help with pain reduction, reducing joint swelling and stiffness
• Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil daily to help reduce inflammation
• Bromelain, This enzyme is from pineapples and helps reduce inflammation
• Turmeric for pain and inflammation. Combine with Bromelain as this can make the effect of bromelain stronger.
• Devil’s claw may reduce pain and improve mobility.
• Ginger up to 2g per day in divided doses may reduce joint inflammation and pain.
• Willow bark. Willow is similar to aspirin.
• Capsaicin (cayenne) cream applied to the skin topically can help temporarily reduce amounts of a chemical that contributes to inflammation and pain in arthritis. Pain reduction may start 3-7 days after applying the cream to the skin, wash hands with vinegar after use and avoid touching your eyes.
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