Stiffness, pain and swelling of joints are common symptoms of osteoarthritis. Not to be confused with osteoporosis or Rheumatoid Arthritis. Osteoarthritis = OA is generally a disease of weight bearing joints like the knees, hips, back etc, although it can occur anywhere. Physical Therapists have found that OA needn’t cause pain, providing the soft tissues around the joint are strong, balanced and flexible. Diagnostic tests also do not directly correlate to pain. Someone can have a horrible MRI or X-Ray showing OA, but have no pain and vice-versa. Aside from getting regular exercise (low-impact is the best) and maintaining a healthy weight, consider the following nutritional changes to help prevent or lessens symptoms.
- Eat a diet rich in antioxidants. Fresh fruits and vegetables are good sources, and may help reduce tissue damage from inflammation. Supplementing your foods with a high quality product which has a high ORAC score (it’s rating for anti-oxidant ability).
- Omega-3s fatty acids. The ratio of omega 3 to 6 to 9’s is weighted towards the high end in most foods, but the body needs more 3’s. These are the long chain fatty acids which help fight inflammation. Inflammation is the root cause of most disease, so omega 3’s are becoming very popular for everything from avoiding cancer to arthritis. Oily fish such as wild Alaskan salmon, walnuts, freshly ground flaxseed or a good omega-3 supplement may help reduce the inflammation and pain of arthritis. Pay attention to the fish source of the omega-3 supplement and ensure it is a high quality / low toxic load source such as Krill oil. Some fish are filletted and their carcasses used for fish oils, like salmon and cod, so buyer beware!
- Useful arthritis combatting supplements: glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, cetyl myristoleate (CMO), and arnica have all shown promise in managing arthritis to slow progression and reduce symptoms.
- Herbs and spices like ginger, turmeric and others have natural anti-inflammatory properties.
- Topical creams: Homeopathic remedies that contain ike Arnica Montana will reduce inflammation and speed healing to the localized area of application. Other topical salves like the Chinese liniment Zheng Gu Shui, Topricin, celadrin and Traumeel may also help.
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