Diet and nutrition found to play a role in reducing pain and other symptoms of osteoarthritis

People with osteoarthritis benefit from making dietary and nutritional changes, according to a literature review conducted by researchers from the University of Surrey in England.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease and the most common form of arthritis, affecting about 27 million people in the U.S. It is also known as “wear and tear” arthritis because it occurs when the cartilage or cushion between joints breaks down. This leads to pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints.

The researchers reviewed 68 studies on the association between nutrition and osteoarthritis risk or progression. Based on the findings published in the journal Rheumatology, taking a gram of fish oil every day could help reduce the pain that comes with osteoarthritis, as well as help improve their cardiovascular health. This is because the essential fatty acids in fish oil reduce inflammation in the joints, which in turn help reduce pain. (Related: Omega-3 fats from fish oil and supplements prevent and slow arthritis progression.)

Additionally, the review findings suggest that losing weight for overweight and obese people with osteoarthritis and performing mobility exercises could also help improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Being overweight or obese increases strain on the joints and causes inflammation in the body, which worsens the condition.

According to Ali Mobasheri, a professor of musculoskeletal physiology at the University of Surrey, combining good diet and regular exercise is essential to keep joints healthy.

The review findings indicate that adhering to a low-calorie diet, in combination with performing strengthening, flexibility, and aerobic exercises, is an effective approach to reducing pain in overweight people with osteoarthritis. This could also lower their blood cholesterol levels. High blood cholesterol is known to be associated with osteoarthritis.

People with osteoarthritis may also want to consider eating more foods rich in vitamin K, such as kale, spinach, and parsley. The vitamin is essential for vitamin K-dependent proteins, which are found in bone and cartilage. Consequently, the lack of vitamin K negatively affects the function of the protein, impairing bone growth and repair and increasing the risk of osteoarthritis.

In conclusion, the findings of the review suggest that people with osteoarthritis may improve the symptoms of their condition by making healthy lifestyle changes.

Other ways to naturally relieve pain due to osteoarthritis

Pain is the most common symptom of osteoarthritis. In addition to lifestyle changes, there are natural remedies available. Although they are not meant to replace your current treatment, they will certainly provide relief for osteoarthritis. Here are some of them:

  • Curcumin: Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, may be beneficial for people with osteoarthritis. It may fight inflammatory compounds as well as help relieve pain and stiffness during an osteoarthritis flare-up.
  • Epsom salt bath: Epsom salt baths can provide relief from joint pain and inflammation because of the magnesium in the salt. Add two cups of Epsom salt in a bath of warm water at a temperature of about 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Ginger: Ginger has also been found to reduce pain from osteoarthritis. A study published in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage revealed that long-term intake of ginger may even reduce the risk for osteoarthritis-related disability.
  • Green tea: Drinking moderate amounts of green tea may benefit people with osteoarthritis. The polyphenols in green tea help reduce inflammation and increase cartilage protection, according to a study published in Arthritis Research and Therapy.
  • Hot and cold compresses: Both hot and cold compresses help reduce pain or spasms around a joint. For joint stiffness, it’s best to apply hot compress, while a cold compress is best for relieving joint pain.

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