Do you suffer from stiff and painful joints?
In this post I will be talking about osteoarthritis and suggestions on how to manage your pain naturally. There are many other forms of arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia, which I will address in future posts.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is an inflammatory and degenerative condition, characterised by stiff and painful joints. There may be swelling or deformity of the affected joints, and the pain can range from a dull ache to a sharp, knife-like pain. Patients often complain of morning stiffness which eases after about 15-30 minutes. The pain is worse when moving after a period of inactivity. These symptoms can either appear suddenly or gradually get worse.
Osteoarthrits can affect any joint in the body, although commonly effected joints include the knees and fingers.
In an osteoarthritic joint, the cartilage which covers both ends of the bones of a joint becomes damaged and rough. The rough surfaces result in friction within the joint. This leads to bone deformity which causes pain and stiffness, as well as weakening of the muscles around the joint.
What causes osteoarthritis?
Some of the factors that could predispose you to developing osteoarthritis include:
- A previous injury.
- Overuse of a particular joint or joints.
- High-impact sports.
- Inflammatory diet.
- Genetic predisposition.
How can osteoarthritis be tackled naturally?
The medical route to treating osteoarthritis often involves long-term pain relief in the form of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, e.g. nurofen, ibuprofen), which can have serious side-effects. I have helped many clients to successfully manage their osteoarthritis symptoms by naturally reducing inflammation in the body.
Inflammation is a natural and integral part of the healing process. If you break a bone, the area quickly becomes hot and swollen as blood rushes to the area to start healing. This is known as acute inflammation, and is vital to healthy recovery from injuries.
Chronic and systemic inflammation, however, is another story. When the body is exhibiting a constant, low-level inflammatory response it starts attacking healthy tissue, leading to joint and muscle pain, feeling bloated and lethargic, as well as a whole host of problems such as autoimmune conditions (e.g,. rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease) and degenerative conditions (e.g. osteoarthritis, osteoporosis). Aim to reduce your intake of inflammatory foods, and increase your intake of anti-inflammatory foods. The following lists are a guideline, some or all of these may apply to you.
- unhealthy fats high in omega 6 oils: corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, soy bean oil, margarine and low-fat vegetable oil spreads;
- refined carbohydrates, for example white bread, processed foods such as biscuits and cakes, refined sugar, white rice, pasta;
- gluten-containing grains, e.g. wheat, barley, and anything made with these grains;
- plants of the nightshade family, e.g. tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, aubergines.
- oily wild fish e.g. mackerel, salmon;
- omega 3 oils (found in oily fish, hemp-seed oil, flaxseed oil, and fish oil supplements);
- coconut oil, walnut oil;
- pastured animal fat (grass-fed butter, full-fat dairy, grass-fed beef and lamp, free-range chicken and eggs);
- cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage);
- dark-skinned berris (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries).
There are a wealth of natural supplements available to manage arthritis and reduce inflammation. These are the ones that I recommend to my clients, and which yield the best results.
Eskimo-3 Fish Oils
Ginger and Turmeric
MSM Gel is a topical gel that can be rubbed generously into the affected joints. If applied frequently it can reduce pain and inflammation.
Heat Lotion can relieve the aches and pains in sore muscles around the joints.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, massage can ease your arthritis symptoms. Recent studies on the effects of massage for arthritis symptoms have shown regular use of the simple therapy led to improvements in pain, stiffness, range of motion, hand grip strength and overall function of the joints.
I hope that this post has helped your understanding of arthritis and ways in which you can manage your pain naturally. The products and advice mentioned above are intended to be used in complement with your doctor's prescriptions. Please speak to your GP before reducing or changing your medication.
If you would like more information about arthritis or if you would like to order any of the products mentioned above, please call me on 07894545783 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm happy to answer any questions you might have.