If you have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis (OA), you’re not on your own. Nearly two million Australians have diagnosed OA, with the underlying number likely to be much higher.
There is currently no cure for OA, so available treatments mainly focus on helping you to manage and control common symptoms of pain and stiffness in the joints. These treatments may vary depending on which of your joints are affected and the severity of your condition.
You may need to try a number of different strategies before you find the combination that works best for you. The important thing is to try and stay active and positive, which isn’t always easy.
Achieving a balance in diet and physical activity may help reduce the symptoms of OA. If you are carrying a few extra kilos, losing some weight may help lessen the stress on your joints and reduce the pain. But there are a number of other things you can do that may help you to live a little better:
- Choose foods rich in omega-3 fats such as cold water fish, including salmon, cod, tuna, and sardines, for at least two or three meals a week – omega-3 fats have been shown to reduce inflammation.
- Canola oil is also rich in omega-3 fats so try it in your cooking and salad dressings; alternatively use extra virgin olive oil.
- Choose to eat more whole grain cereals that are not processed, hard nuts and apples – these foods are rich in silicon, essential for bone and connective tissue development.
- Try more oats and mussels in your diet. These are rich in proteoglycans, which are responsible for ‘bounce’ in your joints.
- Sip some apple cider vinegar diluted in water to support healthy digestion.
- Certain foods may contribute to OA pain and inflammation. Try avoiding the nightshade vegetables, which include potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes and capsicum. Coffee, alcohol and processed foods can also worsen your pain, so avoid them as much as possible.
Medication and supplements
- For mild to moderate OA pain, try a more natural approach. Biorevive’s Nagestic Osteo contains the natural anti-inflammatory substance ‘curcumin’ – the major phytochemical found in turmeric, a spice commonly used in Indian cooking. It provides temporary relief from the pain (usually within two hours), helps reduce associated joint stiffness, swelling and inflammation, and is gentle enough to use every day.
- Cod liver oil is rich in omega-3 fats, or you can try good-quality fish or krill oil supplements.
- If your diet is deficient in Vitamin C, you may want to consider a supplement along with Vitamin D to help collagen production and to strengthen joint connective tissues.
- Glucosamine can help normalise cartilage metabolism and in combination with chondroitin, may assist in reducing pain over time.
- Regular physical activity and exercise is an important component of your treatment strategy. It will help to reduce pain and improve joint flexibility, mobility and muscle strength.
- It is important to choose those activities that are within your capabilities and that best suit your condition. Lower impact activities could include walking (always wear the best walking shoes possible), dancing, yoga, tai chi and water based exercises.
These practical tips have been brought to you by Nagestic Osteo. Visit www.nagesticosteo.com.au
Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare professional.