Arthritis is a painful disorder that involves inflammation of the joints. The term arthritis is actually an umbrella, describing over 100 forms of arthritis including common forms such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Regardless of the type of arthritis, the condition usually involves joint stiffness and varying levels of pain. While there is no cure for arthritis, treatment options can range from physical therapy and joint replacement surgery, to simple lifestyle changes.
Making Lifestyle Changes
Many arthritis patients find that by making simple lifestyle changes they are able to help reduce or maintain pain levels. Simple low impact exercises like taking short walks or swimming 2 to 3 times a week may improve joint stiffness. In addition to low impact exercises, many arthritis patients find that making simple dietary changes also helps reduce inflammation, joint stiffness and pain.
As arthritis is, by definition, inflammation of the joints, avoiding foods that cause inflammation, or consuming foods that are known to reduce inflammation may help reduce pain. Below are some food that is known to reduce inflammation.
Omega 3 Fats
Omega 3 Fats are essential healthy fats that are found in foods like walnuts, salmon, and tuna. Research shows that omega 3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation. Unfortunately, our bodies can’t create Omega 3’s, so it’s imperative that our diet supply us with the healthy fatty acids needed. There are also Omega 3 supplements that can be purchased from local stores in pill or liquid form, if you’re unable to get enough with your daily nutrition.
An Iowa Women’s Health Study in 2004, found that Vitamin D intake is inversely associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin D is found in some fish, but one of the best ways to get Vitamin D is to take a nice walk and let the sun naturally stimulate some vitamin D. Like Omega 3’s there are also Vitamin D supplements.
Ginger has been used for centuries to treat ailments, but a recent study showed that Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation. Ginger is usually used in tea or used as an ingredient in vegetable juices.
Make an appointment
Before making any change to your diet or activity levels, make an appointment with a physician and discuss a specific plan for you. Arthritis is a common condition that affects about 1 in 5 U.S adults. If you are suffering from arthritis pain, contact an IBJI physician for expert treatment.