The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA), and it affects millions of Americans yearly. More often, people who are middle-aged and older are the ones suffering from it. Fortunately, a recent study showed that there are simple, natural ways to address this condition.
Researchers from the University of Surrey found that one gram of fish oil can aid in pain reduction for those who were diagnosed with OA. By finding the link between a healthy diet and the effective self-management of the condition, it was discovered that fatty acids in fish oil are effective agents in reducing joint inflammation; therefore, easing the pain. In addition, fish oil also contributes to overall cardiovascular health.
Heavy weight is also a known factor that causes strain on the joints and triggers low-grade, systematic inflammation in the body, which only worsens the condition. This is why the researchers recommended shedding the extra pounds to overweight and obese patients and introduced them to a tailored exercise that promotes mobility.
Although a low-calorie diet showed no direct impact in lean patients with OA, it’s proven beneficial to those who are beyond their recommended weight. Combining the diet with strengthening, flexibility and aerobic exercises showed even greater results.
Eating foods abundant in vitamin K is also said to be an effective way to address the illness. It is specifically needed for vitamin-K-dependent (VKD) proteins found in bones and cartilages. A vitamin K deficiency has adverse effects on the VKD proteins, thus, having negative effects on the growth and repair of bones, which in turn increases the risk of OA.
According to Margaret Rayman, Professor of Nutritional Medicine: “The importance of a good diet and regular exercise should never be underestimated. Not only does it keep us fit and healthy, but as we have learned from this study, it can also lessen painful symptoms of osteoarthritis.” She added, “We are what we eat and it is important that we have the right amount of nutrients from our food to ensure that our body systems work as they should.”
Like in many other health conditions, opting for a healthier lifestyle may help make it easier to prevent any bodily damage. For example, by reducing the blood’s cholesterol levels, the risk of developing OA also decreases. High blood cholesterol has been linked to osteoarthritis.
On the other hand, another field expert, Ali Mobasheri, Professor of Musculoskeletal Physiology, agreed that a good diet and regular exercise must come together to better take care of your joints. He said it is impossible to have healthy joints by just choosing one or the other. (Related: New Study Confirms Yoga Offers Arthritis Relief.)
In addition, Mobasheri noted that patients who are overweight, and drink heavily and smoke, are unlikely to get positive results even with a dietary intervention. “Evidence shows that smoking and heavy drinking negatively affects body energy metabolism and inflammatory markers in the liver which may promote inflammation and disease in the body,” he said.
Other natural remedies to combat osteoarthritis
Aside from what was recommended by the researchers, there are other natural treatments you can easily do to prevent or relieve osteoarthritis.
- Consuming anti-inflammatory foods such as those that make up the Mediterranean diet
- Hot baths
- Ice or heat compress
- Massage therapies
- Mind-body exercises such as yoga and tai chi
- Water-based treatments (aquatic exercises)
Discover more natural ways of addressing osteoarthritis and other health conditions at HealingArts.news.