As we age, we begin to feel the effects of a life working, playing sports and wear on our joints. Pain, restricted movement and inflammation from Osteoarthritis affects many people and although there is no cure, you can make living with Osteoarthritis easier.
Maintain a healthy weight
What we eat helps to maintain a healthy weight, reducing the load on our joints. In fact, every 1kg of weight carried adds 4kgs of extra pressure on our knees. Our food provides nutrients to support bone health and joints. Find calcium and vitamin D in dairy products, eggs, spinach, broccoli, bok choy and nuts to increase bone strength which may improve painful symptoms. Oily fish with high levels of omega-3s may reduce inflammation, as may onions, garlic, ginger, olives and turmeric.
Support your digestion
Gut bacteria keep your digestive system working, absorbing nutrients and balancing your immune system. Support a healthy digestive tract to absorb the nutrients it needs and reduce inflammatory responses.
Physical activity is essential for general wellbeing and to strengthen the muscles around joints. It can improve knee pain and physical function comparable to that from anti-inflammatory drugs. Choose something you enjoy, favouring low-impact activities such as walking, tai chi, swimming, hydrotherapy, yoga, pilates or cycling.
Keep warm in Winter with clothing, blankets and heating. Apply heat packs to sore joints with a little massage. Ask and accept offers of help when needed. Try home aids such as jar openers, stocking aids and car seat turntables to make everyday activities easier.
Get relief from medicines and supplements
Trial paracetamol, anti-inflammatories and rubs individually, for a short period to assess whether they are reducing pain levels. Continue with them if you find they are working. An estimated 60% of people with arthritis use complementary therapies including high dose fish oils, turmeric, glucosamine, boswellia and MSM for their anti-inflammatory properties. Ask our pharmacists if they might be useful for you.