When you have arthritis, making certain diet and lifestyle There are things you can do and steps you can take to manage arthritis pain. The more you know about self-management, the more empowered you’ll feel to manage your condition and stay healthy.
At Inspire Health Clinics in South Jordan, Utah, Dr. Matthew Graff, DPM, and Heather Hardy, FNP, want patients with arthritis to know that you can participate in your care and do things to improve arthritis pain. When arthritis strikes it can make simple tasks painful and difficult and have a major impact on your day-to-day life. Along with medical treatment to manage your symptoms, and in some cases slow the progression of arthritis, there are things you can do to combat arthritis pain.
Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet
What you consume can have an impact on inflammatory flare-ups. Fortunately, you can use food to ease inflammation and calm arthritis pain. Eating a plant-based diet rich in unprocessed, whole foods can help decrease joint inflammation and reduce stiffness and discomfort.
This type of diet may also aid in weight loss, which reduces stress on weight-bearing joints like the knees and ankles. The following are some examples of anti-inflammatory foods:
- Leafy greens
- Whole grains
- Green tea
These foods are rich in antioxidants, which protect the body from certain chemical reactions (free radical damage) that might cause cell and tissue damage.
Discuss taking anti-inflammatory supplements
Taking a dietary supplement, in addition to consuming anti-inflammatory foods, may help relieve arthritis discomfort. Here are a few examples:
Curcumin is a substance in turmeric with anti-inflammatory properties that have been extensively studied. Research shows that taking turmeric or curcumin three times daily is as effective as taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen.
Omega-3 fats found in foods like fatty fish are anti-inflammatory and help to reduce arthritis pain. You can get these benefits from eating at least two servings of fish each week or taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements.
Vitamin D not only helps to keep your bones strong, it may relieve joint discomfort, particularly in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Vitamin D insufficiency may be more common in people with RA, and supplementation may help.
Get and stay active
While physical activity may be the last thing on your mind when your joints ache, exercising is actually one of the best ways to relieve joint pain. Exercising promotes the release of feel-good hormones (endorphins), and suppresses inflammatory substances.
Choose an activity that you enjoy, that happens to get your body moving. This improves the chances that you’ll stick with it.
Manage your weight
For those with arthritis, shedding extra pounds and maintaining a healthy weight is especially crucial. Losing weight relieves stress on joints, especially weight-bearing joints like the hips and knees.
People with arthritis can improve their pain and function by shedding as little as 10 to 12 pounds. Weight loss can be achieved at any age with low-impact, arthritis-friendly physical activity (such as walking) and dietary adjustments.
Talk to your doctor
If you have joint pain or other arthritic symptoms, visit us at Inspire Health Clinics. It’s critical to have an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible so that you may begin treatment and work to reduce symptoms.
The goal of arthritis treatment is to relieve pain, improve function, and improve your quality of life.
Attending regular visits with your health care provider and following your prescribed treatment plan will help you take control of your arthritis.