Osteoarthritis? Get More Movement With Less Pain

Dr. Brenda Gill
By Dr. Brenda Gill
August 15th, 2016

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis where the linings of the joints wear down. It is associated with areas of injury or weight-bearing joints and joints of the hands. There is cartilage damage and eventual destruction of the cartilage, followed by hardening and formation of bone spurs to stabilize the joint if not repaired.

The most common signs are morning joint stiffness, pain on motion of the joint, limited range of motion and possible deformity of the joint.

         YOU can make a difference by what you eat and drink throughout the day.  Here are six ways to help:

1.   Water is essential. I always tell patients that drinking water is like having a shower from the inside and helps rinse all the toxins through the system, instead of storing them in the joints. As always, I advise people to drink half as many ounces of water as their weight is in pounds: if you weigh 140 pounds, try to drink 70 ounces of water.

2.   Maintaining normal body weight reduces stress on the weight bearing joints, therefore, consume foods that are primarily whole and unprocessed (whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds). Maximize proteins that are anti-inflammatory like cold-water fish (salmon, albacore tuna, halibut, herring or sardines) or nuts and seeds and use other neutral proteins like chicken/turkey, seafood, tofu/tempeh, beans or legumes for the rest of your proteins. Minimize red meat products and cow dairy since these cause inflammation to the body. The better choices are lamb, bison or wild meat and goat or sheep products.

3.   Minimize your intake of alcohol, stimulants (coffee, decaff coffee, black tea, green tea, herba mate, honeybush, rooibos, Pop) and sugar, since these are considered toxins by the body and their breakdown products tend to be stored in the joints until the liver can process them.

4.   Food allergies should also be identified to minimize the irritation to the joints, which can easily be tested using a VEGA machine. Some people also find limiting nightshade foods (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers) gives them some relief.

5.   Keeping neutral or alkaline moves toxins, metabolites and inflammation out of the body efficiently, so, minimize acidic foods-anything white (flour, sugar, pasta, bread, potatoes), tomatoes and citrus.

6.   Exercise is also extremely important to maintain range of motion. If the joints have been severely affected, swimming, water aerobics and bike riding are the best.  Relaxation techniques also help for those that tend to store tension in their muscles. Deep breathing, yoga, meditation, visualization all help minimize pain.

Stay tuned for the next article where I will talk about supplements and herbs that are helpful.


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