Osteoarthritis is usually the result of ‘wear and tear’ on the body, an injury, or lifestyle choices. While it can’t be reversed, there’s plenty you can do to make it easier moving forward.
There isn’t a single fix-all solution, but the right combination of choices – from nutrition to exercise to sleep – can improve your joint health and reduce the pain of inflammation.
Would you like to speak with an expert about managing your joint pain?
Pharmacist Gerald Quigley is on hand to speak directly with Starts at 60 readers about how to ease the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Simply fill out the form below for a friendly personal conversation about the right next step for you.
1. Work omega-3 fatty acids into your diet
Omega-3 acids are most commonly found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, tuna and sardines, as well as nuts and seeds. They have been shown to help reduce inflammation and prevent tissue damage. Omega-3 acids also enhance the absorption of calcium, so they can help improve bone strength and reduce the risk of further damage from osteoarthritis.
These are essential fats that your body can only get from food, so it can sometimes take a conscious effort to work them into your diet. Two servings of fatty fish per week can give your body what it needs.
Omega-3 fatty acids can work wonders for your health in other vital areas. They have been linked to better eye health, can help fight depression and anxiety, and may even reduce the risk of age-related illnesses such as dementia.
Choose fish and nuts over a fish oil supplement – the food provides other beneficial nutrients too.
2. Focus on weight loss
The lower the weight, the less the strain on your joints. Your weight can make a staggering difference to pain levels, and every kilogram really does count. Researchers have found that a 10% reduction in body weight could mean a 50% reduction in pain.
The same study found that 38% of participants recorded little to no pain after losing weight. Some small diet and exercise adjustments today could drastically improve your quality of life tomorrow.
3. Exercise – but not too intensely
Regular activity is an essential part of life with osteoarthritis – but when joint pains can get in the way of even basic activity, this is easier said than done.
Regular comfortable exercise is a great starting point, whether it’s a social exercise class or a regular walk.
Weight-bearing exercises become particularly important to keep your bones strong. If exercise on land becomes painful, swimming pool exercises can help your joints get the activity they need without putting them under too much pressure.
And remember to drink water to stay hydrated, it also helps keep your joints moving.
4. Improve your sleeping patterns
It’s natural to expect joint pains to affect sleep, but the opposite is also true. A lack of a healthy night’s rest can affect the way the body perceives pain, potentially making inflammation feel much worse the morning after.
There are plenty of natural ways to encourage a better night’s sleep. Avoiding heavy meals and electronic screens before bedtime are a great start. Remember: sleep is an important medical function that can have a profound impact on your overall health, so don’t hesitate to see a doctor for guidance.
5. Explore natural, long-term ways to ease the pain
These long-term lifestyle changes can become significantly easier to take if you can find a satisfactory way to ease the day-to-day pain. And it’s never been easier to take that next step.
Starts at 60 have partnered with BioRevive to encourage those dealing with osteoarthritis to explore natural, long-term options for making life easier.
Nagestic Osteo is a natural anti-inflammatory pain treatment available at pharmacies without the need for a prescription. It draws upon natural ingredients derived from turmeric that can reduce inflammation and stiffness in the joints.
Most importantly, it’s designed for long-term use, without the risk of side effects of prescribed pharmaceutical treatments.
If you have any questions about your joint pain and the best ways to treat it, please follow the links below.