Four simple ways to alleviate osteoarthritis

One thing is clear about osteoarthritis: it is a big issue. Affecting millions of Australians and costing billions of dollars,

One thing is clear about osteoarthritis: it is a big issue. Affecting millions of Australians and costing billions of dollars, it’s not to be dismissed lightly. Yet until recently, the origins of this crippling disease were pretty unclear and arguably incorrect. The latest research now challenges the view it’s just wear and tear and only affecting the old. This may dramatically change how the condition should be treated.

It is estimated nearly two million Australians suffer from osteoarthritis and it skews towards females. Estimates vary on the cost to the community, but it’s in the order of a whopping four billion dollars and rising fast (according to a 2012 study by Deloitte). Joint replacements, most commonly hips and knees, are a big contributor to this expense.

Considering these alarming statistics, groundbreaking research conducted by Stanford University of Medicine in the USA is not to be ignored. They found that, contrary to previous theories, the main underlying cause of osteoarthritis is chronic low-grade inflammation. It can occur way before actual arthritis symptoms start to appear.

“We’re starting to try and recast the way we think about osteoarthritis. That it’s not just this disorder that comes from age or wear and tear, but rather it’s a chronic condition that’s a result of chronic low-grade inflammation that’s causing a consistent and a persistent injury or damage to the joint,” said Mark Genovese M.D. from Stanford Health Care.

In addition, a past belief that exercise made osteoarthritis worse has been debunked. Light exercise, with care taken not to jolt any joints affected, actually relieves the condition.

So what does all this mean for someone with osteoarthritis? Here are four symptom alleviating strategies, based on the latest evidence (and a dose of common sense):

  1. Keep your weight to a normal level, as excess body mass is linked with making symptoms worse for weight bearing joints. Diet and moderate exercise are key.
  2. Follow a healthy diet, rich in anti-inflammatory foods and low on ingredients that cause inflammation (such as trans fats and added sugars, present in many processed foods).
  3. Exercise moderately, but regularly – If you have arthritic joints, it’s better to be active at a lower intensity five times a week than going hard twice.
  4. Address any deficiencies in your body, which could cause inflammation (ask your doctor for a few tests). Low vitamin D is a common example.

All eyes are now on Stanford and their latest study. Currently they are testing whether anti-inflammatory medicine can stop or even reverse the damage caused by osteoarthritis. If the drugs work, logic suggests anti-inflammatory foods can help too. As I keep saying, there is no harm in eating health foods!

Share your thoughts below.

Originally published here

  1. Honestly i invite them to come and study my life and eating habbits. I only est healthy non monsanto(where possible non gmo)fruits vegetables and some proteins. No sugar(cause theres plenty in fruit)no white products..i.e.flour refined stuff. I swim just about every day. Take all the alkaling stuff APV,spirulina etc..and i have severe osteo all down one side…hows that happen? Same as my mother…i exercised all through my life and played sports. We dontv eat or ever have processed foods. And researchers are saying what???? Come spend a week with me and see my agony!

    • I feel your pain, I have spinal oa. Panadol osteo gives some relief but can’t resume normal life like the ads say.

    • I have good days and bad. That pain is excrutiating. I liken it to a really bad toothache, the whole nerve ache feeling, only ten million times worse.Especially when i walk. Panadol frightens me. I do take it occasionally when i cant stand it any more. I did take those special oesteo ones that cost the earth.Way too expensive. What are they doing to the kidneys and liver and brain???? I hate complaining and i do put up with it. What else can you do? Jump off a building? At the moment i’m using tumeric, vitamin “B”and all sorts of other things just to get me thru the day.Placebo,maybe…i dont know…thanx for the empathy. There is something out there that can help but its illegal!…yeah thanks for that govt!

    • I take 2 panadol rapid at night so it stops the pain and let’s me sleep! My doctor said it is ok for me to do it!

    • Thanx but i dont want to take meds every night,ive done it and the body totally relies on it. Ill keep those on hand anyway…still have a few pacjs of panadol osteo.I do when i abdolutely have to…as i said some days are good some not. I use a lot of pillows…and i have a massager i bought in Bali(it works)& my tens massager i put on my feet. This getting olds a bugger…im ok guys. Thank goodness theres beaches and swimming pools,that helps me heaps, cant feel pain in water.

  2. Two words. Herron Osteoeze. Been taking it for 10 years. Said goodbye to pain about 6 weeks after starting taking it. It is not cheap but in my opinion is worth it to be pain free.

  3. Will try it Debbie Bryant thank you. I feel quite desperate at present.

  4. For the third time I’ll post this.

    27 years ago I was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis and my GP who also has it suggested I get myself a copy of “The Muscle Fitness Book by Francine St George” which I did.

    Yes it is a book on stretching and it is the best $20 I have ever spent.

    I do my daily stretches but, if I have a twinge at any time I can do specific stretches several times for immediate relief.

    Yes one still has to get exercise. B|

  5. So why then here in Vic Australia they took osteo panadol off the pbs.

    • Because the government can see that they can make money out of us pensioners.I have a chronic illness put on penadol ostes and everyone with chronic illness will now be paying

    • Yes it’s off the list – so people like me who take 6 a day for pain management can pay double & not have it included in prescriptions therefore increasing the timeframe in reaching the safety net.

  6. I already do all the things listed and have done so for many years. However, I have osteo spurs on my spine so exercise is really off the schedule for me. But when the pain gets really bad I drag out my old fashioned hot water bottle and sit with my back jammed on it. Usually works within an hour. Such relief from such a simple thing. Glucosamine is also a great help but if you’ve never taken it before, remember it doesn’t work overnight … you have to persevere for a while and then one day you’ll notice the difference.

  7. Without panadol Osteo I’d have difficulty doing what I do. Osteo runs in the maternal side of our family.

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