Fact or fiction? The top remedy myths about joint pain

Jan 11, 2020
Joint pain affects millions of people. Source: Getty

“Exercise helps ease joint pain”, “steer clear of fatty foods”, “avoid dairy products” – nowadays there’s seemingly no shortage of advice when it comes to what you can do to help ease pain and inflammation. But are any of these so-called health ‘facts’ true?

With the help of Teri Lichtenstein, consulting dietician at Entity Health, we’ve looked at some of the most common myths around remedies for joint inflammation.

1. Avoid citrus fruits

There’s a big misconception that citrus fruits are bad for your joints — but according to Lichtenstein, that’s not the case. She says certain fruits like oranges and limes are full of nutrients that can actually help strengthen your joints.

“These fruits contain vitamin C and other antioxidants, which have been found to have anti-inflammatory effects, so don’t hold back on your orange juice with breakfast!” Lichtenstein says.

2. Cut out dairy products

Dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt often get a bad rep — especially since the popularity of soy and almond milk in recent years — but according to Lichtenstein, avoiding dairy may do more harm than good.

“The calcium found in dairy is great for boosting bone health and protecting against debilitating conditions like osteoporosis,” she explains.

3. Steer clear of fatty food

It certainly gets a bad rap, but some fats are better for you than others.

“Omega-3 fatty acids found in foods such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and trout are known to have potent anti-inflammatory effects, so make sure to include these into your diet,” Lichtenstein advises.

She recommends eating at least two to three small servings of fatty fish each week.

4. Body weight doesn’t affect joints

Most of us know that obesity is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, but being overweight can also affect your joints, Lichtenstein explains. That’s why overweight people are at a greater risk of developing arthritis.

“Maintaining a healthy weight will help keep your joints limber and pain free!”

5. Diet and exercise can cure all

It’s no secret that eating a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly is great for your health, but sometimes our bodies need an extra boost. Lichtenstein recommends taking supplements that contain boswellic acid and curcumin as they’re known to have anti-inflammatory properties. It’s always best to talk with your doctor before taking a new supplement, especially if you have an existing medical condition.

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