Did you know there are over 200 types of rheumatic diseases? They cause pain, swelling and inflammation of the joints and surrounding soft tissues. Arthritis can affect people of any age even children, its not just a disease associated with older people. We don’t currently have a cure for arthritis but there are lots of thing you can do to help yourself. This year Arthritis Care’s slogan, for Arthritis Awareness Week, is “Something Can Always be Done”, so we thought we’d share our top tips for arthritis pain relief with you!
- Exercise: Many people think this will make their symptoms worse but as with everything in life, it’s all about balance and finding the right activity for you! It has to include activities which will improve your flexibility, strengthen your muscles and improve your overall fitness. Things such as walking, swimming, cycling, yoga, Pilates and tai chi are all gentle but can be very beneficial. Discuss your options with your GP, Rheumatologist or Osteopath to find out which exercise would be best specifically for you.
- “If you don’t use it, you loose it”: Do what you can when you can, whether that be walking to the shops, doing some gentle house work or walking the dog. It is all good exercise and helps to maintain your independence as much as possible, which is great for your sense of well being too.
- Diet: Maintaining a healthy weight, so the joints are not overloaded is very important but several foods are recognised as having anti-inflammatory benefits:
- Oily fish: This is rich in Omega 3 a good anti-inflammatory source ( or flax seed oil if you’re veggie or don’t like fish)
- Eat your greens (Mum Knows best!): Try to have a wide variety of fruit and vegetables to ensure you are getting a rich source of nutrients but avoid having too many citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, tomatoes) or those from the deadly nightshade family (potatoes and aubergines). You can still have some of these but keep them to a minimum as they can contribute towards inflammation.
- Go tropical!: Pineapples contain bromelain, a natural anti-inflammatory
- Keep it natural: Brown breads, rice and pastas are best, avoid processed white flours and grains
- Add some spice : Ginger, turmeric, pepper, rosemary, cinnamon, clove and liquorice root all have anti-inflammatory properties
- Minimise red meat: Red meats can be associated with precursor chemicals which promote inflammation
- Supplements: Green Lipped mussel, Devil’s claw, bromelain, glucosamine sulphate and ginger root can all have anti- inflammatory properties. Always check with your GP before taking any supplements or starting a new diet to ensure it doesn’t affect or interact with any medications you may already be taking.
- It’s good to talk: Don’t suffer alone, there are lots of support groups you can join and literature available, for everything from education about your condition to help getting adaptions to your home and accessing benefits www.arthritiscare.org.uk
- Bring in the Professionals: Physical treatments such as Osteopathy can be hugely beneficial to help reduce the pain associated with arthritis and improve joint range of movement as well as offering support and advice, so that you can continue to live life to the full
If you are unsure about any of the advice above or are considering starting supplements or a new diet to help with arthritis pain relief, always consult with your G.P. or rheumatologist first. If you need advice on suitable exercise for you, please don’t hesitate to pop in and see us at Cheadle Osteopathy 0161 4781877 …….discover a healthier you